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Salt Lake City, Utah - Overview and Essential Travel Information
by cctraveler2 at TravelPost

Salt Lake City is the Capital of Utah and its most vibrant city. In the mountains around you will find some of the best powder skiing in the world, which is principally why the 2002 Winter Olympics were held here; the proximity of the resorts to the city is the other reason since you can get to no less than 10 ski resorts in under 45 minutes from the airport. Nestled between the Wasatch Mountains, the Great Salt Lake Desert and the Great Salt Lake (some 8 times saltier than your average ocean) the city is an ideal starting point for all sorts of outdoor activities. Daytrips can be made to Antelope Island, the Bonneville Salt Flats, Park City, the Sundance Resort, Provo, Ogden and a limitless amount of picturesque canyons. These locatoins are all within 1 hour driving distance.

Utah is a great destination for anyone who enjoys being outdoors -- from mountain biking to hiking, skiing, flyfishing and snowboarding.

Many of the historical sights in town have to do with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, whose members origially settled the valley in the mid 1800's. Within a lushly landscaped, ten-acre refuge in downtown Salt Lake City stands the multi-spired Salt Lake Temple; the Tabernacle, and other LDS historical buildings. There are also many historic houses of 19th century settlers to be seen. Other sights include the Olympic Cauldron Park at the University of Utah, Trolley Square, Red Butte Gardens, Clark Planetarium and the Gardner Mill.

SIGHTS

Hansen Planetarium

Star shows, laser/music concerts, science exhibits, and Planetarium Store. Great location for special events, receptions, and meetings. Groups up to 500.

Lion House

Named after the stone lion sculpted for the front porch, this multi-gabled building, once part of the Brigham Young residence, was built in 1856. The charming rooms on the upper levels are now used for weddings and other parties (no tours). On the lower level is a public cafeteria, The Pantry.

Family History Library

The world's largest collection of genealogical records. Founded in 1894. Open to the public at no charge to assist them in tracing their family histories. Collection includes over 2 million rolls of microfilmed records; 711,000 microfiche; 278,000 books; several electronic data files. Open on Monday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Trolley Square

This National Historic Site is housed in charming, olden-day trolley car barns. A major shopping, dining and entertainment marketplace. Located east-side downtown area.

Gardner Village

The Gardner Mill was built in 1877. It has been restored and houses Country Furniture and Archibald's Restaurant. Historic homes renovated into quaint shops surround the mill.

Utah's Hogle Zoo

Enjoy an animal adventure and see hundreds of exotic animals including bears, elephants, giraffes, snakes and tigers. Expansion and renovation is being done at the zoo as well as a new amphitheatre for bird shows and live music. The baby tigers are the newest attraction along with the red pandas. The new elephant habitat is scheduled to be finished soon and will provide better viewing and much more space.

Red Butte Garden and Arboretum

Red Butte Garden is to the south end of the campus of the University of Utah. The gardens back up against the Wasatch mountains and provide views of the valley below. The lush gardens house innumerable amount of plants and flowers both those native to Utah and those foreign. Activities abound for children and adults alike to help entertain and educate about nature, animals, conservation and preservation. The beauty is unsurpassed and serene if you simply want to sit on a bench and relax. There are trails for miles and areas to mountain bike up into the canyon nearby. The small price of admission is worth the serenity and solitude you find inside.

SHOPPING

Crossroads Plaza

Nordstrom, Mervyn's, and over 145 specialty stores, services, restaurants and theaters. Across from Temple Square. Open daily (except selected holidays). Free validated parking; park free on Sundays.

Factory Stores @ Park City

Save 30 - 70% at 50 manufacturers' outlets. Mon-Sat 10 am-9 pm, Sun 11 am-6 pm. 20 minutes from Salt Lake. I-80 East, Exit 145, turn right at McDonald's.

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