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A Day in Salt Lake City

door: Cityseeker
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Utah State Capitol Building

The Corinthian theme beautifully amalgamates with the Neoclassical style of architecture to reveal an imposing structure in the form of the Utah State Capitol Building. Completed in 1916, this ornate Seat of the Utah government is crowned with a 165 feet (50 meters) rotunda while its interior is brought to life with artist Lewis Schettle's painting. Massive ionic columns, each carved from a single piece of marble, are thought to be the largest solid marble columns in the United States. Epic paintings around the arches and the rotunda represent Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers.

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The Leonardo Museum

Merging and exploring the connection between science, art and technology, The Leonardo Museum in Downtown Salt Lake City strives to impart knowledge and growth to all of its visitors, be they young or old. Through workshops, interactive displays, and classes, the museum is for those who like to get hands-on. View precious articles of the Dead Sea Scrolls or fiddle with gizmos and gadgets in the Tinkering Garage or even learn how animation works and try your hand at building your own cartoon in the Render exhibit.

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The Beehive House

Brigham Young, president of the Mormon Church and governor of the Utah territory, lived in this genteel home with his dozen children from 1854 until his death. Today, the house is restored with period furnishings and open to the public for tours. Named after the beehive, the state symbol signifying thrift and industry, the house stands in vivid contrast to the 300-square-foot cabin once occupied by the "prosperous" Deuel family and now displayed just two blocks west near the Museum of Church History and Art. Guided tours begin every ten minutes and are free.

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Salt Lake Temple

An opulent granite monument, designed in a Gothic style, the Salt Lake Temple is commonly known as the Mormon Church. As testimony of the faith and devotion of the people, this structure took over 40 years to build from 1853. Like other Latter-day Saints temples, this one too is not open for public tours and only members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are permitted to enter. However, the temple grounds can be visited, making it a popular tourist attraction for those looking to experience the magnificence first-hand.

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Temple Square

Selected as the spot for the epic Mormon Temple by Brigham Young himself, the iconic Temple Square is the religious locus of Salt Lake City. A stirring mosaic of history, religion, architecture and sophisticated gastronomy, the historic Temple Square invokes an ethereal picture further riddled with the nuances of art, theater and culture. Ever since it was first built, Temple Square has been the headquarters of the Church of Latter Day Saints, containing not only the Salt Lake Temple, but the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Family History Library and the Assembly Hall as well. This revered downtown expanse is laced by a tapestry of shops, restaurants, parks, gardens and an array of other historical sites. The elaborate South Visitors' Center illustrates the history of the temple whereas the North Visitors' Center is home to a scaling statue of Christ, called 'The Christus'.

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Clark Planetarium

Occupying an impressive limestone structure built in 1905; this interactive museum offers the young and young-at-heart an entertaining look at the universe. An ideal reward for kids who behaved well while touring nearby Temple Square, the museum encourages participation with simulated space flights, star shows and dancing laser lights. Its Hansen Dome Theater boasts of over 200 seats and is the first of its kind to give viewers the pleasure of exploring the universe in three dimension without the use of glasses. The theater has spectacular projectors and its state-of-the-art acoustics are second to none. In addition, the Clark Planetarium is home to an ATK IMAX Theater which showcases Hollywood blockbusters along with informative films. The films generated by the Clark Planetarium have reached corners of the globe, and some of their applauded shows are Perfect Little Planet, Gateway to the Stars, Extreme Planets and the Ultimate Universe. Astronomy courses are available for all ages in the summer and special programs are scheduled throughout the year.

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Cathedral of the Madeline

This Roman Catholic cathedral stands majestically near the avenues in Salt Lake City. The building was renovated in 1990. The Romanesque facade, with gargoyles and stained glass, invites visitors to enter its Gothic Revival chambers within. The Eccles organ welcomes all with its reeds and diapasons booming their robust tones. The clergy holds Mass regularly.

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Ensign Peak

This small mountain peak trail offers spectacular views of the Great Salt Lake and the surrounding valley. It's rumored that Brigham Young hiked to the peak to survey the area and discussed the plans he had for constructing the city he intended to build. To commemorate this, a small monument can be seen from the summit. A well-marked path with remarkable views, this trail is well worth a hike.

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Liberty Park

The largest and most central property of the city's public park system, this 80 acre Liberty Park offers recreational activities for all. Children applaud the Children's Garden and boating pond, playground, amusement park and snack bar. Older visitors enjoy the swimming pool and the tennis park's 16 lighted courts. Recent developments have added a well-conceived interactive map that uses pools and fountains to depict the topography of Utah. Liberty Park is also home to the ever-popular Tracy Aviary, the Chase Mill and the Chase Home Museum of Folk Art.

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Natural History Museum of Utah

The Natural History Museum of Utah lets you embark on a journey into the natural world offering extensive collections of biological, archaeological and anthropological documentations, archives and articles. It also offers exhibits specific to the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau, and is a center for information on a variety of subjects. Located at the University of Utah, the Museum is educational as well as entertaining for adults and children alike with impressive, interactive displays. Their biology collection includes more than 300,000 species of mammals, vertebrates, birds, insects as well as seeds while the geological collection boasts of more than 50,000 minerals, rocks and fossils. These collections are carefully exhibited in the the Cooper Hall of Anthropology, Earth science galleries, Norton Hall of Minerals, Life science halls and the Dumke Gallery. In addition, the museum is an address to the fascinating Quinney Dinosaur Discovery Hall. Special statewide outreach programs include curriculum kits for teachers, field trips, guided tours and natural history classes.

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Mill Creek Canyon

This spacious recreation area in Salt Lake City is full of hiking and biking trails and beautiful scenery. Discover babbling brooks, various designated picnic areas, and rushing waterfalls. Hike along one of the many trails to find a meadow full of flowers or gorgeous vista point perfect for taking in the views. And with such a cheap entrance fee for vehicles, visiting the park with family and friends is a cost effective and fun outdoor activity.

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Great Salt Lake State Park

A teeming nature preserve in Salt Lake County, this serene park rests along the southern shore of the Great Salt Lake. Sheltering a sprawling marina, the Great Salt Lake State Park began operations in 1978, and has been popular with bathers since the Mormon Pioneers first arrived in the middle of the 19th century. A small visitors' center offers a museum, local information and a video about the lake, while the private SaltAir development provides a few shops, food outlets, and space for events. A breeding ground for hundreds of thousands of migratory birds, the park is sheathed in extensive wetlands, and has been a popular site with birders.

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