By Sherry Lewis, BanksNewsToday -- From outdoor adventure, to delicious dining, arts, culture, and history, Utah is the perfect starting point for a Wild West adventure.

We flew into Salt Lake City and began our tour of the capital, with Visit Salt Lake city Connect Pass. It’s the perfect way to get an overview of the city and surrounding areas. Imagine 13 of the most famous and fascinating attractions at an amazing price—45 percent to 80 percent off regular admission prices. It’s available as a one, two, three or 365-day consecutive pass.

With our Connect Passes in hand, we started our journey at Utah’s Hogle Zoo. It’s located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon in the eastern foothills of the city. It’s a great place to get up close and personal with animals from around the world. Here, we marveled at the animals of the Pacific Northwest such as polar bears, seals, sea lions, grizzly bears and more. We were in awe at the rare cats of the Asian Highlands, and the Elephant Encounter. The zoo is located on 42 acres, and is home to a variety of animals, both big and small. For more information, call (801) 582-1631 or log onto

Next, we meandered through a picturesque setting watching for the over 400 birds representing about 135 different species at the Tracy Aviary. Here, several exhibits are masterfully created to represent different bird habitats found north and south along the Western Hemispheric Flyway – the migratory route used by bird species that frequent the Great Salt Lake and other Utah landscapes. For more information, call 801-596-8500 ext. 100 or visit the web at The Connect Pass includes one admission.
We also made the short trek to Snowbird, Utah, to visit Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort. It’s celebrating the longest ski season in Utah, while offering a variety of summer activities as well. We boarded Snowbird’s Aerial Tram to be mesmerized by snow-capped mountains and lush greenery as we were whisked along a 1.6 mile cable and up 2,900 vertical feet during the 10-minute trip to the top of Hidden Peak. The Connect Pass includes one Scenic Foot Passenger Tram Ride. For more information, log onto or call (801) 933-2222.

What an opportunity to visit the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, which was built for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games! Most assuredly, it’s the perfect place for winter activities, but the facility accommodates a range of exhilarating summer activities.

On Sundays at 1 p.m., The Flying Aces Freestyle Show is a hit with the young and young at heart. First hand, we witnessed the skill of members of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Ski Team soar up to 60 feet in the air while performing aerial tricks before landing in a splash pool.

It’s not all about sitting on the sidelines. If you are up for a 435-foot vertical drop, then hop on the Xtreme Zip zip line; jump on The QuickSilver, the park’s stainless steel alpine slide, or jump on the summer bobsled, “The Comet?” Experts are on hand for a guided tour, and be sure to tour the Alf Engen Ski Museum and George Eccles 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum. Some restrictions apply, but a zip line ride, an Alpine Slide, or a guided park tour is included. To learn more about the Utah Olympic Park, call 435-658-4200 or go online at

We also took a step back in time at This is the Place Heritage Park. As we explored this pioneer village, we walked among people in period costumes who demonstrated trades and skills of that era. We panned for gold, watched the children ride ponies and get up close and personal with the animals at the petting zoo. For more information, call 801.582.1847 or visit

The Connect Pass also includes admission to the following:

Clark’s Planetarium
If you want to learn more about space and science, then Clark’s Planetarium is the perfect place. Here, visitors can explore 10,000 square feet of free exhibits and experience incredible visuals in the ATK 3D IMAX® Theatre or Hansen Dome Theatre and shop the Planet Fun Clark Planetarium Store. The Connect Pass includes One Dome Theatre admission and One IMAX documentary admission For more information call 385-468-STAR (7827)

Discovery Gateway
The Children’s Museum of Utah is a contemporary discovery center offering 60,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on fun. The engaging workshops, programs, and exhibits invite the whole family to create, learn, and play together. It is the mission of Discovery Gateway to inspire children of all ages to imagine, discover, and connect with their world to make a difference. For more information, call 801-456-5437 or visit

The Leonardo at Library Square
It’s a museum that explores the unexpected ways that science, technology, art, and creativity connect. The Leo is your place to see one-of-a-kind, interactive exhibits and participate in ever-changing programs, workshops, and classes. For more information, visit or call (801)531-9800.
Red Butte Garden.

It’s the Utah Botanical Garden and part of the University of Utah. It is the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West that tests, displays and interprets regional horticulture. Explore over 100 acres including display gardens and natural area hiking trails. For more information, contact 801-585-0556 or online at

Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Visit the state's primary cultural resource for global visual arts, showcases a world-class permanent collection of art objects from the classical to contemporary periods and presents some 15 rotating exhibitions annually. Highlights include European and American masterworks, art of Utah and the American West, and emerging contemporary art from around the world. Programs, most of them free, include artist talks, films, and family art-making activities. For more information, visit or call 801.581.7332.

Utah Museum of Natural History
Nestled into the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain Range, the Rio Tinto Center rests on a series of terraces that follow the contours of the hillside, blending into the environment. The building is located along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, a popular location for hiking and mountain biking, which serves as the Museum's "main street". For more information, visit or call 801.581.4303.

Thanksgiving Point
Located in Lehi, it allows Connect Pass patrons to visit the 55-acre Thanksgiving Point Gardens and the Museum of Ancient Life, which is one of the world's largest dinosaur museums. For more information, visit or call 801.768.4929.

The Lion House Pantry Restaurant
Located at the Historic Temple Square, we dined on delicious food amidst history, in the Historic Home of Brigham Young. We tasted authentic recipes that have been passed down for through generations. While the menu changes daily, when we visited on Saturday our options included beef and barley soup, pork pot pie, grilled Italian chicken, grilled beef and veggies, a salad, and a Lion House sandwich. To learn more about the daily menu, log onto or call 801-363-LION. The Connect Pass includes one Pioneer Meal ($9.99 value), and it’s valid for lunch or dinner. The restaurant is closed on Sundays.
To purchase your SLC Connect Pass, visit call 800-541-4955 or

With three locations in the Utah, Squatter’s is dishing out some delicious and creative cuisine. It definitely hit the spot after a day of sight-seeing. The wide variety of dining options was impressive. We started with Shrimp and Ahi Ceviche Nachos which were absolutely delicious. Other appetizers include Buffalo Wings, Artichoke Cheese Dip, Edamame, Calamari, just to name a few. Burgers, sandwiches, salads, and entrees options seemed endless. We chose the Fresh Salmon Fillet with ginger glaze, wasabi aioli, sticky rice and seasonal vegetables, and Jambalaya, which included Andouille sausage, chicken, shrimp, peppers and onions in a spicy Cajun sauce over fiesta rice.
Be sure and try Squatters in Salt Lake City, Park City, or at the airport. To view the menu online go to