SALT LAKE TOURIST & VISITOR CENTER
A Five Minute Guide to Salt Lake City With Answers To Common Questions
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Our 5 Minute Guide to Salt Lake City
So, While You're in Town, Maybe for the First Time, These Answers to Common Questions Should Help You.
Mormons, Is Everyone In Salt Lake City Mormon?
No. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints make up around 60 percent of the state's population, but fewer than half the residents of Salt Lake City are LDS Church members.
Can I get a drink in Salt Lake City?
Yes. Yes. Yes. A series of liquor law reforms passed in 2009 abolished the state's much-derided private club law. Getting a drink in Salt Lake City (and elsewhere in Utah) is now as simple as walking into a bar and ordering one. Same as every place else. Cheers.
How do I find my way around Salt Lake?
No problem at all. Salt Lake is mapped out on a grid system, with downtown's Temple Square acting as the starting point. So, if you want to hit a restaurant or bar with an address of 300 South and 200 East, ( 3rd South 2nd East ) you go three blocks south of Temple Square, then two blocks east, and you're there. Easy Huh?
Is it hard to get around Salt Lake?
Not when it's explained to you, but bear in mind that Salt Lake City blocks are longer than most cities, so if you're going to a restaurant or bar six blocks from your hotel, it's close to a mile. The good news: the TRAX light rail system runs through the heart of downtown, putting you within an easy walk of many dining and nightlife options. And best of all, it's free in the downtown area. Now the bad news, Trax does not run on Sundays!
Visit Temple Square.
Downtown Salt Lake City is headquarters of the LDS Church "The Mormons" and has a large visitors center providing regularly scheduled tours for visitors. The adjacent Church History Museum and Joseph Smith Memorial building are also high on the list of visited sites.
Shopping, Shopping, Shopping.
City Creek, is a mixed-use development with a massive shopping experience, office, residential buildings and simulated creek across from Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake.
Utah's fabled ski resorts are as close as 40 minutes away from downtown. Brighton and Solitude, and Alta and Snowbird in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, respectively, are all accessible by public transit (UTA). The Park City resorts (the Canyons, Deer Valley and Park City are an easy 40-minute drive up Interstate 80. If you don't bring your equipment, ski and snowboard rental shops where you can buy discounted ski passes can be found on Ski Salt Lakes Official Site. And yes, there's always plenty of snow.
Gambling Utah? Slots, Blackjack, Poker Anyone?
Wendover, Nevada is 120 miles west of Salt Lake City and boasts five casinos. Less than two hours on I-80 from downtown Salt Lake.
Here's A Lot More Info About Our City.
___ AREA CODES ___
The area code for Salt Lake City and surrounding cities is ( 801 )
Park Citys area code is ( 435 )
___ HELPFUL PHONE NUMBERS ___
Highway Conditions - 964-6000
Temperature - 467-8463
Airport Information - 575-2400
Public Transportation - 287-4636
___ TIME ZONE / LATITUDE / LONGITUDE ___
Salt Lake City, Utah is in the Mountain Time Zone and follows Daylight Savings Time. For International visitors, we are 2 hours behind New York, so if it's 8am there, it's 6am here, and 1 hour ahead of the West Coast, California time.
Salt Lake City's Latitude and Longitude
Latitude: 40 degrees, 47 minutes north.
Longitude: 111 degrees, 57 minutes west.
___ POPULATION ___
Salt Lake City Metro: 170,000
Salt Lake Area: 1.3 million
Wasatch Front: 1.9 million
The Wasatch Front is roughly 80 miles long with Ogden approximately 40 miles north of the Salt Lake Valley and Provo approximately 40 miles south of the Salt Lake Valley.
Utah: 3 million
___ ELEVATION ___
Salt Lake City: 4330 feet / 1320 meters
Snowbird: 8100 feet / 2469 meters
___ CLIMATE ___
Salt Lake City enjoys four separate seasons.
Summer is usually warm, dry, sunny with low humidity.
Fall starts to bring the colors out with cooler temperatures.
Winter usually enjoys above freezing temperatures during the day with powdery snow in the mountains. Cold after dusk.
Spring is usually nice enough for a round of golf in the valley, with skiing in the mountains.
___ TEMPERATURE AVERAGES ( F. ) ___
___ HOW TO DRESS ___
Dress the way you want! But hopefully you will check the upcoming weather, 10-day forecasts, etc. and dress accordingly.
___ SALT LAKE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ___
The Salt Lake City International Airport is within 2.5 hours from half of the nation's population. The airport is situated just west of Salt Lake City and about 10 minutes from downtown and serves more than 20 million passengers annually and ranks as the 27th largest airport in the nation. The airport also ranks as one of the most cost-efficient, large hub airports in the United States.
The airlines serving Salt Lake City operate over 750 daily departures to over 100 nonstop destinations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Salt Lake City International Airport is typically ranked in the top 10 U.S. airports for on-time performance by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Salt Lake City serves as a major western hub for Delta Air Lines. This hub enhances Utah's economy in employment and facilities. The following commercial airlines operate from Salt Lake City International Airport: America West, American, Continental, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, SkyWest, Southwest, TWA and United.
___ INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS ___
Interstate 80 (east to New York City / west to San Francisco), Interstate 15 (north to Canada / south to Mexico) and Interstate 70 (east to Denver) are vital to the efficient movement of goods and materials throughout the region. Both I-80 and I-15 cross in Salt Lake City allowing convenient access to the Wasatch Front and points beyond. The I-215 belt route offers expanded access along the eastern and western areas of the valley.
___ AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION - SHUTTLES ___
The airport is located about ten minutes west of downtown Salt Lake. Taxis, limos, buses and shuttles supply service to anywhere in the valley and the local ski resorts. A one-way taxi from the airport to downtown is usually around $ 24.00. Some of our Salt Lake City Hotels provide free airport shuttle services, so call them before you arrive to make arrangements.
More Info on What Is There To Do In Salt Lake City
___ SALT LAKE CITY SKI RESORTS - How Close To Our Airport ___
Alta is only 33 miles from the airport.
Brighton is only 35 miles from the airport.
Snowbird is only 31 miles from the airport.
Solitude is only 33 miles from the airport.
___ DRIVING ROUTES TO SALT LAKE'S SKI RESORTS: ___
From the airport, leave the airport and take I-80 east (left lane) (about 1/4 mile from the airport), about 1.5 miles you will see the entrance to I-215 south (towards Cheyenne & Provo) Go south on I-215 about 12 minutes, it will curve towards the mountains, about another 2 to 3 minutes you will get off at 6200 South and follow the ski markers.
From downtown, take I-15 South to I-215 East. Follow that to 6200 south, get off and follow ski markers. It's about 15 to 20 minutes from the downtown area to 6200 south.
___ PARK CITY SKI RESORTS & DRIVING INSTRUCTIONS ___
The Canyons is only 33 miles from the airport.
Deer Valley is only 39 miles from the airport.
Park City Mountain Resort is only 37 miles from the airport.
From the airport take I-80 east ( about 1/4 mile from the airport, so stay in the left hand lane ), about 5 miles you will see the entrance to I-15 Southbound, take I-15 to I-80 East towards Cheyenne. In less than 4 minutes you will see the signs for Park City. Stay left side, this is Parleys Canyon, and you will be there in less than 25 minutes.
From downtown, take I-15 Southbound to I-80 Eastbound, and the same info above applies.
___ LIQUOR LAWS ___
See our adjoining page for a complete rundown. Liquor Laws
___ PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ___
The UTA ( Utah Transit Authority ) provides an extensive bus & light rail ( TRAX ) service throughout the valley. Fares are $2.50 within the valley. They also provide airport transportation, service to the ski areas and door to door service for disabled passengers. For more info visit Utah's Ski Bus.
___ RELIGIOUS SERVICES ___
Although Salt Lake City is the home of the world-wide headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ( The Mormons ), over 40 % of Utah's population call another religion the one they choose to practice. Our citizens are a mix of religious and cultural backgrounds, so you should be able to find your religious service being practiced here. In fact, there are more than 25 Catholic Churches alone in the Salt Lake Valley.
___ SALT LAKE CITY... AN OVERVIEW ___
Salt Lake City, city in Utah, state capital, and seat of Salt Lake County. Located in the north central part of the state, it is 24 km (15 mi) east of its namesake, the Great Salt Lake, and lies along the western slope of the Wasatch Range. The entire Salt Lake Valley was once part of the basin of ancient Lake Bonneville. Today, the Jordan River passes through the city. Salt Lake City is the international headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church. It is the largest and most important city in a large region of the interior West and serves as the industrial, financial, religious, and commercial center of Utah.
Salt Lake City has a dry climate, with only 411 mm (16.2 in) of precipitation per year. However, the mountains in the Wasatch Range are well watered, and the runoff is used to water the valley. The average July daytime-nighttime temperature range in the city is 33 to 18C (92 to 64F), and the average January range is 2 to -7C (36 to 19F).
___ SALT LAKE CITY & ITS METROPOLITAN AREAS ___
Salt Lake City lies high above sea level in a mountain valley flanked by the Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the southwest.
Salt Lake City proper is relatively small, only 282.5 sq km (109.1 sq mi) in land area. However, the Salt Lake City-Ogden metropolitan area includes all of Salt Lake County, Weber County, which includes the city of Ogden, and Davis County. The metropolitan area includes 4,189.3 sq km (1,617.5 sq mi). The city is also at the heart of a larger metropolitan corridor called the Wasatch Front. This is a strip of land running north and south along the western slope of the Wasatch Range. It stretches about 160 km (about 100 mi) from Spanish Fork on the south to Brigham City on the north, and includes the major Utah cities of Springville, Provo, Orem, American Fork, Lehi, Sandy City, Taylorsville, West Valley City, Bountiful, Farmington, Kaysville, and Layton.
Downtown Salt Lake City is noted for its broad streets and spacious blocks, a legacy of the Mormon settlers who laid out the city in 1847. The city was built on a grid system based on the four streets bordering Temple Square, the focus of the downtown area. Inside the square is the Mormon Temple, which took 40 years to build from 1853 to 1893. Other important buildings are the Salt Lake City and County Building, the Mormon Tabernacle, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints Conference Center, the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Madeleine, the Salt Palace Convention Center, and the Energy Solutions Arena.
Ten blocks west of Temple Square lies the Utah State Fair Grounds, and the Utah state capitol stands four blocks to the northeast. South of Temple Square is the city's central business district. The main campus of the University of Utah is situated about 3 km (2 mi) east of the city center.
___ POPULATION & CULTURE ___
The city's population declined from 163,033 in 1980 to 159,936 in 1990 as residents moved to the suburbs.
Since then the population has increased, and by 2000 it was 181,743. According to the 2017 census, whites are 79.2 percent of the population, Asians 3.6 percent, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders 1.9 percent, blacks 1.9 percent, and Native Americans 1.3 percent. People of mixed heritage or not reporting their ethnic origins are 12.1 percent of the population. Hispanics, who may be of any race, are 18.8 percent of the people. The metropolitan area has 1,333,914 people, compared to 1,072,227 in 1990.
Salt Lake City has been at the forefront of education in Utah since 1850, when the University of Deseret was founded. Renamed the University of Utah, it now ranks as Utah's largest institution of higher education. Westminster College was founded in 1875 as a mission school of the Presbyterian Church and remained under Presbyterian control until 1974, when it became a secular institution. The Salt Lake Community College is the state's largest two-year institution. It was founded in 1948 as the Salt Lake Area Vocational School.
Prominent cultural and historical institutions in Salt Lake City include the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the Utah Museum of Natural History, both associated with the University of Utah. Important Mormon institutions include the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Museum of Church History and Art and the adjacent Family History Library, which is famous as a center for genealogical research. Other popular destinations in the city include Beehive House, the former home of Mormon leader Brigham Young; the Pioneer Memorial Museum, which houses pioneer artifacts such as 19th-century furniture; the Utah State Historical Society, located in the historic Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Station; and This Is The Place Heritage Park, which includes Old Deseret Village, a re-created village illustrating daily life in pioneer Utah. Salt Lake City is home to a number of performing arts groups, including the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Utah Symphony, and the Utah Opera. Cultural events include Pioneer Day on July 24, which celebrates the arrival of the Mormons to the Great Salt Lake Valley; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Semi-Annual Conference, held in April and October; and the Utah State Fair in September.
Around the city, the Wasatch Range provides excellent opportunities for hiking and downhill and cross-country skiing. Six major ski areas, Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton, Park City and Deer Valley are less than an hour's drive from downtown. Vivint Arena is the home of the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA). To the east of the city, Hogle Zoological Gardens has many animals and birds and a children's zoo. The city has several fine parks, including Memory Grove, which honors Utah's war dead along City Creek Canyon just north of downtown; Liberty Park, the city's oldest, which includes the Brigham Young Grist Mill and a folk art museum; and Jordan River State Park, where more than 20 countries are represented in the International Peace Gardens. Red Butte Garden and Arboretum, a part of the University of Utah, is one of the city's most popular parks. Located in the mountains just east of the university, it includes more than 150 acres of gardens and natural areas.
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Enjoy Salt Lake and all of Utah as much as we do.
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