Float in the Great Salt Lake
Visit the lake that inspired the city. The Great Salt Lake, the largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere, is a remnant of the prehistoric Lake Bonneville, which covered some 20,000 square miles of land in what is now Utah, Nevada, and Idaho some 10,000 to 30,000 years ago. The present lake is about 75 miles long and 35 miles wide, with a maximum depth of 33 feet. Experience an extra-buoyant swim in the salty waters off Antelope Island State Park. Kayaking, hiking, and camping are also great ways to experience the lake.
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Learn about Joseph Smith
The Legacy Theater in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building is currently showing Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration, a film about the life and legacy of Smith, who founded The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Admission is free and there are several daily showings. Erected in 1911, the building also now houses reception and conference rooms, cafes, and restaurants.
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Tour the Beehive House
The name of this mansion, one of Brigham Young’s two residences, is a tribute to the beehive as a symbol of diligence and productivity. Designed by architect Truman Angell and built in 1854, the home is now a museum offering tours of Young’s domestic life. After the death of Joseph Smith in 1844, Young was made the head of the Mormon Church. He is famed for leading church members from Illinois to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 to escape persecution. In Utah, Young established a civilization in the mountains of Utah and served as territorial governor from 1850-1856. Free tours offered Monday through Saturday offer visitors a glimpse of Young’s wash room, kitchen, family store, a playroom, a bedroom and a gathering/sitting room—all decorated as they would have been when Young was alive.
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Wander the International Peace Gardens
Conceived by the Salt Lake Council of Women in 1939, the Peace Gardens are meant to honor the world’s cultural diversity and foster friendship and peace among all countries. Each of the 26 participating nations has a plot in which to create a garden with native plantings, garden architecture, and statues of world peace leaders typical of its homeland and culture. Take a tranquil stroll along the Jordan River and past Buddha statues, windmills, and Viking tomb replicas. It’s also an ideal place for a picnic or some quiet meditation.
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Get a Glimpse of Pioneer Life
A terrific museum for all ages, the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum offers displays of furniture, decorations, clothing, tools, guns, and other items used by Utah pioneers prior to 1900. Museum highlights include a quilt display, a doll room, and art prints.
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