A WARM, WESTERN WELCOME to 2008 CIT PARTICIPANTS!
SALT LAKE CITY combines the amenities of a major metropolitan area with the friendliness of a small, western city. Salt Lake City is fast becoming one of America's foremost destinations. A beautiful, safe, and vibrant city, Salt Lake combines unparalleled access to natural recreation, a bustling economy, dynamic nightlife, remarkable history, warm hospitality, and Utah's Greatest Snow on Earth.
Hosting the Olympic Winter Games of 2002 enhanced the community's profile as a world-class travel destination, while showcasing Salt Lake as an unspoiled, family-friendly destination. Daily sunshine, low humidity, and refreshing mountain breezes combine for a comfortable year-round climate.
Salt Lake City was founded on July 24, 1847 by a group of Mormon pioneers. The founding group of 148 men, three women, and two children were the first non-Indians to settle permanently in the valley. Within a few days, plans were drawn for the Great Salt Lake City, named after the salty inland lake, which dominated the desert to the west.
Today, visitors enjoy animal antics and winged wonders at the zoo or aviary. Hop aboard a sunset dinner cruise on the Great Salt Lake, or take in a concert by the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Dig up facts about dinosaurs, pioneer history, or your very own ancestors. Or visit one of fifteen national parks and monuments within a day's drive.
GETTING HERE AND THERE
As the “Crossroads of the West” getting to Salt Lake City is a snap, with easy access by road, rail, and air. With Salt Lake City International Airport just 10 minutes from downtown, many hotels offer complimentary airport shuttle service. Utah Transit Authority provides mass transit via busses and TRAX light-rail throughout the Salt Lake area, including the airport and mountain resorts.
Salt Lake is nestled in a valley at the foot of two mountain ranges. Traveling to Salt Lake City in the fall will showcase a blaze of brilliant foliage erupting on canyon walls. You’ll experience daily sunshine, low humidity, and refreshing mountain breezes while in Salt Lake City.
Within walking distance of the convention center, you will find a 3D IMAX theater, three shopping destinations, a 12-screen movie theater complex, numerous bars and pubs, art galleries, parks, and more.
Nearby canyons offer spectacular views from the road and scenic pull-outs for contemplating the view. Marked trails for every age and hiking ability provide access to breathtaking views.
All year long, the tram at Snowbird will take you to Hidden Peak. Along the way you can enjoy scenes of sunny summer wildflowers, blazing autumn foliage, or blankets of winter snow. From the top, you can hike, bike, ski, snowboard, or take the tram back down.
The Salt Lake valley has a multitude of golf courses to choose from. Tee off in the foothills and follow the course as it winds down the mountain, or have the mountains as backdrop to more traditional greens. Inspiring vistas and mountain air make golfing in Salt Lake unforgettable.
Salt Lake has several outfitters ready to provide a world-class fly-fishing experience. Nearby canyon streams provide a breathtaking setting for relaxing evening activities like fishing, hiking, and picnics.
Right on the edge of downtown are two great hiking trails—the Bonneville Shoreline trail and the Ensign Peak trail. Nearby canyons offer many additional opportunities, from short strolls to vigorous all-day hikes.
SEE HISTORIC SITES AND MAIN ATTRACTIONS
While visiting Salt Lake City, be sure to stop by Temple Square in the heart of downtown. Downtown Salt Lake features more than three square blocks of free religious and cultural attractions. Search for your ancestors, tour the conference center, listen to live Mormon Tabernacle Choir performances, or stroll the beautiful grounds—just around the corner from the convention center.
The Family History Library places millions of family history records at your fingertips, along with knowledgeable ancestry specialists and foreign language assistance to help translate records.
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is Utah's only museum dedicated to world art features galleries and exhibits of everything from Greek antiquities to contemporary paintings. Live theater, ballet, dance, opera, and symphony round out the cultural experience in Salt Lake.
The Salt Lake Art Center, located adjacent to the convention center, offers changing contemporary visual art exhibitions in its galleries. Salt Lake is home to a variety of art and history museums, as well as world-class performing arts including opera, symphony, modern dance, and ballet.
Explore the unique history of early Utah settlers as you stroll through displays of historical artifacts. Museums downtown and across the Salt Lake valley display and preserve outstanding visual art, pioneer artifacts, and prehistoric fossils.
The Salt Lake City and County Building, a monumental structure, restored in 1989, served as Utah's State Capitol building for 19 years. Guided tours are available. Visitors can wander through the beautiful grounds under the shade of large trees from all over the world.
Historic Capitol Theatre, just steps away from the convention center, plays host to ballet, opera, theater, and Broadway shows. Salt Lake's cultural oasis is also home to numerous galleries and museums.
Salt Lake City and shopping have gone hand in hand for over a century. The first department store in the United States opened in Salt Lake City in 1868. Today the Salt Lake Valley offers plenty of possibilities for terrific shopping excursions, including malls, shopping villages, specialty boutiques, antique and collectible shops, bookstores, factory outlet malls, outdoor shopping and entertainment destinations, and much more.
A Trax light-rail station just outside the convention center provides easy access to major shopping destinations like The Gateway and Trolley Square. The "free fare zone" makes exploring downtown a cinch.
Go shopping at a National Historic Site when you visit the shops in Trolley Square's beautifully renovated trolley car barns. Other unique shopping destinations in Salt Lake include open-air villages, specialty boutiques, and antique stores.
Just around the corner from the Salt Palace Convention Center you'll find the Gateway Shopping district, filled with over 90 shops to browse through. Stores at this unique open-air shopping and entertainment destination include Anthropologie, Abercrombie & Fitch, Sur la Table, and Z Gallerie.
Shopping destinations across the Salt Lake valley include open-air shopping and entertainment complexes, unique specialty boutiques, antique shops, historic shopping villages, and one of the largest shopping malls in the country.
A TASTE OF SALT LAKE CITY – DAY AND NIGHT
Eat heartily, you’ll need the energy -- for Salt Lake City’s varied and vibrant social scene. There’s plenty to keep you up long after the sun goes down. Downtown restaurants are just steps away from clubs and lounges offering everything from the cutting-edge sounds of live rock 'n' roll to smooth jazz and blues, or energetic country western line dancing.
Dining in Salt Lake is a culinary adventure, with hundreds of restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisine and atmosphere. A diverse ethnic mix is available, from Afghan to Vietnamese to Rocky Mountain regional favorites. In Salt Lake, it’s always time to step up to the plate. Sample regional and Southwestern favorites at casual family restaurants, or indulge in fresh pasta and seafood in more intimate surroundings. If you crave something exotic, you'll find a delightful ethnic mix available, from Afghan to Vietnamese. Friendly, relaxed brewpubs serve delectable appetizers and entrées with freshly brewed local ales. Cocktails and superb vintage wines are offered at most restaurants.
In downtown Salt Lake, just steps away from the convention center, are 2 brew pubs who walked away with 7 medals at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival. Along with Squatter's and Red Rock Brewing Company, there are a variety of clubs, sports bars, and other brewpubs within walking distance of the convention center and downtown hotels. Salt Lake has bars, brewpubs, and restaurants that serve liquor seven days a week. Some bars are called private clubs and charge a nominal membership fee rather than a cover charge.
DIFFERENT BY NATURE
Utah is truly nature's playground—and Salt Lake is the perfect base camp. Enjoy hiking or mountain biking in local canyons just minutes from the city center or in nearby national parks. Sit back and enjoy an aerial tour of nearby canyons or North America's saltiest lake. Or, stay in town for a round of golf or any number of professional sporting events including NBA Basketball and Triple A Baseball.
As your plane lands in Salt Lake catch a bird's eye view of the Great Salt Lake, after which the city is named. Spectacular sunsets light up this remnant of ancient Lake Bonneville that is several times saltier than the ocean and covers more than 2,000 square miles. Depending on the season, the Great Salt Lake is a bird watcher's paradise, with more than 257 species of birds visiting the lake.
Arches National Park (five hours from Salt Lake City), the largest concentration of natural stone arches in the world, is accessible from a 48-mile roundtrip paved road and an assortment of hiking trails. Arches is just one of the 12 beautiful national parks and monuments in Utah.
Bryce Canyon (five hours from Salt Lake City) provides spectacular views of delicately carved spires rising in brilliant color along a 37-mile roundtrip drive. The etched cliffs come alive with the rising and setting sun. In addition to viewing areas along the drive, there are many walking and hiking trails. National parks or monuments near Bryce include Zion, Capitol Reef, and Cedar Breaks.
Canyonlands National Park (five and one-half hours from Salt Lake City), Utah's largest national park offers three ranger districts with four-wheeling, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and hiking opportunities. With 12 national parks and monuments in Utah, there is plenty of year-round natural beauty to enjoy.
Dinosaur National Monument (five hours from Salt Lake City) In addition to four-wheel driving and whitewater rafting, this park offers a visitors center built over the largest quarry of Jurassic Period dinosaur bones ever discovered. Utah has many other historic sites and Old West hideouts protected in state and national parks and monuments.
USA Today City Guide: Salt Lake City