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6 Game-Changing Cultural Attractions to Check Out Now

Published: 06/13/2012

by Jennifer Ceaser, NY Post

#4 Natural History Museum of Utah Salt Lake City

Utah is a hotbed for fossils, and this museum’s known for its collection of dinosaur specimens. As of last month, the old bones have a new home that’s equally impressive, a striking green building tucked away in the foothills of the Wasatch range. Inside, you’ll find the world’s only display of 14 horned-dinosaur skulls and the only nearly complete Gryposaurus monumentensis skeleton (he’s huge, at 33 feet long, with a massive, duck-billed head; fortunately for our ancestors, he ate only plants). And not only can you see mounted bones – and even walk atop a “found” skeleton — you can also observe paleontology in action, as scientists toil away with tiny instruments on real specimens behind the windowed Paleo Prep Lab. Other floors showcase the native Indian nations of the region, the geological and ecological diversity of the state and how the Great Salt Lake formed. Lest you think that sounds dry, there are plenty of interactive features — like the “smell” buttons throughout — plus live creepy-crawlies that kids will love. And on a beautiful day, the top-floor outdoor sky terrace, devoted to all things astronomical, has jaw-dropping views of the surrounding mountains and the city; on a clear day you can even catch a glimpse of the Great Salt Lake in the distance (nhmu.utah.edu).

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