Fun things to do in Salt Lake City

  • First snowfall in Big Cottonwood Canyon
    First snowfall in Big Cottonwood Canyon
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    Moose up Little Cottonwood
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  • Salt Lake Valley from a Big Cottonwood ridge line
    Salt Lake Valley from a Big Cottonwood...
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Salt Lake City

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    FOOTHILL

    by Segolily Written Mar 4, 2011

    And last but not least is the Foothill Area. Centered around the Foothill Village shopping center with some notable shops and restaurants it is otherwise a residential area.

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    SUGARHOUSE

    by Segolily Updated Mar 4, 2011

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    A large commercial area at the southeast end of town is Sugarhouse. This area was built around an old sugar mill back in the 1800's.

    The state prison was also built here at the edge of town. (In a sad footnote to history Joe Hill a member of the "Wobblies" was convicted of murder and executed at the prison). When Sugarhouse became a suburban shopping area in the '50's that kept on growing the prison was relocated.

    With easy access off of I-80 Sugarhouse is chock full of older homes, nice neighborhoods, shopping, libraries, restaurants and a hidden little natural area, "Hidden Hollow".

    The area that the term "Sugarhouse" encompasses has expanded in recent years. But it definitely includes the sprawling Sugarhouse Park.

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    15TH & 15TH

    by Segolily Written Mar 4, 2011

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    In the heart of an older residential area is a very small area now known as 15th and 15th (15th So and 15th E). The commercial part of this area is so small you might miss it if you blink.

    Anchored by one of the last independent bookstores in the valley, "The King's English". There is also a good Middle Eastern restaurant, "Mazza".

    Nearby, and sometimes considered part of Sugarhouse is the independent Westminster College.

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    9Th & 9TH or LIBERTY PARK

    by Segolily Updated Mar 4, 2011

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    In the heart of the city are a couple other areas that are notable.

    First is what is known as 9th and 9th. Located at the intersection of 9th east and 9th south, anchored by the Tower Theater, home of Independent films and festivals, this is an eclectic little area with small shops selling a variety of items. The surrounding neighborhood has a distinct feel to it, artsy, nouveau, alternative.

    Liberty Park is very close by and might be said to be the primary name of this area. Liberty Park is the premier city park and has a pond, lots of grass, tennis courts, play area. It is also home to the Tracy Aviary and the wonderful interactive Seven Canyons Fountain.

    Also close by is Trolley Square, converted from old trolley barns it is a nice place to shop and eat.

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    UNIVERSITY OF UTAH

    by Segolily Updated Mar 4, 2011

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    The University of Utah and the area surrounding it has its own distinct character. Catering to the students there are classic eateries such as the Pie Pizzaria. Here are arts and science museums and concert halls, stadiums and basketball arenas. There is a sense of energy here that higher learning always seems to bring out.

    The University keeps expanding. The original "U" on 3rd south and just east of 13th east has the old and grand buildings, the Park Administration building, the original library then Natural History Museum and now slated for renovation; the Gardner Music Hall and Kingsbury Hall where concerts are held.

    A little south is Pioneer Theater and Rice Eccles Stadium. In the middle is the newly renovated Marriott Library and the Fine Arts Museum.

    The U extends now up to the foothills taking over where the Old Fort Douglas was originally. Red Butte Garden and the new Museum of Natural History will be found at the southeastern end.

    On the east bench are also located the University Hospital, Primary Children's Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Moran Eye Center, Utah Diabetes Center and research and clinic support.

    Park Administration Building John Park, early U of U President Marriott Library atrium
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    THE AVENUES

    by Segolily Written Mar 4, 2011

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    East of Capitol Hill and separated from it by Memory Grove and City Creek Canyon is the area known as the Avenues. This area was built on the hills and as such has smaller blocks and narrower streets than the rest of the valley. Here is an intimate neighborhood, extending to the University, with eclectic shops and tiny surprises. At the east end is the sprawling and interesting City Cemetery.

    Bordered by South Temple where many of the elegant mansions of old were built you'll find the Cathedral of the Madeline, The Governors Mansion, Shriners Hospital, LDS hospital and Salt Lake's only hostel.

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    CAPITOL HILL

    by Segolily Updated Mar 4, 2011

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    The next neighborhood to explore is Capitol Hill
    Up the hill at the head of State Street is the Utah State Capitol. It is an interesting building to tour and visit both inside and out. On the grounds are memorials to war veterans beginning with the men and women of the longest US infantry march, the Mormon Battalion up to Vietnam.

    The Utah Travel Council is located across the street from the capitol. Originally the City Hall it was relocated in the '60's and put to other use.

    West of the Capitol is the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Museum. This is home to many pioneer artifacts donated by the daughters of those who came to Utah prior to the railroad.

    There are some very interesting homes in this area, one of my favorite is the McCune Mansion which has had a varied history and is currently available for special occasion rental.

    The Marmalade district holds fast to the west hillside with narrow streets and old homes, mostly restored, here you will find the nice Em's Restaurant.

    Old Council hall, now Utah Travel Bureau
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    City Library

    by Segolily Written Feb 8, 2011

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    Citizens are justly proud of this architecturally amazing building. Designed by international architect Moshe Safdie the building incorporates several wonderful elements.

    A wide sweeping arch full of windows encompasses the lobby and outdoor plaza. Inside the lobby is open and full of light.

    Built with the newest available technology in 2003, with computer terminals as part of the plan rather than added later, the library also treasures one the of 1860 Bien edition of James Audubon's "Birds of America".

    The surrounding Library Plaza hosts the city's annual Arts Festival.

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    City Hall

    by Segolily Written Feb 8, 2011

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    The Mayor lives here. And the City Council. And other city offices. I believe you can still get married here.

    Originally finished in 1894 this building had a tumultuous beginning. It was the City and County building until its renovation in the 1980's when the county moved out. It also housed the Utah state Legislature until the capitol was finished in 1916.

    The architecture is after the Richardson Romanesque style (I hadn't heard of it either until writing this tip). With a tall central clock tower and statue on top depicting Columbia and the large block-size park surrounding it the City Hall is a very distinctive place.

    There are tours, (I didn't know that and haven't taken one.) Washington Square Park surrounding the hall is the site for various city activities notably the "Living Traditions Festival".

    I've been inside a couple times, but both were before the 1980's renovation when the floors still squeaked, the wooden doors still had transoms and the lighting was quite poor. When I get more time I'll go take a tour and be back with all sorts of good info.

    Salt Lake City Hall Clock tower and Columbia
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    Salt Lake Meridian marker

    by Segolily Updated Feb 8, 2011

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    At the southeast corner of Temple Square, outside the wall, (intersection of Main Street and South Temple) is an unobtrusive marker placed to show where all land surveys in Utah begin.

    Utah begins at latitude 40 degrees 46' 04", longitude 111 degrees 54' 00", and 4327 ft above sea level.

    Meridian marker Meridian plaque
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    University of Utah

    by Segolily Updated Oct 16, 2010

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    The University of Utah looms large over the city of Salt Lake. Not only does it cover a huge swath of the northeastern corner but the educational, cultural, scientific and technological influence it has is tremendous. It began as a "U" shaped campus at the end of 2nd south, but has grown and sprawled over the former Ft Douglas, many of whose buildings have been incorporated into the U's.

    I have spent much of my life visiting the campus, from learning to swim, to watching all variety of concerts, plays, state and university ball games, researching at the library, attending classes, working. I have visited patients at the hospital where the first US artificial heart was implanted, or taken field trips with my kids to the Natural History Museum featuring the fossils, rocks and minerals that have helped Utah be a mining rock star.

    It is a great campus. It is a dynamic campus, changing both physically and elementally as the years go on. Some of my favorite features have been changed or eliminated over the years to make way for new and up to date buildings. But the U, home to the Utah State Arboretum, is still a beautiful place to wander.

    Thinking of attending? Take a campus tour.
    Want to visit the Utah Fine Arts museum, Natural History Museum, Olympic Cauldron Museum, watch a play at the Pioneer Theater, listen to music at Gardner Music Hall, watch the championship Red Rocks Gymnastic team, or the Running Ute Football team. They are all here.

    Park Administration Bldg Marriott Library atrium The Cowles bldg where I spent much of my undergrad A school of fossil fish at the Sutton Bldg
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    Deseret Village

    by Segolily Updated Jul 20, 2010

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    This recreated frontier town is located at This is the Place Monument. While there is no charge to see the monument, the village is a fee area.

    The Visitor's Center is a replica of the Old Sugar Mill that stood in Sugarhouse. The Visitor's Center has a small shop, exhibits and information about the park and monument.

    Laid out in the Mormon tradition of straight wide roads the village is filled with old homes, stores, barns and mills gathered from around the state which are original and other that have been authentically reconstructed.

    There are the one room cabins where pottery and rug making are practiced. There is the old pharmacy and blacksmith shops. A bookstore and hotel. Old homes of different constructions. The one room schoolhouse, a reconstructed Pine Valley Chapel. The old firehouse, an Indian village and Mountain man camp. An old fashioned bowery serves as a picnic area. Further away is Brigham Young's old Farm house and along the way there are a barn with petting animals.

    During the summer and festival days there are docents dressed the part to help create the sense of an 1850's town. There used to be wagon and stage coach rides, but the last time I went it was a train to transport guests from one area to another. I guess that holds more people. As the roads are wide and the blocks are long it does require some stamina to get around to it all. This is a fun place to take kids to introduce them to a different time and lifestyle.

    Log cabin road Brigham Young Farm house Making pots Rebuilt Social Hall Indian Village
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    Ft Douglas Museum

    by Segolily Updated Jul 7, 2010

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    Ft Douglas is no longer an operating fort. First opened in 1863 by the California Volunteers who wanted to fight in the Civil War and led by Col. Patrick Conner, Ft Douglas was the second fort built by the U.S. Army in the Utah Territory. (Camp Floyd being the first). At its height in WWII Ft Douglas was a major induction and staging base.
    Given slowly piece by piece to the University of Utah and other public and private entities the final decommission took place 1991.

    The Ft Douglas museum is seeking to keep alive the memory of the many years of service and other military history of Utah.
    Entrance is free, parking is free.

    Behind the museum is an artillery collection.

    Though the fort is no longer a working military base, the historic Officers Quarters, built a century ago from the red sandstone of Red Butte, and parade ground are still there and continue to be used as the headquarters of the 96th Army Reserve Command and as a base of operation for U.S. Navy and Marine Reserves and are quite interesting to see.

    http://web.utah.edu/facilities/fd/history/history.html

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    Ft Douglas Cemetery

    by Segolily Updated Jul 7, 2010

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    The Fort Douglas Cemetery is a small old cemetery half forgotten tucked behind the Research Park's new buildings for technology and bio medicine, hotels, and the Red Butte Garden. I worked nearby for awhile and would walk up for lunch to explore it. It is a quiet retreat and quite interesting.

    Ft Douglas on the Salt Lake benches was built in 1862 by volunteer militia from California led by Patrick Conner who wanted to fight in the Civil War. They were instead sent to keep the Mormons in line, the trade routes open and quell Indian aggression. One of the first things they did was massacre a whole tribe of peaceful winter-gathered First Americans up along the north reaches of the Utah Territory.

    There is a monument at Ft Douglas to those who gave their lives in this battle. Patrick Conner, who received a promotion for the Bear River Massacre, is also buried. Soldiers from Civil War era, and all wars up unto the Vietnam War are laid to rest here.

    At the southwestern edge is the monument to German prisoners of war who died while being kept here during World War 1. They were captured from ships in the pacific and held here for a year or so. Having just visited many US cemeteries in Europe I was especially interested in knowing that there were foreign soldiers buried right here in my home town.

    According to the sign at the entrance there are also German, Japanese and Italian prisoners from WWII.

    http://www.media.utah.edu/UHE/g/GERMANS.html

    Original entry to Ft Douglas Last resting spot of Patrick Conner Monument to German POWs
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    Salt Production in Salt Lake City

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Oct 30, 2008

    The US is the top salt producing country in the world, generating about 43 million tons per year (different sources report China as second with about 33 million tons or first with over 45 million tons). The US has 48 major salt production facilities with the largest being in Louisiana, Ohio, New York, Kansas, Michigan, Utah, Texas and California.

    When European explorers such as Father Escalante traveled through the Utah area in the 1700s, it was noted that local American Indians used salt collected from the dried lake deposits. Later the Latter Day Saints immigrants collected salt before the need arose to produce large, pure quantities to supply the growing city. By 1850 the first permanent Salt Lake production site was opened, which used a boiling method. Evaporation ponds came into use in the 1870s, and eventually railroads came into use to distribute the product. In the 1990s, Utah produced about 2 million tons of salt per year, perhaps five percent of the nation's total production.

    Near Salt Lake City on I-80 you will see numerous salty lakes, evaporation ponds, and a big Morton salt plant with mounds of salt piled up behind the building. Morton uses a total of 15,000 acres of evaporation ponds in Utah.

    Morton salt plant Salt encrusted fence posts

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