Salt Lake City, Utah is GORGEOUS.
Salt Lake City is absolutely stunning. The mountain backdrop that you can see from all over the city looks fake and my pictures don’t even begin to do it justice! We were lucky that we went in April because the flowers and cherry blossom trees were all in bloom!
LITTLE AMERICA HOTEL
The conference was held at the Little America Hotel right in downtown Salt Lake City. I booked a room with three other gals attending the conference so that we could share the expense. Pro Tip: Stay in the Tower and NOT in the garden rooms. The Tower has been renovated and is very classy while modern and clean. It cost about 185 (with taxes and fees) per night to stay in a Tower room and the views of the Wasatch mountains from the room were to die for! They have an indoor and outdoor pool, sauna and a pretty nice gym facility (free weights, a few weight machines, ellipticals and treadmills).
Since I was there for a conference, most of our meals were included in our ticket price, however we did manage to sneak away to get in some yummy food and drinks!
We didn’t venture out too much at night except to go to dinner. There were always a good amount of people in the restaurants but not too many perusing the streets. The Utah population is about 50% Mormon so there isn’t much partying going on (at least not in public). State law requires you to order food with your drinks, so wear some stretchy pants!
BEER & WINE
I drank mostly wine while in Utah, however the few beers that I did have were delicious! I tried Uinta 801,a pilsner with a nice finish. I also had Park City Brewing – Hooker Blonde and Breaking Trail Pale ale and they were GOOD! I would’ve loved to go to the actual brewery but we had other fish to fry. Wine in Utah was the same wine you can get anywhere, so nothing special to say. Please note: Utah is a Mormon state so the only place you can buy wine is at the State Wine Store! Prices tend to be a bit more expensive because they tax the crap out of it (to discourage drinking – it didn’t work!!).
Ride the Trax when in Utah! I took the Trax from the airport to the Little America Hotel and the journey was smooth like buttah. Just follow the signs in the airport and buy a ticket for $2.50. They also have Lyft and Uber. It costs about $12-$16 to Uber/Lyft from the Airport to downtown. If you plan on doing any sightseeing outside of the streets of Salt Lake City, then I highly suggest getting a rental car. The streets are fairly wide and everything is spread out in Utah.
Little America Hotel – Breakfast Buffet – Our Lyft driver said people in SLC come to the Little America Hotel just for this buffet and I can see why. They had a great selection of fruits, cheeses, meats (mmmm, bacon!!) an omelette bar, french toast and more. On the weekend it costs $28 (tax and tip included) but if you are headed out for a long day this is just the ticket! You won’t have to eat again for many hours!
Eva – Salt Lake City – Tapas! but not Spanish Tapas, Italian! Almost everything we got here was delicious. From char grilled beets to fig and pig pizza to the gnocchi. It is not a large venue, so I highly recommend making a reservation. The portions are good size (for tapas) and great for sharing.
Cafe Rio – Salt Lake City – I don’t usually eat Mexican outside of San Diego because we have the best! However, I was convinced to go to Cafe Rio and it was pretty tasty! This is a chain Mexican restaurant that has their own twist on pork! They make a sweet barbacoa pork that was interesting. They also make the tortillas fresh right in front of you. If you are looking for good Mexican, fast and cheap then head to Cafe Rio!
Maxwell’s – Salt Lake City – Pizza!! So this place smells delicious and everyone loved their slices of pie! Mine was unfortunately cold so I didn’t have the best experience BUT that being said I would definitely go back and give it another go. A specialty slice will cost you about $4.50.
White Horse – Salt Lake City – We ended up here because there were 13 of us and no one else had an opening. It was good! The ambiance is really cool – I am a sucker for the huge bookshelf/ladder decor (see below for photo). The brussel sprouts had an Asian influence and were pretty delicious. Skip the PB&J (Pork belly and jam) and go straight for the sandwiches or seared tuna nicoise salad.
Bodega 331/The Rest – Salt Lake City -Speakeasy! We couldn’t get reservations (we roll deep) and it was closed on Sunday so I didn’t get a chance to experience this taco shop and speakeasy. Next time I am in town I will definitely be hitting this place up!
Copper Onion – Salt Lake City – This place was so cute inside and the food was delicious! I got a delicious glass of Vinho Verde white wine and the Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper pasta). Others got the burger and scallops. Everyone was full and satisfied upon leaving.
Dough Co. – Salt Lake City – Edible Cookie Dough! I mean who didn’t eat raw cookie dough growing up?! I wouldn’t say Dough Co. is healthy for you BUT it was dang delicious! You can get scoops of any flavor you want OR a 6 pack of mini dough balls in assorted flavors.
Five 5eeds – Park City – While walking around Park City we talked to this boutique owner who suggested this place. Boy was she right!! Skip the doughnuts at the front counter (not worth it) and definitely get the avocado toast with a poached egg and the Acai bowl! Also try one of Park City Brewing’s delicious beers!
Park City Brewing – Park City – I love beer. We didn’t have time to stop here but I did try their beers at Five 5eeds above. The beer was delicious and I cannot wait to hit up the actual brewery next time I am in Park City!
**Most of SLC is Mormon so many places are closed on Sunday!**
THINGS TO DO
Temple Square – Stroll around the beautiful gardens and take in all of the picturesque scenes and architecture. Head to the visitors center where there are beautifully painted walls, statues and mini replicas of the temple and surrounding areas. Relax under the beautiful cherry blossoms and by the gardens. Please note: The temple is closed on Sunday.
Red Butte Garden – University of Utah – We didn’t get a chance to go here but a guy at Trader Joe’s said it was notable. Adult admission is $14.
Antelope Island Salt Flats – This is one of Utah’s state parks and is beautiful. You will need a car to get here but it is definitely worth the trip! It is about 50 minutes from downtown SLC. It costs $10 per car and $3 per bike to gain entrance. There are miles and miles of stunning views and wildlife. We saw mostly Bison/Buffalo and Antelope but Coyotes, Big Horn Sheep and porcupines also inhabit the island. The water on Antelope Island doesn’t have an outlet so it just evaporates. When the water freezes it forms these salt flats.Go in the winter to see the salt flats up close and personal.
Park City, Utah – What a cute little town! I want to go back and go skiing some day. On Historic Main Street, there are so many cute little restaurants and shops. The town shuts down for 6 wks around this time (April) but it was nice to not have so many people clogging up the streets. In the Summer they have zip lining and other activities in lieu of snowboarding and skiing.
**Most of SLC is Mormon so many places are closed on Sunday!**
I was so pleasantly surprised by Utah and will definitely go back with my husband someday. The views of the mountains were so picturesque and the town was so clean (maybe because there aren’t so many drunk people? who knows!) The food was delicious and the overall vibe was good. I cannot wait to get back and ski in Park City!