This five-star hotel is a sight to behold. Built to be the most beautiful hotel in America, it features some of the most expensive chandeliers and mirrors in the Western Hemisphere, including one mirror valued at more than one million dollars.
Northwest of the city is the large, shallow, salty lake that gives its name. The lake is great for year-round sailing (the salt keeps it from freezing) and the lack of commercial or power boats makes it a peaceful natural wonderland. The area is one of the largest bird refuges in the American west and on the cliffs of Antelope Island – a state park – you’ll find a majestic pelican colony. Sailboat and yacht rentals can be organized through many operators based at the marina.
You really can’t visit Salt Lake City without experiencing the culture that has most shaped it: the Church of Latter Day Saints (the Mormon Church). The main attractions of the Mormon faith are centered on Temple Square in the heart of downtown. The Salt Lake Temple is the church’s world headquarters and it has lovely gardens you can explore on its grounds – unfortunately, the Temple itself is only open to practicing Mormons who have a church-issued invitation.
Temple Square has other attractions, too. History buffs can instead check out Beehive House and Lion House, former residences of city-founder and church leader Brigham Young. It’s also worth visiting the Church Office Building. Because it’s the tallest building in the city, its roof offers spectacular views for miles.
Just west of Temple Square is the Church History Museum, which explains the history of the Mormon Church from the time of its founder Joseph Smith until the establishmentofn Salt Lake City. It also features Church-inspired artwork.
In the east end of the city is This Is The Place Heritage Park, a lookout where Brigham Young is believed to have said “This is the place,” finally establishing where the Mormons would build their settlement. There’s also a recreation of frontier village with frequent reenactments.
Salt Lake City’s slopes are among the best in the country and are easily accessible from downtown. The canyons at Cottonwood and Park City – where the 2002 Winter Olympic alpine events were hosted – are spectacularly beautiful and receive lots of light, fluffy snow, making them ideal spots for skiing and snowboarding. Some of the best resorts are Brighton, Solitude, and Snowbird. If skiing isn’t your thing, but you’d like to enjoy the mountain beauty, Snowbird has a scenic tram to the top of Hidden Peak – 3380 meters/11,000 feet up!