Salt Lake City brings to mind pictures of the snow-capped Wasatch Mountains and the road up to Park City's fabulous ski slopes. The 2002 Winter Olympics also reinforce the city's winter reputation, but what about spring? Once the snow is gone, there's still plenty to do in the area, especially now that the roads are more driveable and you don't need as much heavy protective clothing like you do in winter. If you're planning to be in Salt Lake City in spring, here are the top five activities (plus some alternatives) to look forward to.
Flowers & Foliage
- The Tulip Festival: Go see flowers! Before the heat of the summer starts to fade those lovely blossoms, check out the city's annual tulip festival. Thanksgiving Point plays host to fields of brightly colored tulips and green lawns that are a pleasure to see. The festival ends in early May, but before then, see upwards of 250,000 tulips standing tall.
- Parks: If flowers aren't your thing, take advantage of the cool air and take a stroll around one of the city's many parks, such as Liberty Park, which has museums, paths, game facilities, and even an aviary.
- Baby Animals: Spring means baby animal time, and both the Utah State University Botanical Center and the Hogle Zoo are the places to be if you want to see small animals. The Botanical Center, located in Kaysville, offers a petting zoo, husbandry demonstrations, and more in support of the Center and of 4-H programs for students.
- All Animals: The Hogle Zoo, which is open seven days a week, often has new arrivals in spring that make their debut.
- Afternoon Tea: Salt Lake City is home to many, many restaurants specializing in different cuisines from diner food to everything across the globe. Take afternoon tea at the Grand America Hotel -- they offer it twice each afternoon for more flexibility -- and relax with teas, cakes, sweets, sandwiches, and more. You have a choice between a basic but still extensive tea set with cream, jam, scones, finger sandwiches, and a choice of several teas, and a "Grand Traditions" tea that includes all of the basic tea plus wine and a cheese platter.
- Pastrami Burgers: If you'd rather not get that fancy, grab one of the best burgers in the state: the pastrami burger. You'll find these at a few different restaurants, such as Crown Burger and Apollo Burger.
- Hiking: Salt Lake City is an amazing place to be if you like sports or physical activity in general. In spring, hike around the foothills while the temperatures are still moderate. Hiking is still possible in summer, but spring brings green leaves and cool temperatures that make the hikes much more pleasant.
- Biking: Salt Lake City also has an urban bikeshare program, GREENbike, that lets you rent out both bikes and helmets (yes, rent these!) to get around town. Take a tour of the downtown neighborhoods to get acquainted with the city's layout and street numbering system.
- Sledding: And if you really want to have some exhilarating fun, check out the former Olympic venues including the bobsled track, where you literally take a trip down a very fast memory lane even in spring, and the skating track.
- Temple Square Tour: You want culture? You got culture in SLC in spring. Take a tour of Temple Square, the heart of the Mormon community and of SLC. The city's address numbering system starts here, making the square an essential place to visit if you want to get your bearings. The grounds are beautiful; there's no other way to describe them.
- Redwood Drive-in: After you see that gorgeous complex, head to the Redwood for a movie -- in your car. The Redwood is one of the remaining drive-ins in the country.
Salt Lake City offers something for everyone. It may sound cliche, but it's true. If you are planning a visit, are planning to move here, or have just moved here, you are in luck. Enjoy your stay!
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