In 1847, Salt Lake City (SLC) became the Utah State Capital City. The area known as Salt Lake City is home to the Native Pueblo (Anasazi), Ute, and later Navajo tribes. After colonization, the city was incorporated by Mormon pioneers. Led by Brigham Young, Mormons are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were the first non-Native people to make the region their home.
Utah is well-known for its Mighty 5 National Parks, its Morman heritage, the Great Salt Lake, and the vast array of outdoor recreation Utah offers. Did you know that the state bird of Utah is actually the California Gull and that the state flower is the sego lily, which symbolizes peace? Here are the top 11 reasons to visit the “Beehive” State.
11 Reasons Why Utahns Live & Love Salt Lake City
1. Utah State Capitol Building
When you visit Salt Lake City, learn all about the history and culture of the city at the Utah State Capitol. Located in the Capitol Hill district, the grand dome and sprawling lawn showcase city views and state history exhibits. Stroll the shady paths of Memory Grove Park or observe artifacts from the past at the Pioneer Memorial Museum. Take a tour of the statehouse, home to the state of Utah government — the offices of the Utah State Legislature, its senate, and its house of representatives.
2. Great Salt Lake State Park
The Great Salt Lake State Park boasts an incredible outdoor oasis in the Salt Lake Valley. Utahns and visitors alike recreate here in the form of boating, hiking, sailing, and birdwatching. The Great Salt Lake is two to seven times saltier than the ocean. This state park also features a year-round campground.
This State Park provides boat slips, public viewpoints of Great Salt Lake, sail and motorboat access, and a search and rescue operations center. The lake, which is two to seven times saltier than the ocean, is also a popular destination for bird watching. It is a significant stop for millions of migratory birds.
3. The Beehive House
Located in Temple Square, the Beehive House was one of the official homes of Brigham Young. Young was the second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Beehive House serves as a reminder and historical site of the Morman faith in the state. The building gets its name from the beehive structure on top of the home, and you can take a tour of the famous residence when you visit.
4. Provo City Center Temple
When you visit the state of Utah, you will find that the religious history is of utmost importance to the residence and the state’s dense history. The Provo City Center Temple is part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). It sits on the old grounds of the Provo Tabernacle in Provo, Utah.
5. Salt Lake Temple
Another iconic church in Temple Square, the Salt Lake Temple, was the first temple to begin construction but the fourth in the city to be finished. It was dedicated by President Wilford Woodruff and is detailed with spires and a classic statue of the angel Moroni. The Salt Lake Temple featured the most square footage of anywhere in town and took forty years to complete.
6. Temple Square
Although we have mentioned Temple Square before, this 5-block stretch is such a city staple that we need to describe it in more detail for you. Nestled in downtown, Temple Square serves as the center of worship and history for members of the LDS Church. Enjoy a walking tour, check out interactive exhibits, and partake in activities led by the church.
7. Downtown Salt Lake City
Besides being the home to Temple Square, Downtown Salt Lake City is where the world-class Tabernacle Choir resides (in the Mormon Tabernacle). The downtown district is a beautiful place to enjoy the wide variety of farm-to-table restaurants, wine bars, Irish pubs, and other fares available in the city. The City Creek Center mall is an open-air shopping center with upscale establishments and the famous Capitol Theatre.
8. Richard K. A. Kletting Park
Richard K. A. Kletting designed the Utah State Capitol Building, the original Salt Palace, the original Saltair Resort Pavillion, and many more locations. This small park features mature trees, a playground, and benches for people to enjoy. While you are walking around downtown, it is an excellent walk-by to discover more of the city’s exciting history.
9. Hiking in Little Cottonwood Canyon
Little Cottonwood Canyon is where two of Utah’s ski resorts lie, Snowbird and Alta. They sit approximately twenty-five miles from the city. There are great year-round activities visitors enjoy when they visit. Take the aerial tram at Snowbird for panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges from Hidden Peak, which sits at 11,000 feet. Hike, camp, backpack, watch wildlife, swim, and more in this gorgeous canyon.
10. Native American History
Like all lands in the modern-day United States, Native Americans are the original holders of the land and followed sacred traditions and implemented their rich cultures to live a fruitful life off of the land. Utah is home to eight distinct Native nations, including Bannock, Goshute, Navajo, Paiute, Shoshone, and Ute tribes, who still live there today. If you visit in May, you can attend the Living Traditions Festival. The rest of the year, stop by the Natural History Museum of Utah to learn about the Natives of Utah.
11. Olympic Buildings
Salt Lake City was the host of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The Olympic spirit still lives on through attractions and facilities in the city. Adventure enthusiasts can ride the luge, skate on Olympic ice, or watch athletes with dreams of a gold medal.
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