We spent a week in Salt Lake City, and stayed downtown for easy access to all of the sites. I found Salt Lake City a very easy city to get around by car. There were shuttles readily available to take visitors to the The Salt Lake City Temple Square for free tours.
1. International Peace Gardens
We strolled around the International Peace Gardens late one afternoon, and practically had the place to ourselves. There was no fee to enter, although it was slightly difficult to locate, as it was at the back of a parking lot, behind a local playground. It was completely fenced and beautifully maintained. Even the boys enjoyed exploring the walkways and displays.
2. Ensign Peak
Another afternoon, we drove up (and I mean, up) to the entrance for the Ensign Peak hike, which was basically a short, but steep hike, and worth it! We made the mistake of taking a “short cut” to the top, which I do not advise…follow the trail! When we arrived at the top, the sun was beginning to set, so it made for awesome views of Salt Lake City, as well as the Great Salt Lake.
3. This is the Place Heritage Park
The boys and I also took a field trip to This is the Place Heritage Park, a tribute to the Mormon pioneers, which had an Indian village (where they got to make arrowheads and pan for gold), and an 1800s pioneer village where we toured some homes, a saddle shop, a shoemaker, and they got to pound out some designs on leather. We were able to ride a train to the different locations.
4. The Great Salt Lake
We also visited the Great Salt Lake, which unknown to us previously, is actually a State Park, complete with a Junior Ranger program.
The water was on the cool side so we weren’t planning to go in it, but once we arrived, none of the “boys” could resist dipping their feet, and ultimately their legs, into the Salt Lake.
I’ll tell you one thing, the lake looks pretty, but you could smell it from a mile away. You couldn’t have paid me to step into that water. Yuck. It is a dead lake, which means it has no water flowing out of it, so the water only leaves through evaporation and leaves behind salt. Because of the high salt content, no fish can live in it, so its only inhabitants are brine shrimp, brine flies, and algae. Feel like swimming now?
For more information, click Great Salt Lake State Park.
5. Antelope Island
An even better way to experience the Great Salt Lake is from Antelope Island State Park. A small, drivable island, Antelope Island has some nice views and plenty of hiking opportunities. Additionally, the herd of Buffalo that lives on the island is often seen wandering the hillsides.