Salt Lake City Visitor Information
Big-city cosmopolitan meets alpine resort in Salt Lake City, host to the 2002 Winter Olympics. Salt Lake is nestled in a valley at the foot of two mountain ranges¡ªthe Wasatch to the east and the Oquirrhs to the west. While visiting you can tour museums, enjoy fine dining, visit Olympic venues, listen to the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir, golf, hike, mountain bike, birdwatch, and more. Stroll through the heart of downtown, and just twenty minutes later, explore a mountain meadow. Only in Salt Lake.
Fifteen national parks and monuments are within a one-day drive of Salt Lake; twelve are located within Utah's borders. These include Zion National Park and Arches National Park south of the city and the famous Yellowstone National Park to the northeast. A 30-minute drive north of the city will bring you to Antelope Island, the largest island in the Great Salt Lake, and home to a unique variety of wildlife. And just 20 minutes away you'll find Park City, a charming artist community featuring numerous museums and arts shops.
Salt Lake's accessibility by air is exceptional. Salt Lake City International Airport is one of the West's major hubs, served by 13 airlines offering nonstop service to over 70 destinations. It is also closer to the city it serves than nearly any other airport--only ten minutes from downtown.
Utah Olympic Park: 3000 Bear Hollow Dr., Park City, 435-658-4200
This is the official site of the 2002 Olympic bobsled, luge, and ski-jumping events. The Winter Sports Park also serves as a year-round training site for members of the U.S. Ski Team and other athletes training for amateur competition. In summer, check out the freestyle ski jumpers who practice their form on a special jump with a splash pool at the bottom. http://www.olyparks.com
Temple Square: 50 W. North Temple St., Salt Lake City, 801-240-2534.
Brigham Young chose this spot for a temple upon arriving in the Salt Lake Valley. Constructed with blocks of granite hauled by oxen and then by train from Little Cottonwood Canyon, the Mormon Temple took 40 years to the day to complete. Its walls are 16 ft thick at the base. Perched 210 ft above ground level is a golden statue of the trumpeting angel Moroni. The temple is off-limits to all but faithful followers of the Mormon religion. Non-Mormons can learn more about the activities within the temple at the North and South visitor centers.
Other buildings of interest at Temple Square include the Assembly Hall, which was completed in 1882 with leftover granite from the temple, and the Tabernacle, home of the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Choir rehearsals and weekly organ recitals are open to the public.
As impressive as the architectural trappings of Temple Square are, don't forget to enjoy the quiet environs of the 10-acre grounds themselves. But don't be surprised if a member of the church politely inquires about any interest you might have in learning more about Mormonism. COST: Free. Daily 9 AM-9 PM.
Antelope Island State Park: 4528 West 1700 South Syracuse 801-773-2941
From I-15, 30 miles north of Salt Lake City, the park appears to be a desolate and deserted, water-bound mountain. In reality, this, the largest island in the Great Salt Lake, is home to a variety of wildlife, including a herd of 600 bison descended from a group of 12 placed on the island in 1893. In 1983, the Great Salt Lake's level rose dramatically and flooded the 7-mi causeway that leads to the island. The water has since receded, and the 28,000-acre island's beaches, campground, and hiking areas are again accessible. A concessionaire, R&G Horseback (801-782-4946), rents horses for island explorations. 7 mi west of I-15, Exit 335. COST: $7 per vehicle, including fee for causeway; $9 camping per night. Daily 7 AM-10 PM. http://parks.state.ut.us/parks/www1/ante.htm
Arches National Park: PO Box 907, Moab, UT 84532-0907, 435-719-2299
The largest concentration of natural stone arches in the world is found in Arches National Park. Over 2,000 of these ¡°miracles of nature¡± grace the 119 square- mile area. A 48-mile round-trip paved road in the park leads to the major sights while other arches are accessible via hiking trails. A visitor center, 5 miles north of Moab just off US-191, is open year-round. firstname.lastname@example.org
Utah Museum of Natural History: 1390 E. President's Circle, Salt Lake City, 801-581-6927.
In addition to collections of rocks, minerals, dinosaurs, and other fossils, there are displays about the prehistoric human inhabitants of the West. Utah wildlife is well represented, and you can even learn why Utah is so enamored of seagulls. COST: $4. Mon.-Sat. 9:30-5:30, Sun. noon-5. http://www.umnh.utah.edu
Clark Planetarium: 110 South 400 West, Salt Lake City, 801-456-STAR (7827)
State-of-the-art star theatre and Utah's only 3D IMAX? theatre, planetarium store, and space/science exhibits. At The Gateway. http://www.clarkplanetarium.org
Utah Jazz: 301 W. South Temple St., Salt Lake City, 801-355-3865
Salt Lake City's NBA team is a real crowd-pleaser. Home games are played at the Delta Center. COST: $10-$82.50. http://www.nba.com/jazz
Delta Center: 300 W. South Temple St., Salt Lake City, 801-325-2000
From the outside, this structure, built in the early 1990s, resembles an enormous block of ice. But from the inside, the views of the surrounding city and the Wasatch mountains are stunning. The Delta Center arena seats 20,000 and is home court for the Utah Jazz. Concerts, rodeos, ice shows, and other touring entertainments are also held here. An information desk and a gift shop are open daily. The gift shop stocks the city's best assortment of Utah Jazz basketball paraphernalia. http://www.deltacenter.com
Children's Museum of Utah: 840 N. 300 West St., Salt Lake City, 801-328-3383
The goal of this museum is to "create the love of learning through hands-on experience," and that's exactly what it does. Children can pilot a jetliner, draw with computers, or dig for mammoth bones as part of the many interactive exhibits. Adults are free to explore as well. COST: $3.75; free after 5 PM on Fri. Mon.-Thurs. and Sat. 10-6, Fri. 10-8. http://www.childmuseum.org
Utah State Capitol: Capitol Hill, 400 N. State St., Salt Lake City, 801-538-3000
In 1912, after the state received $800,000 in inheritance taxes from the estate of Union Pacific Railroad president Edward Harriman, work was begun on the marvelous Renaissance Revival structure that tops Capitol Hill. Beneath the 165-ft-high rotunda is a series of murals, commissioned during the Depression, that depict the state's history. From the steps outside, you get a marvelous view of the entire Salt Lake Valley. COST: Free. Weekdays, hours vary.
Beehive House: 67 E. South Temple St., Salt Lake City, 801-240-2672
Brigham Young's home, a national historic landmark, was constructed in 1854 and is topped with a replica of a beehive, symbolizing industry. Free tours are given daily. Young built the Lion House next door to house his 27 wives and 56 children; now a social center and restaurant, it isn't open for tours. COST: Free. Mon.-Sat. 9:30-4:30, Sun. 10-1.
Exchange Place Historic District: Between State and Main Sts. at 350 South St. Access is from State St.
Reminiscent of early Chicago, this cluster of buildings rising 11 stories includes the Boston and Newhouse buildings, Salt Lake's first skyscrapers. As the city's center for non-Mormon commerce, this was one of the West's leading business centers early in the 1900s. Today, the quiet street has restaurants, small shops, and an art gallery. These "skyscrapers" of the past are easily dwarfed by surrounding structures.