If you’re looking for a place to explore Mormon history, this is it. After all, it was the Mormons who settled Utah in the mid-1800s and over 50 per cent of the state’s population are Mormon. Take a look at our Mormon guide to Salt Lake City to discover some of the most interesting sites in Utah.
Begin your Mormon tour in downtown Salt Lake City, at Temple Square. This 10-acre lot includes a tabernacle – where the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs – and, of course, the Salt Lake Temple.
There are 13 Mormon temples in Utah but at over 250,000 square feet, the Salt Lake Temple is the largest Mormon temple in the world. Construction was completed in 1893 and it took over 40 years to build.
If you want to take a peek inside you’ll have to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (this is the official name of the Mormon Church) and have a recommendation from the church to enter.
But don’t worry if you don’t meet these requirements. There’s plenty to explore around the surrounding city blocks.
The Family History Library, located across the street from Temple Square, is a free resource for anyone interested in genealogy. There’s also the Church History Museum next door but it’s currently closed for renovation until autumn 2015.
North of the Salt Lake Temple is the Mormon Conference Center, which is worth checking out for its architecture alone.
Also within a few minutes walk of the above sites are the Joseph Smith Memorial Building (there’s a restaurant on the top level) and the Mormon Church’s office building.
The Church Office Building may not seem like a worthy stop, but visitors can make their way to an observation deck on the 26th floor for one of the best views of Salt Lake.
Just outside of downtown Salt Lake City, on the city’s eastern foothills, is This is the Place Heritage park. Recreating the feel of the old west and what it was like for those early Mormon pioneer settlers, visitors can tour the grounds on a horse drawn carriage and see working blacksmith, tinsmith and saddle maker shops as well as exploring other aspects of early Utah history.
The story of the U.S.’s 45th state is permeated with its important Mormon history, and Salt Lake City is the gateway to exploring this rich cultural heritage.
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Have you been to any of the places in our Mormon guide to Salt Lake City? Have we missed any of your favourite stops? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Billy Yang