With a population of more than 200,000, Salt Lake City is the biggest city in Utah and is also the state capital. It’s a haven for skiing and outdoor recreation, as well as religious tourism — having been founded in 1847 by pioneer settlers led by Brigham Young.
According to Visit Salt Lake, you can think of the city as “A little bit wild, a little bit refined – but always inventive and inspiring.” And you know what? We like the sound of that. We’ve rounded up some of the best places to eat, stay, and play in Salt Lake City, which is the third stop in our spring road trip series.
Before you pack your bags and hit the road, check out our tips for an epic road trip.
Where to Stay:
- The Grand America Hotel: Situated on 10 acres in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, The Grand America is a sight to behold. It features a 5-star spa, afternoon tea served daily, and its Gibson Lounge serves up great cocktails daily. If you want to relax in style, you can’t go wrong with this luxurious hotel.
- Inn on the Hill: It’s not often you come across perfect 5-star ratings on Tripadvisor. But here we are. Rooms at the Inn on the Hill bed and breakfast were designed with ultimate comfort in mind. They include fireplaces, jetted tubs, and down bedding. Location-wise, you’ll be just two blocks above downtown Salt Lake City, meaning you’ll also enjoy some spectacular views.
- Pony Express RV Resort: We don’t blame you for wanting to enjoy the outdoors while you are in Salt Lake City. But maybe you also want to be close to all that the city has to offer. Enter Pony Express RV Resort. Located minutes away from downtown Salt Lake City, you can pull up your RV or rent one of their charming and quaint cabins. This resort features a pool, life-size board games, and bike rentals, making it a great option for families.
Where to Eat:
- Uinta Brewing: Having recently moved their brewing operation into a converted auto shop, Uinta has been brewing beers to fuel your adventures since 1993. With various award-winning IPAs on tap, limited seasonal runs, and hard seltzers, you’re sure to find something that you’ll love. They’ve partnered with Nomad Eatery for a full menu of modern American cuisine you can grab delicious food to complement your brew – pairings are even included on their menu!
- Proper Brewing Co: Following creativity, tradition, and the highest attention to detail, Proper Brewing Co crafts uniquely quirky brews. With multiple locations throughout Salt Lake, you’re sure to find a location and menu that suits you – many locations even include vegan options. Each location offers a full drink menu and more than a dozen brews including pale ales, lagers, blondes, and stouts.
- The Rose Establishment: Located in a restored meat packing plant, this cafe boasts an awesome vibe. It also serves up great coffee, food, and baked goods. Try the seasonal Rosemary Latte. Need a snack? How about a Tahani banana muffin or a cheddar herb biscuit? Check out their bigger food items here. No matter your preference, it’s going to be delicious.
- Log Haven: If you are looking for a scenic setting or a romantic dinner, the Log Haven is a must. Plus, the food is excellent. Shared plates include grilled quail and tuna tartare. The entrees include rigatoni with Calabrian marinara and coffee- and cocoa-rubbed elk striploin. Log Haven is spendy, but worth it.
Where to Adventure:
Temple Square: Whether you are religious or not, you can’t visit Salt Lake City and not visit Temple Square. Encompassing five entire city blocks, this historical area includes beautiful gardens, stunning architecture, and engaging exhibits centered around the Church of Latter-Day Saints.
Red Butte Gardens: Red Butte Garden is one of the largest botanical gardens in the Intermountain West, spanning more than 21 acres of beautifully developed and maintained gardens and five miles of hiking trails that wind through an extensive natural area. The Garden features numerous plant collections and display gardens, including more than 500,000 springtime bloom bulbs!
Millcreek Canyon: If skiing isn’t your thing but you’re yearning to enjoy Salt Lake’s outdoor scene, compromise and try a hike instead. Millcreek Canyon features a lot of different trails that you can hike. And if you enjoy bird watching, hiking Millcreek Canyon is a no-brainer. You could see several different species of owls, including the Great Horned Owl.
- The Gateway: Described as an open lifestyle center, the Gateway is an eclectic hub of restaurants, bars, shops, art museums, and more. People of all ages can enjoy this fun area in the heart of Salt Lake’s downtown. Whether you need an activity to do with the kids or are looking for a great cocktail, there’s no shortage of options here. The Gateway is always buzzing with fun. Especially in the springtime!
Start planning that road trip to Salt Lake City. You won’t regret it. Road trips are an adventure. Drink them up!