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Stuart Messham
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It’s large, it’s fascinating and it’s pretty religious: Allow us to preach the globetrotting gospel of what you could get up to in Salt Lake City.

1. Stare in awe at the Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake is the largest salt lake in the western hemisphere and is where Salt Lake City gets its name. Its undulating vastness is incredibly easy on the eye and the visuals get even juicier as you begin to spot rare golden eagles, barn owls and American avocets in the distance.

Got more time? There are some incredible hikes to be had and some truly memorable camping spots to enjoy, too.

2. Explore the city on a bike

If you’ve got the legs and the requisite spirit of adventure, there’s no better way to see SLC than to tour it by bike.

Naturally, there are many different tours to be had, depending on your levels of fitness and curiousity: go to Temple Square to enjoy its awesome architecture and imposing structure; sample the “visionary art experience” of the Gilgal Sculpture Garden; and learn as you go from one of the bubbly, knowledgeable guides.

Don’t want to cycle? No problem. The city also operates a number of segway and bus tours available at all hours of the day and evening where you can also visit the city’s most famous neighbourhoods and attractions.

3. Shop till you drop at City Creek Center

Every good city break needs a shopping splurge and the best place to air your credit cards in SLC is the City Creek Center.

It’s all very big and wonderfully American with a hugely impressive glass ceiling and retractable skylight and over 90 different restaurants and retail outlets. Oh, and then there’s the waterfalls, fountains and the 1,200-foot stream teeming with fish.

It’s the best mall in Utah, it’s won a lot of awards to prove it and it takes “going shopping” to another star-spangled level.

4. Drive-in to Redwood movie theatre

One of the authentic American experiences and definitely one of the coolest things to do in Salt Lake City, the Redwood Drive-in Movie theatre has been showcasing what it calls “double features” – aka, two movies – for low prices since 1948.

It’s not a bona fide relic in every sense though, the film line-up is always up-to-date and the digital projection and sound system mean you’ll get a truly modern, fully cinematic experience as you sit under the stars.

5. Treat the family at Thanksgiving Point

Delivering versatility and adventure in equal measure, Thanksgiving Point is an ideal solution for a family day out thanks to its movie theatre, petting farm, butterfly biosphere and very high-tech Museum of Modern Life.

There’s 55 acres’ worth of stuff and everything’s pretty close-knit, so the “my-legs-hurt” moans will be kept to a minimum. 

Oh, and if you don’t have kids, there’s still plenty of fun to be had at the golf course, gardens and mall.

6. Go bobsled bonkers at Utah Olympic Park

You don’t have to be an Olympian or wear lycra to take part at the Utah Olympic Park – although it may help – but you can experience some incredibly exciting and rather niche activities, including summer bobsled, zip-lining and alpine slide – the like of which are in short supply in blighty.

Once you’ve been brave, you should also stick around to watch the frequent gymnastic demonstrations and all the other seasonal shows and events, which you should check out before to make sure you get the best show for you.

7. Get a load of the world-class Tabernacle Choir

An absolute tourist mainstay in SLC is a visit to see the Tabernacle Choir: a 360-strong group of male and female singers often accompanied by the Orchestra at Temple Square for public rehearsals and performances.

They are broadcast live every Sunday at 9:30am, but you can watch them rehearse for free on Thursday nights (for an hour) between September and November and January and May.

They spread their love of God through gospel music, but you don’t have to be religious in the slightest to enjoy it.

8. Go large at Big Cottonwood Canyon

Spanning a 15-mile range at the bottom of the Wasatch mountain range, this natural wonder is home to some world-class hiking and rock-climbing, a number of unforgettable picnic and fishing spots and two famous ski resorts: Solitude and Brighton.

The fact it’s only a short drive from the more urbane parts of the city means there’s really no excuse not to visit. Whether you’re a fan of the Great Outdoors or not, you won’t regret it.

9. Take a snowmobile tour

Snowmobiles are mighty cool, just ask James Bond. So learning how to handle one – and, dare we say, jump it – during your SLC trip will not only make you feel young and alive, it will also be a great story to regale when back on home soil.

Nearby areas like Wasatch Mountain, Mirror Lake, Mill Hollow, Mount Nebo and Skyline Drive provide some really beautiful trails, local rentals are available and guided tours are recommended for beginners.

10. Ride horseback at Salt Lake County Equestrian Park

An absolute must for horse enthusiasts, the 120 acres of the Salt Lake County Equestrian Park are available to the public for both freeriding and for horse-riding lessons.

The site is wonderful, the sights are pretty epic and the staff well-versed in helping things tick along at a fun and supportive pace.

Oh, and there’s also a 85,000 square feet arena that hosts sports events, concerts, and trade shows.

11. Slurp your way to satisfaction at the Fisher Brewing Company

Originally an autoshop, Albert Fisher, an immigrant from Germany, converted this building to a brewery in 1884 in the city’s Granary District and it remained in his family for many generations.

It’s now an employee owned, community-focused craft brewery who still wholeheartedly “believe in great beer” brewing more than 100 per year of which there are 16 on tap at any given time. The staple, it’s American-style Fisher Beer, is always available in the taproom alongside light beers, dark beers, sour beers, hoppy beers and the kind of unique variations that make it worth a visit every time you’re in town.

A beer enthusiast’s paradise.

12. Be entertained at the Gallivan Center

If you fancy a bit of live entertainment of an evening, it might be worth checking out the Gallivan Center on Main Street.

A wide range of eclectic artists from America – and across the world – regularly pop-up to perform with some really unique results.

Oh, and in June it plays host to the blues music festival, which is widely regarded as the finest annual gathering of musicians in the whole of Utah.

13. Have a perfect night out at the Eccles Theatre

If you like your venues a little more refined, you should check out the Eccles Theatre: the five-story glass lobby and extraordinary Delta Performance Hall are architecturally exquisite and the seats are dead comfy, so you’ll be impressed before the entertainment even begins.

Of which there is plenty by the way.

Broadway musicals, bands and comedians are all in regular rotation and will appeal to both kids and adults alike.

And after you’ve laughed, smiled and cheered you can enjoy some artisanal food from one of the establishments outside. Perfect.


Delta Air Lines operates a number of routes to Salt Lake City.
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