Salt Lake City is a dynamic destination with something for everyone, from its thriving arts scene to its outdoor recreation opportunities. Add in its idyllic location at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, and you can see why so many people vacation in Salt Lake City every year. Make sure you see and do the following next time you’re in Utah’s capital.

Image via Flickr by Michael D Martin

Tour Temple Square

Mormon pioneers settled Salt Lake City in the mid-1800s, and their faith continues to inform the character of Salt Lake City today. Learn more about it with a visit to Temple Square, the spiritual center for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Missionaries and volunteers lead free 45-minute Temple Square tours on the hour from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Join a tour at the North Visitor’s Center or book your place online via the Temple Square website. Alternatively, you can stroll around the 35-acre square at your leisure. There’s plenty to see, including the Mormon Temple, the Temple Annex, the Assembly Hall, and rehearsals and performances from the acclaimed Mormon Tabernacle choir.

Stay for a bite to eat, as Temple Square is home to four of Salt Lake City’s most celebrated restaurants. Before you leave, make sure you stop by the nearby Family History Library. It has one of the world’s largest collections of genealogical records.

Image via Flickr by davidburn
Image via Flickr by davidburn

See a Show at the Capitol Theatre

With a history stretching back to 1913, the Capitol Theatre offers plenty of opportunities for a special night out. The sparkling central chandelier and the rich red curtain provide a sense of grandeur. In its early days, the Capitol Theatre hosted vaudeville shows and silent movies. Today it’s the home of Ballet West, Utah Opera, Broadway Across America – Utah, and Children’s Dance Theatre. Elite performers like Sinead O’Connor, Alison Krauss, Erasure, and Ray LaMontagne have all played the Capitol Theatre.

The theater doesn’t really have a bad seat, but most fans agree those in the mezzanine level offer the clearest view. Buy your tickets early from the box office, as some shows do sell out. Several Salt Lake City hotels are within walking distance of this popular arts attraction.

Image via Flickr by Edgar Zuniga Jr.
Image via Flickr by Edgar Zuniga Jr.

Hike Ensign Peak

To appreciate all that Salt Lake City offers, climb Ensign Peak. If not for this small mountain, Brigham Young may never have settled in Salt Lake City. Before leaving Illinois, he had a vision of Joseph Smith showing him a mountain peak overlooking a valley. On his arrival, Young recognized the mountain as the one he’d seen in the vision and set about planning the city below. The 1-mile round trip to the top isn’t too taxing, especially considering the stunning views of the Capitol Building, Salt Lake Valley, and Great Salt Lake that you’ll enjoy from the summit.

Stick to the well-established trail, as the area has been harmed by erosion. Miss the crowds and take in a sunset when you hike in the late afternoon. Even though it’s a short hike, you probably shouldn’t attempt it in the summer heat.

With so much to see and do, you’ll never be bored visiting Salt Lake City.

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