Salt Lake City, Utah is among the most famous and cool places in America.
Steeped in rich religious history and unique culture, this populous city is packed with places to go, sources of entertainment and unique areas to explore, whether you’re there for a day, a weekend, a week, or longer!
But it can be tricky to narrow down exactly what to see while you’re in this beautiful and fascinating city.
After all, how can you pick the coolest, nicest locations in a place that is so full of intrigue and wonder?
To help you choose the right spots to go to, here are 30 best & fun things to do in Salt Lake City, Utah, one of the most beautiful places in America.
Things To Do In Salt Lake City
1. Natural History Museum of Utah
The Natural History Museum of Utah is undoubtedly one of the coolest places to see around Salt Lake City if you’re into history, science, and culture.
It gives you an inside look into Utah and its rich past, ranging from its geography to its native background, as well as its most crucial historical moments.
The museum boasts 10 permanent exhibits, as well as a wide variety of interactive features involving smell, touch, and other senses.
It showcases interesting facts about the Great Salt Lake, covers over 500 million years of information on Salt Lake City, and provides occasional seasonal displays to peruse each time you go there.
One of the most popular exhibits is the First Peoples Exhibit, which covers the five initial Native American nations in the state, but there are many more to see.
That’s why visiting this museum is among the top things to do in Salt Lake City!
Address: 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA
2. The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square
One of the Salt Lake City attractions that no tourist can miss is The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.
You don’t have to be religious to enjoy the harrowing and beautiful melodies and harmonies created by this talented and spiritual group of singers.
At 9.30 am every Sunday, the choir’s performance is broadcast live.
But you can watch them in action in person for free if you’re in Utah between September and November as well as January and May.
During this time, the choir offers free rehearsal attendance to the public for an hour at night on Thursdays.
Worried you won’t get a seat?
In December and between June and September, rehearsals are specifically tailored to cater to bigger crowds at the LDS Conference Center near the famous Temple Square of Salt Lake City.
There is also a bonus organ recital that happens in the afternoon 6 days a week, which is extra fun to sit in and listen to!
3. Temple Square
Temple Square is one of the top 10 points of interest in Salt Lake City, Utah, hands down.
Located in downtown Salt Lake City, it stands out as the main attraction of SLC with its beautiful architecture and imposing structure.
It spans across 10 acres and is surrounded by gorgeous greenery.
This square is mainly used as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ headquarters, but you don’t need to share the faith to visit.
While you’re there, you can learn about Latter-day Saints’ history and the intricacies of the religion, and some volunteers are onsite to provide tours and give you lots of interesting facts about the faith and its background.
Temple Square is home to multiple other famous spots, such as the Tabernacle, a wide range of museums, Latter-day Saints sites, and plenty of other locations you’ll want to check out.
Address: 50 N Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150, USA
4. Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake runs for 1,700 square miles, making it the biggest natural lake in Utah, and the largest between there and the Mississippi River.
The lake’s salty nature is due to the mineral deposits it leaves behind when it evaporates, and it is this iconic body of water that gave Salt Lake City its name.
There are plenty of activities to take part in at the lake.
You can go fishing, swimming, or boating, or sit down for a picnic near the water to look over this amazing Utah location.
Hiking trails and lots of wildlife are ready to be seen for the less aqua-inclined, too.
If you like, you can drop by the visitor center to learn more about the area.
It’s definitely among the best things to do in Salt Lake City!
5. Utah’s Hogle Zoo
The Hogle Zoo spans 42 acres and is well-known for being among the top spots in Salt Lake City if you’re looking for a little fun.
It is situated right at the foot of the Wasatch Mountain Range, where it is host to countless animals, both local to Salt Lake City as well as more exotic and rare.
A variety of exhibits within this most famous zoo in Salt Lake City showcase different individual ecosystems in each one.
An Asian highlands exhibit shows off Pallas’ cats, Amur tigers, Siberian lynxes, and more fantastic wildcats.
An African Savannah exhibit shows off zebras, lions, giraffes, and even ostriches.
Other exhibits include an Elephant Encounter and a Rocky Shores display, the latter of which shows all sorts of marine mammals and even polar bears.
So if you’re looking for things to do in SLC, look no further!
Address: 2600 Sunnyside Ave S, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, United States
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6. Utah State Capitol
The Utah State Capitol has its home in Salt Lake City itself, where it serves as one of the region’s main attractions.
It rises 300 feet into the air and is located on Capitol Hill, designed classically with stunning and regal architecture.
It is elegantly opulently decorated, with a dome topping that can be spotted from across the city and marble furnishings within.
The Capitol is open to visitors.
You can enjoy sights of the Golden Room, which is where the Governor holds receptions, as well as some interesting galleries furnished with rotating exhibitions.
Collections of items from around Salt Lake City and beyond adorn the area open to visitors, giving you an insightful glimpse into the state and what it stands for.
Address: 350 N State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84103, United States
7. Utah Museum of Fine Arts
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is among the coolest places to visit in Salt Lake City for art and history lovers.
Steeped in culture, this Salt Lake City location is a part of the campus of the University of Utah, doubling up as a university and a state museum.
Originally opened back in the 1950s, this location boasts over 20 galleries, each with a variety of exhibits – some of which are static, and some of which are rotating.
More than 17,000 items are displayed as part of permanent collections, and they’re not just restricted to pieces by those near Salt Lake City.
European and Asian art joins the American works on display.
A healthy mix of classical and modern works adorn the museum, giving you a lot of different styles to appreciate.
Address: 410 Campus Center Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
8. Ensign Peak
If you’re in Salt Lake City for the weekend, one of the best things you can do is take a hike up to Ensign Peak, which offers an incredible view of this Utah City.
It’s only about half a mile’s hike up, making it a simple and easy option for beginner hikers, and it provides extremely rewarding results!
Sunset is undoubtedly the most opportune time to take a trip to this stunning peak, though it can be crowded at this time.
Still, the extra people are worth the journey regardless!
You’ll be treated to views of the Great Salt Lake bathed in the evening, orange sun, and you’ll even be able to look over Salt Lake Valley, and to the city Capitol.
So if you’re planning a trip to be one with nature and you’re looking for what to do in Salt Lake City, going to Ensign Peak is a noble and ultimately wonderful journey!
Address: Ensign Peak Trail, Salt Lake City, UT 84103, United States
9. Liberty Park
Liberty Park is one of the more iconic Salt Lake City locations today, especially for sightseeing.
It was first purchased from Bingham Young’s estate back in 1881, and now (and since 1980), it is on the National Registry of Historic Places.
This oasis covers 80 acres of land, and it is the largest park in all of SLC.
You can walk, bike, or hike around the stunning landscape of lush green, play volleyball or basketball, go swimming in the pool, and take a trip to a number of interesting spots along the way.
There’s the Isaac Chase Mill, which holds the title of the oldest building for commercial purposes in Utah.
You can stop by Tracey Aviary, which is home to 135 different bird species, specifically those that are endangered or rare.
There is also the Chase Home of Museum of Utah Folk Art, which offers free admission and showcases the greatest that Salt Lake City and its surrounding regions have to offer.
Address: 600 East 900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84105, USA
10. Marmalade Hill Historic DistrictVisiting the Marmalade Hill Historic District is one of the lesser-known activities that you can do in this Utah city, but it’s still among the top things to do in Salt Lake City.
It is named because of the multiple fruit and plant-based street names that span across the area, provided due to early Salt Lake City settlers who brought these items with them.
There are a number of unique and fascinating, historically rich buildings to see here.
Quince Street is famous for its wealth of cultural value, with such gems as the Thomas Quayle House and the John Platts house, both near to each other.
You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time in this whimsical historical location.
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11. This Is The Place Monument
How, exactly, did Salt Lake City become the home of the Latter-day Saints’ faith?
Well, it all began right at this spot: the This Is The Place Monument, so named because that is what Brigham Young exclaimed when they arrived upon the Utah city.
The congregation of Latter-day Saints followers had been traveling and hiking with Brigham Young across 1,300 miles before they emerged from Emigration Canyon and came upon Salt Lake City.
Young immediately took note of the place, as he said he had seen the exact valley in which they emerged in a vision.
A monument was erected 100 years after the people settled into their new Salt Lake City homes, meaning it dates back to 1947.
It’s one of the best places to visit for a true slice of history, and among the most-loved tourist attractions in the region.
Address: 2601 Sunnyside Ave S, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, United States
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12. Pioneer Memorial Museum
The Pioneer Memorial Museum holds the biggest collection of artifacts devoted to one specific topic of history – the settlement of the first Latter-day Saints people to come to live in Salt Lake City, and even Utah.
Written artifacts, information and data collections, and rich photos line the displays, as well as extensive memorabilia collections.
The museum chronicles the entrance of the very first pioneers into what would one day be Salt Lake City, all the way up to the beginning of railroad paths in the region.
Many of the items on display are fairly “normal” – dresses, quilts, instruments, and more – all used by the Latter-day Saints’ migrants during their historical journey to their promised land.
There are some rather fascinating display items, too – such as rattles of rattlesnakes, Victoria art made from hair, and a potato that has been petrified.
It is one of the more unusual points of interest in Salt Lake City, but it’s worth the visit, and it’s one of the more fun museums to check out!
Address: 300 N Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84103, United States
13. Fisher Brewing Company
The Fisher Brewing Company was once an auto shop, but it wasn’t long before Albert Fisher, an immigrant from Germany, decided to start up this Salt Lake City, Utah company in the Granary District.
This was back in 1884, and since then, generations have taken up the helm and continued their tradition – albeit in a smaller way.
Now, Tony Fisher, the great-great-grandson of Albert Fisher, continues to operate the brewery, though this is done on a smaller scale.
Fisher alcoholic beverages are only sold from the brewing company’s taproom, so it’s pretty exclusive to Salt Lake City and won’t be found in any retail outlets.
Adults will especially enjoy taking a trip to this brewery, where you’ll get to sample delicious and well-crafted Fisher, as well as enjoy fare from food trucks near the entrance.
If you like your alcohol, visiting the Fisher Brewing Company is definitely among the things to do in Salt Lake City today that you can’t miss!
Address: 320 W 800 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA
14. Salt Lake City Public Library
The Salt Lake City Public Library opened its doors back in 2003, and if you’re a fan of books or architecture or both, then this is definitely among the nicest places to visit while you’re in Utah.
It houses a whopping 500,000 books and more and provides lots and lots of relaxing areas to lounge in as you enjoy your reading material of choice.
Of all the things to see in this region, the Salt Lake City Public Library probably boasts the most stunning works of modern architecture in its design and build.
Its contemporary appearance has drawn many visitors, who enjoy a lovely cafe indoors or hunker down to read for a few hours.
There’s also a rooftop garden that offers great Wasatch Mountain views!
Recent visitors said the architecture alone is reason enough to visit, while others appreciated the friendly staff and on-site cafe.
You can also find a wide range of different stores situated in the Library Square area, including a stunning rooftop garden that offers fantastic views of the Wasatch Mountains.
It’s also perfect for a little peace and quiet while you read, write, or get some fresh air.
Check their website for opening times!
Address: 210 E 400 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, United States
15. Summum Pyramid
Visiting the Summum Pyramid has got to be one of the more interesting, fun things to do in Salt Lake City.
The first Summum is a play on the Latin Summus, which means “highest”.
The pyramid was completely in 1979, where it serves as a modern mummification provider as well as the church’s center for meditation and teaching.
The Summum religion was founded by Claude Corky Nowell in 1975 after he claimed to have an unusual encounter with hyper-intelligent beings that he referred to as Summa individuals.
They apparently revealed the universe’s true nature to him, prompting him to change his name to Summum Bonum Amon Ra and form the religion, which is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Much of Summum beliefs draw from polytheism and often seem to be a blend of religious spirituality and science fiction.
It is this uncanny eccentric nature that makes the Summum Pyramid one of the most mysterious Salt Lake City attractions.
You can step in during the evenings every Wednesday to join philosophical discussions.
Address: 707 Genesee Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84104, United States
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16. Big Cottonwood Canyon
The Big Cottonwood Canyon is a must-see if you’re in Utah for a weekend.
It sits at the bottom of the Wasatch Mountain Range and spans 15-miles.
It is just a short drive away from the more urban parts of Salt Lake City and is packed with things to do.
If you’re a fan of nature, you’ll love this canyon!
While you’re in this SLC spot, you can visit multiple lakes – including Lake Mary and Lake Blanche – as well as go hiking, biking, or walking to take in the scenery.
You will also be able to enjoy picnics, outdoor sports, water activities, and winter sports (during the right seasons).
Some people also like to camp or fish in this Salt Lake City haven.
Address: Big Cottonwood Canyon Rd, Uintah-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Salt Lake City, UT 84121, USA
17. City Creek Center
The City Creek Center is the best spot to go if you like shopping – and it’s probably the greatest mall in all of Utah.
Located in downtown Salt Lake City, near to State Street, it covers 700,000 square feet of land, and over 90 different restaurants, shops, and more can be found inside.
But the City Creek Center isn’t just about fantastic shopping.
It’s also a beautifully decorated and designed location, with a huge glass ceiling that serves as a retractable skylight and is moved in and out based on the weather.
It also boasts waterfalls, fountains, and a 1,200-foot stream full of fish!
Apart from many common retail outlets, the mall also houses some unique and more interesting dining and retail outlets from Salt Lake City, Utah itself.
It’s an award-winning mall, too – even more reason to check it out!
Address: 50 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, United States
18. Redwood Drive-In Movie Theatre
Looking for some entertainment while you’re in Salt Lake City?
Head over to the Redwood Drive-In Theatre, which has been showcasing double features (two movies!) for one low price since 1948.
Lots of people are fans of the theatre and come by at night now to enjoy $9 ticket fares and the old-fashioned movie-showings right in Salt Lake City, Utah!
Adults who grew up during the era of drive-in popularity – back in the 50s – will especially enjoy this nostalgic trip down memory lane.
Make sure you’re not late – you’ll want to get a good parking spot.
It’s definitely one of the coolest things to do in Salt Lake City this weekend!
Address: 3688 S Redwood Rd, West Valley City, UT 84119, United States
19. Salt Lake Trolley Tours
Salt Lake Trolley Tours are a great way to go sightseeing and spot all the attractions that this Utah region is known for!
The trolley you will ride is painted bright red and a replica of trolleys of old, and it will take you and a small group through the downtown area of Salt Lake City, showing you all the most crucial monuments and locations that the city has to offer.
While you’re on board, you’ll be given lots of information about the history of Salt Lake City and its famous sites.
You’ll see the State Capitol Building, Temple Square, and other spots near to them.
There is also the option of a tour cruise, which brings you through a more scenic experience.
20. Ralphael Plescia’s Christian School
If you’re looking for something unorthodox to do this weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, look no further than Ralphael Plescia’s Christian School.
It has been almost five decades since Plescia began studying and compiling lesser-known Biblical passage, using them as artistic inspiration.
Mostly, he focuses on Eve and Heavenly Mother, though there is much more to be seen at this “school”.
Plescia made use of empty buildings in the southern region of Salt Lake City in order to create his school.
It is now a garden that houses multiple gigantic sculptures that cover the area, winding upwards into the sky, depicting specific Biblical figures and Biblical passages and stories.
What’s even more impressive is how Plescia worked on all of this out of his own passion.
A dome, self-built, towers over the school’s top, and he dug out the basement by hand.
Visit in the afternoon on a Friday or Sunday to receive a tour of his spectacular garden and listen to his inspiration behind each piece.
If you’re looking for what to do in SLC that is unusual but fascinating, this is your best bet!
Address: 1324 State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84115, USA
21. Thanksgiving Point
Have kids? Take them to Thanksgiving Point, one of the best things to do in Salt Lake City if you’re looking for a versatile and fun adventure!
It contains many different treasured locations within its 55 acres, including a movie theater, a petting farm, the Butterfly Biosphere, and a golf course.
There’s also the Museum of Ancient Life, which is a very high-tech museum great for kids!
Best of all, these spots are all near to each other, so you can take a trip to all of them.
Of course, you don’t need to have children to enjoy this lovely Salt Lake City, Utah location.
Enjoy the golf course, gardens, and go dining or shopping, all within Thanksgiving Point itself!
Address: 3003 N Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, UT 84043, United States
22. Family History Library
The Family History Library is a fantastic free-to-the-public library.
It is located in downtown Salt Lake City as is run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and its purpose is to pursue genealogical research and assist visitors in finding information about their ancestry.
And this isn’t just limited to Salt Lake City or Utah locals!
There’s lots of stuff to do in this library, and a variety of workshops and classes hosted by this SLC location will show you to do them.
You will be taught how to use the library’s resources, databases, and records.
You can get further assistance from staff, and over 30 languages are ready to be used for this assistance.
This Salt Lake City library first opened in 1894, and since then, millions of individuals from different countries have been able to utilize its extensive resources to find out more about themselves and their ancestry.
Take a trip there and learn something about your history!
Address: 35 N West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150, USA
23. Utah Olympic Park
The Utah Olympic Park was built for the Winter Olympic Games of 2002, and it’s among the top must-see spots near Salt Lake City.
Back then, it hosted a variety of events, such as Nordic ski jumping, bobsleigh, luge, and more.
You can go on guided tours so you can witness all the places to see within the park
A variety of activities are available, some of them being seasonal.
Summer promises the Xtreme Zipline, which is the steepest of its kind internationally, the Quicksilver Alpine Slide, freestyle ski jumping, and more.
Meanwhile, the winter brings Nordic ski jumping, the Comet Bobsled, the terrain park, the Rocket Skeleton, and more.
Address: 3419 Olympic Pkwy, Park City, UT 84098, United States
24. Beehive House
The Beehive House is one of the more popular attractions in Salt Lake City, Utah – especially for those curious about Latter-day Saints history.
It displays a beehive symbol on one of its turrets, which was representative of the hardworking nature of the Latter-day Saints – and also a part of the Utah coat of arms.
When Brigham Young was the governor of the state, he lived in this 1854 home, along with his 19 wives and 56 children.
Many aspects of the Latter-day Saints faith were incorporated into this home, keeping its residence near to their religion, and visiting it for a tour is one of the top things to do in Salt Lake City.
Address: 67 E S Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150, United States
25. Tracy Aviary
We’ve already talked about Tracy Aviary when mentioning the famed Liberty Park of Salt Lake City, Utah, but even if you’re not interested in the whole park, the aviary itself is one of the best tourist attractions for animal-lovers and families.
The aviary hosts more than 400 different types of birds, which come from 135 different species, most of which are either endangered or rare.
They are all housed over 8 acres of land, within exhibits that show them in a replica of their natural ecosystems and habitats.
This aviary, first opened in 1938, is definitely one of the best things to see if you’re a fan of birds!
These birds aren’t local to just Salt Lake City – many are more exotic, such as the Chilean king vultures.
Address: 589 E 1300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105, USA
26. Gallivan Center
Gallivan Center is one of the best entertainment-related points of interest in all of Salt Lake City, especially if you’re into a little nightlife.
Located in the downtown area of Salt Lake City, a wide range of artists perform at music festivals regularly thrown in the area.
Some performers are local, from Utah or from America in general, and others fly in from various parts of the world.
June is probably a good time to take a trip to Gallivan Center when it hosts a Blues music festival that is the greatest that Salt Lake City – and even the whole state – has to offer.
Address: 239 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, United States
27. Gilgal Sculpture Garden
The Gilgal Sculpture Garden is a stunning wonder that serves as a surprisingly peaceful respite from the businesses and homes near to it.
It is a hidden gem of Salt Lake City, built by Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. sometime in the middle of the 20th century.
Walk through the garden and you’ll immediately see why it’s one of the most impressive simple attractions in this Utah city.
More than 70 engraved stones are scattered throughout it, engraved meticulously with Latter-day Saints literature and odd carved images of all kinds.
12 original sculptures also lie in wait for perusal, as well as a statue of Child himself!
It took almost two decades for Child to shape Gilgal Sculpture Garden into the blissful and fascinating oasis it is today.
Visiting it is one of the most fun things to do in Salt Lake City!
Address: 749 E 500 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84102, United States
28. Red Butte Garden
The Red Butte Garden is an outdoor center that is one of the most perfect places for sightseeing in Salt Lake City, Utah.
It houses miles upon miles of trails upon its 100-acre foundation that you can follow for fun or for exercise, all winding through garden houses.
All sorts of presentations of fauna and flora are on display in the garden all year long, making it a great Salt Lake City destination for nature-lovers.
It also has a botanical garden, an amphitheater that puts on music concerts in the summer, and an arboretum.
You can also take part in classes on gardening, educational programs, and special holiday events if you’re in Salt Lake City at the right time for them!
Address: 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, United States
29. Eccles Theatre
The Eccles Theatre is a relatively new addition to downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, but it has since served as the venue for a wide range of amazing and entrancing performances.
Adults and kids alike are sure to find a performance they’d like to see while here for a weekend!
The seats feel comfortable and opulent, so you’ll feel like you’re in the lap of luxury the whole time.
Broadway musicals, bands, and comedians have all taken the time to drop by this Salt Lake City venue and perform, as well as some local Utah acts.
The theatre itself is a true stunner and a wonder to see, and after enjoying the show and applauding, you can easily walk to artisanal eateries nearby for a great end to tonight’s outing.
Address: 131 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
30. Clark Planetarium
The Clark Planetarium is a wonderful and fun educational location that is among the best things to do in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Over 10,000 square feet of ground throughout the spot offer countless multidimensional exhibits and lots of activities to take part in.
When you enter, you’ll get to explore a free hall full of interactive and informational exhibits.
You’ll forget you’re in Utah at all as you learn more about the planet, the solar system, and the progress of space exploration.
There is also a 3D IMAX theatre, so if you come to Salt Lake City with your kids, they’ll love rushing in to watch educational feature films!
You can find the Clark Planetarium in the Gateway District, where it hosts sprawling galleries and exhibits that will amaze and engage you.
You’ll be impressed with all that it has to offer, especially if you’re intrigued by the mysterious world of space.
It’s an experience unlike any other!
Address: 110 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, United States
Start Planning Your Trip To Salt Lake city
Salt Lake City is teeming with places to visit and fun things to see.
No matter where you go around SLC, so many activities are waiting for you to engage in and enjoy.
Beyond just the top, most popular places, many hidden gems in this Utah region are waiting for you to peruse.
There’s a little something for everyone, no matter what you’re into and who you’re with!