First time visit to SLC next week. Need advice on short notice.
Salt Lake City areaSalt Lake County - Davis County - Weber County
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Temple Square is very scenic and is sometimes peaceful. Unfortunately, 2 of the last 4 times I've visited I couldn't enjoy the space and my time there because so many of the volunteers wanted to chat, and a polite "No, thank you" didn't end their efforts!
If you visit Temple Square on Thursday, I think that is the night the Tabernacle Choir practices, so you might try to time it right to see them for a few minutes. At dusk, also walk over to City Creek Park and Memory Grove/City Creek Canyon (northeast of Temple Square---east of the state capitol building); they're both beautiful, especially at dusk.
Is Temple Square worth visiting? We were thinking maybe Thursday afternoon.
Here's the deal on Temple Square. It is the 15th most visited tourist attraction in the U.S., hosting five million visitors each year. You just don't visit Salt Lake City and skip Temple Square. It's how you visit it that will make or break the experience. Temple Square is not actually a square -- at least not anymore. It comprises some 35 acres in downtown Salt Lake City, and is the starting point from which the city's street numbering system originates. The "square" is open daily (7 days a week) from 9:00 A.M. till 9:00 P.M. SouthernBelle is right about it getting hot in the middle of the afternoon, but much of what you would see there is indoors anyway, and much of the square is shaded by 100-year-old trees. Everything on Temple Square (except the restaurants, of course) is free. You are not expected to tip your guides; they are not permitted to accept tips. (This leaves you more money to spend at Lagoon and Park City. )
Tours of much of Temple Square are given continually throughout the day. You don't need to take a tour, but you should at least know what to expect if you choose to go that route. The tours are given by your women ("sister missionaries") between the ages of 21 and 23, from all over the world. They are easily identifed by their distincting missionary name tags and by the picture of the flag representing the country they come from. They are missionaries, and there is no getting around that. At least one of the main reasons they are there is to introduce people to Mormonism and to encourage them to want to look into the church's doctrines, etc. in greater depth. I would, however, describe their approach to proselytizing as being pretty "soft sell" for the most part. If the idea of spending 40-minutes on a guided tour with them as your hosts turns you off, then just skip it and visit the two visitors centers (the South and North Visitors Centers) on your own. There's a lot to see in both of those buildings that doesn't require any explanations from anyone. The one big plus to taking a tour is that when you go into the Tabernacle (as you would want to do whether on a tour or on your own), you would be treated to a demonstration of the building's absolutely mind-blowing accoustics. If you do it on your own, you'd have to forego the demonstration.
Just east of the grounds where the Temple stands (and you will not be permitted to actually go inside the temple, although there is a detailed replica of it in the South Visitors Center), you'll see the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. This building was originally built in 1911 as the Hotel Utah and was the city's nicest hotel for probably close to three-quarters of a century. The lobby is gorgeous. While there, you can ask to be directed to FamilySearch, where volunteers will sit down with you and call up one of your family lines on one of their close to 100 computers. They'll then print out your ancestory back as far as it has been documented. This, too, is free.
If you can manage to be on Temple Square between 9:00 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. any day from Monday through Friday, I'd suggest a visit to the Church Office Building where volunteers will escort you up to the 26th floor observation deck for a spectacular view of the east, north and west sides of Salt Lake City and a personally guided commentary on what it is you're looking at. The tour guides there can also offer you suggestions on other things in the city that are worth seeing, both LDS Church-related and otherwise.
Don't miss the LDS Conference Center. It's directly north of the Temple. It's a 1.4 million square foot building with a 21,000 seat auditorium (the largest of its kind in the world) and a roof garden covered with trees, wild flowers and fountains. Tours there last 45 minutes.
You might want to have lunch or dinner at The Pantry at the Lion House. This is one of former Church President Brigham Young's homes. Meals are served cafeteria style, but are definitely not typical cafeteria-style food. It's more like Sunday dinner at Grandma's house -- fried chicken, pot roast, trout, enchiladas, etc. You can take your lunch out into Brigham Young's backyard and eat it on his patio under the trees.
Those are the things I'd suggest at the very minimum. You'd need roughly 6 hours to do everything I suggested, and you could easily spend twice that amount of time if you were interested in doing so. Someone already suggested the Tabernacle Choir's Thursday evening rehersals. These take place in the Conference Center and run from 7:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. You can come and go as you like, though; you don't need to spend the entire hour and a half there if you've got your fill in 20 minutes. There are also organ recitals daily in the Tabernacle (at noon) and at the Conference Center (at 2:00 P.M.). Free. Did I mention that?
Katz, thank you for the detailed suggestions on Temple Square. I will print this out and carry it with me!
As of now, I just don't know how much time we will be dedicating to our pre-planned activities. I really don't feel that Lagoon or Park City will be all day excursions which will open up some free time on Fri & Sat nights. I wonder if Park City will be crowded this time of year? I think of it as a winter time destination, but obviously they have year round attractions. Your information will come in handy for sure.
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
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Originally Posted by Katzpur
you'll see the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. This building was originally built in 1911 as the Hotel Utah and was the city's nicest hotel for probably close to three-quarters of a century. The lobby is gorgeous.
Just as a piece of trivia.
When in the lobby, look at the carpet, and then look at the balustrade railings.
Park City is busy in he summer and can be busier than a regular Winter weekend depending upon the dates. You can easily spend an entire day up there too.
Have breakfast at the Eating Establishment, in Old Town on the very top of Main Street on the west side of the street. Then head to Canyons for your zip line adventure or Olympic Park for zipping and bobsled. Check Olympic Park web for info about the incredible aerial shows that usually happens on Saturday afternoons too. A great way to spend the afternoon but take tons of us screen and apply early and often.
Grab lunch or early dinner at Cafe Terigo then stroll Main Street after you eat and stop in one of the 28 or so art galleries. . Most shops don't open until 10-11 am. It stay open til 9-10ish.
Tons of great bars to check out, I would go to the Sky Lounge which is at the top of the Sky Lodge, located on the NE corner of Heber and Main. Nice atmosphere, nice patio and nice views.
For a bit of "local " flavor, stop in the No Name Saloon and have a beer. It's located about halfway up Main Street on he east side..
If you want any booze on Sunday, get it at the liquor store on Saturday as hey close up tight for Sundays. The LS in Old Town is on Swede Alley adjacent to the parking structure and is open til 10 pm.
Parking is not free and can be confusing to tourists and locals. Park in the parking structure for free for 4 hours and the very top level is free all day. You can park own Main Street and it is about a buck an hour and they have the "pay and display" meters and the time is limited too... dM me if you have any questions on that system....
Excellent advice skibarbie. Thanks so much!! Gosh, maybe I can hire some of you as my personal tour guides.....lol.
After reading your post, I am pretty sure we should get to PC early, between 8-9am.
I am getting more and more excited with each passing day!
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