Salt Lake – Basecamp to Adventure - TravelMole

Salt Lake – Basecamp to Adventure

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024 0


Salt Lake City offers the perfect launching point for an epic National Parks road trip encompassing Grand Teton and Yellowstone to the north, and Utah’s iconic parks like Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion to the south. Whether your clients are seeking stunning landscapes, thrilling outdoor adventures, or simply a chance to reconnect with nature, a road trip through some of the most awe-inspiring places in the U.S. can easily start and end in Salt Lake.


Salt Lake has never been more accessible. The New Salt Lake International Airport (SLC) serves all major U.S. airlines with daily non-stop service to nearly 100 cities including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Vancouver and Mexico City, just to name a few. SLC consistently ranks as the nation’s #1 on-time airport and getting through customs is quick and easy. A variety of rental car options are available on site and the city center is only 8mi/13km or 10 minutes from the airport.


The National Parks are within a 4–5-hour drive from Salt Lake, so a night or two downtown is perfect for acclimating and preparing for a road trip. Here are a few recommended must-see experiences before heading out.


1. Temple Square


Historic Temple Square remains one of the most visited landmarks in the city. While the towering Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ temple is currently undergoing retrofitting and renovation, there are sites that remain open to the public. The FamilySearch Library, one of the largest genealogical libraries in the world, is free for visitors who want to discover their lineage. Completed in 1867, the Tabernacle is home to the world-renown Tabernacle Choir. The public can drop in on most Thursday evenings to hear the choir practice for a truly memorable Salt Lake experience.



2. The Capitol


Completed in 1916, Utah’s Capitol Building showcases stunning neoclassical architecture topped with a copper dome. Visitors can enjoy self-guided tours exploring Utah’s rich history and the building’s impressive interior, which features beautiful marble columns, intricate murals, and ornate chandeliers set against the backdrop of locally sourced Utah granite. Through December 2024, the 4th floor exhibit celebrates 100 Years of Film and Television in Utah. Road trippers will want to make note of the film set locations from their favorite movies to visit on their travels.



3. Natural History Museum of Utah


Set in the gorgeous foothills above the city, the Natural History Museum of Utah is sustainably built and designed to suit the natural landscape. Inside, visitors can learn about Utah’s natural world and an array of dinosaur fossils found here in the Beehive State. Permanent exhibits include Gems and Minerals, Native Voices, the Sky, Past Worlds, and First Peoples.



4. Red Butte Garden & The Bonneville Shoreline Trail


Just next door the Natural History Museum is Red Butte Garden, the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West and the state’s arboretum. It’s home to 8.5 hectares (21 acres) of spectacular plant collections in themed gardens. Visitors can join the Bonneville Shoreline Trail for a short trail warm-up hike before hitting the National Parks. The trail is part of the original shoreline of the ancient Bonneville Lake, which existed during the Ice Age some 33,000 to 13,000 years ago.



5. The Great Salt Lake & Antelope Island


The Great Salt Lake is an important regional, national, and hemispherical destination for migratory birds who feast on the brine shrimp and brine fly larvae, attracting some of the world’s largest populations of birds. The best place to experience the Great Salt Lake is on Antelope Island, a 113 sq km/42 sq mi state park that is home to free-ranging bison, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope. Guided tours from Salt Lake can be found at


6. Food & Drink


The restaurant and bar scene in Salt Lake is surprisingly diverse and robust. With cuisines across the international spectrum, local comfort food to avant-garde cuisine, small cafes to award-winning restaurants, the hardest part will be deciding where to go. And with acclaimed breweries and distilleries, bars, and music and dance clubs, there’s plenty of places to kick off or end an adventure.


7. Local goods


A road trip is not a road trip without the rights snacks. So before heading out, your clients can stock up at Harmons, a local family-owned grocery chain for food and picnic supplies. Caputo’s Market & Deli is a local hangout known for its fresh produce and baked breads, Italian meats and local cheeses and a vast array of craft chocolates. Did your client forget their jacket at home? Sustainable outdoor apparel brand Cotapaxi has high quality outdoor essentials and is headquartered and located downtown.


Enhance your client’s pre-road trip experience with a stay in Salt Lake before venturing out on their adventure! For more trip ideas and itineraries in and around Salt Lake, go to


Need more inspiration? Check out these recommended road trip itineraries to the National Parks:


Salt Lake: The Base Camp to Utah State & National Parks

National Parks as Far as the Eye Can See


Learn more about American Tours International

Most Read

Sophia of Destinations International about the work the organisation is doing on Social inclusion

Don Welsh President/CEO of Destinations International at his organisations annual conference,Tampa

Jane Cunnigham explains how European uencing policy within Destinations International policy

Kristin from Miles Partnerships at #DIAC24 in Tampa about the new Wayfinfer tools for Destinations

Revolutionizing Mobile Connectivity: Boris Bijlstra on HUBBY eSIM

Capturing Glasgow’s Vibrancy: An Interview with Susan Deighan, Chief Executive of Glasgow Life

Lebua Hotel & Resorts: Rajan Khurana on Hospitality and Bangkok’s Charms

Sustainable Tourism and Growth: Insights from Chiravadee Khunsub from Tourism Authority of Thailand

Revolutionizing Travel: SmartSIM USA’s Dale Takio Unveils the Power of E Sims

TravelMole Interview with Hishan Singhawansa, Deputy CEO of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, Sri Lanka

Unveiling the Essence of Magari Tours: A Dive into Authentic Italian Experiences

Florida’s Tourism Boom: Dana Young Analyzes Surge in UK Visitors

Our emails to you has bounced Or You can change your email from your profile Setting Section

Your region selection will be saved in your cookie for future visits. Please enable your cookie for so this dialog box will not come up again.

Price Based Country test mode enabled for testing United States (US). You should do tests on private browsing mode. Browse in private with Firefox, Chrome and Safari