Welcome to Salt Lake City, Utah! Located alongside the Wasatch Mountains, Salt Lake has a variety of free and almost-free options that will fit nearly any traveler’s interests.


Utah State Capitol Building: Catch a breathtaking view at this popular tourist attraction and enjoy gorgeous art and architecture for free while touring the building. Location: 350 N. State Street, 120 State Capitol.

Historic Temple Square: Down the street from the Capitol Building, Temple Square is one of Utah's top tourist attractions and is the world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Enjoy a variety of guided tours and presentations free of charge, any time of the year, including:

  • The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Visitors to Salt Lake may attend a live broadcast of "Music & the Spoken Word" on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. for free. This radio/TV broadcast features the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Alternatively, listen to the choir for free during their Thursday evening rehearsals from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in the Historic Tabernacle or Conference Center on Temple Square. Refer to their website for more information on schedules, locations, seating times, and parking.
  • Family History Library: This is the largest genealogical library in the world, and its resources are available for free.
  • Tabernacle Organ Recitals: Listen to one of the largest organs in the world for free during 30-minute daily organ recitals featuring prominent Mormon Tabernacle Choir organists and guest organists.
  • Free Concerts: Most concerts are located in the Assembly Hall and other locations on Temple Square and include a variety of music and cultural arts events.

City Creek Center: This stunning, chic shopping center is located across the street from historic Temple Square. Take the children and enjoy the popular dinosaur play area near the food court or the outside splash-and-play water area during the summertime. Sneak a peek at Tiffany & Co., Porsche Design, and a number of other designer stores. Parking for the first hour is free. Location: 50 S. Main Street.

Red Butte Garden: The garden is located at 300 Wakara Way. Walk through one of the largest botanical gardens in the Intermountain West for free on the following days (children under 3 are always admitted for free):

  • Arbor Day (April 26, 2013)
  • Pioneer Day (July 24)
  • Labor Day (September 2, 2013)
  • Holiday Open House (December 7-8, 2013)

Utah's Hogle Zoo: Visit the zoo for free on the last Wednesday of the month (November through February). Children 2 and younger are always admitted for free. Location: 2600 E. Sunnyside Ave.

Utah Museum of Fine Arts: Admission is free on the first Wednesday and third Saturday of every month. Children under 6 are always admitted for free. Location: 410 Campus Center Drive.

National History Museum of Utah: Explore this unique museum for free on the following days (advanced reservations are strongly encouraged):

  • January 14, 2013
  • April 15, 2013
  • July 15, 2013
  • October 14, 2013

Children 2 and younger are always free. The museum is located at 301 Wakara Way.

Big Cottonwood Canyon: Take a drive through picturesque Big Cottonwood Canyon regardless of the season! This scenic byway offers anything and everything for outdoor enthusiasts. Alternatively, connect over to I-80 East and catch some spectacular views of Utah Olympic Park and head on over to Park City! The canyon is located 25 miles east of Salt Lake City (maps and directions are located on the website).

Liberty Park: Home of the Tracy Aviary (see below), this park is located between 9th and 13th South and 5th and 7th East. There are a number of free options within the park:

  • Seven Canyons Fountain: Located in central Liberty Park, this is an especially fun place for children to laugh and splash.
  • Lake: Located on the southeast quadrant.
  • Duck Pond: Located near the horseshoe, bocce, and basketball areas.
  • Playgrounds: Rotary Playground (northwest quadrant) and Delta Playground (northeast quadrant).

Almost Free

Tracy Aviary: Come visit the birds for $1/person on Winter Wednesdays through March 2013 (children 2 and younger are free).

The Living Planet Aquarium: Purchase tickets online for a discount, and pay no shipping when they are emailed to you. Admission starts at $7.45 per person (children 2 and younger are free). The aquarium is located in nearby Sandy, Utah, at 725 East 10600 South.

Wheeler Historic Farm: While admission is free to walk around the grounds, it costs between $0.50 and $4 for certain activities on the farm. Location: 6351 South 900 East.

This is the Place Heritage Park: Down the road from Utah's Hogle Zoo is the historical "This is the Place" monument where the first LDS pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. Come experience the pioneer heritage of the early West at this unique park (children 2 and younger are free). Location: 2601 E. Sunnyside Ave.

Utah Olympics Venues: Come visit the home of the 2002 Winter Olympics! Located at 3419 Olympic Parkway in Park City, it offers many options for visitors, including Utah Olympic Park and the Utah Olympic Oval.

 This is a guest post by Shauna from Salt Lake City, Utah
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