Salt Lake City is state of Utah’s highest elevation capital also well known for it’s Great Salt Lake and the snow covered picks of the Wasatch Mountains Range. Must see the most visited Temple Square, headquarters of the Mormon Church, is home to the majestic, 19th-century Salt Lake Temple.
You could even consider visiting Temple Square if you have a layover of two hours or more at the Salt Lake International Airport. This attraction is only 8 miles from the airport and with the light traffic of SLC it won’t take more than 12 minutes to get there. The tour is free stop by at information desk for shuttle schedule.
Day 1: Wednesday November 22, 2017
Our flight arrives Salt lake City Airport (SLC) at 11:59 PM. It should be too late to pickup rental car from the airport so better off schedule a hotel complementary 24-hour airport shuttle. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Salt Lake City Airport not far away from the airport so, call the hotel directly at Tel: 1 (801) 539-1515to make arrangements.
No other activities planned for rest of the evening.
Day 2: Thursday November 23, 2017
Wake up early in the morning, take the Hotel complementary shuttle to airport and pick up Rental Car. Today is Thanksgiving day so need to make plan accordingly as many places may be either closed or may close early.
Arches National Park is open on Thanksgiving so plan is to driving down there. Driving distance from Utah hotel to Arches National Park is about 3 hours drive, distance is 150 miles approximately. Before heading down to Arches National Park visit Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
Visit The Temple Square
The huge Temple Square complex is owned by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the center of Salt Lake City. This Salt Lake City’s top attraction should be a must see place for out of town visitors.
From the immaculate buildings to the beautiful environment, Temple Square is the most historically significant attraction in all of Salt Lake City that also provides some of the state’s best photo spots.
They offer free guided tour of Temple Square year-round, walk-ins are always welcome but you could also schedule a tour online.
1St Stop In Temple Square – Visit Church Office Building Observation Deck
From the observation deck on the tallest building in Salt Lake City, you have clear, picturesque bird’s-eye views of the Salt Lake Valley, Wasatch Mountains Range, Oquirrh Mountains, Utah State Capitol building and downtown Salt Lake City, including Temple Square.
The observation deck, located on the 26th foor, is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. between October and March, Best time to be there for good picture is in the afternoon for best views of Salt Lake City and Wasatch Mountains be in east side of the deck. If you are visiting there in the morning then get to west side for best view of Temple Square.
2nd Stop In Temple Square – Visit Salt Lake Temple
The Salt Lake Tabernacle, also known as the Mormon Tabernacle, is located on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. Free tours of the thirty-five acre historic Temple Square are a must-do on your visit to Salt Lake City. Missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and volunteer guides are available for tours and information about Utah’s number one tourist attraction. Tours start on the hour from 9am to 8pm at the flagpole west of the Salt Lake Temple, or for your convenience you can book your free Temple Square tour online. Your free 45 minute guided tour of Temple Square will begin at the North Visitors’ Center and includes why it took 40 years to build the Salt Lake Temple; the wonder of the Tabernacle, home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; the Faith and Fortitude of the Mormon Pioneers; and the 11 foot marble Christus statue.
Next Take Photo at Reflection Pool by the Salt Lake Temple
Picture-Perfect Qualities: The pool is located right in front of the Salt Lake Temple (on the east side), and with some creativity you can get a fun shot for your Instagram feed or Facebook photo album. This spot also allows for a variety of shots, i.e. the temple and its re ection in the water, just the temple’s re ection in the water, you and the temple’s re ections or the re ection of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on the northwest side of the pool.
Next Stop in Temple Square – Visit Conference Center Rooftop Gardens
Picture-Perfect Qualities: It’s located across from Temple Square so you’re
able to see stunning views of it and downtown Salt Lake City. Unlike other city rooftops, this one is covered in plants and color like the mountains around it. Some have even compared the rooftop gardens to a park, and for many who visit the Conference Center, enjoying the breathtaking scenery while exploring the rooftop is their favorite part.
Next Visit Joseph Smith Memorial Building
Picture-Perfect Qualities: The 10th oor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building is another great bird’s-eye view of Temple Square, except you’re inside so you stay warm when it’s cold outside and cool during the summer heat. This location is a well-known sel e spot where you can capture the entire Salt Lake Temple in the background from one of the oor’s windows.
Next Stop – Salt Lake (Mormon) Tabernacle in Temple Square
The Mormon Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City is famous for its unusual design and construction. Completed in 1875, the Salt Lake Tabernacle
Final Stop at State Capitol Building in Temple Square
For nearly a century, the State Capitol has been one of Utah’s most prominent landmarks. Designed by local architect Richard K. A. Kletting, the Capitol has been home to state government since its opening in 1916.
Lunch at Lucky 13 Bar & Grill, Salt Lake City
If this joint is not closed due to Thanksgiving holiday then definitely have your lunch at Lucky 13 Bar & Grill, for delicious burger in town. Located at 135 west 1300 Street, Salt Lake City, Tel: 801-487-4416 (call before visiting there). This restaurant is voted the Best Burger in Utah.
Drive To Moab, UT from Salt Lake City
3 Days is not enough to cover the below recommended attractions so may need to skip one or two stops based on priorities:
Salt Lake City –> Arches National Park –> Bryce Canyon National Park –> Antelope Canyon in Northern Arizona –> Back to Salt Lake City
Late Afternoon Arrival at Moab
About 3 hours drive to the town of Moab from Salt Lake City, best location to stay overnight close to Arches National Park, the park entrance is located only 5 miles from the town.
Dinner at the Sunset Grill, 900 N Main St, Moab, UT 84532
Traditional steak & seafood spot with panoramic mountaintop views.
Day 3: Friday November 24, 2017
Right after breakfast check-out from Moab Hotel very early in the morning and head towards Arches National Park.
Arches National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Late Afternoon Arrival at Salt Lake City
Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown, 215 W South temple, Salt Lake City Tel: 801-5317500.
Day 4: Saturday November 25, 2017
Flight to San Francisco
Yasmin need to catch the 8:20 am flight to San Francisco. Make arrangement with the hotel for the free airport shuttle at 6:00 – 6:30 am in the morning.
Marleny’s flight to San Francisco is at 5:35 pm, so have enough window to explore attractions in Salt Lake City.
Visit Utah Olympic Park
The Utah Olympic Park was built for the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games, it is located near Park City, just 25 miles east of Salt Lake City. You will find year-round adventure in the olympic park. From museum to explore Olympic history to activities like Zip, climb, slide, hike and many more. Not a bad idea to get a picture taken with the Olympic torches from the 2002 Winter Games.
Visit Antelope Island State Park
Antelope Island State Park is a Utah state park on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake. The Park is located approximately 41 miles north of Salt Lake City. So if time permits this is a good place to visit.
The Gateway District Plaza for Shopping
The Gateway is Salt Lake City’s only open-air contemporary destination that delivers the ultimate in shopping, dining, and entertainment. Shop and dine at over 100 stores and restaurants. Visit the beautifully restored 1908 Union Pacific Depot featuring early French Renaissance architecture and original artwork. Also, enjoy the Olympic Legacy Plaza featuring the “dancing waters” of the Olympic Snowflake Fountain that is overlooked by a classic clock tower.
Have Lunch at Pago, Award Winning Restaurant in Salt Lake City
For great Lunch/dinning experience pay a visit to Pago an intimate, farm-to-table restaurant in Salt Lake City, serving elevated American cuisine in a casual fine-dining environment. They also have an extensive wines from around the world. Reservation was made through OpenTable located at 878 South 900 East, Salt lake City for November 25, at 1:00 pm, contact telephone: 801-532-0777.
Return Rental Car and Fly to San Francisco
Need to get on the 5:35 pm flight to San Francisco with a stop (change plane) at Los Angeles. Finally arriving at San Francisco is 9:45 pm.
How To Get Around
Renting a car from the airport is the easiest way to drive around Salt Lake City and day trip locations in Utah. No worries getting lost as long as you got working GPS. By renting a car you can ensure that you get to see all of the major attractions at your leisure. It also means that you can afford to be more relaxed about your holiday planning.
If you are not driving then probably Uber is one of the most safe and easiest ways to get around in Salt lake City. No need to pay cash as the ride is shared to your credit card and most of all fares are affordable.
Whether you have a rental car in Salt Lake City or getting around in a taxi or by Uber it is absolutely fun to walk around the city specially in the city center and around Temple Square.
Where to stay in Salt Lake City, UT
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Salt Lake City Airport, Salt Lake City.
Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City downtown, 215 W South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT
Hilton Garden Inn Salt Lake City Airport, Salt Lake City
Favorite Local Restaurants and Food
Salt Lake City is well known for it’s vibrant culinary scene. Whether you spice up your chicken thighs in a Thai curry or sitting in a sushi joint or feel like a tapas bar, the choices are endless. Salt Lake City being in a crossroads of cultures for centuries, as a result you will find many local receipies reflects global influence.
When you crave a good beer get something locally brewed. In fact many bars and restaurants do a good job of supporting local breweries. There are many to choose from.
Have Dinner at Pago Award Winning Restaurant in Salt Lake City
For great dinning experience pay a visit to Pago an intimate, farm-to-table restaurant in Salt Lake City, serving elevated American cuisine in a casual fine-dining environment. They also have an extensive wine list, featuring unique and exceptional wines from around the world. As they are very famous and the space fills up quickly so must make a reservations online or by calling at Tel: 801.532.0777
For Best Burger in Town
Visit Lucky 13 Bar & Grill, for delicious burger in town. Voted the Best Burger in Utah.
My Opinion and Tips
Have you been to Utah? Any additional tips to share?
Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge.
Was this travel guide helpful for you?
If you’d like to help me continue making free guides, here is one way you can help:
- Share This Guide – If you have a friend that would benefit from this guide, share it with them. Or post this guide on Facebook, Twitter or Google+
- Most of my post in Dizzy Traveler Around The World contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.
Your help would definitely help me making more free guides like this. Thank you in advance!
Have you been to Salt Lake City, here are few pictures that will tell the story of Dizzy Traveler and see if you want to now.