Some of the best things to do in Salt Lake City, Utah, include learning about the city's history, appreciating nature, exploring science, world-class outdoor adventures and more.
History and Architecture
A great place to start is Temple Square's many attractions associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which began in SLC and is still headquartered here. Highlights include performances by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and taking in the view from the LDS Conference Center. Architecture fans should tour the circa 1916 Utah State Capitol, which underwent a significant restoration completed in 2008.
Education and Science
Other top attractions are educational, too, such as the Salt Lake Public Library, which has won architectural and organizational awards; science attractions such as Clark Planetarium and The Leonardo; and the 60,000-square-foot Discovery Gateway children's museum downtown.
Liberty Park, founded in 1882, is Utah's oldest park, and locals still list it as a favorite for exercise as well as relaxing with their families. Gardening enthusiasts love U of U's Red Butte Garden – the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West.
For adventure just outside the city, head 25 miles east to Big Cottonwood Canyon for hiking, biking, rock climbing, fishing, and camping in the summer and skiing in the winter.
And one cannot talk about winter sports in Salt Lake City without including the 2002 Winter Olympics legacy facilities. People can enjoy ice skating, curling and the running track at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, and year-round sports activities and tours at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City.
Music, Food and Nightlife
Salt Lake City has many dining options as you'd expect for a city its size, but a few restaurants consistently top "must-try" lists, such as Red Iguana, "home of killer Mexican food" since 1985, which earned TripAdvisor's coveted Certificate of Excellence for ranking among the top 10 percent of best-performing businesses worldwide on the site. Other top reviewed favorites include The Copper Onion, Bruges Waffles and Frites, Moochie's Meatballs and More, Siegfried's Deli, Gourmandise The Bakery and Eva.
After-dinner options can include a concert or Utah Jazz game at EnergySolutions Arena, shopping at City Creek Center downtown, live music at The Depot or by local artists at smaller venues around town.