Downtown SLC North

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

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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Sights Featured in This Article

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 or 2.5 Miles
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.
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
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 jewelry store in America”. As a local fixture in the gemology business, Tanner offers an amazing collection in addition to appraisals, repairs and unique jewelry design offerings.
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 ballroom), and 66 meeting rooms, the massive building’s unique structure is due in part to world-renowned roller-coaster designer, Kent Seko.
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 community venues. Family Art Saturday events offer family-friendly exhibits with themes designed to make art more accessible to children – including hands-on artistic expression through decoration of kites, masks and other objects.
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 private donors for $625,000 in 2002. Currently, Abravanel Hall functions as part of the Salt Lake Art Center and is home to the Utah Symphony and Opera.
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 included such acts as Metallica, Guns ‘n Roses, KISS, Depeche Mode, U2, and Cher.
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 building is today connected to the Gateway Mall, and features a restaurant and music venue called “the Depot”.
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 system. Shows on both in both the IMAX and the Hansen Dome theaters include major mainstream films, documentaries, and laser light shows, set to the music of standards such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.
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, exercise classes, science workshops, and puppet shows. Parts of the building can also be rented for special events - like full-package birthday parties, complete with cake, party favors, and fun activities for up to 20 kids.
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 blocks west of Temple Square – and an alternate location, Red Iguana 2, recently opened just south of this original location. To end this tour, simply walk four blocks east toward Temple Square, from which mass-transit is available to all parts of the city.

Walking Tours in Salt Lake City, Utah

Create Your Own Walk in Salt Lake City

Create Your Own Walk in Salt Lake City

Creating your own self-guided walk in Salt Lake City is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Buildings Tour

Historical Buildings Tour

Salt Lake City’s downtown is a good place to view historical buildings and sites, each with its unique story and significance, that reflect the city’s Mormon heritage and more.

One such edifice is the Devereaux Mansion, a stunning example of Second Empire architecture that stands as a testament to the city's prosperous past. The Salt Lake Temple, an iconic symbol of the city and a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Salt Lake City Downtown Walk

Salt Lake City Downtown Walk

Salt Lake City's downtown epitomizes the city's settlement and growth. Renowned for its cleanliness, visitors often praise its meticulously planned layout, reminiscent of a Cartesian graph centered around Temple Square, a sacred site for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).

In 1847, Brigham Young, leader of Mormon pioneer settlers, designated the site for...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Pioneers Trail

Pioneers Trail

After extensive religious persecution in the Eastern and Midwestern United States, the Mormon Pioneers made their way westward across the plains and mountains to a spot where Brigham Young said God had designated they should stop and settle. Unlike other social groups (farmers, miners, merchants) who created other western cities, these settlers arrived in Salt Lake Valley as a centrally organized...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles