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How to Spend a Day in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is one of the best-kept secrets of the mountain time zone. It is the unsung gemstone of the Rocky Mountains. Many people know the Mormon history of the city, but not much more. But to those in the know, Salt Lake City is boasting full of cool things to do.

Start your day in the center of the city

Start your city tour in the heart of the city. Downtown Salt Lake City is vibrant, interesting, and full of history with great restaurants and shopping. For breakfast, I would recommend The Rose Establishment for a cute country-chic coffee shop with a full menu.

Temple Square is home to almost 20 attractions, most of which celebrate Salt Lake’s unique history. In its center is Salt Lake Temple and other architecturally stunning buildings such as the Tabernacle and Assembly Hall. The latter two can offer guests information about the history and development of the Church of the Latter-day Saints. Stroll through the City Creek Center, a scenic mall filled with boutiques and surrounded by charming streets. Maybe rent a scooter to ride around town.

You can also visit the Family History Library, the largest genealogy library in the world. Then there is the old Stock Exchange building and many picturesque squares and gardens to stroll through.

If you have time after Temple Square, check out the State Capitol building a few blocks from the city center. The State Capitol is the house for the state government of Utah. The impressive rotunda structure is a great photo op and they offer scheduled guided tours for those interested!

Take a lunch break

For lunch, hit The Garden restaurant. It sits on the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and gives great views of downtown Salt Lake City and Temple Square. The view is a great bonus to the great food. They are also equipped to handle large parties.

After lunch, take a half day trip to view the Great Salt Lake, from which the city gets its namesake. The Great Salt Lake is the nation’s largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River. There are many hiking trails and picnic areas nearby. Under the right conditions, the Great Salt Lake reflects like a mirror, giving a great backdrop for pictures or for taking in the sights. You can also spot wildlife around the lake, such as bison and antelope.

If you aren’t an outdoor person, spend the afternoon the Natural History Museum instead. The museum features stunning architecture and a view that overlooks the Wasatch Range. Plus you get to learn about the history and science of the land in Utah.

Finish off the day with local nightlife

Close off your day with dinner at the Copper Onion. You will likely need a reservation to get in. Their carbonara is one of their most popular dishes. After dinner, take a stroll down to Main Street to check out the vibrant bar scene. Whiskey Street is a popular go-to with its vintage-chic lounge style. Or perhaps you want to go to a Utah Jazz game if that’s your thing. Trust us, there’s plenty to do in Salt Lake City!