Salt Lake City museums come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and range in topics from art to natural history to Mormon history. As you might expect, a few of the most popular ones relate to the Mormon history of the region. Such is the case with the famous Beehive House, which was built in 1854 and formerly served as the home for Brigham Young and his family. When you're not learning about local history at places such as the Beehive House, you might take in some art at one of the Salt Lake City art museums or take the kids to the Gateway Center to check out the Children's Museum. These are just some of the options that cultural enthusiasts will want to keep in mind when it comes to the Salt Lake City museums, and by no means are they just rainy day attractions.
There are a number of excellent museums in the Utah capital, and they cater to all kinds of interests. For art enthusiasts, there are at least a few Salt Lake City art museums that deserve inclusion on the itinerary, and they include the Salt Lake Art Center and the Museum of Church History and Art. There's also the renowned Utah Museum of Fine Arts, which is regarded as one of the best museums in the state. UMFA, as the fine arts museum is also known, offers more than 17,000 different exhibits, and they include everything from paintings by European masters to various pieces from countries such as Japan and Kenya. As for the Salt Lake Art Center, it focuses more on contemporary art, and thanks to its Temple Square location, it is very easy to find. Artists from all over the country have works on display at the Salt Lake Art Center, and you might be interested to know that admission is free.
The Museum of Church History and Art is arguably the most unique of the Salt Lake City art museums. Its exhibits aim to tell the story of the Mormon Church, and on the art side of things, numerous artworks by Mormon artists from past and present are on display. In addition to taking in the works of art, Museum of Church History and Art visitors can also check out old Mormon coins and a model of the city as it appeared back in 1870. As is true of the Salt Lake Art Center, you can find this interesting museum on Temple Square in the heart of Downtown Salt Lake City and admission is free. With the money that you save on the free admission, you might venture over to the nearby Gateway Center and do some shopping after a visit.
When you're not admiring some artworks at the art-based Salt Lake City museums, you can get a history lesson at places like the Pioneer Memorial Museum and This is the Place Heritage Park. The former offers insight into pioneer life in the region and Utah history on the whole. Exhibit pieces include fascinating photos and a mix of relics that relate to the state's railroad and mining industries. At This is the Place Heritage Park, the focus is on the arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the mid-1800s. This area is where the Mormons pioneers first glimpsed the Salt Lake Valley, and it was also where the decision to settle was made. A large sculpture that commemorates the Mormon arrival figures among the highlights at This is the Place Heritage Park, and as is true of the Pioneer Memorial Museum, you don't have to pay anything to enjoy it.
Whereas the Utah Museum of Fine Arts is an ideal Salt Lake City attraction for art enthusiasts and the Pioneer Memorial Museum caters to history buffs, those who like science might head straight for the Utah Museum of Natural History or the Clark Planetarium. For families with kids, the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum with all of its interactive exhibits can make for an excellent place to spend some time, and if you consider yourself a plant enthusiast, then a visit to Red Butte Gardens is worth adding to the agenda.
The Salt Lake City museums, whether you are talking about the Utah Museum of Fine Arts or other high quality establishments like the Family History Library and the Wheeler Historic Farm, can fill hours on end. Most are open year round, so they can be added to the agenda at any time of year, and a good amount are also free. Donations are accepted at the free museums, and those that cost money to enjoy are reasonably priced.