Salt Lake City, with a metropolitan population of 1 million and a city population of more than 189,000 residents, is Utah's most populous city and the state's cultural and political center. Salt Lake City sits in a valley beneath the Wasatch Mountains in central Utah, situated on land once covered by the prehistoric Lake Bonneville. The eastern and northern portions of the city are located on a series of terraces, or former beaches, which are known locally as "the benches." The benches are the mostly residential, upper-class communities constructed mostly on the east side of the valley. Downtown Salt Lake City is the financial center and home to the Temple Square, headquarters of the Mormon Church. The downtown area also features more than 170 restaurants, cafes, brewpubs, and nightspots. At the edge of downtown, Memory Grove Park and City Creek Canyon feature great trails for walking and biking. A variety of distinctive neighborhoods with walk-friendly centers, wide streets, and a comfortable mix of shops, restaurants, and residences make Salt Lake City very bicycle and pedestrian friendly. As the region’s hub for commerce, medical services, higher education, and cultural attractions, Salt Lake City reflects the presence of a vibrant and modern city while retaining a small town character.
Salt Lake City History
Salt Lake City was founded in 1847 by a group of Mormon pioneers escaping religious persecution in the East, searching for a place where they could practice their religion freely. The initial group of 148 consisted of 143 men, 3 women, and 2 children. They named their new city after the salty inland lake that dominated the desert in the west. They established Temple Square at the center of the city. At first, Mormons lived in self-imposed isolation while their territory was still part of Mexico. Two years later, their settlement was included in the Territory of Utah and joined with the United States of America. During the 1850’s the California gold rush brought many emigrants through Great Salt Lake City. In 1869, the railroad linking the East & West coasts was completed, with the lines joined just 80 miles northwest of Salt Lake City and opening the area to mining. Utah was admitted to the Union in 1896 as the 45th state. Between 1900 and 1930, the city’s population nearly tripled, with much of the wealth coming from silver, gold, and copper mining. Mining is still a significant part of the local economy, but the city is also known as a major center for biomedical, high technology and software development. Learn more about the history of Salt Lake City with the following links.
Salt Lake City Weather
Salt Lake’s weather varies widely due to the city’s altitude and proximity to mountains. Summer temps rise dramatically in the day, while mornings and evenings are comfortable. January is the coldest month with an average low of 26 degrees. Salt Lake sees only 18" of rainfall throughout the year, and an average of 47" of snowfall. Get more information about Salt Lake City weather with the following links.
Salt Lake City Transportation
The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) operates bus service and light rail service throughout a 1,800 square mile area around Salt Lake City, including bus service to nearby ski resorts in the Wasatch Mountains. The Salt Lake City International Airport, just 10 minutes from downtown, is served by 9 airlines with flights to major national and regional cities. Find more Salt Lake City travel information with these links.
Cost of Living in Salt Lake City
While the cost of living in Salt Lake City is almost 3% higher than the average for Utah, it is still 6.5% below the national average. The city offers plenty of affordable housing as well as a favorable cost for utilities. Determine your budget needs in Salt Lake City with these links.
Salt Lake City Schools
The Salt Lake City School District serves most of the area within the city limits. There are twenty-three elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools and one alternative high school located within the school district. Many Catholic schools are also located in the city. Learn more about Salt Lake City’s public schools with this link.
Salt Lake City Hospitals
Salt Lake City’s top-ranked hospital system is the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics. The University of Utah Hospitals provide general medical and surgical service and are also teaching clinics. The hospitals system is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and is the number one hospital in Utah. If you’re planning a move to Salt Lake City, be sure to know the medical resources available to you:
Salt Lake City Real Estate
When considering a home purchase in Salt Lake City, it is good to know the various neighborhoods. The east side tends to be more affluent and conservative, and the west side has a more vibrant and progressive community, but there are exceptions. Sugar House, a neighborhood on the southeast side, attracts University of Utah students with its mix of funky shops and older residences. Explore the housing market in Salt Lake City with these links.
Salt Lake City Hotels
Salt Lake City offers a variety of fine accommodations with more than 75 hotels to match any budget. The Grand America Hotel is one of the city’s finest stays, with large, comfortable rooms and amenities that include robes, slippers, and sewing kits. The Peery Hotel, built in 1910, captures the charm of Victorian era elegance in an old west setting. The Little America Hotel features spacious rooms furnished in French provincial style and an indoor pool that can be enjoyed year-round. Hotel Monaco delights and sometimes surprises guests with the offer of an in-room pet during their stay, in the form of a live goldfish, cared for by the staff. Discover more places to stay with these links.
Salt Lake City Restaurants
Salt Lake City boasts more than 1,200 dining spots, ranging from quick bites to gourmet restaurants and eclectic eateries. The Red Iguana is a family-owned Mexican restaurant and local staple that has been featured on "Diners Drive-ins and Dives". Forage is an intimate restaurant that locals consider to be the best in the city. Each meal is carefully planned using local ingredients and the selection changes daily. Café Molise features fresh Italian cuisine inspired by the Molise region of Italy and Rodizio Grill is an authentic Brazilian steakhouse. The Loin House Pantry prepares home-style meals in the historic home of Brigham Young. Keep in mind that most restaurants have a license that requires food to be on the table before alcohol can be served. Start your Salt Lake City dining adventure with these links.
Things to Do in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is very family friendly, with plenty fun for kids. If you are interested in your family’s history, there is no better place to start your research. Salt Lake City is the Genealogy Capitol of the World, with the Family Search Center and the Family History Library providing access to over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records. The Natural History Museum of Utah is an architecture wonder filled with fascinating artifacts, dinosaurs, and breathtaking views of the Salt Lake Valley. The Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point is the world’s largest dinosaur exhibit, with 60 complete skeletal displays. Hogle Zoo is one of the top visited attractions in the state and The Living Planet Aquarium features an array of feature sharks, rays, jellyfish, and more! Enjoy hiking and biking in local canyons just minutes from the city center or visit the nearby resorts for outstanding skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and adventurous mountain biking, rock climbing, and hiking in the summer. Plan your visit to Salt Lake City with these links.