With its fascinating landmarks, vintage vibe, and up-and-coming dining scene, Salt Lake City is one of the country’s most unique metropolises. And whether you come to hit the slopes at Park City or explore the origins of the Mormon Church, this guide will show you how to have an unforgettable weekend in Salt Lake City.
With only 72 hours to explore Salt Lake City, you’ll want to book a hotel near the city’s best attractions. The Kimpton Hotel Monaco, situated in a historic bank building, puts you on the doorstep of restaurants, shops, and the city’s ski shuttle, making it an ideal launching pad for your SLC adventure.
After checking in, head down to the Kimpton’s restaurant, Bambara, a lively spot serving New American dishes in stylish digs. Bambara’s chef has been perfecting his trade for over two decades, and you can kick back with a cocktail, dig into a plate of seared elk loin, and feel the electricity of the city wash over you.
Then make like a local and head to one of the laid-back craft breweries like Red Rock Brewing Co., or make a beeline to the buzzing Tavernacle Social Club, where you’ll discover a convivial atmosphere with sing-a-longs, karaoke, and dueling piano shows.
Start off your Saturday morning with a low-key breakfast at the charming Eva’s Bakery; think artisanal pastries, stuffed French toast, and rocket-powered espresso. After gearing up to tackle the day, head over to historic Temple Square, the spiritual heart of the city.
The square attracts more yearly visitors than the Grand Canyon, and even though the stunning Salt Lake Temple is only open to members, visitors can drop in to see the world-famous Tabernacle Choir, tour Brigham Young’s former residence, and check out the Family History Library. A great way to see Temple Square is with a free tour led by docents from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Then, settle down to a salt-rimmed margarita and a plate of tostadas de machada at the Red Iguana, a family-run restaurant that’s been spicing up the SLC dining scene since 1985. The restaurant’s reputation is as hot as a jalapeno, so lines can be long, but the huge plates and friendly service are worth it.
The Natural History Museum of Utah is a fantastic way to brush up on the region’s history, bio-diversity, and jaw-dropping natural wonders, so pay a visit to peruse the Native American art, dinosaur fossils, and archaeological exhibits. The building itself, nestled in the foothills of the Wasatch Range, is a gorgeous piece of green-minded architecture, and the views from its Sky Terrace are breathtaking.
Just next door to the museum is Red Butte Garden, a sprawling property with over 21 acres of gardens and 5 miles of hiking trails. Take a stroll down Zeke’s Trail, spot some local wildlife, and snap some pics of the beautiful surroundings.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, grab Saturday night dinner at The Copper Onion, a bustling hub serving innovative dishes like wagyu bone marrow. The homemade pappardelle is terrific, especially when paired with a glass of Malbec, but make sure to save room for a slice of their divine honey cheesecake.
When the sun rises on Sunday morning, you only have 24 hours in Salt Lake City remaining, so get up and at ‘em early with a cup of Joe and some ham hash at Pig & a Jelly Jar, a funky Southern-inspired restaurant near Southeast Market.
Then it’s off to explore the area’s stunning natural landscape. If you’re visiting in the winter and looking to hit the slopes, SLC is within an hour’s drive of 10 ski resorts, including Park City Mountain Resort, the largest ski area in the country. Hikers, meanwhile can head to the Lake Blanche Trail in the Twin Peaks Wilderness Area, or make the 25-mile-drive north to Antelope Island State Park, an exquisite 15-mile-long stretch of white-sand beaches, free-roaming buffalo, and hiking trails. Explore the area by horseback, float in the salt water, and grab a bison burger for lunch at the Island Buffalo Grill.
Get the camera out and get ready to explore the otherworldly landscape of the Bonneville Salt Flats, perhaps the flattest and fastest place on earth. The Flats are a 90-minute-drive from Salt Lake City, and a walk across the vast, salt-encrusted area is a completely alien experience. The photogenic Flats are especially compelling at sunrise and sunset, when the cracking white landscape is shadowed by the pink and blue hues of a sleepy sky, and you can almost see the curvature of the earth.
Bonneville is also an oasis for adrenaline junkies, as it’s home to the Bonneville International Speedway, home of numerous land speed records and one of the most iconic locations in motor sports. Come during one of the speed weeks for a taste of the action.
Wind up your weekend in Salt Lake City with Sunday night dinner at Ruth’s Diner, a long-standing restaurant in a converted trolley.
From the alien Salt Flats to wild Antelope Valley and historic Temple Square, a weekend in Salt Lake City promises an unforgettable adventure. Book your weekend in Salt Lake City today!