When it comes to Salt Lake City or any Utah destination, a few words immediately come to mind: Mormon, Latter-Day Saints and Temple Square. While Salt Lake City’s Temple Square is a spectacle worth seeing for Latter-Day Saints practitioners and out-of-town travelers, my focus in Salt Lake City took a different point-of-view. Upon arriving in Salt Lake City, I decided to look at sites beyond Salt Lake City’s Mormon history and heritage to see what else Utah has to offer. Heading to downtown Salt Lake City, I found recognition of the state’s history, stunning architecture, Utah’s contributions to numerous fields and careers and wonderful views of the city framed perfectly within the mountains. Although Salt Lake City is known for the elaborate Temple Square, here are a couple of places you should also be certain to add to your itinerary.
Utah State Capitol Building
After asking for advice on what to see in Salt Lake City, my cousin exclaimed, “You should go to the Capitol Building, you could see some legislature in action!” Although the idea sounded promising, I wasn’t too hopeful to see much achieved on the state level given that national politics’ arena is lacking in compromise and achievements. What I was surprised about was the discovery of intricate architectural elements. I was delighted to find details in the architecture including the state beehive, statues representing core values of art, education, science and community and a history of the state’s contribution to mining, art, national parks and the film industry. It became clear Utah has much more to offer than it may seem at first glance.
Salt Palace Convention Center
You might be wondering why I would pick Salt Palace Convention Center to explore without a convention or conference in town. When asking where to enter the building from, gift shop personnel remarked, “Well, you’ll just be wandering around one big, empty building.” I decided to enter anyhow and found the empty, quiet space an escape into the designs and murals that are often forgotten when crammed with conference attendees and presenters. Seeing the painted artwork of Utah’s scenery and Native American past became reminders of my love for the National Parks and the desire to welcome in spring to enjoy these national outdoor treasures.
Salt Lake City Public Library
The Salt Lake City Public Library may seem like the last place for inspirational adventures and artwork, but when a book search sent me downtown, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the opposite of my expectations. Making my way up staircases or riding in glass elevators, it seemed as though there was something new to peek at around every corner. Although my visit was during the end of winter, a walk to the roof gardens gave me a few flowers barely in bloom and the perfect view of Salt Lake City nestled in its amazing mountain scenery. Even though I’ve lived in places known for mountains, like Colorado, seeing Salt Lake City’s mountains makes me appreciate their beauty and have a deeper admiration for them.
My visit to downtown Salt Lake City was brief, but one that wasn’t short of exploring beautiful scenery indoor and outdoor. Utah has much to provide for travelers who love both the city and the outdoors. Whether you’re a visitor, a tourist or a local these few sites in downtown Salt Lake City are not to be missed. If you want to learn more of Utah’s history, contributions to architecture or great views of the mountains, don’t stop with a visit to Temple Square. These surrounding sites should be on your list to give you a broader view of exactly what Salt Lake City has in store.
This post is a part of Our World Tuesday, Scenic Weekends, Travel Photo Thursday hosted by Budget Travelers Sandbox, Photo Friday hosted by Pierced Wonderings and Monday Escapes hosted by Packing My Suitcase and My Travel Monkey.