Play The Hits: Exploring Salt Lake City's Iconic Sights
First time to Salt Lake City? This is SLC 101.
You’re a curious traveler, right? You like to understand the places you go. Well, have we got a story for you. Utah has one of the most unique histories in the United States. Unlike most of its neighbors — which were mainly founded by pioneers chasing mining booms, or timber and ranching opportunities — Utah was settled in 1847 by the Latter-day Saints (commonly known as the Mormons). Church leader Brigham Young led more than 20,000 pioneer families on a harrowing trek to the Salt Lake Valley seeking a place where they could practice their religion in peace. It’s a true and uniquely American story that combines a struggle for freedom of conscience with an epic frontier journey and its legacy can be seen everywhere in Salt Lake City.
For the curious traveler, no trip is complete without a dive into this singular history and, of course, there is more to Utah than its founding story. There are rich tales of native peoples and earlier explorers — trappers and Catholic missionaries — to be understood. The Salt Lake Valley itself is a geologic treasure where you can literally see the high-water marks of an ancient lake called Bonneville. (We call it the “bathtub ring.”) And as Utah joined the United States, more settlers of all colors and creeds came with the railroad adding stories to this diverse tapestry.
Let this itinerary be your guide to an enlightening three-day tour of the highlights of Utah’s cultural, natural and historical landscapes. Salt Lake City is easy to explore on foot, by car, light rail, bus or with our easy-to-use GREENbike bike share system. (The Utah Transit Authority uses the Transit app to plan your trip and GoRide to pay for fares with your smartphone.)
However you chose to explore, you’ll experience this great western city from its early beginnings to its modern-day state.