Best Museums In Salt Lake City
BY Christine BalazSalt Lake City Local Expert
Salt Lake City has quite a story to tell. Fortunately for its residents and visitors, it also has a diverse selection of top-notch museums to illustrate the various facets of its past and present.
If you’re interested in how Utah’s incredible backcountry came into existence, consider a trip to the Natural History Museum of Utah, at the University of Utah. Here you’ll catch exhibits depicting the eons of geologic activity that have shaped this colorful piece of the earth. You’ll also see fossils and replicas of great dinosaurs and other ancient life that occupied the Great Basin in bygone millenia. Located in a brand new, top-notch, beautiful facility at the base of Wasatch foothills, this museum will captivate adults as much as children. While on campus, swing by the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, a nearly 75,000-square-foot building with a collection spanning roughly 4,000 years.
If the kids didn’t get enough at the Natural History Museum, head west to Discovery Gateway, inside theGateway Center. Totally redesigned and relocated in 2006, this colorful, stimulating facility is a pleasure to visit.
Salt Lake Museum Offers Its First Immersive Art Exhibit In Spanish
BySydnee Gonzalez, KSL.com | Posted – Aug. 30, 2022 at 5:12 p.m.
Lindsey Dunlap and Lilian Aguilar watch “From Monet to Kandinsky,” an immersive experience offered with Spanish narration, at The Leonardo in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.
Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
SALT LAKE CITY As Salt Lake resident Maria Elena Romero sat through an immersive art experience Tuesday, it wasn’t the scenes of flowers or portraits that made her emotional. It was the fact that the exhibit was narrated in her first language of Spanish.
“It felt very emotional because as an immigrant person, you have to navigate these different systems and being able to have this space open to me that way is incredible,” said Romero, a Salvadoran-American who grew up on the west side of Salt Lake City. “This inclusivity and accessibility was not available growing up as a Spanish-speaking, Salvadorian Latina student.”
The exhibit, “From Monet to Kandinsky,” is an immersive art exhibit that uses narration, music and moving digital images to walk audiences through the works of several artists who lived during the Industrial Revolution. It’s the first immersive exhibit that The Leonardo museum will offer in Spanish.
José V. Borjón, head consul of Mexico in Salt Lake City, called the decision to offer a Spanish narration for the exhibit a critical step to removing barriers to art and culture in Utah.
More information, including exhibit times and ticket prices, is available here.
See Salt Lake City Like Never Before On A Trolley Adventure
Another great way of seeing the amazing historical sights in Salt Lake City is with a trolley tour.
These tours take place on detailed replicas of classic trolleys and will guide you through all the citys mansions, cathedrals, and mountains.
While onboard the trolley, youll be treated to a number of performances from the incredibly charismatic and theatrical guides.
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Descend Deep Into The Timpanogos Cave
The Timpanogos Cave was declared a national monument in 1922, and access is restricted to guided tours only. Tours only last about an hour and are limited to a small number of people.
Visiting this incredible cave system is totally worth the adventure, as marvelous trails, formations, and underground animals can be found here.
Catch The Latest Blockbuster At Redwood Drive
The Redwood Drive-in Movie Theater in Salt Lake City is a fully functioning drive-in theater that has been running for more than 70 years.
Far from a relic of the past, the theater has advanced equipment, including a digital projection system and a powerful FM audio broadcast system.
Its film lineup is also always up-to-date with the latest movies playing in conventional cinemas.
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See The Local Crown Jewel Sugar House Park
Known locally as the Crown Jewel of Salt Lake area parks, Sugar House Park gets its flattering nickname from its vistas, large pond, and multiple public pavilions. The park also has courts fields for soccer and baseball, a basketball court, more than one playground, and a small amphitheater.
On top of that, the parks fantastic road is also shared by drivers, walkers, hikers, and, in the winter, cross country skiers.
The Best 10 Museums In Salt Lake City Ut
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small and short!! Appreciate all the recycled art the museum has but was hoping for more interaction
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I wasnt much of a history museum person until this visit. I was told to check out a natural
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Great museum for kids! They have a lot of different stations for kids to see and participate in. Upstairs art area was a favorite.
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Excellent museum with a plethora of Toyota Land Cruisers. Staff is very friendly and helpful. Definitely will be visiting here again!
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Amazing experiencegreat museum! Displays really capture pioneer Utah. I would highly encourage a visit to this museum for anyone visiting SLC.
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I will preface this review with saying I am not Mormon. The great news is that this museum is very
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What a gem to stumble upon in the park! This little museum was amazing and this is why it gets 5
Such a great museum! This place is relatively small but jampacked with thousands of genuine
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Go For A Bird Walk At Tracy Aviary & Botanical Gardens
Located in Liberty Park, which is Salt Lake Citys second-largest public park, Tracy Aviary is dedicated to the conservation and restoration of local birds and their habitats.
The aviary takes up a full 8 acres of the park and includes lots of exotic and unique birds that visit the feeders on the premises.
Among a number of other activities, the place offers scenic bird walks through the Salt Lake Valley.
Interact With Sloths And Asian Otters At Seaquest Utah
SeaQuest in Layton, Utah, has over 1,500 hundred unique species of invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals from five different continents.
Here, youll be able to interact with stingrays, sloths, Asian otters, kinkajou and all kinds of other critters.
The company makes sure that animals are healthy and happy, so much so that youll even be able to feed them while youre here.
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Explore The City And Solve Puzzles With Scavenger Games
Salt Lake City offers a number of enjoyable scavenger games and activities that will have you exploring the entire city and solving puzzles and riddles.
Along the way, see important historical landmarks like the Salt Lake City Temple and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
This is a perfect activity for groups of friends, families, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and even work groups.
Discovering The Museums Of Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, known as The Crossroads of the West, is not only Utahs capital and largest city but a city full of group-tour attractions, including some excellent museums. These museums provide glimpses into the citys intriguing pioneer and religious past and also its modern artistic, scientific and technological side.
Several museum attractions are located in historic Temple Square surrounding Salt Lake Temple . Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, led by Brigham Young, founded Salt Lake City in 1847. The Museum of Church History and Art spotlights church history through permanent and temporary educational exhibits, including Mormon artwork and artifacts from around the world. Guided tours are available by appointment.
Youngs first house, the Beehive House, was built in 1854 and restored in 1960 as a historic house museum with many original furnishings. The beehive atop the house is a Mormon representation of industry. Visitors can also visit the Lion House, Youngs second home, built in 1865, and dine in the Pantry Restaurant there.
The nearby Salt Lake City Art Center has recently been given a Best of State Award. The art museum displays contemporary art by local and international artists and was recognized as Utahs Best Museum in 2011.
Museum of Fine Arts
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Check Out Squatters Pub Brewery Salt Lake Citys First Brewpub
Salt Lake Citys first local brewpub, the Squatters Pub Brewery was built in an abandoned hotel in 1989 and has been winning awards since it first opened.
It also serves delicious bourbon burgers, mac and cheese, and other delicious pub classics. All of the ingredients are locally sourced and sustainably focused.
Community Engagement & Workshops
A gallery located on the first floor is used as a space to facilitate engagement with contemporary folk and traditional arts and artists. Throughout the year, the Chase Home Museum hosts a variety of events that include: temporary exhibitions by local artists, hands-on activities geared towards children, and artist facilitated workshops where participants learn the history and techniques of different traditional arts.
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See One Of Americas Largest Cemeteries On A Haunted Ghost Tour
Just like any other place in the United States, Salt Lake City is rich with history, some of it very dark. Embark on a ghost tour to see some of the oldest and most haunted spots in the city, including Americas largest municipally-owned graveyard.
Take pictures in haunted mansions, abandoned train depots, and plenty of other spooky spots, as you listen to the numerous ghost stories that surround them.
Take A Snowmobile Tour
The Salt Lake area is surrounded by rivers, mountains and forests, which can be enjoyed as snowmobile trails.
Explore nearby areas like Wasatch Mountain, Mirror Lake, Mill Hollow, Mount Nebo, and Skyline Drive.
Local rentals are available, as well as are guided snowmobile tours, so anyone can enjoy this exciting winter activity.
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Visit The International Peace Gardens At Jordan Park
Jordan Park in Salt Lake City is most famous for being the home of the International Peace Gardens.
Conceived in 1939 and completed after World War II, the gardens represent 28 different countries from around the world.
Jordan Park itself is free and open to wander through, though the Peace Gardens require additional payment for access.
Joseph Smith Memorial Building
While the Joseph Smith Memorial Building may not have the precise designation of being a Salt Lake City museum, one step inside will have your jaw dropping to the floor. The amazing architecture and sparkling chandeliers will make it hard to look away long enough to see everything else the building has to offer.
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Once known as the Hotel Utah, it was renovated as a social center in 1993. It now houses multiple restaurants including the Roof Restaurant, Garden Restaurant, and Nauvoo Café as well as the Legacy Theater auditorium.
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See Historical Combat Aircraft At Hill Aerospace Museum
History buffs and aerophiles, check out some important aircraft used by the US Air Force during World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars, and other historic battles.
One of the top attractions in Utah, Hill Aerospace Museum has over 90 aircraft, as well as ordnance such as missiles, various weapons and combat vehicles. You can also find military uniforms and thousands of other artifacts.
This summer, take the kids to the museum to join the STEM profession sessions, dubbed STEAM Summer Passport Activities for free! Classes are from Wednesdays to Saturdays, with topics History STEAM Insights, Chemistry, Electricity, Newtons Laws, Forces of Flight, Weather and Rockets. This program runs until Aug 6.
Learn About The Citys Neighborhoods On A Segway Tour
There are a lot of fun things to do in Salt Lake city, and it can be tricky to decide what to do first. Luckily, the city has a number of segway tours available at all hours of the day and evening.
Learn some historical facts from experienced guides, as you cruise around in comfort and style. Visit the citys neighborhoods, parks such as City Creek Canyon and Memory Grove, and the Utah State Capitol Building.
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The Pioneer Memorial Museum
Skip the sales pitch at the crowded Temple Square and head up the street to the Pioneer Memorial Museum for a real history lesson and a close look at the odds and ends of Salt Lakes pioneer ancestors and some are very odd. Curated by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, this museum houses six floors of Victorian artefacts, from pioneer hair art, photographs and handmade chairs to a room full of carriages. The tour guides embrace the creepy side of Mormon history without pushing conversion pamphlets.300 North Main Street, +1 801 532 6479, dupinternational.org. Open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Wed 9am-8pm. Admission free
Relive Life From Two Centuries Ago At The Pioneer Memorial Museum
Salt Lake Citys Pioneer Memorial Museum, operated by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, is dedicated to honoring the founders of Utah.
Throughout the museums three floors are rooms that showcase the medicine, clothing, and lifestyle of the founding fathers.
The Pioneer Memorial Museum is free to access and wheelchair accessible, though unfortunately no cameras are allowed while visiting the exhibits!
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This New Immersive Art Experience Features A Wide Range Of Artists With More To Come
The Leonardo launches a new immersive art exhibit that explores a variety of artists and time periods. Like the Beyond Van Gogh exhibit, it features digital art works in motion projected on the walls and floor.
Editors note This article is part of 150 Things To Do, a reporting project and newsletter exploring the best that Utah has to offer. to sign up for the 150 Things weekly newsletter.
The children seem unsure what to do at first.
Colorful art is projected on the walls and floor, spinning with animated elements. Classical music plays overhead, interspersed with explanations of the featured works. The kids stand at their parents sides, looking around uncertainly.
Then one brave toddler ventures onto the center of the floor. He jumps on the projected images, trying to catch them with his feet. Soon the other kids follow, twirling through the artwork with outstretched arms.
With children dancing in it, the exhibit lives up to its name: Art Through Experience: Monet to Kandinsky, running now through Dec. 29 at The Leonardo.
The show uses dozens of projectors to feature nearly 1,000 artworks along with animated graphics and music. Artists in the traveling exhibit offered by Universal Exhibition Group include Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Wassily Kandinsky and others.
Head To Point Of The Mountain For Some Paragliding
The Salt Lake area is truly breathtaking, and one of the best ways to take it all in is by paragliding over it.
Head to the area known locally as Point of the Mountain and take off with an instructor, on your own or with a friend.
There are even tours provided by local experts in order to make sure you fly over the best locations.
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Visit The Islands Of Liberty Park
Salt Lake Citys second-largest public park, Liberty Park boasts a river and two islands all its own.
Theres also a number of playgrounds, basketball courts, volleyball courts and bocce ball courts.
On top of that, its a great place for a picnic under a gazebo or on the grass, and you can walk off the meal on one of many walking or jogging paths.
Try Some Delicious Plant
If youre looking for healthy eats, trying out wholesome meals at Zest Kitchen & Bar is one of the best things to do in Salt Lake City.
Everything it serves is plant-based, gluten-free, and organic.
It also has a large list of signature drinks and cocktails, such as beet sangria and berry lavender lemonade.
We hope youve enjoyed getting a taste of all the fun and exciting things to do in Salt Lake City.
As always, happy travels!
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Visit The Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake, which is where Salt Lake City gets its name from, is the largest saltwater lake on the entire western hemisphere.
The lake is home to a rich natural ecosystem and famous as a refuge for migrating bird species like golden eagles, barn owls, and American avocets. Its a great place for birdwatching! Its also surrounded by incredible hiking trails and camping grounds.
Monte L Bean Life Science Museum
If you live around Brigham Young University or youll be visiting Provo anytime soon, make sure you take some time to stop by the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum. Youll find diversity in every room you visit from the annual photography shows and concepts of evolution to displays of endangered species and the living planet atrium.
Visitors to this enlivened Utah museum can also catch weekly live animal shows where you can get an up-close look at snakes, lizards, bearded dragons, turtles, frogs, tarantulas, and more.
- Location:MLBM, Provo, UT 84602
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