You do not have to be a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, often referred to as the Mormons, in order to enjoy the many attractions that this beautiful City offers. Don't forget to visit this area in the wintertime also as the beauty is very majestic with the snowcapped mountains that surround the City. Some of the best skiing in the World can be found in the mountains near Salt Lake City. Here are 8 cool places to visit when in Salt Lake City, Utah.
1. Mormon Temple
It took 40 years for the Mormons to construct this amazing building. Although you may not go on a tour inside of the building, you can see what it looks like on the inside with the cutout model they have inside the visitor’s center at Temple Square.
Once the Mormons were forced to leave Nauvoo and move out West they began construction on this temple. It took 40 years before it was completed. The Salt Lake Temple is the 4th temple completed once the Mormon Pioneers came out West.
The Salt Lake Temple is the highlight of any Temple Square visit. Many temple weddings occur there and you will often see numerous couples that are getting ready to be married and “Sealed for time and all Eternity” inside of the temple. When the Mormon families come out of the temple after a marriage they will generally have a photographer on hand for photographs.
2. Salt Lake Tabernacle
The Salt Lake Tabernacle is commonly referred to as the Mormon Tabernacle. The Salt Lake Tabernacle was used for Mormon General Conference meetings for 132 years. The huge growth of the Church finally promoted the General Conference meetings to be moved to a larger venue.
Construction of the Salt Lake Tabernacle started in 1864 and was finished in 1867. The unique design of the building had many people believing that the roof would collapse once the internal scaffolding was removed. The roof still stands today.
The unique design of the building was made for natural acoustic reasons. When the tabernacle was built it allowed everyone inside of the building to hear. This was important because electronic speakers and amplifies did not exist when in the early days of the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Unlike the Mormon Temple, you can go inside of the Salt Lake Tabernacle and see how ornate and beautiful this building is. It is even more amazing when you consider that this building was built without the benefits of modern construction technology.
3. Pioneer Museum
The Pioneer Museum is operated by the Daughter of the Utah Pioneers. They have a wide variety of things to see related to pioneer artifacts. You can see everything from old horse drawn wagons to actual shoes worn by Brigham Young, the second President and Prophet of the Mormon Church.
It is free to visit the museum, but they do accept donations. Fortunately they are not pushy about getting donations. There is a lot to see in this museum and there is no way you can take it all in with 1 visit. Fortunately this is a place you may want to return too simply because it is free and very interesting.
4. Hogle Zoo
The Hogle Zoo is the largest Zoo in the Beehive State of Utah. Hogle Zoo sits at the mouth of Emigration Canyon, which is the route used by the original Pioneers upon entering the Salt Lake Valley. The Hogle Zoo is definitely the best place to see a giraffe in Salt Lake, but of course it would be awkward f giraffes were running wild through downtown Salt Lake.
5. Energy Solutions Arena
A lot of different events are played at Energy Solutions Arena but this arena is best known as the home to the Utah Jazz. The Utah Jazz is a very successful basketball team in the National Basketball League. In addition to the Jazz you will find numerous other events including musical concerts.
6. Church Office Building
The Church Office Building is a 28 story building owned and used by the Mormon Church as office buildings for Church business. Visitors are encouraged to visit the Church Office Building and you can get a small tour where they will take up to the observation decks located towards the top of the building. This is one of the best views you can get of the Salt Lake Valley so ensure that you bring your camera along. The people who give the tour are very friendly. Although the people who work here and give you the tour are very friendly and happy to answer questions for you, they may or may or be the best bet to ask about other local attractions as some of the workers are volunteer missionaries who may be from other States or even other Countries.
7. Utah State Capitol
The Utah State Capitol is located right across the street from the Utah Pioneer Museum. Tours of the museum take less than an hour and are free. Tours are ran Monday-Friday from 9-4 and also a 6-7pm tour on Wednesdays evenings.
The Utah State Capitol was used for the filming of the movie Legally Blond 2: Red, White, and Blonde.
8. Beehive House
The Beehive House was one of the homes of Brigham Young who served as President of the Mormon Church from 1847-1877. Young had the longest reign of any Mormon President in history. The Beehive House and the Lion House were both homes for Brigham Young. Both homes are situated by each other and still stand today. The Beehive House and the Lion House are connected to each other by some office rooms which were utilized by Brigham Young. The Beehive House was built first. Brigham Young was a polygamist with multiple wives and numerous children. When his family became too big for the Beehive House then the Lion House was used for overflow as the family continued to grow.
The Beehive House was eventually purchased by the Mormon Church and was full restored in 1960. Tours are ran Monday-friday from early in the morning to late evening.