Crazy, fabulous housewives aren’t the only explosive thing in Salt Lake City. Utah’s picturesque capital offers beautiful snowy scenes in the winter and sizzling days in the summer, setting the stage for a variety of activities in a vibrant city that won’t leave your pockets empty. Whether exploring historical landmarks or enjoying the great outdoors or local culture, Salt Lake City has something for everyone.

Here are 10 fantastic things you can do in Salt Lake City, Utah for $20 or less.

Visit the Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake, which lends its name to the city where it partly resides, is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere and a true natural wonder. Visiting the lake is free, making it a fantastic place to enjoy the stunning scenery and unique geological features. In the summer, you can float effortlessly in its salty waters, particularly at Antelope Island State Park. Here, white oolitic sand beaches offer easy access to the lake without the brine flies found in other areas. It’s a perfect weekend getaway for families looking to enjoy the outdoors.

  • Cost: Day-use fee: $5 per vehicle; $3 per Utah senior citizen vehicle; $20 per commercial vehicle (8+ people); Beach camping fee: $20 per night (tents only).
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  • Get more for your money: Visit during sunset for romantic views, ideal for couples.

Explore the Utah State Capitol

If you’re in the state capital, why not visit the building itself? The Utah State Capitol, completed in 1916, is an architectural masterpiece. Sitting atop Capitol Hill, the building offers a striking view of the city and houses the offices of the state government. Inside, you can find historical exhibits and impressive artwork depicting key moments in Utah’s history.

  • Cost: Free
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  • Get more for your money: All tours are free, so instead of doing a self-guided tour, consider signing up for a guided tour by an expert. Inexpensive luxury.

Discover Temple Square

Temple Square is a 10-acre complex in the heart of Salt Lake City that features the Salt Lake Temple, Tabernacle, and other iconic buildings. It’s free to visit, and guided tours are available. As the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it serves as a spiritual and cultural center, drawing visitors worldwide.

  • Cost: Free
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  • Get more for your money: Visit during the holidays, after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, to see the festive lights.

Visit the Utah Museum of Fine Arts

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts on the University of Utah campus features an impressive collection of artworks from around the world. Admission is inexpensive, proving to be a cultural institution committed to providing access for all to a wide variety of exhibits and special programs.

  • Cost: $17.95 for adults
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  • Get more for your money: Visit on the first Wednesday and third Saturday of the month when admission is free.

Enjoy the Salt Lake City Public Library – Main Library

If you’re a literary lover, the Salt Lake City Public Library – Main Library is an architectural marvel not to be missed. Like most libraries across the U.S., it’s free to visit, but unlike others, it offers stunning views from its rooftop terrace. The library is not just a place for books but also hosts events and exhibits, providing a peaceful respite from the bustling city.

  • Cost: Free
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  • Get more for your money: Visit during one of their free events or exhibitions for a view into Salt Lake City’s local community vibes.

Experience a Utah Symphony Rehearsal

The Utah Symphony offers open rehearsals for some performances. It’s a great way to enjoy classical music without breaking the bank. The rehearsals give you a behind-the-scenes look at the orchestra preparing for concerts.

  • Cost: $15 (not including fees)
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  • Get more for your money: Check the schedule and plan your visit around an upcoming concert, observing the difference between practice and the real deal.

Ice Skating at the Gallivan Center

What better way to enjoy a gorgeous, brisk Salt Lake City winter than ice skating? The perfect venue for this is the Gallivan Center. The outdoor rink offers a classic cold-season activity in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. It’s a charming spot for couples, families or friends. Also, all the concessions are no more than $10.

Take a Walk in Memory Grove

This peaceful park is part of the City Creek Canyon and is free to visit. It has walking trails, memorials, and beautiful scenery. It’s a tranquil spot close to downtown, perfect for a relaxing scenic stroll in the summer.

Hike in the Foothills

When in Salt Lake City, embracing the outdoors is practically mandatory, so consider venturing into the nearby Foothills for a hike. Salt Lake City’s charm lies not just in its urban offerings but also in its proximity to breathtaking mountains and outdoor recreation areas.

  • Cost: Free
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  • Get more for your money: For trail maps, difficulty ratings, and other helpful information, use apps or the official website to plan ahead.

Bowl at Bonwood Bowl

Considered to be “the best bowling in Salt Lake,” Bonwood Bowl is a classic, family-owned bowling alley where locals go for a good time without spending a fortune. It offers the perfect opportunity to pause on the tourist route and see how Salt Lake City residents live. 

  • Cost: $12 or less, depending on how many games you want to play, including shoes
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  • Get more for your money: Look at their weekday specials for even cheaper games.

Salt Lake City offers not only affordable travel experience options but exciting ones, too. From iconic landmarks to enjoying unique cultural experiences, there’s no shortage of things to do for less. With resourcefulness and a spirit of adventure, you can make the most of your time in this major city without overspending. Pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable and wallet-friendly journey.