10 Unique Things To Do In Salt Lake City

From history museums to trolley car tours, there are plenty of fun things to do in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Salt Lake City downtown, UtahShutterstock

Salt Lake City downtown, Utah

Utah is a popular travel destination due to its gorgeous hikes and national parks. There are plenty of Utah parks to add to one’s bucket list, including Zion and Arches National Park. Travelers also enjoy hot air ballooning over Moab and exploring Grafton, the West’s most photographed ghost town.

There is more to Utah, however than outdoor adventures and national parks. Utah’s capital, and largest city, is Salt Lake City. With a population of over 200,000, Salt Lake City is a go-to spot for travelers wishing to enjoy museums, grab a drink at a brewery, and wander around the urban neighborhoods. Salt Lake City is not just another Utah town, there are plenty of unique things to see and do while visiting this exciting city.

Related: This Utah City Is The Second-Friendliest In The US (Here’s Why)

10/10 Admire Salt Lake City Public Library’s Unique Architecture

The first stop on anyone’s Salt Lake City itinerary should be the Salt Lake City Public Library. This beautiful building was designed by Israeli architect Moshe Safdie and is no ordinary library. Crescent-shaped walls, large glass windows, and a curving, walkable wall are all key features of the building. The library’s outdoor piazza, lawns, and reading garden on the roof are also unique features of the library. Fairs, concerts, and events are often held at this outdoor venue, making it the perfect spot to explore Salt Lake City.

  • Address:
    210 E 400 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111

  • Hours:
    Monday-Thursday 10 am-8 pm, Friday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm, Sunday 11 am-5 pm

  • Cost:

    At the time this article was published, the rooftop terrace is closed for renovations

9/10 Attend A Drive-In Movie

Another unique thing to do in Salt Lake City is attending a drive-in movie. Technically located a few minutes outside the city, Redwood Drive-In Theater provides movie-goers with a good time and a lot of nostalgia. The drive-in theater is open spring-fall and features a variety of movies, from animated kids’ films to scary movies. Redwood Drive-In recommends bringing a portable FM radio to best hear the movie’s audio. Guests are also welcome to bring lawn chairs and watch the film while sitting outside their cars.

  • Address:
    3688 S Redwood Rd, West Valley City, UT 84119

  • Cost:
    Adult – $10, child – $1

8/10 Take A Trolley Tour Of Salt Lake City

A great way to explore Utah is by road-tripping, and there are plenty of things to enjoy during a Utah road trip. Travelers who flew into Salt Lake City do not have to miss out on this driving experience and can easily embark on a trolley tour around the city. Salt Lake Trolley Tours is not your average tour, as it features theatrical performers, a lively conductor, and plenty of unique stops at some of Salt Lake City’s coolest spots.

  • Pick up location:
    215 WS Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

  • Cost:
    Adult- $49, child- $25

  • Duration:
    90 mins

7/10 Grab A Bite At Ruth’s Diner

Vacations are a great time to explore local food joints and support local businesses. A must-visit local restaurant in Salt Lake City is Ruth’s Diner. This diner has been serving up delicious sandwiches, burgers, biscuits, and gravy since 1930. Swing by Ruth’s in the morning for buttermilk pancakes and a three-egg omelet, or enjoy a juicy burger and bottled root beer in the evening.

  • Address:
    4160 Emigration Canyon Rd, Emigration Canyon, UT 84108

  • Hours:
    Monday 8 am-9 pm, closed Tuesday-Wednesday, Thursday 8 am-9 pm, Friday-Saturday 8 am-10 pm, Sunday 8 am-9 pm

6/10 Go For A Hike At Ensign Peak

Travelers love embarking on beautiful Utah hikes, including Utah’s “Mighty 5” National Parks. Those wishing to enjoy an easy nature hike in Salt Lake City should explore Ensign Peak. This trail is 1.8 miles in total and is open year-round. Dogs are allowed as long as they are on a leash at all times. Locals recommend hiking in the evening to enjoy the breathtaking sunset and view of the city lights. Be sure to pack a headlamp or flashlight for the hike back! Travelers looking to hike just outside the city should check out Antelope Island State Park.

  • Address:
    Trailhead- 1002 N. Ensign Vista Drive, Salt Lake City

  • Hours:
    Trail closes at 10pm

Related: Top 8 Parks To Add To Your Utah Bucket List Right Now

5/10 Listen To The Utah Symphony

The Utah Symphony is an orchestra located in Salt Lake City which performs at the beautiful Abravanel Hall. The Utah Symphony contains a variety of musicians, including violinists, cellists, bassoonists, and even a harpist. The symphony’s current music director is the talented Thierry Fischer. This collection of talented musicians performs classical hits but also puts on unique shows such as “Video Games Live,” a show featuring music arrangements inspired by popular video games. To see the full Utah Symphony schedule, check the Utah Symphony website.

  • Address:
    123 WS Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

4/10 Hear The Tabernacle Choir At Temple Square

There are plenty of things to do in Salt Lake City besides seeing the lake, including exploring Temple Square. Temple Square is an area stretching 5 city blocks, featuring magnificent gardens, historical spots, and a large church building. Temple Square is arguably the most popular tourist spot in Salt Lake City, so visitors wanting to make their experience more unique should consider visiting the square when the Tabernacle Choir is performing. Schedules can be found on the Tabernacle Choir website. Performances are typically free to attend, as well as the organ recitals which also take place at Temple Square.

  • Address:
    50 N West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150

3/10 Ski The Slopes At A Ski Resort

Skiing at the world-famous Salt Lake City ski resorts is one of many unique adventures you can only have in Salt Lake City. A few popular ski resorts less than an hour from the bustling downtown SLC area are Alta Ski Area, Brighton Ski Resort, and Park City Mountain. Park City contains over 7,300 acres of slopes and snowy areas, while Alta is known for containing over 100 runs. Travelers who are not into skiing need not worry because there are plenty of winter activities to do in Utah that aren’t skiing. Snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and snow tubing are a few popular outdoor winter activities.

2/10 See Dinosaurs At The Natural History Museum Of Utah

Another popular tourist attraction in Salt Lake City is The Natural History Museum of Utah. An exciting and unique exhibit visitors should explore is the permanent Past Worlds exhibit. Located in the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Gallery, this exhibit highlights the plant life, animal life, and lost ecosystems of Utah’s past, dating back hundreds of millions of years! From real dinosaur bones to Ice Age artifacts, this exhibit is worth seeing.

  • Address:
    301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108

  • Hours:
    Monday-Tuesday 10 am-5 pm, Wednesday 10 am-9 pm, Thursday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm

  • Cost:
    Adult- $19.95, senior (65+)- $17.95, young adult (13-24)- $17.95, child (3-12)- $14.95, 2 and under – free

1/10 Explore Gilgal Sculpture Garden

Another unique thing to do in Salt Lake City is visit the Gilgal Sculpture Garden. This quirky attraction contains 12 original sculptures, as well as dozens of engraved stones. Not only is this attraction open seven days a week, but it is also free to the public. The garden’s most well-known sculpture is The Sphinx. Definitely unique, this work of art depicts LDS Church founder Joseph Smith’s face on a Sphinx’s body.

  • Address:
    749 E 500 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84102

  • Hours:
    8am-8pm daily

  • Cost:

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