Salt Lake City, Utah might be a bustling city of more than 180,000, with a greater metropolitan area population pushing well past 1 million. But despite the numbers, this capital city is one firmly in touch with its natural roots. Though there’s easy access to the Wasatch Mountains and other wilderness areas, it’s almost as easy to come to terms with your wild side within city limits. All of our top picks are family friendly (we mean “wild” like leopard not “WILD” like party) and close to downtown Salt Lake City. There’s a good mix of indoor and outdoor options to consider, too, which means that even inclement weather ought not curb your natural urges.
Speaking of leopards, one of our favorites is Utah’s Hogle Zoo. Big cats, elephants, and the Bornean Orangutan: need we say more? Also good for flora and fauna are places like Red Butte Garden and Arboretum or a stroll along part of Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Leave the lives ones behind then, and enjoy a meander through the Utah Museum of Natural History at The University of Utah. The trend here is dinosaurs, bugs, anthropology, archaeology, mining, geology and biology. You get the picture. Thus educated in all earthly things, continue your wild tour with a trip to Clark Planetarium. Dare we suggest that their shows are out of this world?
When the International Peace Gardens in Jordan Park are open during summer months, you can get a dose of culture amongst the cultivation with special festivals that celebrate the likes of midsummer (Swedish style) or Norwegian Constitution Day. So nobody goes wild exactly, but it’s a fine way to enjoy some greenery and exposure to the city’s international heritage. In the general city park category consider also the likes of Liberty Park, located south of downtown, or Memory Grove Park, watered by City Creek (and close to City Creek Canyon trails).