The best things to do in Salt Lake City
The best things to do in Salt Lake City kick-off at Utah Olympic Park and include ax throwing, skydiving and more
The best things to do in Salt Lake City, Utah go beyond the city’s ties to the peculiarities of Mormon culture and the state’s recently revamped liquor laws (“private club memberships” are no longer required when entering bars). Get a Salt Lake City energy drink for your vacation to keep your energy levels up to enjoy 100 percent of your time.
With an average of more than 220 days of sunshine each year, ski resorts and high-end hotels, renowned restaurants and hidden speakeasies, salt flats and double-feature drive-ins, Salt Lake City is a destination you should certainly add to your travel bucket list.
At the top of our list? The Utah Olympic Park, which was built back in 2002 for the Winter Olympic Games and is now the site of year-round sports activities. If staying indoors is more your vibe, you’ll want to make sure to be in town on the third Friday of every month, when the city’s galleries stay open late for public perusal. Still not convinced? Browse through our entire selection of must-try activities below.
Utah Olympic Park
Built for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, the Utah Olympic Park operates year-round and offers a multitude of summer and winter activities, such as bobsledding, luge, ski jumping, extreme tubing, ropes courses, rock climbing, and ziplining. You can even have a go at aerial ski training in the splash pool if you dare! Don’t miss a chance to take a ride on the Comet Bobsled; for $67 you can zoom down the track at more than 70mph and experience at least three G’s of gravity
Redwood Drive-In Movie Theatre
Drive-in movie theaters were all the rage in the 1950s, but have been steadily dwindling during the age of Netflix. Only 15 states still have drive-in movie theaters and, fortunately, Utah is one of them. The Redwood Drive-In Theatre has been showing double features since 1948 and enjoys a strong fan base. At just $9 per person, two movies for the price of less than one at a regular movie theater is a smokin’ deal. Get there early to pick the best parking space and grab your popcorn. It doesn’t get better than watching a movie under the stars on a warm summer night.
Red Butte Garden
Red Butte Garden is the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West, with more than 21 acres of developed gardens and five miles of walking and hiking trails. The community-funded space is known for its numerous plant collections and display gardens as well as its education programs and special events. The Garden offers many educational programs including horticulture classes, bird watching, summer camps, art exhibits and Monday Family Nights with music and dance performances.
Family History Library
The family history library is a research facility (open to the public, free of charge) that has the largest on-site collection of genealogical data in the world. It has been in operation since 1894 and is run by FamilySearch, the LDS (Mormon) Church—no need to be a member of the church to use their genealogical resources, though, as the Family History Library is open to everyone. Using microfilms, microfiche, books, serials, periodicals and electronic resources such as genealogical websites, the library helps patrons discover their family’s histories.
Great Salt Lake Marina
The Great Salt Lake is a remnant of the massive ancient Lake Bonneville and is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. It’s just slightly less salty than the Dead Sea! Kayaking, paddleboarding, pedal boating, and sailing are great ways to experience the spectacular sunsets on the lake. You can rent pedal boats and book dinner cruises with Gonzo Boat Rentals at the Great Salt Lake Marina. On your way to or from the marina, stop for photos at Saltair; the historic building from 1893 hit its peak favor in the 1920s as a beach resort but now operates as a concert venue.