This was our first visit to Salt Lake City. The history here is interesting. Brigham Young and his Mormon followers built a community in a barren, desolate area in 1847. They were the first non-Indian settlers in the area.
Mormons are not a majority in Salt Lake City. They are just under 50% of the population, which we found surprising.
As we often do in large cities, we found a tour to take. Our preference is a hop on, hop off bus tour, but the only one in town was running one bus and it was an hour and a half wait at each stop if you got off.
Instead, we opted for the Salt Lake Trolley Tour, and we’re glad we did. It bills itself as a “sightseeing show tour” with a conductor playing the roles of many historical figures, while the driver pitches in with additional stories and music. Very enjoyable.
We made stops at several iconic locations.
With a mountain backdrop, the Utah State Capitol sits overlooking the downtown. It is a beautiful building that underwent a $600 million renovation. We toured the rotunda with its beautiful marble walls.
Guarding the entrance of the Capitol building are two statues.
According to our guide, the two statues represent the two political parties. On one side is the Republican Party, and on the other side is the Democratic Party. It doesn’t matter which is which because they both are a Lion. Ba-dum-bum. 🤣
Union Pacific Train Station
The trolley made a stop in front of the train station to tell us an interesting tidbit. When Walt Disney traveled through Salt Lake City, he was so enamored with the architecture of the station that it became the model for all the Disney train stations.
Across from the station sits vivint SmartHome Arena – the arena where the Utah Jazz play their home games.
The Cathedral of the Madeleine
The Cathedral of the Madeleine is an historic Catholic Church that is the mother church for Roman Catholics in the State of Utah. Built in 1900, the church architecture is dramatic inside and out, and features many ornate stained glass windows.
The Great Salt Lake
We had to take a trip to The Great Salt Lake, the largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere covering more than 1,500 square miles. Parts of the lake can be up to eight times saltier than the ocean.
We were told the best beach access was at Antelope Island State Park. On our drive through the park, we saw a couple of large bison.
We walked out into the lake. We had planned on swimming, but there were millions of gnats that made the idea unappealing. We did stand in the water though.
We’re happy to be leaving. Something about big cities – they just aren’t as relaxing as the open country. On to our next stop.