1. Salt Lake Tabernacle and Mormon Temple
50 W South Temple, Temple Square, Salt Lake City, UT 84150-9707 · 801-240-2534
Construction began on the Salt Lake Temple in 1852, although it wasn't dedicated until 1892. The foundation of the enormous Gothic-style structure was made from locally quarried red sandstone, and the exterior walls, which vary in thickness from six to nine feet, are solid granite. Finial spires top each of the temple’s six towers. Unfortunately, in order to get into the Salt Lake Temple, you have to be baptized into the Mormon church. The Tabernacle, on the other hand, is open to the public. It took just three years to construct (1867) and is home to the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The Tabernacle’s 11,632-pipe organ looms 30-plus feet over the congregation, and the curved ceiling enhances the building’s acoustics. Visitors are encouraged to attend one of the weekly choir rehearsals or a Sunday broadcast.
2 Utah State Capitol Building
350 N Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 · 801-538-3000
This awe-inspiring building proudly sits high on a hill overlooking the city. The stately Renaissance Revival-style building is constructed mostly of native granite, quarried in the surrounding area. Inside, visitors may wander from room to room or take a guided tour to learn the significance of seagulls painted on the 165-foot domed ceiling or to find the historical meaning behind the painted murals. Additional points of interest in the building include a Hall of Governors, an impressive 6000-pound chandelier, and a gift shop.
3. Utah State History Museum
300 S Rio Grande St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 · 801-533-3500
Visit this museum to view original wagons used by pioneers in 1847 or to comprehend the arduous lives of Utah's early settlers. The museum also has a gift shop, research facilities, and a Mexican restaurant. It's also home to the Utah State Historical Society.
4. Hogle Zoo
2600 Sunnyside Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84108 · 801-582-1631
Although it's somewhat small, this zoo houses a wide variety of animals. Visitors enjoy birds and plants on exhibit in the solarium and come face to face with giraffes via a tall deck. A petting zoo and a small steam train are additional attractions for all to enjoy.
5. University of Utah
200 S 1300 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84102-2609 · 801-581-6515
The University of Utah campus occupies more than 1100 acres overlooking the eastern portion of downtown Salt Lake City. The state's oldest university, U of U dates from the 1850s and now boasts a student population exceeding 25,000. Opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games will be held at the university's Rice-Eccles Stadium, and the Olympic Village is also located here. Guests are welcome to tour the grounds.
Top Weekend Getaways And Day Trip Excursions:
1. Sundance Film Festival
328 Main St, Historic Egyptian Theatre, Park City, UT 84060 · 801-328-3456
First begun in 1985, this annual event provides the opportunity for independent films to gain publicity and garner world-wide press. The efforts of filmmakers who work outside of Hollywood's established systems are applauded, and innovation is particularly commended. As much a social opportunity as it is an artistic one, Sundance brings together film's established and emerging talents. Professional members of the ever-popular world of entertainment attend, relishing the chance to critique movies and to discover potential stars that under regular circumstances could be overlooked. Competition to win is tough, but the prize, once achieved, almost guarantees a successful career, creative license, and monetary support for the victorious filmmaker.
2. Alta Ski Area
Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd, Alta, UT 84092 · 801-742-3333
Open since the late 1930s, Alta is the country's second oldest ski resort. This popular venue has long been synonymous with great downhill skiing, and few runs are off-limits. Advanced skiers from around the world rave about Alta's steep powder fields and long, fast runs, especially the mile-long Crooked Mile and the high-speed Greeley Bowl. Beginners and intermediates are taken care of at Alta as well, with several slopes designated for them. Alta's season usually runs from November to May. Snowboarding is not permitted.
3. Antelope Island State Park
4528 W 1700 South, Interstate 15 N, Exit 355, Syracuse, UT 84075-6861 · 801-721-9569
Great Salt Lake's largest island owes its name to John C. Fremont, who hunted antelope there in 1845. Several years later, a herd of 17 bison was introduced to the island, and their descendants now number around 600 and share the island with a variety of other animals, including elk, pronghorn, coyotes, and several species of waterfowl and birds of prey. Visitors to the island's state park may explore the island's 15-plus miles of hiking trails or tour it on horseback or horse-drawn wagon.
4. Great Salt Lake State Park
Great Salt Lake Marina, Magna, UT 84044 · 801-250-1898
The largest lake west of the Mississippi River, the Great Salt Lake annually receives mineral-rich floodwater from surrounding mountains, making it more than five times saltier than ocean water. In fact, only the Dead Sea has a higher salt content than this 2000-square mile lake's 15 to 20% salinity. Tourists are encouraged to visit the State Park and marina area, located in Magna, where they'll find a flurry of activities: swimming, sailing, and bird-watching, to name a few.
5. Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort
Little Cottonwood Canyon, Snowbird, UT 84092 · 801-933-2100
Situated in Little Cottonwood Canyon, this resort is a haven for advanced skiers. Its location ensures that it gets plentiful snow, and the powder is legendary. A number of lifts and trams transport skiers to the upper slopes, which is especially good since the resort has some of the longest ski hills in the state. With more than 80 runs, there's room to accommodate a good number of guests as well. Snowboarders are given a warm welcome and may tackle the slopes or test out the half-pipe. An assortment of lodges and other guest facilities guarantees that your time at the resort is comfortable and well-spent.