Salt Lake City is known for its beauty and cultural attractions, and it’s cradled between the Great Salt Lake, the Wasatch mountain range, and the Oquirrh mountain range. The area around the city offers an abundance of natural beauty and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. Inside the borders of the city, there’s a variety of historical, educational, and fun things to do and see. Consider setting up a home base at a conveniently located vacation rental to make the most of your trip; that way, you get to enjoy the comforts of home while exploring all the wonderful things to do and see in this Salt Lake City vacation guide.
The Great Salt Lake
When you’re deciding what to do in Salt Lake City, be sure to include a visit to the lake that’s the city’s namesake. The Great Salt Lake has a higher salinity level than the ocean, and it’s known for supporting people who want to experience floating in it. The high salt content limits fishing opportunities, but visitors enjoy casting a line in areas where freshwater streams feed the lake and around the marina. You also have the opportunity to head to the Great Salt Lake Marina to catch a sunset cruise, go kayaking and rent a sailboat for a day on the lake. This magnificent lake is truly a natural spectacle for any visitor in the area. Be sure to add this to the itinerary for a once-in-a-lifetime experience floating and relaxing in the Great Salt Lake.
Pro traveler tip: Take a walk on the famous Spiral Jetty for views of the lake and surrounding mountains that go unmatched. Created by Robert Smithson by hauling in 6,000 tons of black basalt. This location has become a popular tourist destination and a must-see location.
The Islands and Wetlands of the Great Salt Lake
The islands in the Great Salt Lake have trails where guests can hike, mountain bike, and go horseback riding. The sheer beauty of the wetlands and surrounding areas offer an unparalleled glimpse into the natural beauty of the area. The white sand shores at Antelope Island State Park provide some of the area’s top swimming. Seasonal activities like the Annual Bison Roundup are also hosted on this island. The wetlands around the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve are part of an area where birdwatchers and nature photographers visit to enjoy the setting. Spend a day (or two) wandering around and exploring the numerous attractions that this area offers. The preserve is handicap accessible so that everyone can enjoy an up-close view of the wildlife. Be sure to add this complex of parks and preserves to the itinerary for an unforgettable experience in Utah.
Pro traveler tip: There truly is a lot of things to do in this area. More to do than one could hope to fit in in one day. Be sure to check ahead and see which of the many attractions are more suitable for the vacation that you want to have.
Temple Square takes up 35 acres of downtown Salt Lake City, and it’s one of the area’s most popular destinations. Tours of the temple are free and are offered in 40 different languages to accommodate visitors. Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints guide visitors through the tour. There are several tours available, so you have choices in learning about the temple’s architecture, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Utah’s first governor, Brigham Young, who was also a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prophet. This temple is a fantastic thing to do with kids in Salt Lake City. They will be in awe at the magnificently crafted architecture of the complex. Be sure to add this to the places to see for a fun and family-friendly experience.
Pro traveler tip: There are several dining options in and around Temple Square. Make an entire day out of this experience by exploring the temple and enjoying a world-class meal afterward.
Family History Center Library
The Family History Center library is a genealogist’s delight, and it’s also interesting for those who have never considered exploring genealogy. This part of Temple Square is known as the world’s largest genealogical research source. The Discovery Center tour takes guests through the Family History Center library in approximately an hour. In the Discovery Center, there are interactive displays that add a fun element to exploring your family history. This adds an entertaining element that keeps the entire family engaged in the tour. An impressive fun activity in Salt Lake City that has the opportunity to be informative too. Making it the perfect thing for kids to do as well. open up the books and dive headfirst into family history at this unique library.
Pro traveler tip: There are many helpful resources and services located onsite that will help families dig deeper into their family history. Digital media conversion and in-person help make this a very fun thing to do with kids in Salt Lake City.
Museum of Ancient Life
Travel back in time for a glimpse of prehistoric life with a visit to the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. Stroll among exhibits of dinosaurs and check out life under the sea with marine life displays. Many of the exhibits feature interactive parts to keep youngsters enthused, and there’s a 3D theater where you can relax and enjoy a show when you want a break from all the walking. Kids even have the chance to feel like true archaeologists uncovering remnants of the Jurassic era at interactive displays where they can dig for bones. These amazing exhibits will capture the attention of any visitor and marvel at the complete dinosaur skeletons. All of this combined make for the perfect things to do for kids in Salt Lake City.
Pro traveler tip: Multiple different options are available in terms of tickets to purchase. Each comes with its own unique set of features. Check ahead to see what option is perfect for the family.
Natural History Museum of Utah
Another of the popular things to do in Salt Lake City is to take a visual trip through time at the Natural History Museum of Utah. This is set up as a multistory indoor canyon where you can see layers of prehistory as you navigate your way up from the canyon’s floor making it a perfect thing to do with kids in Salt Lake City. The visible layers help put the passage of time into perspective. You get to enjoy glimpses of the cultures of those who lived in past ages along with fossils of the creatures who thrived in prehistoric times. Be sure to stop by here for a fun and informative experience that the kids will be ranting about for years to come.
Pro traveler tip: Many different events and rotating speakers and exhibitions are hosted here year-round. Be sure to check ahead to see if the perfect event for the family is taking place at the same time as the vacation.
Take in views of the night sky and 3D sky shows at the Clark Planetarium. The planetarium is where you’ll find the only IMAX theater in Utah. The multitude of different features being played here will make for a very fun activity in Salt Lake City. Space exploration and natural science exhibits bring learning to life. Plus, the planetarium is next door to one of the city’s popular indoor-outdoor shopping areas. Stop by here for a fun and interactive experience that will add to the perfect vacation in Utah for families.
Pro traveler tip: Different exhibits featured here in addition to the impressive Imax theatre will all add up to make for the perfect thing to do with kids. Be sure to look ahead and see what’s going on during the vacation.
Red Butte Garden
Red Butte Garden spans 150 acres, and it delivers views of landscaped and natural settings. The gardens lead into trails at the base of the Wasatch mountain range. During the summer months, guests have the opportunity to enjoy concerts in the garden. There are year-round activities and exhibits, so there’s something unique to see here no matter what time of year you visit. Be sure to add this majestic garden to the list of things to do for a fun activity in Salt Lake City that is perfect for the whole family. Be sure to pack a camera for the perfect family picture opportunity amongst the beautifully manicured garden.
Pro traveler tip: Many free events take place here throughout the year. Be sure to check ahead for a fun time that is perfect for the whole family as well as the wallet.
Where to Stay in SLC
Known for being in the middle of everything yet maintaining a small-town feel. Central City is a great option for those going on vacation with their family. Numerous art museums, parks, and other attractions all add up to make for a wonderful option when thinking of places to stay that have fun activities in Salt Lake City. Check this neighborhood out to get a taste of everything this magical city has to offer.
With many different natural wonders located nearby. The Avenues Neighborhood offers families going on vacation an opportunity to have miles of hiking trails and other natural wonders at their fingertips. Smaller yet very delicious restaurants and cafes also pepper the area making it a more quiet getaway when compared to its counterparts. Be sure to check this neighborhood out when looking for a place to stay for a vacation that has the opportunity to spend the most time outdoors as possible.
SLC is the Spot!
Salt Lake City is a city with a small-town feel that has everything to offer for any type of vacationer whether flying solo or with the family in tow. The natural beauty of the Great Salt Lake and the surrounding mountain ranges offer an unparalleled experience that offers some of the most fun things to do. The kids will have a blast at the many museums and outdoor adventures they can embark on and adults will have a great time escorting and viewing as well. get the bags packed and venture out to The Crossroads of the West.