Plenty of Places to Visit outside of Temple Square

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 16 June 2016

A portion of the Mormon Battalion monument seen at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016.  Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Temple Square remains Utah’s most popular man-made tourist destination for visitors of all backgrounds.

Each year, millions of people walk the historic grounds of the Salt Lake Temple, the Tabernacle, and the adjoining LDS buildings such as the Conference Center and the Church History Museum.

But here’s a tip for summer travelers of all ages: don’t forget the many LDS-themed spots located just a short drive from Temple Square. Double up on the sunblock this season and discover a variety of nearby locales that—for no admission fee—tell the ongoing story of the Church, its mission, and its rich history.

Welfare Square

The Trappers and Fur Traders section of the This Is the Place monument in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

The grave site of President Gordon B. Hinckley at the Salt Lake City Cemetery in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Built during the Great Depression, Welfare Square and its 178-foot grain silo are towering reminders of the Church’s commitment to “care for the poor, foster self-reliance, and provide meaningful opportunities for work and service.”

Located a few miles west of Temple Square at 780 West 800 South, the sprawling facility includes the iconic silo, a bishops’ storehouse, a bakery, a cannery, a milk processing operation, a Deseret Industries thrift store, and an employment center.

Scores of members from stakes across Utah’s Wasatch Front report to Welfare Square six days a week to help produce and package food that will bless the lives of people in need.

A missionary-led tour of Welfare Square also includes a stop at the recently installed interactive exhibition that tells the story of the Church’s humanitarian efforts across the globe.

Call 801-240-4872 for tour information.

Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum

Built a short walk southwest of the Utah State Capitol (300 North Main Street), the museum offers a glimpse into pioneer living. Its many galleries include many “Days of ’47” artifacts ranging from clothing and buggies to firearms and toys.

Many families make it a tradition to visit the museum around Pioneer Day (July 24) to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the Mormon pioneer experience. Visit www.dupinternational.org for more information.

Salt Lake City Cemetery

A visit to this historic cemetery, located in Salt Lake City’s Avenues neighborhood, provides opportunities to reverently connect with some of the most influential figures in Church history.

The grave sites of 11 Church Presidents—John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, George Albert Smith, David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, Howard W. Hunter, and Gordon B. Hinckley—can be located using a map available at the cemetery office or by visiting slcgov.com/cemetery.

Other prominent members buried here include Willard Richards, George Q. Cannon, pioneer composers William Clayton and W. W. Phelps, Joseph Smith’s bodyguard Porter Rockwell, and President Thomas S. Monson’s wife, Sister Frances J. Monson.

The “father” of the Salt Lake Valley—Church President Brigham Young—is not buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. In fact, President Young’s grave site is located not far from the cemetery, near Salt Lake City’s State Street and 1st Avenue. 

The cemetery is open year-round from 8:00 a.m. to dusk.

This Is the Place Monument

For 70 years, visitors to Salt Lake City have learned the rich and diverse story of the Salt Lake Valley at This Is the Place Monument.

Located near the mouth of Emigration Canyon, the towering granite structure commemorates the 1847 arrival of the Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley.

A statue of Brigham Young presides over the monument’s central tower. Fellow pioneers and priesthood leaders Heber C. Kimball and Wilford Woodruff flank him.

The monument also pays tribute to the Native Americans, trappers, Spanish explorers, and others who played key roles in the discovery, settlement, and development of a desert valley that is home today to more than 1 million people.

Mormon Battalion Monument Plaza

Just a few steps below This Is the Place Monument are several heroic-sized sculptures of pioneer-era women and men that share the account of the faithful members who answered their country’s call to duty, joined the Mormon Battalion, and took part in one of the longest infantry marches in American history.

The Journey's End monument seen at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

The Reed-Donner Party section of the This Is the Place monument in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

This Is the Place Heritage Park employee Gary Brough melts wax to help preserve the Journey's End monument in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

The Eyes Westward monument seen at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

The Eyes Westward monument seen at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

A portion of the Mormon Battalion monument seen at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

A portion of the Mormon Battalion monument seen at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

A portion of the Mormon Battalion monument seen at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

The grave site of President Joseph F. Smith at the Salt Lake City Cemetery in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

The grave site of President Wilford Woodruff at the Salt Lake City Cemetery in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

The grave site of President David O. McKay at the Salt Lake City Cemetery in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Robert Groneman, left, and his mother, Diane Smith Groneman, visit the grave site of Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Sister Groneman's father, at the Salt Lake City Cemetery in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

A statue of Eliza R. Snow is seen at the Daughters of Utah Pioneers museum in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Howard Nutall, a community volunteer, rotates canned food with other volunteers at the Welfare Square bishops’ storehouse in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Church-service missionary Elder Austin Epperson stocks bins with various kinds of frozen meat at the Welfare Square Bishop's Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

The bishops’ storehouse at Welfare Square provides a wide variety of food for those in need in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Fresh food, as well as nonperishables, are provided for those in need at the Welfare Square bishops’ storehouse in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Church-service missionary Elder Parker Hedin operates a bread slicer at the Welfare Square bakery in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Community volunteer Janile Davis stacks a crate with loaves of bread at the Welfare Square bakery in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Volunteers slice and package loaves of bread at the Welfare Square bakery in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

The Welfare Square silos in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

The This Is the Place monument seen at This is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.