About This Place
Salt Lake City is located between the Wasatch Mountains, the western range of the Rocky Mountains, and Great Salt Lake. Capital of Utah and home to approximately 200,000 people, the city is known for its distinctive history and beautiful natural landscape, both reflected in a rich offering of cultural and outdoor activities.
Leading attractions in Salt Lake City are focused on the city’s founding by Mormon pioneers in the mid-19th century. Temple Square, located on 35 acres in downtown Salt Lake City, includes approximately 20 attractions, with Salt Lake Temple at its center. The towering, dramatic granite structure features six tapering spires and is a global landmark for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are permitted inside.
Open to the public, the five-level Family History Library offers historical resources and has been in operation for over a century. As the world’s largest genealogical library, it houses a great number of international records and attracts many amateur and professional genealogists to Salt Lake City. Things to do at Temple Square include touring Deuel Pioneer Log Cabin, a rugged mid-19th century structure, and the dome-shaped Salt Lake Tabernacle, home of the grand Tabernacle Organ. During the holiday season, an elaborate display of Christmas lights illuminate the temple and the square, drawing many visitors to the festive setting and to the square’s South gates to board a horse-drawn carriage.
Outdoor attractions in Salt Lake City are focused on snow and Great Salt Lake, the Western Hemisphere's largest saltwater lake. Visitors can swim or relax on the white sand of Bridger Bay Beach on Antelope Island, or launch a sailboat at Great Salt Lake State Marina. Families enjoy camping, hiking and biking on Antelope Island, a state park filled with wildlife, notably birds and bison. Salt Lake City's proximity to the lake and mountains and a combination of cold, dry air results in a lot of annual snowfall—dry and light and ideal for skiing and snowboarding—in the city and the surrounding area. Salt Lake City is surrounded by a number of ski resorts, convenient to downtown and enhanced by uplifting views of Salt Lake Valley.
The Foothill Cultural District spans two miles along the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, minutes from downtown Salt Lake City. Things to do in the district include visiting the Natural History Museum and Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Visitors can also tour the Fort Douglas Military Museum, the site of 19th-century barracks established to guard telegraph lines and the postal route west, and Olympic Cauldron Park. Site of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, the park includes a 130-foot glass cauldron that was displayed during the games as the symbol of its "Light the Fire Within" theme.
In the evening, visitors can enjoy one of the city’s many live entertainment venues. A cultural tradition embraced by the city’s Mormon settlers, dramatic entertainment is abundant in Salt Lake City, as evidenced by the number of theater groups and performance institutions located here, including Ballet West, the Utah Symphony and the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir.