Tabernacle, Salt Lake City
Favorite thing: You must see the Mormon Temple and Mormon Tabernacle. There are tons of trees and flowers and they're in a very nice setting within the city. To go inside the Tabernacle, you'll have to have a tour guide, which is a free thing, and they basically are all around the place looking for small groups that need a tour. So, there's no line.. just look for someone with a name badge. They'll take you around to the different sites in this 'park,' because there ARE other buildings too. At the end you're invited to watch a movie on Mormonism and its history and then offered the chance to receive a free Book of Mormon. :=)
Make every effort to enter the Tabernacle, opposite the Temple, when the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir is singing or an organ recital is given. I hear that this is very impressive although I personally never had an interest in it. This domed building, constructed between 1863 - 1867, has stunning acoustic properties. Guides leading tours will demonstrate that you can literally hear a pin drop on the stage even when sitting in the back row of the tabernacle. The organ has almost 12,000 pipes.
The Assembly Hall, built between 1877 - 1882 houses a smaller organ. Outside the Assembly Hall is the Seagull Monument. The story behind the monument is as follows: When Salt Lake City was founded in 1847 it was a long way from anywhere. The Mormon settlers had to be self reliant in order to survive. Times were hard for the first years, especially in 1848 when a late frost followed by a plague of locusts threatened to wipe out the crops. What happened next is still regarded as a miracle by the Mormons; a flock of California gulls flew in, ate the locusts and saved the remaining crop. (That's why Utah's official bird is the gull.) Photo: Assembly Hall with Seagull Monument, March '97.
Favorite thing: In front of the temple there is that dome with an incredible 12.000 pipes organ. It´s said the acoustics are great. Organ and choral concerts.