As our Mid-West road trip was coming to an end, we decided to stop in Salt Lake City, Utah. Salt Lake City is definitely not NYC but it’s definitely growing. It was founded in 1847 by a group of Mormon pioneers who had moved west to escape religious discrimination. Utah became the 45th state in 1895 and Salt Lake City became its capital. Salt Lake City continues to experience strong economic and employment growth. Did you know it’s the largest city to have ever hosted the winter games for the Olympics?
I’m not sure what I imagined Salt Lake City to be like but it a beautiful city to finally explore. Since it was at the end of our road trip, we actually had an entire full day to adventure throughout the city! We were determined to make the most out of our time and to enjoy the beautiful weather. Check out our top 10 highlights during our trip in Salt Lake City!
One of my favorite things about traveling is experiencing local restaurants! Eva’s bakery was highly recommended on Trip Advisor so we decided to add it on the top of our list! We stopped in to grab a late breakfast and found ourselves in love with Eva’s Bakery. The menu not only has espresso and teas but artisan breads and bakers pies! We ordered croissants and soaked up the traditional French boulangerie. If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Paris, step through the bright blue doors of Eva’s Bakery!
Trolley Tour of Salt Lake City
I’ve learned that taking at guided tour of any city, is the best way to learn the most about the city in a short period of time. After much research, we decided to book a Trolley Tour! The Salt Lake Trolley Tour had great reviews online and I couldn’t resist the authentic colorful trolley streetcar vibe. I knew it create an unforgettable experience for us of Salt Lake City. Our uniformed trolley conductor was our guide and he took us through the city’s historic districts and gave us the grand tour of the city! The tour is just $29 a person and worth every single penny of it!
We didn’t have much understand about Mormon religion until we arrived at Temple Square. It is such a lovely place with gorgeous buildings and a spiritual feeling to it. The temple exterior is gorgeous and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building interior is exquisite. The statuary and gardens are such a pleasure to stroll too. Our visit gave us a new understanding and appreciation of the Mormon religion. Temple Square remains the center of Salt Lake City and the most historic location in the state of Utah.
The Salt Lake Temple
There is certainly is history here and the building is the hallmark of Temple Square. If you know anything about the Mormon faith, you know you can't enter the Temple. Only practicing Mormons are allowed and not even that many of those. You have to be "worthy." However, in the south visitor center there is a replica with cut-outs so you can see what's inside some of it. Did you know it took them 40 years to complete the construction of the temple? It took so long because they wanted to use perfect material to make the temple perfectly beautiful and strong.
Utah State Capitol Building
Our trolley conductor guide gave us the grand tour of the Utah State Capitol! My mom was so excited to explore the beautiful building and grounds. The Capitol is perched up on a hill, away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Salt Lake. The magnificent building offers visitors grand architecture and sweeping views of the Salt Lake Valley. We were able to see the House of Representatives Chamber, the Senate Chamber, and the Supreme Court Chamber. We probably could have spent the entire day exploring the gorgeous building and exhibits. I highly recommended you see the Capitol of Salt Lake City!
Settebello Pizzeria was ranked #9 of 1,266 restaurants in Salt Lake City. They strive to make the most authentic pizza Napoletana possible! I love when pizza is cooked in a wood burning oven so we decided to try Settebello’s pizza while in Salt Lake City. The pizza itself was very fresh and full of flavor. It wasn’t the best pizza I ever had but it was really good pizza.
Cathedral of the Madeline
I was blown away when I first visited the interior of the Cathedral of the Madeline which is the cathedral of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. It was completed in 1909 and a spectacular renovation and restoration of the interior was completed in 1993. Unfortunately, we could not spend much time here because we were on the trolley tour but I'm so glad we stopped. My grandfather would have absolutely loved this cathedral. The design, colors, stain glass windows, and art of the interior are fascinating just to see. I never would have imagined Salt Lake City to have such a magnificent cathedral!
Antelope Island State Park
Antelope Island State Park is located on the largest of the Great Sale Lakes islands. It was about an hour out of the way for us but it was recommended to checkout while in Utah! It features lots of white-sand beaches, hiking and biking trails as well as wildlife! As soon as we entered the park, we saw antelopes. I surprised that we were charged an entrance fee because the park didn’t have a lot to offer but it was worth it to see the Great Salt Lake.
Great Salt Lake
I might say… I was pretty disappointed when I saw the lake. It’s just a big flat area in the center of a plateau with no outward drainage. It's a landmark, but not much of a destination. The smell was pretty bad and I didn’t dare let the water touch me. But I guess it is fascinating to see. You can see the salt mounds and up close if you look at the water you can see miniature brine shrimp. It’s not exactly the place you go to and enjoy a beautiful visit but more of a unique and cool geological area to check out!
Find the Hidden Beehives
My parents are beekeepers so I think the hidden beehives throughout Salt Lake City were one of their favorite things about our trip! The beehive is the state symbol of Utah. The early Mormon settlers used the symbol of the honeybee to represent hard work and industriousness. They saw the example of a beehive, in which all of the workers cooperated in the construction of something much bigger than themselves, as a model for a properly run society. Pretty cool, huh?
As I was planning our trip to Salt Lake City, I didn’t have much time to really research a lot of things for myself so I used Trip Advisor for a lot of my planning. Our trip was a lot of fun and we couldn’t have asked for better weather! I hope by sharing our trip highlights, you will be able to make the most of your trip to Salt Lake City!
Have you ever been to Salt Lake City?! Let’s chat in the comments below!