Salt Lake City Destination Guide
Salt Lake City Holidays
Salt Lake City, with its towering backdrop of rugged snow-capped Wasatch Range mountains, is undoubtedly an ideal destination for outdoor adventurers. The proud capital of Utah, this place is the gateway to some of the state’s best ski resorts and national parks.
Back in the urban centre, Salt Lake City has a charming small town feel about it, though its burgeoning arts, culture and nightlife scene is continually gaining momentum. A clean and modern city, SLC (as it’s known to the locals) is a great base for local skiing, snow boarding, mountain biking and hiking. Just make sure you schedule in a few days to enjoy the beauty of the city as well.
Taking pride of place in the heart of the city, Temple Square is an impressive 10-acre span of manicured gardens and grand religious architecture set across 3 city blocks. The focal point is the stunning Salt Lake Temple, a sacred place of worship for The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS Church). Visitors are not permitted inside the temple, however, there are nearly 20 attractions relating to Mormon history in the surrounding precinct that welcome guests.
For fascinating architecture and a touch of history, head to the Natural History Museum of Utah. Step inside to discover captivating exhibitions to trump the building’s incredible facade. Discover the story of the Great Basin’s prehistoric people before getting up close to dinosaur remains at the Past Worlds exhibit.
Keen to find out everything there is to know about your ancestors? Take a trip to the incredibly extensive Family History Library. The LDS Church has assembled the largest genealogical resource on Earth, which includes the United States, British Isles and 110 other countries. Anyone can visit and entry is free. Volunteers on-site are available to help with your research.
For cool cafés, make your way to the hip neighbourhood of 9th and 9th and join the locals for a latte. For top-notch dining stick around downtown where you’ll find authentic Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Mexican and Italian restaurants on offer, amid an array of other international cuisines.
For a little nightlife SLC style, downtown is brimming with every type of watering hole you can imagine, from wine bars, cocktail bars and lounges to pubs, taverns and beer houses. Licensed venues call last drinks at 1am, so arrive early if you plan on making a night of it.
Where to Stay
Downtown is the hotspot for dining, drinking and sightseeing, so it’s only natural that many of the best hotels have established themselves here. Book in to any number of mid-range or 4-star luxury hotels, or go all out at the 1 show-stopping 5-star affair on offer. The city centre also hosts some big name 4-star hotels, but if the call of the wild is more your style, there are nature lodges and resorts aplenty for outdoor adventurers.
Given that the first ever department store in the United States opened in Salt Lake City in 1868, this place is cemented in shopaholic folklore. Shop up a storm at the City Creek Centre, where a retractable glass roof, waterfalls, fountains and even a creek make the experience one-of-a-kind.
Or shop inside converted historic trolley car barns that house cute boutiques and well-known fashion and food chains at Trolley Square. The Salt Lake City Library (which is a must-see sightseeing attraction in its own right) has a lovely gift store, and the adjoining Library Square is lined with locally owned shops that are definitely worth a browse.
Salt Lake City Like a Local
When you order French fries in SLC, be sure to ask for ‘fry sauce’, a local delicacy that mixes tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and seasonings. The national burger chain Arctic Circle (which originated in Utah) invented the sauce in 1948, and it’s since spread like wildfire. It’s pink, but it’s tasty.