Having just one full day in Bryce Canyon is nowhere near enough, so it is very reluctantly we pack up the car and head toward our next destination, Salt Lake City.
We will be backtracking through Panguitch and Beaver before we get to our destination roughly four hours away.
The scenery along this section of highway is absolutely stunning and certainly worth taking time to discover some areas off the main road such as the hot springs between Meadow and Fillmore.
By the time we reach Provo we are back in suburbia with this city being the third-largest in Utah.
We are only having a quick break and stretch of the legs here as we want to push on to Salt Lake City, still nearly an hour away.
The first thing I am going to say about Salt Lake City is that it is absolutely beautiful. A stunning city full of church steeples set against a mountainous back drop.
There is so much to do here – sightseeing tours, museums, indie film houses, trolley tours, beautifully maintained parks, water parks, planetariums, zoos and aquariums and of course, the Great Salt Lake, are just a few things to do to spend your time here. Again, just one full day for us will simply not be anywhere near enough. The city has a strong outdoor recreation tourist industry mainly based on skiing, but it is also a major industrial banking and transportation centre of the United States.
Founded in 1847 by Brigham Young, Salt Lake City is now the religious centre of the Mormons (Latter Day Saints) and capital of Utah.
One of the best ways to see this beautiful city is to jump on a trolley bus and do a guided tour. I am normally against tours as I love to explore and discover things myself, but in this case, with our limited time a tour is the best way to go.
In Temple Square you will find the Mormon Temple, the Mormon Tabernacle, the Temple Annex, the Assembly hall and monuments set in a massive area filled with trees and flowerbeds. Those interested in the history of the Mormon faith will find all the information they need here.
The Mormon Temple, built 1853-1893 is a granite structure with huge towers at each end – it can only be entered by Mormons. You will see a massive oval domed building; this is the Tabernacle, known for its acoustics the Tabernacle is celebrated for its choir and the great organ. The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is also located here. Known as the Hotel Utah when it was built in 1911, the building was later renamed in honour of the first president of the Mormon Church. Inside you will find marble columns and a grand staircase, but on the grounds are theatres and restaurants.
At one of the far ends of Temple Square you will find the Utah State Capitol which houses the House of Representatives, Senate and Supreme Court of Utah. This is another elaborate building with the Governor’s reception room. In the same area are many of the city’s attractions including the Marmalade Historic District.
Built in 1854, the Beehive House was Brigham Young’s residence as Governor of Utah and leader of the Mormons and the home of his large family of 19 wives and 56 children. On the turret of the house is a beehive, the symbol of the industriousness of the Mormons, which also appears in the state’s coat of arms.
The largest park in Salt Lake City is Liberty Park – a stunning nature retreat with beautiful gardens ponds and sports areas. Here you will also find the Tracy Aviary where (I am told) is a huge variety of birds from North America and other parts of the worlds. It is one of the world’s oldest aviaries and, due to my phobia of birds, somewhere that we will be keeping well clear of!