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Destination Guide

Tour #1?This is the Place!

This circular walking tour encompasses the two-block area known as both the birthplace of Salt Lake City and the center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The conglomeration of historical homes, visitors? centers, and official church buildings marks the spot on which Brigham Young looked down from the mountains and declared to his followers, "This is the right place!"

Begin your tour at the original center of the city, the intersection of Main Street and South Temple Street. Head west one-half block to the South entrance of the Temple Square grounds and make a brief stop at the South Visitors? Center to pick up a map of the area. To your west, the Seagull Monument commemorates the role those birds played in saving the pioneers? crops from a cricket infestation, and the gothic granite-block Assembly Hall plays host to frequent organ concerts.

Head north to the Tabernacle, home of the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and stop in for a peek at one of the worlds finest pipe organs. To learn more about the Mormon pioneers, exit the West Temple Square gate, cross the street, and visit an original pioneer log home?all 300 square feet of it! Excellent historical displays comprise the Museum of Church History and Art next door.

Walk back through Temple Square, exit the north gate, and head east along North Temple Street. Turn south at your first opportunity for the areas best views of the Temple, which is not open for public visits. To the north and east, the Joseph Smith Memorial Square plays home to The Relief Society Building and The Church Office Building. Walk east through the square to the Beehive House. Once home to Brigham Young, this luxurious abode is now furnished with period pieces and is open to touring visitors. If you're hungry, the Lion House Pantry next door serves traditional pioneer cuisine.

Finally, head west along South Temple Street to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Here, you can view a film depicting the immigration of the Mormon pioneers or use the FamilySearch Center computers to track your ancestors. Ready for more? Tour #2 begins right here!

Tour #2?Historic Salt Lake City

Architecture buffs will enjoy this circular tour that explores the heart of Salt Lake City and the historic buildings of the downtown area. Begin your tour at The Joseph Smith Memorial Building at the intersection of Main Street and South Temple Street. Cross South Temple Street and head south to 50 South Main Street, site of Americas first department store. The original Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution façade, a massive, columned, iron structure built in 1876, still fronts the ZCMI Center.

Continue south to the corner, and look west across Main Street to the McCornick Block. Although rather inconspicuous today, this 1891 building was the citys first skyscraper. Now look south across the street to the Utah Commercial and Savings Bank Building at 22 East 100 South. Built of red sandstone in 1889, this solid, architecturally intriguing structure is now home to the Martine Café.

Next, cross to the southwestern corner of the intersection and the Zions First National Bank Building at 102 South Main. This classical structure dates from 1864 and is the citys oldest existing building. The ornate clock fronting the building began keeping time on this corner in 1873 and was originally powered by waterwheel.

Cross again to the east side of Main Street and continue south to 143 South Main Street, The Salt Lake Tribune Building. Entrepreneur Ezra Thompson built this structure in 1924 on the site of the Salt Lake City Pony Express stop. Across the street, the elaborate 1889 Daft Block connects by modern glass enclosure to the Kearns Building, which was built by U.S. Senator Thomas Kearns in 1911. The faces carved in relief along the buildings second floor are reputed to resemble Kearns? daughter.

Continue south and turn left at 200 South. Turn left again and walk along Regent Street. Now home to the valleys two largest newspapers, this lane was once the haunt of loose women and hard-drinking men. Turn right on Orpheum Avenue and walk under the parking structure. Continue east to the corner of Orpheum and State Street, where the Orpheum Theater has stood since its inception as a vaudeville playhouse in 1905. The building is now owned by the LDS Church and operated as the Promised Valley Playhouse. Cross State Street and head north to the glass-enclosed ZCMI Center entrance at 35 South State Street. Downstairs lies the well illustrated foundation of what was once the Mormon pioneers? Social Hall and Utahs first theater. The modern glass enclosure simulates the actual size and shape of the 1852 structure.

Continue north to 15 South State Street and the Hansen Planetarium, a Beaux Arts limestone edifice constructed in 1905 as the citys first library. Next door at 100 East South Temple, the Italian Renaissance Alta Club Building has housed the same swanky businessmens club for over 100 years. Finally, walk west on South Temple Street one block to return to this tours point of origin, the intersection of South Temple Street and Main Street.

Tour #3?Hop-on/Hop-off Trolley Tour

If your feet object to walking tours, take the trolley! Running from early June through mid-October, the Discovery Trolley offers an all-day pass that provides easy, inexpensive transportation between the citys most visited sights. Begin your tour from the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors? Bureau in the Salt Palace Convention Center at 90 South West Temple. Here you can check out the current exhibits, chat with tourism specialists, and shop for Salt Lake City souvenirs. Purchase an all-day Discovery Trolley pass, pick up a map and schedule, and you're on your way!

After departing the visitors? bureau, the trolley heads south down West Temple Street and then turns east and south towards Liberty Park and Tracy Aviary. Heading north again, you'll pass Trolley Square and the Hard Rock Café before traveling east to the Hogle Zoo, This is the Place Heritage Park, and Red Butte Garden. Worthwhile stops at the University of Utah include the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Natural History. The trolley route then takes you west along South Temple Street past the Masonic Temple and the Cathedral of the Madeleine before turning south on State Street to pass the Hansen Planetarium, ZCMI Center, and the City and County Building at Washington Square. After turning north at 400 South, the route carries you along Main Street past the Gallivan Center and Crossroads Plaza. The trolley loops around Temple Square and finally heads back down West Temple to the visitors? center, point of origin for this tour.

Tour #4?Ski Utah Adventure

Had it with history? In town to ski? This tour is for you! The Ski Utah Interconnect Adventure Tour challenges advanced skiers to an adrenaline-packed day of backcountry skiing, traversing, and downhill skiing at five of Utahs premier ski resorts. You'll start your day at Park City and work your way west through breathtaking scenery to Solitude, Brighton, Alta Ski Area and Snowbird Ski and Summer Resorts. Lunch is provided, as are the services of an expert guide, lift tickets at all five resorts, an award pin, and transportation back to the point of origin. This tour is not for the feeble! Participants must ski at an advanced level and be in good condition. Contact the Ski Utah organization at +1 801 534 1779 for more information and reservations.

Krista Dana