YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

Salt Lake City

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search

Salt Lake City [44] is the capital and largest city of Utah, with a population of approximately 190,000 (the Salt Lake Metro Area in its entirety has over a million people). It is one of the largest cities in the Southwest region of the United States, although its climate is more similar to the Rocky Mountain region. It lies in the Salt Lake Valley along the Wasatch Front urban corridor, located between the Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west; on the border between the Rocky Mountain and Great Basin geographic regions.

Salt Lake City is well-known as the center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormon church), although fewer than half of the city's residents are members. The city is also known as a base for outdoor recreation, including the many nearby ski resorts just east of the city which were thrust into the world spotlight by the 2002 Winter Olympics.


Downtown Salt Lake City


When traveling to the city, knowledge of Salt Lake's famous grid system is a big plus. The entire valley lies on the same grid system. Most major streets are laid out precisely running north-south or east-west. The origin of the grid is located downtown, on the south-east corner of Temple Square. Street addresses are coordinates within the grid system in intervals of 100 every street. For example, one might speak of the intersection of 700 East and 2100 South as either "seventh east and twenty-first south" or "seven hundred east and twenty-one hundred south" (remember that in conversations, locals usually opt for the first one; try not to get confused between say, 7th East and 21st South and 7 East and 21 South, both of which are very different addresses). Addresses are specific numbers, such as 840 South 1300 East ("Eight-Fourty south 13th east"). Downtown blocks are 1/8 of a mile in length, but blocks become more irregularly spaced farther from the city center. Most people will recognize the grid as one they studied in school, with a point of origin and 4 quadrants. After getting used to the system, you will find that it is very easy to navigate and simple to understand, although the streets become more and more irregular the farther south you move. It can also get confusing outside of the Salt Lake Valley, where many cities (whether or not they've grown into each other) often have separate systems, so that a single road that divides two cities may have two different names for the grid systems of the two different cities. A different grid variant is found in the North East corner of Salt Lake City and is known as The Avenues. The Avenues are composed of North-south avenues which are lettered, A through U, while east-west avenues are numbered 1 though 14

Significant neighborhoods in SLC include Downtown, the financial core that's home to Temple Square (the main headquarters of the Mormon church); Central City, the main residential area of the city, approximately 400 South to 900 South; Sugar House, a commercial/residential district with many local and national shops; Federal Heights, an affluent district to the northeast; The Avenues a historical neighborhood with many late 1800 and early 1900 buildings; University, the area surrounding the sprawling University of Utah [45] campus and the adjacent VA Medical Center, Research Park, and Fort Douglas; East Bench or Foothill, a residential area bisected by the major arterial road Foothill Boulevard between 900 South and I-80; Capitol Hill, an affluent district just north of Downtown topped by the Utah State Capitol building; Rose Park a residential in the northwest section of the city; and Glendale a residential, primarily Hispanic district to the southwest, home to the International Peace Gardens. The benches are the mostly residential, upper-class communities constructed mostly along the slopes of the Wasatch Mountains on the east side of the valley, although they have recently been growing in the southern valley (the low Traverse Mountains) and the western valley (the Oquirrh Mountains). The east side is traditionally more affluent and conservative than the west side, leading to the expected "cultural rivalries" that you find in other cities with clear divides, although this divide is arguably less pronounced in Salt Lake City than in most major cities.

The Wasatch Front is the region located along the western edge of the Wasatch Mountain Range. It stretches from approximately Brigham City on the north to Santaquin on the south, and includes Ogden, Salt Lake City, and Provo. More than two-thirds of Utah's population are located in this region. One thing to realize is that when people speak of Salt Lake City, they are often referring to Salt Lake Valley as a whole, or at least the suburbs adjoining Salt Lake City immediately to the south. Significant suburbs of Salt Lake City include Sandy (in the southern half of the valley), Murray and Midvale (in the center of the valley), West Valley City and West Jordan (large suburbs immediately to the southwest), and Holladay, which although it only contains a small section of the eastern bench area, is often used to define the entire east bench area (often used colloquially with "Cottonwood"). "Millcreek" is used to define areas a little further north on the east bench and adjacent to Salt Lake City and south of I-80.

People who fly into Salt Lake City to visit the national parks and wild terrain of Southern Utah should keep in mind that just because they're in the same state does not mean they are close; in most cases, Las Vegas is actually closer to the parks. Many of them are about a 5 hour drive away from Salt Lake City.

Also those trying to get into Southern Utah, can land at Salt Lake City International Airport, then take about a 45 minute flight to St. George Municipal Airport, and you're right there.


"This is the Place" Monument

Salt Lake City was settled in 1847 by Brigham Young and his followers in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the LDS Church or the Mormon Church, and whose followers are often called Mormons (originally a derogative term, now accepted and widely-used) or, less frequently (but more officially), Latter-day Saints. The Mormons migrated to the Salt Lake Valley following religious conflicts and violence in the East. The city immediately became a major transit point for people moving westward in the California Gold Rush, and the LDS Church's strong practice of missionary work drew converts primarily from Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia to emigrate to Salt Lake City during the 1850s and 1860s in long "handcart treks", a tradition that is now ingrained in Mormon culture. This migration allowed it to become one of the largest cities in the Old West, although the conservative Church values bucked the typical Old West trend of lawless towns, sheriffs, cowboys, brothels, and rowdy saloons. Pacific Islanders are another group that was significantly recruited by the Church, and Salt Lake City possesses an unusually high Pacific Islander population. The handcart tradition ended with the arrival of the railroad in 1870, which also, with the rise of mining and industry, contributed to the first major influx of "Gentiles" (non-Mormons) into the city.

The "Utah Territory" often clashed with the U.S. government over the LDS Church's practice of polygamy. The most notable clash occurred from 1857-1858 when the government mistakenly believed that Brigham Young, the church leader and governor of the territory, planned to lead a rebellion against the government. The government then sent the military to install their own governor and maintain control over the supposed rebellious colony. Although little actual fighting took place, the event is now known as the Utah War. Brigham Young eventually conceded to their demands, although long fights over the legal status of polygamy continued through the 1880s, with statehood for Utah being denied multiple times and with the federal government passing increasingly harsher anti-polygamy laws throughout the 1870s and 1880s that landed several prominent church officials in jail. In 1890, the LDS Church prophet, Wilford Woodruff, told his members to give up polygamy, a declaration that eventually allowed Utah to achieve statehood, with Salt Lake City as its capital, in 1896.

Although the majority of Utah's residents are still members of the LDS Church (estimates generally range from 60%-70%, although the percentage of practicing members is lower), Salt Lake City itself is less than half Mormon, with some areas (especially areas dominated by ethnic minorities or more artsy areas such as the lower Avenues and Sugarhouse) being lower still.


Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°F) 37 43 52 62 72 83 92 90 80 66 50 39
Nightly lows (°F) 20 24 31 38 46 54 62 61 51 40 30 22
Precipitation (in) 1.3 1.2 1.8 2 1.8 0.9 0.7 0.8 1.1 1.3 1.3 1.3

Check Salt Lake City's 7 day forecast at NOAA

The climate of Salt Lake City is widely-variable from season to season. It's very dry, averaging from 14-20 inches (350-500 mm) of precipitation per year, much of which falls as snow, which averages from 50-80 inches (125-200 cm) per year. The wide variation is due to the huge elevation changes within the city; the lower amounts are the averages on the valley floor. Summers are hot, long, and particularly dry, while winters are cold and snowy.

Winter (mid-November to early March): Winter is generally a poor time to travel in Salt Lake City, unless you're looking to ski in the nearby ski resorts. Daytime temperatures generally run anywhere from 25°F to 50°F (-4-10°C). Low temperatures are usually below freezing, and on rare occasions can even drop below 0°F (-18°C). Snow falls often, but single snowfalls exceeding about 10 inches (25 cm) are rare. Even when it is not snowing, a phenomenon known as the inversion develops, which traps cold, moist air and air pollutants in the valley, sometimes for weeks on end. This can lead to some of the worst air quality conditions found in the country. The mountains are clear and beautiful during these times, but also quite warm. During an inversion, be prepared for fog on the valley bottom.

Because of the frequency of snow, it takes a very large snowstorm to cripple or shut down the city. Minor snowfalls are basically treated as a daily occurrence in winter, with the city continuing to operate as normal. Generally it takes about 12-15+ inches (30-38+ cm) valley-wide to have a significant effect on the activity of the city, and even more for a citywide shutdown. Despite the frequency of snowfall, it is usually calm (no blizzards are seen in Salt Lake City, unlike in the Midwest or Northeast), and most snowfalls are very light and fluffy (although heavy, wet snowfall can occur). Even though snow is common, there are still far too many people who don't know how to drive in it (often half-jokingly attributed by the locals to transplants from southern California).

Spring (early March to late May): Springs in Salt Lake City are mild, but it is also the wettest and windiest time of year. High temperatures during this time range from about 45°F to 80°F (7-27°C). Low temperatures are cool, and usually still drop below freezing on occasion into April. Although it's the wettest time of year, it's still dry in comparison to many cities in the Midwest or Eastern U.S., and heavy, prolonged rain is rare. Light-to-moderate snowfall can often be found well into April as well. Sunny spring days, which are quite common, offer some of the best weather available in Salt Lake City. However, the snowpack in the mountains usually reaches its peak in early April and doesn't melt entirely until late May or June, so spring is still a poor time to enjoy outdoor summer activities, such as hiking, camping, and boating, in the mountains. However, the ski resorts are usually open until mid-April, and Snowbird is often open longer.

Summer (late May to mid-September): Summer in Salt Lake City is long, dry, and hot. High temperatures during this period range anywhere from 80°F to 105°F (27-41°C). Humidity is very low and nights are usually comfortable. Although a very dry season, powerful Pacific storms can sometimes impact the city as late as early June, prolonging the wet season and keeping temperatures cooler. Mid-June through early July in particular is very dry. From mid-July to mid-September, the monsoon affects Utah, bringing fairly frequent evening thunderstorms to the city. Although sometimes these thunderstorms are very powerful, bringing hail, lightning, and street flooding, they're usually relatively short-lived. Sometimes the humidity is so low that the rain doesn't even reach the valley floor. However, even a "dry" thunderstorm in the valley often drops heavy rain and even hail in the mountains. If you can avoid the thunderstorms, summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities in the mountains. The snow is long-gone by the end of June, and temperatures rarely reach above 80°F (27°C), even during the heart of summer.

Autumn (mid-September to mid-November): Autumn is the best time to visit Salt Lake City. It's usually drier and warmer than spring. Temperatures are comfortable, ranging from 45°F to 80°F (7-27°C) during the daytime. Powerful Pacific storms begin impacting the state by mid-October, but are usually infrequent. Although storms can again start dropping snow in the mountains, the snowpack usually doesn't begin building until November. The first light snowfall and overnight freezing temperatures in the valley usually occur by the beginning of November, and by mid-November, snowfall and cold temperatures should be prepared for. The leaves on the trees reach their brilliant peak color in the mountains in mid to late September and about a month later in the valleys.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Salt Lake City International Airport (IATA: SLC), 776 North Terminal Drive, +1 801 575-2400 (toll free: +1 800-595-2442), [1]. Located on the western edge of the city. It serves as Delta Air Lines mid-country hub, with nearly 300 daily departures for Delta alone. It has direct international flights to various cities in Mexico and Canada, as well as a few other major European cities including Amsterdam, London, and Paris. The Utah Transit Authority [2] offers light rail service from the airport on the TRAX Green Line 704. Fare is $2.50 each way. The last light rail departure leaves at 11:27pm on weekdays, and at 11:11pm on weekends. Service is offered every 15 minutes weekdays and 20 minutes weekends. Some downtown hotels offer free shuttle service to and from the airport. A taxi will cost $15-$20 from the airport to downtown.

South Valley Regional Airport. Located to the southwest of the city in West Jordan, this serves as a regional airport for smaller, private aircraft.

  • ProTrans Transportation, (877) 255-2631‎, [3]. 24 hours/day. Airport Transportation service that provides SUV's with 4WD that will transport you from Salt Lake City International Airport to Salt Lake City & Park City ski resorts.  edit

Other regional airports include Provo Municipal airport [46] and the Ogden-Hinckley municipal airport [47], but these primarily serve private craft. Limited airline service is available.

By car[edit]

Interstate 80 slices through the city east-to-west, passing the airport and meeting Interstate 15 west of Downtown. I-80 continues east into the Wasatch Mountains and eventually Wyoming (this route can be closed due to winter weather), and west across the desert to Nevada. I-15 slices through the city and its suburbs north-to-south down the center of the valley, providing access across the entire Wasatch Front, reaching St. George and eventually Las Vegas far to the south and entering eastern Idaho to the north. Interstate 215 provides a loop around the city, providing access to many of its suburbs and running near the airport. U.S. Highway 89 enters from the north parallel to I-15. The new Legacy Parkway runs parallel to I-15 from the north and connects to I-215, providing an alternative to travel into/out of Davis County. Otherwise, there are few routes into the valley due to geographic constraints, although all of the suburbs fit nicely into the grid system of Salt Lake City. Traffic jams are relatively rare, although they can occur, especially along I-15 during rush hour.

By bus[edit]

  • Greyhound, 300 South 600 W (Salt Lake Intermodal Hub), +1 801 355-9579, [48].
  • TUFESA Bus Lines [49] , Bus service to/from Mexico.
  • The Utah Transit Authority (UTA), +1 801 743-3882, [50]. Operates an extensive bus system all across the Wasatch Front, so you can easily and readily reach Salt Lake City by public transportation from almost anywhere along the Wasatch Front.

By train[edit]

Amtrak, 340 S 600 W (Salt Lake Intermodal Hub), [51]. Salt Lake City is served by the California Zephyr, Amtrak's Chicago-San Francisco train. The westbound train (#5) arrives daily at 11PM and departs at 11:30PM; the eastbound train (#6) arrives daily at 3:05AM and departs at 3:35AM.

FrontRunner, [52]. A commuter rail line running between Pleasant View (just north of Ogden), the Salt Lake Intermodal Hub, and Provo city. Service currently runs every half-hour on weekdays and every hour on Saturdays. One-way fares range from $2.50-5.50 depending on how far you travel.

Get around[edit]

Map of Salt Lake City

By car[edit]

When navigating the city, it is important to have a knowledge of the unique and simple grid system that the city is based on. (See the description under Understand).

The city is very car-friendly due to wide, straight roads and the fact that they're laid out in a simple grid orientation. Although the streets become much more irregular in the suburbs, the grid system maintains itself pretty well within the boundaries of the city (although the east bench makes straight grid-oriented roads impossible, evidenced by the northwest-to-southeast orientation of Foothill Boulevard). Although the grid becomes more irregular the farther away from the city center you move, the numbering system remains consistent, and even named streets have their corresponding "grid number" listed below the name of the road on the street sign. The grid system means that you can easily reach almost every major road from almost every other major road. Car travel is also simplified by the fact that only one major one-way street pair exists in the city (500 South and 600 South).

Salt Lake City is well-served by freeways, with Interstate 15 running straight north-south through the city, running straight past downtown. I-15 through the city is 10 lanes with 2 High-Occupancy Vehicle lanes (more commonly known as "carpool lanes"). I-80 briefly merges with I-15 just west of downtown, and continues west past the airport and east past the Sugarhouse neighborhood, passing a major shopping district and running through a major residential area. I-215 runs through the west part of the city, directing traffic into the city from the western neighborhoods and the northern and southern suburbs. It intersects with I-80 just west of the airport. State Route 201 (often referred to as "SR 201", the "201 freeway", "21st South Freeway", or just the "201"), heads west from I-80's southern merge point along the border with West Valley City, although it mostly serves residents looking to come into or go out of the city. The interchange where the three freeways come together on the border with South Salt Lake is known as the "Spaghetti Bowl".

Although the roads are generally wide and spacious and generously laid out in a grid pattern, the geography of the valley forces transportation to be very north-south oriented, and this can cause severe traffic congestion on all major roads. The worst traffic is seen on I-15 north into Davis County, where rush hour traffic jams are a common sight, throughout the surface roads, especially in the heart of downtown and in the central and southern parts of the city. The Legacy Parkway was recently completed into Davis County and connects with I-215 in the far northern part of the city. This has significantly alleviated traffic during rush hour going into and out of Davis County.

Utah has many drivers on its roads from many different surrounding states and various countries. For the most part, you will find most western US drivers' styles consistent with other urban and rural locations. However, Utah drivers are known for being more prone to cutting people off, speeding and aggressively changing lanes without signaling. While driving in any location, the best advice is to safely follow the flow of traffic, whether it is faster in the city or slower in the country, obey all traffic laws, and be patient and courteous to other drivers.

Utah drivers also generally know how to drive in snow, although like anywhere there are still plenty of people who don't (particularly transplants from sunnier locations).

By bus[edit]

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA), +1 801 743-3882 [53] operates an extensive bus system that reaches the entire Wasatch Front, with the most extensive coverage in and around Salt Lake City. Every light rail (TRAX) station in Salt Lake City is connected by several bus routes. Only the most important routes operate during nighttime hours, Sundays, and holidays, although even nighttime routes will often end service around midnight. In winter, service to the four ski resorts located in the Cottonwood Canyons to the east, in the Wasatch Range, is provided. Standard one-way fares are $2.25. A day pass (which is good for both bus and TRAX rides) is $5.50, and most of downtown is a free fare zone for all UTA service (bus and light rail).

By train[edit]

Another good way to get around the city is on UTA's light rail system, or TRAX [54]. There are three separate lines, Red, Blue and Green. The Blue line connects to the Salt Lake City Intermodal Hub, which is also used by Amtrak, Greyhound, FrontRunner, and UTA buses. The Green Line connects the Salt Lake International Airport to downtown. The Blue and Green lines head past Vivint Smart Home Arena and Temple Square before turning south on Main Street through Downtown. The Blue Line continues south through South Salt Lake, Murray, Midvale, and ends at the Draper Town Center at about 12400 South. The Green Line splits off around 2100 South and heads west into West Valley City. The Red line serves the University of Utah on the east bench, coming down 400 South to Downtown before joining the Blue line, which it follows south to Murray before spliting west into West Jordan and South Jordan. Standard fares for all light rail lines are $2.25 one-way, $4.50 round-trip, and $5.50 for a day pass (which includes bus and light rail service). Downtown is a free fare zone for all UTA bus and light rail lines.

By bicycle[edit]

Salt Lake City offers trails and routes through the city and around the city for bicyclists of all ages. It is legal to cycle on the sidewalk in all but the central blocks of the city; sidewalks tend to be wide and (except for the center of the city) with few pedestrians. State law requires sidewalk riders to signal audibly when they do overtake pedestrians. Many of the major attractions of the city are accessible by bicycle, and it is easy and quick to get out to the zoo or the university by bike.

Several major streets offer bicycle lanes and signed shared roadways, but some of these are too narrow and can place bicyclist in the "car-door zone." In some cases it may be easier to cycle on an adjacent quieter street heading the same direction. Navigation is easy, and if the street you are on looks too busy, there is always an alternative street to choose. The wider streets in the city centre don't make it any easier for cyclists, as they are just taken up with extra car lanes, and are just extra lanes to get across when turning. Roadway cyclists must follow the same traffic laws as cars.

There are some off-road paths and mountain bicycling trails, following the Jordan River south from I-80 is a well developed path, but a little desolate in parts. City Creek Canyon is open to bicycles only some days. The Salt Lake City Green Bikeways Map [55] provides detailed bicycle route information about these routes and trails.

Bicycles are permitted on all UTA [56] buses, TRAX and Frontrunner trains. All bus routes have bike racks except for the ski routes and para-transit (on-demand bus service). Bicycle lockers may also be rented from the UTA at several stations. In addition a new Bike Transit Center opened Sept. 2010 at the Downtown Inter-modal hub which features bike rentals and a repair shop.

In Spring 2013, the SLC Transportation department launched a short-term bike rental program for the downtown area called GreenBike. [57]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Salt Lake City Main Library, 210 East 400 S, ""+1, [4]. M-Th 9AM-9PM, F Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 1PM-5PM. One of Salt Lake City's newest and most architecturally unique buildings. It includes unique uses of natural light, plenty of reading space and a rooftop garden. Free.  edit
  • Salt Lake City and County Building, 451 S State St, +1 801 533-0858, [58]. Seat of city government since 1894. The building's central clock tower is topped with a statue of Columbia and rises 256 feet (78 m) from the ground. The building has four floors and over one hundred rooms. Onyx lines the hall of each lavishly decorated floor. The third floor houses the mayor's office in the south wing and the city council chamber in the north. Portraits of the city's past mayors up to and including Deedee Corradini line the corridor between these offices. The fourth floor features an exhibit commemorating the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City.
  • This Is The Place Heritage Park, 2601 E Sunnyside Ave, +1 801 582-1847, [5]. 9AM-5PM daily. Marking a spot overlooking the valley, where city founder Brigham Young supposedly said "This is the Place," the park features a monument to the Mormon settlers of Utah as well as a recreation of a frontier Utah village with several historical buildings which were moved to the site. Demonstrations of frontier life frequently take place here. Monument free; frontier village $5, $3 children/seniors.  edit
  • Utah State Capitol, 350 N State St (just N of Downtown), +1 801 538-3074, [6]. M-F 8AM-8PM, Sa Su 8AM-6PM. The grand state capitol building sits in a lovely park overlooking Downtown. Outside are several memorials and a reflecting pond, inside is some very monumental architecture. Free guided tours are offered on the hour on weekdays. Free.  edit
  • Sugar House is one of Salt Lake City's oldest and most interesting neighborhoods. The center of the Sugar House neighborhood is located at 1100 East and 2100 South. In recent years it has become the home of hip shops and the fashionable youth of the city. Sugar House is a mixed-use commercial/residential region located approximately between State Street on the west, 2100 East on the east, 1700 South on the north and 2100 South on the south (2700 South east of 500 East). The area around between 1300 East and 1100 East, and down 1100 East for a short while was recently the location of many of the fashionable shops and youth culture of the region, however because of a major renovation project, many of the unique businesses have relocated to different parts of the city or have been forced to close.
  • Grand America Hotel, 555 S Main St, +1 801 258-6000, [59]. A five star hotel on the south end of downtown. Often rated among the best hotels in America it is certainly one of the most beautiful city hotels in the world. Almost no cost was spared on building the hotel, which was built to be "the best hotel ever built". The hotel features some of the most expensive chandeliers and mirrors in the Western Hemisphere. The hotel has a million dollar mirror.
  • Hogle Zoo, 2600 Sunnyside Ave, +1 801 582-1631, [60]. Winter 9AM-4PM daily, Summer 9AM-5PM daily. The local zoo sits at the mouth of Emigration Canyon on the east side of the city. On 42 acres, the zoo's two largest exhibits include elephants and primates. $19.95 adults, $15.95 seniors/children, 2 and under free.
  • Clark Planetarium, 110 South 400 W (in the Gateway Mall), +1 801 456-7827, [61]. M-W 10:30AM-8PM, Th 10:30AM-9PM, F Sa 10:30AM-11PM, Su 10:30AM-6PM. Has free exhibits, and for a fee you can watch IMAX movies and laser shows. Shows $8 adults/teens/seniors, $6 children, $6 matinee tickets.
  • University of Utah, [62].
    • Natural History Museum of Utah, 301 Wakara Way, +1 801 581-6927, [63]. Daily 10AM-5PM, Wed 10AM-9PM. Well known for its Jurassic-era dinosaur skeletons. $9, $7 seniors, $7 youth, $6 children, under 3 free.
    • Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Marcia and John Price Museum Bldg, 410 Campus Center Dr, +1 801 581-7332, [64]. Tu–F 10AM–5PM, W 10AM–8PM, Sa Su 11AM–5PM. Utah's premier visual arts museum, the UMFA's collection spans more than 5,000 years of art history, with some 18,000 works from antiquity to contemporary art. Changing galleries and special exhibitions open throughout the year and there's a variety of public programs, such as films, artist talks, tours, and family art-making activities. $7 adults, $5 seniors/youth, under 6 free.
    • Rice Eccles Olympic Stadium, 451 South 1400 E, +1 801 581-5445, [65]. The site of the 2002 Winter Olympic opening and closing ceremonies. The torch is on the south end of the stadium. Currently home to the University of Utah football team.
  • The Living Planet Aquarium, 725 E 10600 S, +1 801 355-3474, [7]. Winter Su-Th 11AM-6PM, F Sa 11AM-7PM, Summer Su-Th 10AM-7PM, F Sa 10AM-8PM. Highlights animal habitats in Utah waters, the oceans and South American species. Entertaining, interactive educational exhibits and programs.  edit
  • Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA), 20 So. West Temple, +1 801 328-4201, [8]. Tue-Thu & Sat 11AM-6PM, Fri 11AM-9PM. The award-winning Utah Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits groundbreaking artwork by local, national, and international artists. Four gallery spaces provide an opportunity for the community to explore the contemporary cultural landscape through UMOCA’s exhibitions, films, events, classes, and presentations. Admission is FREE.  edit

Temple Square[edit]

Temple Square

+1 801 240-2534, [66]. Visitor centers and assembly buildings are generally open daily 9AM-9PM. Free admission.

Located in the heart of downtown, Temple Square is the most visited location in Utah. The square serves as the world headquarters of the LDS Church and the main attraction is the Church’s Salt Lake Temple, but there are a host of other facilities, including museums, libraries, gardens, restaurants and assembly facilites.

There are numerous missionaries speaking many languages to help to show you around the temple grounds. There are two visitor centers, one at the northwest corner of the square and another at the corner of South Temple and Main Streets, both with numerous exhibits and video presentations explaining the Mormon faith. There is a free tour from the airport for connecting passengers, weather permitting. Note that non-Mormons are not permitted inside the Temple itself, and even Mormons are not permitted inside the Temple unless they hold a church-issued permit known as a "Temple recommend".

Temple Square also contains several LDS administrative and assembly buildings. The Tabernacle, a unique oval-shaped domed building just west of the temple that serves as the home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, is open for guided tours as well as viewings of organ recitals and Thursday rehearsals and Sunday "Music and the Spoken Word" broadcasts of the choir. On the southwest corner of the square, the Victorian-Gothic style Assembly Hall is open for self-guided visits and hosts concerts Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30PM. The LDS Conference Center, across the street from the north side of the square, contains a lot of LDS-related art and architecture as well as a series of waterfalls and carefully-groomed gardens on the roof of the structure. You can also go to the top of the Church Office Building (M-F and Saturdays in summer 9AM-4:30PM), one of the tallest buildings in the city, which offers great views of the area.

The southeast corner of the square is home to a number of historic buildings, including the Beehive House (daily 9AM-9PM), a former residence of city founder Brigham Young open for free guided tours, the Lion House, another former residence of Brigham Young that is now operated as a restaurant, and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, a former grand hotel which today holds a number of meeting and dining facilities, public computers for genealogical research and a theater showing free church-produced films.

Temple Square springs into overdrive twice a year when the LDS church holds its semiannual General Conference, an event that attracts tens of thousands of visitors from around the world. Another popular event is the "Christmas Lights at Temple Square." The LDS Church maintains beautiful gardens year-round that are worth seeing if you see nothing else.

  • Church History Museum, 45 North West Temple St (just across the street, west of Temple Sq), +1 801 240-3310, [9]. M-F 9AM-9PM, Sa Su, Holidays 10AM-7PM. This free museum has a permanent display that outlines the history of the LDS church from Joseph Smith until the arrival in Salt Lake City. There is also a rotating display of different LDS themed artwork. The church history portion takes about 30 minutes to walk through if you read the descriptions of the museum pieces. Free.  edit
  • Family History Library, 35 North West Temple St (just across the street, west of Temple Sq), +1 866 406-1830, [10]. M 8AM-5PM, Tu-Sa 8AM-9PM, closed Sundays. The genealogical wing of the Mormon church, this library is the largest of its kind in the world. It is open to the public and attracts multitudes of visitors interested in tracing their family history. Research assistants are available to help patrons. Free.  edit


  • Liberty Park, between 700 East and 600 East and 900 South and 1300 South. Salt Lake City's "Central Park" with many different areas for many different activities including a small amusement park (very small), a large pond that sometimes has paddle boats available, fountains to play in, children's play area, swimming pools, tennis courts, bbq areas, plenty of green space, tall shade trees, bike and running paths.
    • Tracy Aviary, ""589, +1 801 596-8500, [11]. 9AM-5PM daily. Located on eight acres of land within Liberty Park, this aviary is home to 300 birds representing about 130 species (many rare or endangered). There are plenty of eye-opening and educational experiences among the wonderful canopy of large trees, two on-site springs and beautiful flowers. Offers year-round exhibits, bird shows, bird-themed crafts and avian encounters. $5, $4 students/seniors, $3 children, 3 and under free..  edit
  • Sugarhouse Park, between 1300 East and 1500 East and 2100 South and I-80, [67]. A large 110-acre park with a small pond, volleyball courts, soccer fields, a baseball diamond, picnic areas, rolling grassy hills and a garden center. The park is popular with runners and walkers, who exercise on the mile park road. The park was built on the former site of the Utah Territorial Prison. The park features a small pond often inhabited by the renowned California Gull, the state bird. Every July 4, one of the largest fireworks shows in the state takes place here, so expect traffic jams around the park that day.
  • Pioneer Park, on 300 West and 400 South. Home to the outdoor Farmer's Market [68] on Saturdays from June to October. The market is very popular and safe, but the park has a large homeless population and should be avoided at night for safety reasons.
  • Gilgal Sculpture Garden, 749 East 500 S, +1 801 582-0432, [69]. A small but very unique collection of sculpture.
  • Memory Grove, North Canyon Rd. (120 East), [70]. Featuring several memorials and a meditation chapel.
  • Lindsay Gardens, 7th Ave and M St. A park in the city's first neighborhood that lies next to a large cemetery. Often serene, the park offers spectacular views of the valley.

Do[edit][add listing]

For event listings, try the event calendars in SLUG or the City Weekly (see Newspapers in the Cope section), or Now Playing Utah [71] run by the Utah Arts & Cultural Coalition (UACC). If you are visiting Salt Lake in the summer, there is a good chance that there will be an outdoor concert or festival.

Outdoor recreation[edit]

Salt Lake City is a major hub for outdoor recreation of startling variety.

Summer activities, such as camping, hiking/geocaching, mountain biking, rock-climbing, fishing, boating, etc. are popular, as the mountains around Salt Lake City provide outdoor opportunities of all kinds. A 10-15 minute drive provides access to dozens of canyon trails for hiking and mountain biking. Red Butte Gardens and the surrounding area, and City Creek Canyon are popular with locals. In addition, SLC is a 5-hour drive away from the major national parks and unique, striking desert sandstone terrain of Southern Utah.

Great Salt Lake - shallow, salty lake in northwestern portion of state northwest of Salt Lake City. The Great Salt Lake Marina, operated as a state park, Great Salt Lake State Park and Marina [72] is located on the south shore of the Great Salt Lake, 16 miles west of Salt Lake City along Interstate 80. The Great Salt Lake Marina has 300 slips and is available for year-round boating on the lake that never freezes. Few power boats frequent the lake which makes this large lake with beautiful vistas and expansive night skies an excellent sailing location. The Great Salt Lake Yacht Club [73] organizes sailboat races which occur all summer. The Great Salt Lake is also one of the largest bird refuges in the West, and is home to a large pelican colony on the cliffs of Antelope Island. Antelope Island is a state park and offers a herd of bison, hiking and bird watching, in addition to hiking trails. Recreation on and around the lake is preferable to swimming and wading.

There are several world-class ski resorts accessible within minutes of SLC. Ski areas in both of the Cottonwood Canyons are served by UTA buses from late November until April. Park City, the main venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics, is a 40 minute drive up Parley's Canyon. They are famous for the light, fluffy snowfalls caused by the low humidity and heavy 'lake-effect' storm clouds. In addition, some of the heaviest snowfall in the nation occurs in the Wasatch Mountains. Many of the resorts host concerts, festivals and outdoor activities during the summer, and offer discounted accommodations at that time.

  • Brighton, Big Cottonwood Canyon, [74]. Within 25 minutes of downtown.
  • Solitude, Big Cottonwood Canyon, [75]. 25 minutes from downtown.
  • Snowbird, Little Cottonwood Canyon, [76]. This scenic resort is within 30 minutes of Downtown. As well as skiing and snowboarding there's a scenic tram ride for non-skiers to top of 11,000 ft Hidden Peak which operates year round (weather permitting), and the views from Hidden Peak in all directions are spectacular. In the summer, Snowbird also operates a sort of carnival, with numerous rides and activities.
  • Alta, Little Cottonwood Canyon, [77]. This resort is also within 30 minutes of downtown. This resort does not allow snowboarding.
  • Park City Resort, [78].
  • The Canyons, in Park City, [79]. About 40 minutes from Salt Lake.
  • Deer Valley, in Park City, [80]. About 40 minutes from Salt Lake. No snowboarding.


  • Utah's main professional sports team is the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Utah's fans are known as being raucous and their home court of Vivint Smart Home Arena is considered one of the most difficult places to play in the entire NBA. The NBA season lasts from November through mid-April; the playoffs can last as long as early June. It is directly accessible from the TRAX light rail system and service is often increased for games.
  • Real Salt Lake (pronounced ree-awl like Real Madrid as opposed to the English word real) is a member of Major League Soccer (MLS) and plays their home games at Rio Tinto Stadium, also directly accessible from TRAX, in nearby Sandy. The season lasts from March through October, with the playoffs lasting into November. They are a fairly new team, established in 2005, but won the MLS Cup (league championship) in 2009 and lost in the MLS Cup final in 2013.
  • Salt Lake City also has two minor-league teams. The Salt Lake Bees, the AAA affiliate of Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels, play in the Pacific Coast League (PCL). They make their home at Smith's Ballpark (the largest ballpark in the entire PCL), located south of downtown and served directly by TRAX. The Utah Grizzlies, the minor league affiliate of the NHL's Anaheim Ducks, play in the ECHL. The Grizzlies play their home games at the Maverik Center (formerly the E Center) in West Valley City.
  • In college sports, the Utah Utes [81] represent the University of Utah in NCAA Division I competition. The Utes are members of the Pacific-12 Conference, along with nine other large public universities in the western U.S. plus the private University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Stanford University in the Bay Area. The campus, including the school's main venues of Rice–Eccles Stadium (football) and the Jon M. Huntsman Center (basketball), is directly accessible from TRAX, with one train station next to the football stadium.

Arts, performing arts and cinema[edit]

  • Downtown Salt Lake City is home to at least 20 art galleries and antiques shops. A free downtown Gallery Stroll [82] is organized on the third Friday of every month. A "gallery row" of sorts is near 300 South and 200 East.
  • The Ballet West Ballet Company [83] perform regularly at Capitol Theater downtown. They were the subject of the reality TV series "Breaking Pointe," which was renewed for a second season in 2013.
  • The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company [84] perform contemporary dance at the Rose Wagner theater, also downtown.
  • The Utah Symphony / Utah Opera collaborative [85] perform at both Capitol Theater and Abravanel Hall.

Salt Lake City has always had a love affair with live theater, and several historic buildings were playhouses in the 1930s. Two professional companies maintain a full performance season:

  • Pioneer Theatre Company [86], who perform at the Pioneer Theatre on the University of Utah campus.
  • Salt Lake Acting Company [87], whose theater is north of downtown.

There is an active improv comedy community [88], including several standing weekly or monthly performances. Salt Lake City is also home to the Wise Guys Comedy clubs, which feature touring stand up comedians.

Kingsbury Hall, on the University of Utah Campus, features touring national plays, musicals, and other special performances. Red Butte Gardens [89] has a popular summer concert series in their amphitheater. The state-run event calendar Now Playing Utah lists touring acts and special events [90].

Movies are a passion for Salt Lakers, as Utah has served as the backdrop to many Hollywood blockbusters and Salt Lake is home to many film festivals (sure, you've heard of Sundance, but there are many more). The Salt Lake Film Society [91] runs two movie theaters showing only independent and foreign films, and special screenings of classic films. They also provide screenings for the Sundance Film Festival in January. The Tower Theatre on 876 East 900 South was built in 1921 and is the oldest Salt Lake theater still in operation. The Broadway Centre Cinemas on 300 South and 111 East are within walking distance of downtown hotels. On summer evenings, some venues in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas support free or low-cost outdoor movies, usually with a family-friendly rating and subject matter. Downtown, these are hosted at the Gallivan Center.

Several taverns and bars in Salt Lake City regularly have live music acts featuring local bands ranging from blues to ska, and punk rock to dueling pianos. The Salt Lake Arts Council runs the popular Twilight Concert Series on Thursday nights in July and August. The concerts also feature a small arts and crafts market and food service from local restaurants and food trucks. Nationally touring acts generally stop in Salt Lake City as a logical tour stop between Las Vegas and Denver, and so many concert dates take place mid-week.

Sightseeing Tour[edit]

Visit Salt Lake City and discover the history and culture of this great city via an open-air, double decker or trolley bus. Hop on and off at up to 18 different stops. Salt Lake City Sightseeing at it's finest.


  • Granite Peaks Lifelong Learning [92] is part of the Granite School District in Salt Lake City and offers a wide variety of courses for serious education or for fun at a reasonable price. English as a second language, GED Prep and Food Handler's Permit classes are available, as well as a few Spanish-language courses. For those of you looking for something more fun, sign up for wine tasting, pottery or even ghost hunting!
  • The Univeristy of Utah Continuing Education Department [93] also offers classes on art, finance, foreign languages and a variety of specialty subjects.
  • Family History Library, 35 North West Temple St (across West Temple St from the Assembly Hall), +1 801 240-2331, [12]. M 7:30AM-5PM, Tu-Sa 7:30AM-10PM. Search your family tree and study genealogy at the largest genealogy library in the world. Free.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • UPROK & Positively 4th Street Records, 370 South, State St, +1 801 363-1523. M-Sa, noon-10PM. Utah's all things Hip Hop shop. Dedicated to the elements of Hip Hop culture. Selling Vinyl Records, C.D.s, Clothing, Gear, Smoking Accessories, Spray Paint, Markers.... MC & B-Boy Battles every month. Sponsored Club Nights, Concerts, Shows and Events. If you love Hip Hop check this shop.  edit

Shopping areas[edit]

  • Every city has a Main Street, and Salt Lake is no exception. This revitalized area is home to many ethnic restaurants, specialty shops, and is home to City Creek Center, which is a large mixed use development featuring an open air mall (complete with a skybridge over Main Street). Notable among Main Street stores is Sam Weller's Zion Bookstore, a local new and used book emporium.
  • Salt Lake's Gateway Mall, 90 South 400 West. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-6PM. A new development built in anticipation of the 2002 Winter Olympics. It was built on the site of the old Union and Rio Grande railway stations, and incorporates the Union building in its structure. Many national (and several local) mall stores can be found here. Stores include: Abercrombie & Fitch, Barnes & Noble, Victoria's Secret, Brookstone, PacSun, etc. Restaurants include Thaifoon, California Pizza Kitchen, The DoDo, etc. The Gateway is Utah's largest open air shopping district. The area also includes condominiums and office space.
  • The City Creek Center [94] between South Temple and 100 South, and Main Street and West Temple is an open air mall with 100 stores that opened in 2012. Main anchors include Macy's, Nordstroms, H&M, Gap, Porsche Design, Apple, West Elm, Restoration Hardware, Forever 21, and American Eagle Outfitters and also has a few locally owned stores such as Utah Woolen Mills.
  • Historic Trolley Square, 600 South 700 East. Shop among a nice selection of smaller boutiques along-side well known national chain retailers housed in and around Salt Lake City's former streetcar & trolley barns. Come visit the historic trolley square and enjoy its unique flavor of restaurants, boutique shops and services. Take in a movie or, one of the many every-changing events going on in-and-around the square. Trolley Square also features a very large Whole Foods grocery store; the recent construction was the subject of some debate as many residents felt the building did not fit with Trolley's aesthetic, but it does offer more parking as well as its trademark organic groceries.
  • Salt Lake's 9th & 9th, 900 South 900 East. Hours vary by store. This small eclectic neighborhood is a frequent hang out for University Students and the more diverse residents of the city. There are several coffee shops in the area, including Starbucks, the Coffee Garden and Cafe Expresso. Eat at one of the trendy and fun restaurants including Barbacoa and Great Harvest Bread Company. Be sure to visit the less-than-reverent Cahoots Cards and Gifts. Catch a movie or rent a video from the Tower Theatre, the home of Utah's alternative theatre for foreign, underground and Sundance Film Festival releases. Visit Contender Bicycles before setting out on a bicycle tour of Salt Lake City. This is an excellent starting and stopping point and is central to the Harvard/Yale neighborhood, Liberty Park, the University of Utah and downtown. Other shopping includes: Charlottes, The Square Nest-House to Home, Western Rivers Flyfisher (offering guided fly fishing tours in Utah), Chameleon Artwear, Hip and Humble, Koo De Ker, Gypsy Moon, Moroz Violins, Mutual Beauty Supply, The Country Homes Antiques, Children's Hour, Floribunda, The Yuppie Puppy and The Vug Rock and Gem Jeweler.

Groceries and other basics[edit]

The major supermarket chains in Salt Lake City are Smith's Food & Drug (which is owned by Kroger), Harmons, and Winco Foods. In addition the nation's two largest discount store chains, Walmart and Target have several stores within both Salt Lake City proper and the surrounding suburbs. Walmart stores are usually open 24 hours and many Smith's and Winco stores in Salt Lake City are also open 24 hours as well. In addition many specialty and organic supermarkets such as Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Trader Joe's can also be found throughout the area.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Fry sauce is a Utah specialty. What is it? Fry sauce is a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise (and other seasonings depending on what restaurant is making it) eaten on French fries. Fry sauce was created many years ago by the local fast food restaurant Arctic Circle and has since spread to the rest of Utah, as well as eastern Idaho. Almost any local (and many chain) restaurants will serve this tasty pink concoction. For more on Arctic Circle locations see: Arctic Circle Restaurants [95]

The local newspaper, City Weekly, has a comprehensive restaurant list on their website, including reviews (see "Cope").

  • Bambara, 202 South Main St (Inside the Hotel Monaco), +1 801-363-5454, [13]. M-F 7AM-10PM Sa Su 8AM-11AM 5:30PM-10PM. Upscale dining serving New American type food. Eclectic décor, excellent service, a great bar and outstanding food make this worth the splurge. $20-35.  edit
  • Blue Plate Diner, 2041 South 2100 E, +1 801 463-1151, [14]. Su-Th 7AM-9PM F Sa 7AM-10PM. Great breakfasts, funky décor, a great patio and reasonable prices bring the locals to this diner. Unlike most diners, they have plenty of vegetarian options. Expect lots of noise and a wait on weekend mornings.  edit
  • Brewvies cinema pub, 677 South 200 W, has a two movie theaters showing current movies. You can eat in the theaters and in the pub area (which includes pool tables). There are often special movie events and limited release showings. [96]
  • Cafe Rio Mexican Grill Fast casual Mexican chain restaurant based in Utah and has several locations in the Salt Lake Valley and surrounding areas. [97]
  • Cafe Trio, 680 South 900 E. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-10:30PM. Great flatbread, pizzas and pastas with a good selection of wine. Nice ambiance.
  • Cedars of Lebanon, 152 East 200 S, serves Moroccan and Lebanese food, and middle eastern dancers on weekends. [98]
  • Del Mar al Lago, 310 Bugatti Ave S, 11am-4pm & 6-9pm Mon-Thu, 11am-10pm Fri & Sat. This Peruvian Restaurant cooks up some of the country's best dishes, including ceviche (fish marinated in lime), yucca fries and whipped potato causas with jalapeño aioli.
  • Ichiban Sushi, 336 South 400 E, 4PM-10PM daily. Sushi restaurant in a converted Lutheran church.
  • I Love Sushi, 368 South State Street, [99]. Lunch M-Sa 11AM-2:30PM, Dinner M-Th 5PM-9:30PM, F Sa 5AM-10PM. Great family run Sushi joint, less atmosphere than Ichiban, but more consistent on being good. The 007 roll is a great thing to try there.
  • Market Street Grill, 48 West Market Street, [100]. Breakfast: M-F 6:30AM-11AM; Sa 7AM-12PM; Su Brunch (Special Menu) 9AM-3PM. Lunch M-F 11AM-3PM; Sa 12PM-3PM. Dinner M-T 5PM-10PM; F 5PM-11PM; Sa 4PM-11PM; Su 4PM-9:30PM. Voted best breakfast in Salt Lake City, very good seafood restaurant.
  • Mazza, 1515 South 1500 E. 912 East 900 S. [101] M-Sa 11AM-9PM. Excellent Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food with plenty of vegan options along with a good supply of meat.
  • Moochie's Meatballs and More!, 232 East 800 S. M-Th 11AM-7PM, F Sa 11AM-9PM. Great Italian food with an emphasis on Philly cheese steak sandwiches.
  • The Pie Pizzeria, 1320 East 200 S, +1 801 582-0193, [15]. M-Th 11AM-1AM F Sa 11AM-3AM Su Noon-11PM. This Utah institution is in a dark but cozy basement right next to the University, and the walls are covered with the graffiti of patrons from the last twenty years. They serve salads and subs, but they’re famous for their giant and thickly loaded pizzas. Beer available. $6-20.  edit
  • The Red Iguana, 736 West North Temple. +1 801 322-1489. [102] M-Th 11AM-10PM, F 11AM-11PM, Sa 10AM-11PM, Su 10AM-9PM. This great Mexican restaurant is famous for its incredible moles. Consistently ranked among the best restaurants in the valley, it can get very crowded on weekend nights. $10-$20
  • Red Rock Brewing Company, 254 South 200 W, +1 801 521-7446, [16]. F Sa 11AM-Midnight Su-Th 11AM-11PM (Tavern open later). Excellent food, killer appetizers and even better beer. Try the French Onion Steak Sandwich or the Almond Crusted Trout. Winner of Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year at the 2007 Great American Brew Festival. $10-25.  edit
  • Ruth's Diner is in Emigration Canyon [103]. Ruth's has a creek side patio and spectacular views of the canyon from a train car. The diner first opened in the 1930s, and is famous for "mile high" biscuits. Everything on the menu is good. Sunday brunch is typically very very busy.
  • Siegfried's Delicatessen, 20 West 200 S, is the city's most authentic German deli.
  • Spencer's for Steaks and Chops, 255 South West Temple, +1 801 238-4748, [17]. 11AM-2PM lunch and 5PM-11PM dinner. A steakhouse restaurant. Voted Best Steak in the city by Salt Lake Magazine.  edit
  • Squatter's, 147 W Broadway. M-Th 11AM-12AM, F 11AM-1AM, Sa 10:30AM-1AM, Su 10:30AM-12AM. Tasty local brewpub. Nice patio.
  • Cannella’s, 204 East 500 South, +1 801 355-8518, [18]. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM. Established in 1978, Cannella’s was built on the love of food, family and friends. The atmosphere is cozy, comfortable and familiar, and is the kind of place where you meet friends for life. Offering a full bar, large wine selection and affordable fine Italian dining. The staff, price and quality food make it a rare dining experience that will make you look forward to your next visit. Also serving pizza as of SPRING 2011. $15-30.  edit
  • Tucanos Brazilian Grill, 162 South 400 West (located in The Gateway), 801-456-2550, [19]. Brazilian grill famous for its quantity and quality of meats, both mundane and unusual. Skewers are brought directly to the table where sizzling portions are sliced onto diners' plates. $15-$20.  edit
  • Himalayan Kitchen, 360 S. State Street, [20]. Nepali and Indian cuisine. They've got a good buffet lunch that makes for a quick and affordable meal. Lunch service is often quite busy, but this is also a good place for a leisurely dinner.  edit
  • Sawadee Utah Thai Restaurant, 754 E S Temple St, 801 328-8424, [21]. Thai restaurant known for their large number of vegetarian options and large portion sizes.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • The Bayou, 645 S State St, (801)-961-8400, [22]. M-F 11AM-1AM, Sa Su 5PM-1AM. A beer lover's paradise, The Bayou is home to 240 different kinds of beer from all over the world, with about 30 on tap. They also serve excellent creole food and feature live music most nights.  edit
  • Fiddlers Elbow, 1063 East 2100 S, +1 801 463-9393, [23]. A neighborhood pub serving quality food and drinks in the heart of Sugar House.  edit
  • Gracie's, 326 South West Temple, +1 801 819-7565. 11:30AM-1AM. Gracie’s is Salt Lake City’s one and only “Gastropub.” With two floors, two patios, and by far the most beautiful view of downtown and the Wasatch Mountains; Gracie’s is a must for a night on the town, or just some great food and drinks anytime. Must be 21 and older. Live music, games and a LOT of T.V.'s. $10-30.  edit
  • The Red Door, 57 West 200 South, 801-363-6030, [24].  edit
  • Burt's Tiki Lounge, 726 South State Street. Traditional dive bar, frequently has live music of the heavy metal and punk variety.  edit
  • Piper Down Pub, 1492 South State Street, [25]. Traditional Irish pub, frequently has live music or trivia nights. Plan ahead if you want to attend St. Patrick's day festivities.  edit
  • Cafe Zupas, 613 East 400 South, (801) 746-0138, [26]. Zupas has recieved 13 Best-of-State awards in over 6 consecutive years. They provide the freshest soups, salads and sandwiches with exotic ingredients. Zupas is a fast-casual setting.  edit

Utah liquor laws[edit]

Utah's liquor laws are known as one of the more misunderstood things about the state. Increased tourism has influenced more lenient State regulation allowing liquor licenses to be issued to public serving establishments in the last decade. Local governments are allowed to restrict the sale of alcohol, but even more religiously concentrated areas outside of the Salt Lake metro area have trended towards relaxed regulations.

Salt Lake City and the metropolitan area have plenty of public bars. Last call is 1AM. They serve 7 days a week.

State run liquor stores provide retail sales of spirits, wine, and normal strength (mostly premium) beers. They are open 11am - 10PM. They are closed on Sunday. They have "sales", but tend to sell at MSR prices.

State run "Wine Stores" are smaller outlets that often lack the selection of cheaper brands of liquor and beer of the larger state run liquor stores.

Grocery stores are restricted to sell only brewed beers that have no more than 3.2% alcohol. They sell until 1AM in the SLC area.

Retail liquor is sold only in state-owned stores which can cost more or less than in other states - but are neat, clean and always well stocked. LAC Beer (3.2% alcohol by weight/4% alcohol by volume, as opposed to the standard 4-6% alcohol by volume) replaces the usual brew, which is available in stores and restaurants. Regular strength beer is available in bars and liquor stores. Also, state law prohibits the serving of more than 1.5 ounces of alcohol as the primary liquor in a mixed drink. This used to be circumvented with the purchase of a "sidecar" (a separate shot of liquor), but the laws have recently been amended. Secondary alcoholic flavorings may then be added to a mixed drink as the recipe requires.

Although liquor laws in Utah are strict, they are typical of areas in the USA with strong abstinent beliefs. There are several kinds of establishments to know about:

  • Private club. These used to be the only way to get a drink in Utah. A very few clubs have retained memberships, such as the exclusive Alta Club. Most private clubs became bars once the laws were amended.
  • Bar. This is a normal American bar serving the public with an issued liquor license with serving restrictions as noted above.
  • Tavern. A "tavern" was a bar that served only beer and required no "membership". They all became bars or restaurants.
  • Restaurants. Many restaurants serve beer as well as hard liquor, but you must order food. You cannot order more than one drink (per person) at a time.
  • State Liquor Store. These sell liquor, wine, and full strength (mainly premium branded) beers.
  • State Wine Store. These specialize in wine rather spirits.

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Grand America Hotel, 555 South Main St, +1 801 258-6000, [104].
  • Hilton Salt Lake City Center, 255 South West Temple (Take I-80 east . Exit at 600 South. Follow 600 South to West Temple.(4 lights) Turn left on West Temple Hotel is 3 1/2 blocks on right), [27]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: noon.  edit
  • Hyatt Place Salt Lake City/Lehi, 3700 North Outlet Parkway, 385 345 8300, [28].  edit
  • Hotel Monaco, 15 West 200 S, +1 801 595-0000, [105]. A classy high rise with gorgeous rooms. It is primarily a business hotel (although it is just as comfortable as a typical luxury hotel), so look for discounts on the weekend.
  • Marriott University Park, 480 Wakara Way, +1 801 581-1000, [106].
  • Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek, 75 South West Temple, 1-801-531-0800, [107]. Located in the heart of the city's vibrant dining, shopping, entertainment, and cultural districts. The hotel is ideally situated adjacent to the world-class shopping and dining at downtown's new City Creek Center.
  • Metropolitan Inn, 524 South West Temple, +1 801 531-7100, [29].  edit
  • Microtel Inn & Suites Airport, 61 North Tommy Tompson Rd, +1 801 236-2800, [108].
  • Quality Inn Airport, 1659 West North Temple, +1 801 533-9000, [30].  edit
  • Red Lion Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown (Salt Lake City Airport Hotel), 161 West 600 S, +1 801 521-7373, [31]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: noon. $90-105.  edit
  • Sheraton Hotel, 150 West 500 S, +1 801 401-2000.[109]. Four blocks from LDS Temple Square.
  • Peery Hotel, 110 W Broadway (intersection of West Temple and 300 South), +1 801 521-4300 (toll free: +1 800-331-0073), [32]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. A classy boutique hotel. Large windows frame views of mountains, valleys, and the city vibe. $79-139.  edit
  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott Airport, 4955 Wiley Post Way, _+1 801 532-6633, [33].  edit
  • Off-Broadway Studios, 316S 400 E, +1 801-487-2729, [34]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. Suites with kitchens downtown, near Convention Center, attractions, groceries, and public transportation. Run by experienced travelers with local expertise. Bikes and golf clubs to borrow. Additional units are half off, so book with friends! $90-$120.  edit
  • Residence Inn Salt Lake City Cottonwood, 6425 South 3000 East, 1-801-453-0430, [35]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. Pet-friendly hotel located in the Cottonwood Heights area. Near the Wasatch Mountain Range and convenient to 4 ski ranges. (40.634189,-111.806003) edit
  • Hyatt House Salt Lake City/Downtown, 140 South 300 West, Salt Lake City, UT, 84101, (801) 359-4020, [36]. Hotel close to downtown with pacious rooms and comfortable extended stay options.  edit


  • The Avenues Hostel, 107 North F St, +1 801 359-3855, toll free +1 877 467-8351, [110]. Beds start at $23 per night.
  • Camelot Guest House, 556 South 500 E, +1 801 688-6196. Beds start at $23 per night for one person or $34 per night for two.
  • Camelot Hostel, 165 West 800 S, +1 801 688-6196. Beds start at $18-23 per night for one person or $34 per night for two.
  • Jefferson Guest House, 802 South Jefferson St, +1 801 688-6196. Beds start at $23 per night for one person or $34 per night for two.
  • Utah International Hostel, 50 South 800 W, +1 801 359-4525.
  • Park City Hostel, 1781 Sidewinder Drive, +1-435-731-8811, [37]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12PM. Clean, brand new hostel located near downtown Park City, offering 6-person dorms or a variety of private rooms. Easy access to Park City or Deer Valley ski resorts - 5 minute drive or 15 minute free bus ride. Large common area with kitchen and billiards, friendly staff, laid back kind of place - definitely the most (arguably, the only) affordable option for staying in Park City. Free coffee during the morning. Located in Park City (20 minutes from SLC) $35-$70.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Crime: Compared to other major cities in the nation, Salt Lake City has relatively low violent crime rates but relatively high rates of property crime. Pioneer Park and the nearby homeless shelter are popular hangouts for drug dealers and should probably be avoided at night. (Recent implementation of surveillance cameras in the park has forced some activity southward and eastward, to Washington Square and Library Square.)

The west-central and northwest areas of the valley tend to have more crime and gang-related activity, and the downtown areas heading east and south are now experiencing a high volume of drug-related and robbery activity. Car break-ins are common, even in "safe" neighborhoods; park in well-lit areas, lock up, and store valuables out of sight. For specific and current statistics on crime rates, visit the local police website [111].

Adjacent West Valley City (on the west) and South Salt Lake (on the south) have high-crime neighborhoods. Visitors should exercise caution in any unfamiliar area. It should be noted that residents of Utah are allowed to carry concealed firearms after completing training and a thorough background check.

Weather: The weather is generally mild and has few extreme weather events. It can become fairly hot during the summer, but humidity levels are low, while winter can see the occasional major, crippling snowstorm. "Black ice" is a particular hazard for motorists during winter storms.

A temperature inversion, where cold heavy air locks warm light air in the valley, are frequent in the winter months and can last for several weeks. During an inversion, the valleys quickly fill up with dense smog that leads to unhealthy air quality and becomes a hazard for those with asthma or other respiratory problems. Strenuous outdoor activity should be avoided during an inversion. Inversions only occur in the valleys and none of Utah's ski resorts experience temperature inversions.


Salt Lake City Main Library

Free WiFi access is available throughout the downtown area and provided by many local restaurants and hotels.

The Salt Lake City Main Library [112] at 210 East 400 S in Downtown (+1 801 524-8200, open M-Th 9AM-9PM, F Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 1PM-5PM) has computers available for use. Visitors without a library card can use the express computers on the first floor or the free wireless. There are also five branch libraries - for these, visitors can register for an Internet Access Card (bring your picture ID); there is no wireless access at some of the branch libraries yet.



  • Salt Lake Tribune, [113]. The Trib is the main Salt Lake daily newspaper
  • Deseret Morning News, [114]. A local daily owned by the LDS. With some local coverage, this paper focuses primarily on LDS-related news.
  • Salt Lake City Weekly, [115]. Salt Lake's answer to the Village Voice, the Weekly is a paper covering music, theatre, arts, and current events.
  • Salt Lake Underground, [116]. SLUG is a monthly magazine and includes a calendar of event listings.
  • Q Salt Lake, [117]. Currently the best source of LGBTQ news in Utah.


Get out[edit]

  • Kennecott Copper Mine [118] is located about thirty miles southwest of Salt Lake City, and is one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world. Due to land slide, this mine is closed to the public in 2013.

Routes through Salt Lake City
PocatelloOgden  N noframe S  SandySt. George
RenoElko  W noframe E  Park CityRock Springs
LoganOgden  N noframe S  SandyRichfield

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Create category