Salt Lake City's Top Attractions

The Best Things to See and Do in Salt Lake City

Whether you're visiting Salt Lake City for the first time or a resident looking for something new to try, Salt Lake City offers an amazing number of cultural and recreational activities. Here are a few of the best.

01 of 10

Temple Square

Salt Lake Temple, Salt Lake City
Marco Brivio/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
50 N Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150, USA
Phone +1 801-531-1000

Temple Square is Salt Lake City's most popular attraction, and you could spend anywhere from an hour to a day or two visiting the square itself - with its grand six-spired temple, two visitor's centers, lovely flower gardens, and fountains - and nearby sites related to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Area attractions include the Assembly Hall, Tabernacle, Museum of Church History and Art, Family Search Center, Beehive House, Lion House, Brigham Young Historic Park, LDS Conference Center and Joseph Smith Memorial Building—all of which are free. Temple Square offers hundreds of free movies, dramatic programs and music events every year. Temple Square Hospitality runs several popular restaurants.

02 of 10

City Creek Center

City Creek Center
City Creek Center
50 S Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA
Phone +1 801-521-2012

City Creek Center is a 20-acre residential, shopping and office complex featuring more than 90 stores and restaurants, including Nordstrom, Macy's, Tiffany, Michael Kors, Coach, Cheesecake Factory, and Texas de Brazil Churrascaria. It's designed to be a walkable shopper's paradise, with six acres of green space, the namesake creek, three fountains (one with a choreographed fountain show), two 18-foot waterfalls, and a massive retractable roof.


03 of 10

West Downtown and Gateway

The Gateway, Salt Lake City, Utah
Ken Lund/Flickr/CC 2.0
400 W 100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA
Phone +1 801-456-0000

The Gateway on the west side of downtown Salt Lake is the city's best outdoor shopping center and a lot more, with a nice mix of upscale shops and restaurants, a twelve-screen movie theater, and two of Salt Lake's most popular museums: The Clark Planetarium and ​​Discovery Gateway Children's Museum. Salt Lake's historic Union Pacific Building hosts art exhibits and serves as an entrance to The Gateway's Olympic Plaza and popular Olympic Snowflake Fountain. Part of the Union Pacific Building has been renovated as The Depot, one of Salt Lake's most exciting music venues.

Just east of The Gateway is EnergySolutions Arena, home of the Utah Jazz and Salt Lake's biggest event arena.

04 of 10

Capitol Hill

State Capitol Building & Mormon Battalion Monument, Salt Lake City, Utah,
Richard Cummins/Getty Images
Capitol Hill, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

The Utah State Capitol, at 300 N. State St., sits atop a hill overlooking the Salt Lake Valley. The building was constructed in 1912-1916 and renovated in 2004-2008.

Free guided tours of the Capitol are offered on the hour between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Tours begin just inside the Capitol's east doors. Evening tours may be reserved on Wednesdays at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. by e-mail at or by phone at 801-538-1800. Self-guided tours are available any time the capitol is open, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Visitors to Capitol Hill can also enjoy the Capitol's beautiful grounds, the free Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum and the picturesque White Chapel.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10

Hogle Zoo

Utah's Hogle Zoo
Anna C. Brandão Alves/Flickr/CC 2.0
2600 Sunnyside Ave S, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA
Phone +1 801-584-1700

Utah's Hogle Zoo dates from 1931 and is located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon at 2600 E. Sunnyside Avenue. The Zoo is one of the most visited attractions in Utah and the top paid-for tourist attraction in Salt Lake City. It covers 42 acres and includes more than 800 animals.

Hogle Zoo's top exhibits include Asian Highlands, Elephant Encounter, Rocky Shores, and African Savanna, which is currently under construction. Don't miss the World of Flight Bird Show during the spring, summer, and fall. From Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve, Hogle Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland with the popular Zoolights display.

06 of 10

This is the Place Heritage Park

This Is the Place Heritage Park, Salt Lake City, Utah
Ken Lund/Flickr/CC 2.0
2601 Sunnyside Ave S, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA
Phone +1 801-582-1847

This is the Place Monument in Emigration Canyon marks the spot where Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers first entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Looking over the Salt Lake Valley, Young declared, "This is the right place." One hundred years later, a heroic bronze sculpture of Young and two of his colleagues were placed atop a 60-foot pedestal to commemorate the pioneers' arrival.

This is the Place Heritage Park includes a restored pioneer village with live demonstrations of pioneer life and a restored Brigham Young farmhouse.

This is the Place Heritage Park is directly across from Hogle Zoo at 2601 Sunnyside Ave. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. spring through fall, 11 am - 4 pm in winter. Programs are limited in winter and on Sundays.

07 of 10

University of Utah

Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Utah Museum of Fine Arts
201 Presidents' Cir, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
Phone +1 801-581-7200

The University of Utah is not only one of the state's leading educational institutions but also an important cultural and sports center for the city and the state of Utah. The U of U campus includes two of Salt Lake's favorite museums, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the Natural History Museum of Utah The campus is also home to Salt Lake's favorite garden spot, Red Butte Garden.

Top performing arts venues on the U of U campus include Kingsbury Hall and  Pioneer Memorial Theatre. The U of U's top sports venues are  Rice-Eccles Stadium and the John M. Huntsman Center. Just south of Rice-Eccles Stadium is the  Olympic Cauldron Park including the Salt Lake 2002 Visitors Center.

08 of 10

Liberty Park and Tracy Aviary

Liberty Park Salt Lake City
Edgar Zuniga Jr./Flickr/CC 2.0
600 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105, USA
Phone +1 801-972-7800

Liberty Park is Salt Lake City's second-largest public park and includes trails, playgrounds, a pond, paddle boat rentals, tennis courts, picnic facilities, amusement rides and a water play area. Liberty Park includes the Chase Home Museum of Folk Arts and the excellent eight-acre ​Tracy Aviary, one of two free-standing aviaries in the United States.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Library Square

Salt Lake City Public Library
Ellen Forsyth/Flickr/CC 2.0
210 E 400 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
Phone +1 801-524-8200

Library Square, at 210 East 400 South, includes not just the award-winning Salt Lake City main library, but also shops, a cafe, a Salt Lake Community College Writing Center and the studios of KCPW, a local NPR affiliate. Library events include art exhibits, lectures, film screenings, cultural performances, book groups and kids' activities.

Near Library Square, at 451 South State Street, sits the impressive Richardson-Romanesque-style Salt Lake City and County Building, headquarters of both city and county governments. Tours of the building are offered every Tuesday during the summer.

Also near the Library is The Leonardo, a multi-million-dollar science museum.

10 of 10

Thanksgiving Point

Flowing stream in Thanksgiving Gardens, Thanksgiving Point, near Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Ed Reschke/Getty Images
3003 N Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, UT 84043, USA
Phone +1 801-768-2300

Thanksgiving Point is a huge recreation area near the Point of the Mountain that includes spectacular themed gardens, a farm, and agriculture center, movie theaters, an IMAX, shops, restaurants, a golf course, party and reception facilities, and the world's largest indoor dinosaur museum. There's so much to see and do at Thanksgiving Point that it's difficult to describe, but Thanksgiving Point definitely offers an escape from the everyday.

Thanksgiving Point is located about halfway between Salt Lake City and Provo just off Interstate 15 at the Point of the Mountain. For detailed driving instructions from your location, call 801-768-2300.

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Don't Miss These Top Attractions in Salt Lake City