Some out-of-towners underestimate how diverse and enjoyable Salt Lake City really is. They undervalue the culture, history and art the city offers, not to mention all the well-known and hidden places to eat in Salt Lake City that rival the best in any city. As the SLC local and host, it’s your job to show them just how well-rounded Utah’s capital city is. And with this list of places to visit and things to do, your out of town guests may not want to leave (so hope you have a permanent guest room).
Visit historic Temple Square.
Do your guests enjoy history and genealogy? Do they get their kicks seeing alluring architecture? Whether they’re members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or not, they’ll enjoy a tour through Temple Square. From its lush gardens and vibrant flowers during the spring and summer to the magical Christmas lights, not to mention various religious and family history buildings and art, a walk around Salt Lake City’s most iconic historic site will keep you all busy for a half day or more. And before leaving, don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at one of the four Temple Square restaurants.
Take a scenic hike.
The best way to appreciate Utah’s mountains is to hike them. And there’s no shortage of scenic hikes in and around Salt Lake. Whether you need family-friendly or your expert guests want to try the more strenuous trails, here are some local and tourist favorite Salt Lake hikes to see the outdoor beauty Utah offers and the best views of Salt Lake Valley:
- Ensign Peak — This easy, 1 mile round trip hike on a well-maintained path gives you breathtaking views of the city above the Utah State Capitol building. And none are more breathtaking than at sunset.
- Donut Falls — Take your summer guests on this 3.5 mile out and back hike. Located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, this easy hike is for people of all ages and has it all, from woods and wildflower meadows to streams.
- The Living Room — Just 10 minutes from downtown, with its trailhead near the Natural History Museum of Utah, this moderate 4 mile round trip hike doesn’t just take you to a viewpoint; it takes you to furniture-like stacked stones for you to sit and rest your legs on while enjoying the views.
- Mount Olympus — There’s no better hike on the east side of the Valley. Although steep, the 7.5 mile out and back trail is wide and simple to follow and takes you to Instagram-worthy views from its summit.
Do it all at the Great Salt Lake.
Looking for an all-day outdoor adventure? The Great Salt Lake has the playful and pleasurable recreational activities any out-of-towner would enjoy. Whether mountain biking the Stansbury Island trails or boating, kayaking and swimming the biggest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere at Antelope Island State Park, don’t be surprised if your guests ask to come back another day to play and see more wildlife.
Experience the thrills and luxury at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.
Skiing is one of the top reasons people visit Utah, and the snow-filled slopes at Snowbird are some of the best in the state (or the best depending on who you ask). If your family or friends come when there’s no snow, there’s still plenty to see and do, like cruising down the Alpine Slide and having a relaxing spa day.
Active outdoor adventurers, religious and history buffs, foodies—no matter what your out of town guests are into, you and Salt Lake City are sure to keep them happily entertained during their stay.