Flanked by the stunning Wasatch Mountains and home to the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City is a modern metropolis with a flourishing arts scene, world-class museums and a fair share of charming anachronisms. It was here that pioneer Mormon leader Brigham Young told his exhausted emigrant followers: ‘This is the place.’ At the end of your three days, you may be seconding that pronouncement.
Day 1: Salt Lake City Sightseeing
Begin your day at the Temple Square block, checking out the Salt Lake Temple, the Salt Lake Tabernacle, the Salt Lake Assembly Hall, the Seagull Monument and two visitors' centers. Spend the rest of your day exploring other attractions that highlight the city's unusual history, including a tour of the historic Beehive House (one of many homes owned by Brigham Young) and the Lion House whose pantry you can try some scrumptious ‘Mormon comfort food.’
Afterward, stroll over to the Old Deseret Village to watch volunteers reenact scenes of pioneer life from the 1800s — a great way to experience Utah's pioneer history. Docents recreate pioneer life for visitors between Memorial Day to Labor Day, but the village is open year-round.
Day 2: History and Art
Spend your second day exploring Salt Lake’s wonderful offering of museums. Begin at the Church Museum of Art and History near Temple Square — the first floor is devoted to the history of the Mormon Pioneers' trek to Utah and settlement throughout the United States, while the second floor feature works from Mormon artists from around the world. Next, check out the Utah Museum of Art and History, which focuses on Western and Utah art. Finish off the day at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, located on the campus of the University of Utah. This museum has one of the West's most comprehensive art collections, with works ranging from ancient Egypt and Greece to postmodern works from contemporary artists.
Day 3: Day Trip from Salt Lake City
Head outside of Salt Lake to Park City, a former mining town and home of the Sundance Film Festival, which 10-day events are held annually in mid-January. The showbiz buzz has inspired some pretty swanky restaurants and expensive galleries here that are worth checking out, even if the festival is not on. Continue your excursion through Heber Valley and Provo Canyon to Sundance Resort, which has some stunning views of Mount Timpanogos. Depending on the season, you can enjoy outdoor activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking or skiing. Finish off the evening with a cold beer at the Sundance Owl Bar, a historic dive once frequented by Butch Cassidy's Hole-in-the-Wall Gang.