The Beehive State also known as Utah is one of the best places to be in in the US. This western state is home to countless amazing sights to see and activities to experience. As the 13th largest state in the US, it can be quite overwhelming to step into the streets of Utah in one go. Of course, in the Beehive State, one place that stands out the most is Salt Lake City. For families or solo backpackers looking for a good time, then Salt Lake City might be the ideal spot for them.

Getting to Know Salt Lake City, Utah

Also known as the Crossroads of the West, Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah. The city has a population of, well, over a hundred thousand. But aside from the lively and welcoming people, Salt Lake City is best known for its tourists attractions, amazing hotels, and of course, mouth-watering dishes from the best restaurants.

The city takes its name from the Great Salt Lake which is in its vicinity. It was even previously called as the Great Salt Lake City but people have since dropped the great from its name. That does not mean the city is any less amazing though. In fact, years of development have made Salt Lake City even better for the eyes of the tourists. Underneath these amazing developments is a rich history as well.

The History of Salt Lake City, Utah

The Shoshone, Goshute, Ute and Paiute people had lived in the Salt Lake Valley for thousands of years before the settlers came. Before the Great Salt Lake got its name, the Goshute tribe called it as Pi’a-pa which meant “big water.” The first major explorer to set foot in the area was believed to be Jim Bridger in 1825 but experts argue that there were a few others who have already set foot in the city before him though.

salt lake city history
Jim Bridger, one of the first people to set foot on the Salt Lake City, Utah (Source)

The first settlement in the area was established during the arrival of the Latter-day Saints on July 24, 1847. One of those that set foot in the Salt Lake Valley was Brigham Young who was a church leader. Shortly after his arrival, the Salt Lake Temple was built. This would go on to become a famous landmark for the church and for the city as well.

The next major structure built on the area was the Temple Square. It took 40 years to complete square which would later on become the centerpiece and the icon of Salt Lake City. To this day, these establishments stands strong and are well-cared for by the local government and institutions dedicated to preserving it.

As more and more people settled in the city, it only became bigger and bigger. To this date, the city has been the holding grounds for a few major events including the 2002 Winter Olympics and the Winter Deafylimpics in 2007. Now that we know about the city’s rich history and why it is named as such, it is not time to prepare for a great trip ahead.

What is the time zone in Salt Lake City?

Salt Lake City is on the Mountain Standard Time Zone. It is roughly 7 hours behind the Greenwich Median Time Zone. Since it is Utah’s capital city, people should not worry about landing too late or too early when booking their flights. The city is rather busy through and through but of course, a flight that would land just at the afternoon would be perfect.

Since Salt Lake City and Utah is fairly large, it would be better to schedule a trip that lasts a few days or maybe even a week long. This is not enough to visit all there is to visit in the city but it will get people to the top spots in the area. Let’s now talk about the climate and the best time to visit Salt Lake City.

What is the climate in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City has four seasons, winter, summer, and two rainy transitional seasons in between. Finding the perfect month to visit the area is basically a question of whether or not you want to experience Utah’s white snowy winter. Of course, travelers could also opt to visit when summer keeps the streets hot.

Summers are relatively hot in Salt Lake City. The temperatures reach above 100 °F (38 °C). Utah and Salt Lake City are not beach areas so people should not expect to spend a warm day at the beach during the summer. Still, there are a ton of places to cool off in if the temperatures get too hot. A lot of the visitors in Salt Lake City go there not for the summer though.

Winter is the best season in Salt Lake City. Snow is relatively common but the temperatures rarely fall below 0 °F (-18 °C). The Rocky Mountains to the east and north usually block the cool polar highs which could cause the temperatures to drop to very low temperatures. With its climate in mind, let us now consider the best month to visit Salt Lake City.

What is the best month to visit Salt Lake City?

Considering the climate, many travelers prefer visiting Salt Lake City from September to October. The kids are already in school during these months and skiers are not yet present in the area. Furthermore, there are many hotels that offer discounts during these months. People can also visit the Utah State Fair in September and the Utah Humanities Book Festival in October.

Traveling during the months of November to early January is not exactly best for those trying to avoid heavy crowds. Skiers flock the state during this time and while hotel discounts are fairly common, it would be harder to find cheap rooms as many other tourists are looking for cheap buys as well.

The spring and summer season could also be a great time to enjoy all of the things to do in Salt Lake City. The weather is perfect during spring and this makes hikes and treks all the more better. The summer on the other hand, can get too hot. However, there are some waterparks in the state and city to keep travels warm.

With these in mind, it is now time to talk about all of the best things to do in Salt Lake City.

What to Do in Salt Lake City, Utah?

Salt Lake City has a lot to offer. There are so many of them that it can be quite hard to tour the city in just one day. So, we listed some of the best yet unusual things to do in Salt Lake City to help you experience the city in a different way. While these activities and attractions are uncommon to other cities, we assure you that you’ll definitely have a good time.

1Watch a Movie and Drink Beer

A sneak peek at Salt Lake City’s cinema pub (Source)

Watching a movie is nice and so is drinking beer. However, you might not find any movie theater that will allow you to drink beer as you watch a movie unless you’re in Salt Lake City, Utah.

If you both love beers and movies, head on to Salt Lake City, Utah as they have a movie theater *slash* pub that allows you to enjoy your beer and your movie at the same time. However, note that outside food and beverage are not allowed inside. Don’t worry, though, as they offer some booze to eat too like burgers and wings, aside from beer. So ditch your cola and regular movie theater popcorn and head on to Salt Lake City, Utah to enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience.

2Watch Movies in 1950s Style

A look at how the drive-in theater works (Source)

Speaking of movies, another one of the unusual things to do in Salt Lake City is watching a movie in a vintage style way. Yes, this City from Utah will make you take a trip down to memory lane or experience how people from the 50s enjoyed watching a movie in a drive-in movie theater. Here, as the name suggests, you can watch a movie outdoors while you are in your parked car. In this era of “Netflix and chill,” it’s kind of rare to find a drive-in theater like in Utah. The best part of it is that you can watch two movies for only $9. It’s such a great deal plus it’s such a unique experience. Thus, we highly recommend you this to add on your travel itinerary.

3Visit a Garden

Some of the beautiful flowers that you can get to see at the Red Butte Garden (Source)

Okay, this might sound so common. But hear us out as there is something unique about this Red Butte Garden, an attraction you’ll only find in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Why does visiting it deserves to be considered as one of the unusual things to do in Salt Lake City, you say? This is because this garden is known as the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West. It has more than 21 acres of beautifully designed gardens plus it has five miles of hiking and walking trails where you’ll get to see more of the place’s beauty. What makes it more unique is that it isn’t just a place to appreciate flowers and other plants. Rather, it also serves as a place for learning as they offer educational programs and other special events too such as summer camps, art exhibits, family nights, and so much more.

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4Get to Know Your Family History

A look at what the Family History Library looks like (Source)

Another one of the unusual things to do in Salt Lake City is getting to know your family tree. Salt Lake City, Utah has a big library where you can get to know more about your family’s history. Called as the Family History Library, this place has been in operation since 1894 and is considered as the largest on-site collection of genealogical data in the whole world. The best part of visiting this place is that you can use microfiche, microfilms, serials, books, periodicals, and other electronic resources to discover your family’s history for free. And while this library is run by a Mormon church, you don’t have to be their member to use this awesome library as it is open to everyone.

5Drive on Sea Salt Flats

A beautiful view of the desert salt that you can only witness at Salt Lake City, Utah (Source)

Thanks to the management of the Bureau of Land Management, the Bonneville Salt Flats in Salt Lake City has been turned into a rather fun attraction. The flats is a 30,000 acre expanse of hard, white salt crust located on the western edge of the city’s historical lake. There is an annual race that can be participate by professional and hobbyists alike. It is one of the most thrilling and unusual things to do in Salt Lake City. Landspeed racing in the salt flats are both exhilarating and fun as the speed the vehicles go by are not for the faint-hearted. It is the perfect activity for those who are living on the extreme. The Utah Rocket Club and the National Archery Association also hold amazing recreational events annually.

6Skydive Indoors

A 73-year-old paraplegic trying out the iFly indoor skydiving activity (Source)

On the topic of extreme activities, travelers should also try out indoor skydiving. Although it is currently under construction, the iFly branch in Salt Lake City is expected to bring a 12 foot wind tunnel to the city. Indoor skydiving is the perfect activity for those who still doesn’t have the means to try skydiving at Dubai but want to know what it feels like to fly.

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When it opens, iFly can also be used for parties and other events. Although there are other indoor skydiving venues in other states, iFly managed areas are always expansive and the rates per sessions are very reasonable. iFly is also very cautious when it comes to the overall safety of their clients so this is also a safe activity.

7Go on a Bike Tour

A beautiful sunset view that you can witness as you go on a bike tour (Source)

A Bike Tour in Salt Lake City, Utah may sound a bit boring. But it’s actually not. Since it is a massive and beautiful city, travelers should first try to explore it through and through. Luckily, Salt Lake City offers an amazing and health chance to do so through bike tours. These travel agencies at the said city organize bike tours to give people the chance to explore all of the key spots in Salt Lake City. The tour guides that come along for the trip are very knowledgeable regarding their city and they can give the tourists a deep insight on all there is to know about the hot spots. The bike tours offer a slow and steady look around one of the fastest growing cities in the US. It is best to book tours early as the agencies tend to accommodate a lot of tourists.

8Release Stress with Axe Throwing

One of the instructors at the attraction, teaching how to correctly throw an axe (Source)

A lot of the people that go on vacation and other trips are probably stressed out with their day-to-day life. For those that want to relieve stress and have fun at the same time, Social Axe Throwing’s activities in Salt Lake City might do the trick. It may count as one of the unusual things to do in Salt Lake City, utah but it sure is fun and stress relieving.

The business was started by a few friends that saw a video of Game of Thrones and Aquaman star Jason Momoa sipping on beer and throwing an axe. It didn’t take long for Social Axe Throwing to open its doors to people that want to try out the unique activity. The establishment also holds weekly axe throwing leagues to see who is the best of the best in Utah when it comes to axe throwing. Who knows, you might become one of the best in the field so why not add this to your itinerary?

9Feel Like an Olympian

A man trying out the freestyle ski jumping to complete his bucket list (Source)

Another one of the unusual things to do in Salt Lake City, Utah is to experience being like an Olympian… Sort of. This is because Back in 2002, the US was the host for the Winter Olympics and it was in Salt Lake City where the major sporting event was held. The city also hosted the Paralympic Winter Games. During the event, over 2500 Olympians from 77 nations competed in Salt Lake and in other nearby locations. It was one of the largest iterations of the Winter Olympics when considering the number of those in attendance. People can visit the Utah Olympic Park to see where the big sporting event happened but there is more to it than that. It also has a few fun-filled activities such as extreme zip lining, adventure courses, and more that will make you experience being like an Olympian. The Cosmic Bobsled Ride is also a must for thrill-seekers.

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There are so many other things that you can do in Salt Lake CIty. But these are the ones that we highly suggest as these will give you a very unique travel experience. Planning to visit the Salt Lake City soon? Which one of these will you add to your travel itinerary?