Has Salt Lake City been flying under your radar? Then tune in: we’re here to spill it on the real SLC (and dispel a couple of myths along the way). Sure, you’ll likely want to check out a major downtown attraction—the 10-acre Temple Square, headquarters of the Mormon Church—but be sure to also peruse our buzzing lineup of cafés, bars, breweries and special events. We’ve got thought-starters to help you relish an inspiring city that’s naturally rugged and charmingly cosmopolitan.
Snuggled between the Great Salt Lake and snow-capped peaks of the Wasatch Range, adrenaline junkies flock to the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City for access to an exquisite winter playground. But as the snow melts and temps soar, trails fill with runners, walkers and mountain bikers.
In hotter months, get a cool respite at nearby City Creek Canyon, setting out on the shared-use path through Memory Grove Park and then cruising by foot along the canyon’s paved 5.8-mile maintenance road. Or borrow one of the hotel’s PUBLIC Bikes to check out such trails in and around town. By car, it’s easy to head to popular trails in Cottonwood Canyon and Mill Creek Canyon (a dog-friendly destination): for a fairly flat, 9-mile-roundtrip adventure, hop on the Pipeline Trail via the top of Birch Hollow and run/walk to the mouth of the canyon, looking over the city along the way.
Salt Lake City celebrates summer in countless ways—some of our favorites being the Red Butte Garden Outdoor Concert Series and the annual Twilight Concert Series. For the latter, performers take the stage at Pioneer Park every Thursday night from July 21 through Sept. 1, with headliners ranging from Diplo to Jenny Lewis along with local talents.
For Family-Friendly Fun
It’s dino-mania at the Natural History Museum of Utah, where you’ll find 30-plus skeletons on display alongside 14 horned dinosaur skulls. At the Hogle Zoo, check out more than 800 animals while wandering the 42-acre property. Tracy Aviary offers all ages the opportunity to watch live shows, take guided tours and hand-feed some of the winged residents. Summertime festivals enliven the downtown scene; tote along wee ones to events like the Living Traditions Festival (late May), Utah Arts Festival (late June) and Native American Celebration Powwow (July).
Here’s a myth we can dispel: despite Utah’s stringent-yet-evolving alcohol regulations, this beer-loving region has a thriving brewery scene. Go on a hop hunt at Squatters, Red Rock and Epic breweries, where a teeny restaurant stocks panini offerings and other small bites.
When feeling thirsty en route to/from the airport, pop into Uinta Brewing. The company recently created “two really good beers that just happen to be gluten-free” (and take our word for it; they’re crowd-pleasers), and the full restaurant offers dishes like fish ‘n’ chips featuring local trout. One particularly excellent pairing: the Cutthroat Pale Ale complemented by sweet potato tots with Spanish-smoked paprika and sea salt.
Breakfast at Park Café is well worth the wait, and some locals claim Eggs in the City serves the best huevos rancheros in town. Provisions Restaurant draws loyal fans with seasonal, regional Modern American cuisine, and intimate hot spot Pago wows diners with inventive dishes like BBQ beets and octopus ink pasta. The Bayou boasts a Cajun-inspired menu and extensive beer list, we’re talking 300-plus varieties! After dinner, catch a show across the street at cozy music venue The State Room.
And then, of course, there’s Bambara—a go-to gem for seasonally-inspired, New American dishes enjoyed in a lively, historic space (a stately former bank lobby).