According to the history we’ve read, “this is the right place” is what Brigham Young said when he entered into the Salt Lake Valley. I’m not sure what it was like back then, but today we agree with that emotion. With the mountains and the Great Salt Lake as backdrops, Salt Lake City (SLC) is in a beautiful setting. Based on the Woodall’s ratings and descriptions, and its proximity to Temple Square and Downtown SLC, we chose to stay at the Salt Lake City KOA. The first thing that we noticed upon arrival is how friendly the staff was—and this friendliness seems to spread to the restaurants, shops, and even the people on the streets. We really enjoyed our stay in SLC, and found everyone we interacted with (from grocery store clerks to the bus drivers) helpful and friendly.
The SLC KOA was easy to get into with the motor home and tow vehicle, and had restrooms, showers, laundry, pool, store, playground, basketball court, covered picnic areas, and other amenities. There were many different sites ranging from back-ins all the way up to pull-throughs with patios and swings. The sites have cable and wi-fi and 50-amp hookups are available. Another amenity that we enjoyed was the free shuttle to Temple Square. The shuttle is provided by the LDS church and by riding the shuttle you agree to spend time on Temple Square. They encourage you to take a 30-minute guided tour, and even provided us with a 10% discount coupon to one of the four restaurants available (we enjoyed eating at the Lion House Pantry Restaurant). The shuttle runs every hour and the drivers are friendly and knowledgeable. If you prefer not to ride the shuttle, there are several bus lines that run right in front of the KOA (the bus is $2.25 to ride). Since parking is limited and expensive, public transportation is the preferred method for visiting downtown.
Temple Square is in the downtown area, so it is an easy walk to shopping and other dining. The KOA is also 15 miles from the Great Salt Lake, and many areas for outdoor activities. The 2002 Winter Olympics were held here, so the winter sports activities are abundant. The majority of our few days in SLC were spent at Temple Square and downtown. While we saw many people sight-seeing at Temple Square with children, we did not see many “child-friendly” attractions there. However, the highlight of our visit was attending a rehearsal of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Thursday evening (unless the choir is on tour, they have the rehearsal every Thursday evening, and their broadcast every Sunday morning). Even if you do not attend a rehearsal or broadcast, the inside of the Tabernacle is worth seeing.
Other things we enjoyed were the Family History Library and the observation deck in the Church Office Building (26th floor). The Temple is beautiful and even though you are not allowed inside, you can see pictures of the inside of the Temple in the South Visitors Center.
The artwork and statues in the North Visitor Center is also worth a visit. The shuttle drivers said it would take 4 days to see everything available on Temple Square, so it is worth your time to do a little research and choose what most interests you. There are also many other historic sites in the city like the Historic City and County Building and the Utah State Capitol.
While it has been over 20 years since we visited Salt Lake City, it was still as friendly as we remember it, even though it has grown significantly. For more information about the area, in order to plan your visit, the official website is an excellent place to start (Salt Lake City, Utah). As Brigham Young said, “This is the right place.”