Salt Lake City was never on our short list of travel destinations. Originally we were flying into San Francisco for a Yosemite National Park vacation. Unfortunately the park closed due to wildfires, so on the day of our departure we switched our National Park trip to visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Salt Lake City was our airport bookend for the road trip to Wyoming. We spent five nights in Wyoming, then stopped in Park City, Utah before returning to Salt Lake City.
After so many nights on the road and switching accommodations daily, we splurged for a suite at the Grand American Hotel. The hotel isn’t old, but it was designed to feel like a historic location. It was built in 2001 to coincide with the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Red Butte Botanic Garden was first on our list for attractions. I was excited to see another Children’s Garden designed by Herb Schaal, the landscape architect who was also contracted for the WOW Children’s Garden at Norfolk Botanical Garden.
Our next stop was Hogle Zoo. They were hosting an impressive Lego Exhibit when we visited. We lost some time while Alex took a call from American Express, who had been calling us non-stop during our trip. We assumed it was because we were using the card out of town. Alex’s frustrated “your calls have been annoying us during vacation” tone was met with a very patient “Sir, I’m sorry, we were just calling to make sure you hadn’t recently purchased $800 worth of sushi in Miami” (we hadn’t).
As any child raised on Jurassic Park knows, the American West is where the dinosaur bones come from. The Natural History Park was, as expected, dinosaur overload.
Gilgal Sculpture Garden is a sculpture collection based on the artist’s LDS beliefs (I’m pretty sure I was unknowingly sitting by a giant sculpture of a sphinx with Joseph Smith’s head… but as they say…. when in SLC, Utah….)
Within the central public green space Liberty Park we also visited the Tracey Aviary and Botanical Gardens.