utah

Salt Lake City, Utah


Salt Lake City is the capital and largest city of Utah. It's one of the largest cities in the Southwest region of the United States. It lies in a valley (sometimes called the "Wasatch Front") located between the Wasatch Range to the east, and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west, the traditional eastern edge of the Great Basin. Salt Lake City is well-known as the center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, although less than half of the city's residents are members. The city proper has a population of approximately 179,000, but Salt Lake County in its entirety contains 935,000 residents.

Salt Lake City is well-known for the many ski resorts located in the Wasatch Mountains. They are famous for the light, fluffy snowfalls that are enhanced by the lake effect off the Great Salt Lake. In addition, some of the heaviest snowfall in the nation occurs here. These conditions make it just right for skiing, and the already world-famous resorts were made more famous by Salt Lake City's hosting of the 2002 Winter Olympics. However, summer activities, such as camping, hiking, mountain biking, rock-climbing, fishing, etc are also popular, as the mountains around Salt Lake City are full of outdoor adventure of every kind.

One thing to realize is that when people speak of Salt Lake City, they are often referring to Salt Lake Valley. The valley consists of 15 separate incorporated cities and 11 unincorporated communities. The locals are familiarized with the cities, but some of the unincorporated community names have no general use among the population.



Things to do in Salt Lake City:

Temple Square
Located in the heart of downtown, Temple Square is the most visited location in Utah. There are numerous missionaries speaking many languages to help to show you around the temple grounds, tabernacle, assembly hall, and two visitor centers. Inside the visitor center are numerous exhibits and video presentations explaining the Mormon faith. Note that non-Mormons are not permitted inside the Temple itself.

Church History Museum
Just south of Temple Square this free museum has a permanent display that outlines the history of the LDS church from Joseph Smith until the arrival in Salt Lake City. There is also a rotating display of different LDS themed artwork. The church history portion takes about 30 minutes to walk through if you read the descriptions of the museum pieces.

Salt Lake City main library
One of Salt Lake City's newest and most architecturally unique buildings. It includes unique uses of natural light, plenty of reading space and a rooftop garden.

Salt Lake City and County Building
Seat of city government since 1894. The building's central clock tower is topped with a statue of Columbia and rises 256 feet (78 m) from the ground.
The building has four floors and over one hundred rooms. Onyx lines the hall of each lavishly decorated floor. The third floor houses the mayor's office in the south wing and the city council chamber in the north. Portraits of the city's past mayors up to and including Deedee Corradini line the corridor between these offices. The fourth floor features an exhibit commemorating the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City.

Sugar House
Sugar house is one of Salt Lake City's oldest and most interesting neighborhoods. In recent years it has become the home of hip shops and the fashionable youth of the city. Sugar House is a mixed-use commercial/residential region located approximately between State Street on the west, 2100 East on the east, 1700 South on the north and 2100 South on the south (2700 South east of 700 East). The area around between 1300 East and 1100 East, and down 1100 East for a short while is the location of many of the fashionable shops and youth culture of the region.

Sugar House Park
Sugar House Park is located between 1300 East, 1700 East, 2100 South, and I-80, and is the former site of the Utah Territorial Prison. The park features walking trails, baseball fields, basketball courts, playgrounds, picnic sites, and even a small pond often inhabited by the renowned California Gull, the state bird. Every July 4, one of the largest fireworks shows in the state takes place here, so expect traffic jams around the park after the show and heavy car and foot traffic before. The fireworks are set off from the pond on the east side, so the area of 1300 East between 2100 South and I-80, including the 1300 East interchange, is closed. Fireworks usually start around 10pm and last a half hour.

Rice Eccles Olympic Stadium
Rice Eccles Olympic Stadium is located at 451 South 1400 East, and was the site of the 2002 Winter Olympic opening and closing ceremonies. The torch is located on the south end of the stadium. Currently home to the University of Utah football team, and Real Salt Lake soccer team of Major League Soccer.

Kennecott Copper Mine
Kennecott Copper Mine is located about thirty miles southwest of Salt Lake City, and is one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world.

Ski/Snowboard
Ski or Snowboard one of the many world class ski resorts accessible within minutes of Salt Lake City. There are a few of them:

Brighton -- Located up Big Cottonwood Canyon. -- Within 20 minutes of downtown.

Solitude -- Located up Big Cottonwood Canyon -- 20 minutes from downtown.

Snowbird -- This resort is within 30 minutes of Downtown S.L.C., up the scenic Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Alta -- This resort is also within 30 minutes of Downtown, up Little Cottonwood Canyon. This resort does NOT allow snowboarding.

Park City Resort -- This resort is a short trip up Parley's Canyon to the city of Park City. -- About a 40 minute drive from Salt Lake.

The Canyons -- This resort is also located in Park City. About 40 minutes from Salt Lake.

Deer Valley -- Located in Park City. About 40 minutes from Salt Lake.

Copyright Travel West America.com 2009  Cities - Salt Lake City, Utah - Travel Guide West America.com