Great Salt Lake#2 in Best Things To Do in Salt Lake City
Clocking in at approximately 1,700 square miles, the Great Salt Lake is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River. The lake's name comes from the nature of the water: The evaporation process (the only exit available for the lake's water) leaves behind salty mineral deposits. Salt Lake City's visitors and residents enjoy the area's many hiking trails, ample picnic spots, and boating and fishing opportunities.
According to recent visitors, the Great Salt Lake is also excellent for swimming and for spotting wildlife – including bison – on the way to the park. Travelers recommend stopping by the visitor center, highlighting the informative and friendly staff as definite perks. One of the most popular access points is Antelope Island, a state park located a little more than 60 miles northwest of Salt Lake City. You can reach the island by following Interstate 15 to exit 332.
The lake area is open every day from sunrise to sunset. Admission costs $3 per car. If you decide to use Antelope Island as your jumping-off point, expect a $10 entrance fee per vehicle. Antelope Island is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. However, there are also plenty of free access points closer to town. To learn more about the Great Salt Lake, visit the Utah tourism board's website.
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#1 Temple Square
Temple Square's three-block, 35-acre plaza is home to nearly 20 attractions related to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It's anchored by the towering Salt Lake Temple – where, among other things, weekly meetings of the church's governing bodies are held – and other fascinating buildings like the expansive Tabernacle and the Gothic-style Assembly Hall, which offer insight into the history and development of the church. You should also stop by the Family History Library, the largest genealogy library in the world. Once you've toured the sites, stroll through the square's scenic gardens and past the gurgling fountains.
Recent travelers recommend taking a free, guided tour of the square and also mention that you don't have to be particularly religious to find it of interest. Tours are not scheduled, but knowledgeable docents are available every day between 9 a.m. and 4, 7 or 8 p.m., depending on the month. Tours begin on the hour and meet at the flagpole west of the temple. Visitors are also welcome to attend the Sunday morning concerts in the Tabernacle, as well as the Thursday evening choir rehearsals (7:30 p.m.), both put on by the renowned Tabernacle Choir.
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