Downtown SLC North

Utah, Salt Lake City Guide (A): Downtown SLC North

The north part of downtown Salt Lake City is sandwiched between Temple Square and 200 South. A number of attractions highlight the city's focus on history, the arts, education, and family-friendly entertainment, and the tour is capped off by a visit to one of the most iconic eateries in town.
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Walk Route

Guide Name: Downtown SLC North
Guide Location: USA » Salt Lake City
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 3.0 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Sight(s) featured in this guide: O.C. Tanner Building   Salt Palace Convention Center   Salt Lake Art Center   Abravanel Hall   Energy Solutions Arena   Union Pacific Depot   Clark Planetarium   Discovery Gateway   Red Iguana  
Author: Jim Reynoldson
Author Bio: Jim Reynoldson is an avid traveler and writer who grew up in Oregon. He enjoys hiking, camping, and sightseeing throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
1
O.C. Tanner Building

1) O.C. Tanner Building

This historic building opened in 1905 as the Salt Lake City Public Library, and later had a stint as the home of the Hansen Planetarium. The building was acquired by the O.C. Tanner Company and became the flagship jewelry store in 2009, after a two-year, $24 million renovation. An ornate limestone spiral staircase and light sculpture installation by London’s Sharon Marston highlight this impressive building’s interior, which the O.C. Tanner Company sought to make “the most beautiful...
2
Salt Palace Convention Center

2) Salt Palace Convention Center

The current incarnation of the Salt Palace was opened – along with the Salt Palace Arena for sporting and musical events - in 1969, fueled by the city’s failed bid to host the 1972 Winter Olympics. While the arena was demolished and replaced by Energy Solutions Arena, the convention center lives on – hosting a number of conventions and other city events. With dimensions of 515,000 square feet of exhibit space, 164,000 square feet of meeting space (including a 45,000 square foot grand...
3
Salt Lake Art Center

3) Salt Lake Art Center

Located in the heart of downtown, the Salt Lake Art Center hosts a number of exhibits, galleries and workshops. Past exhibits have included “The Place This Is” (a celebration of Utah landmarks in art), “Sundance Film Festival New Frontier”, “The Johnny Cash Project”, and “Pandemic 1.0” (an ongoing, trans-media storytelling exhibit about a mysterious virus infecting Salt Lake City). Another interesting feature is the Art Truck, which brings mobile art exhibits to schools and other...
4
Abravanel Hall

4) Abravanel Hall

Opened in 1979, this concert venue was originally called Symphony Hall and then renamed after the Utah Symphony conductor Maurice Abravanel in 1993. The hall, which cost $12 million to build and seats over 2800 people, is a gem of acoustic excellence. The design even did away with sound-killing 90-degree angles within the hall’s construction. The four-story high lobby is especially impressive, featuring a 30-foot high sculpture made of red blown-glass by renowned Dale Chihuly) and purchased by...
5
Energy Solutions Arena

5) Energy Solutions Arena

Known previously as the Delta Center, this arena in the heart of downtown is most noted as the home of the NBA’s Utah Jazz. The arena seats about 20,000 and was opened in 1991 (replacing the smaller Salt Palace Arena) at a construction cost of about $93 million. The arena hosted the 1993 NBA All-Star Game, as well as figure skating and speed skating events in the 2002 Winter Olympics. Energy Solutions Arena is also Salt Lake City’s primary venue for big-name concerts events, which have...
6
Union Pacific Depot

6) Union Pacific Depot

Opened in 1909 during a golden age of rail travel, the Union Pacific Depot was one of two grand competing railroad depots of the era in Salt Lake City (the other being the Rio Grande Depot to the south). The sandstone building cost about $300,000 to build and is styled in the French Second Empire style, and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Interestingly, the station originally contained separate waiting areas for men and women. Renovated in the 1970’s, the...
7
Clark Planetarium

7) Clark Planetarium

Located in the Gateway Mall, and just across from Discovery Gateway, the Clark Planetarium is among the world’s leading centers for science and education. With a particular focus on astronomy, a number of space-related activities are available – from star parties to daily astronomy shows and movies in the 360-degree immersive Hansen Dome Theater. The Clark Planetarium also houses the ATK IMAX Theater – boasting a five-story screen with 3-D capability, and a 14,000-watt digital sound...
8
Discovery Gateway

8) Discovery Gateway

Originally founded in 1978 as the non-profit Children’s Museum of Utah, the current incarnation opened in 2006. This three-story, 60,000 square foot adventure center in the heart of downtown is a wonderland for kids. A number of fun, hands-on exhibits allow kids to engage in such activities as filming a television show or learning about life-flight helicopters, in addition to a play grocery store and construction site. Discovery Gateway hosts a number of special events – including art camps,...
9
Red Iguana

9) Red Iguana

Voted the #1 restaurant in Salt Lake City by Urban Spoon in 2010, Red Iguana is a fixture in the city’s food culture. The quality (and quantity) of the food at this stylish Mexican restaurant has received accolades from publications from Salt Lake City Weekly and Fodor’s, as well as being featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”. The Cardenas family has been in the restaurant business for over 40 years, and founded Red Iguana in 1985 at this location just a few...