Best of Salt Lake City and the Mountains
Collected by Cameron Martindell , AFAR Local Expert
Temple Square still may be Salt Lake City's symbolic and geographic heart, but an influx of new restaurants and shops brings some balance to the company town. A short drive away, the beautiful mountain towns and Wasatch slopes beckon skiers and hikers.
10010 Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd, Alta, UT 84092, USA
At the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, above the town of Sandy, Utah, the Alta Resort offers 2,200 skiable acres and an average of more than 550 inches of snowfall a year. While the steep slopes of the Wasatch mountains draw expert...
1345 Lowell Ave, Park City, UT 84060, USA
Acquired by Vail Resorts in 2014 and combined with Canyons in 2015, Park City Mountain now boasts 7,300 skiable acres with 324 runs accessed by 41 lifts. That includes four gondolas and 32 chairlifts. Those lifts also provide access to eight...
8302 S Brighton Loop Rd, Brighton, UT 84121, USA
At the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, only 30 miles from downtown Salt Lake City, Brighton Resort hosts a humble-but-steep 1,050 acres of skiable terrain. Nestled in a beautiful bowl surrounded by Clayton Peak, Mount Wolverine, and the Honeycomb...
301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA
This museum on the campus of the University of Utah is home to more than 1.5 million artifacts that delve into the state's rich history. From the American Indians who inhabited this land for centuries before any European explorer to the...
209 E 500 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
Affectionately referred to as “the Leo,” this museum explores the intersection of art and science—much like its namesake, Leonardo da Vinci, did. Located downtown in what was once the Salt Lake City Public Library, the Leo is...
50 N Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150, USA
There’s no denying the influence of the Mormon faith in Salt Lake City. In 1847, the then-president of the Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young, stood in the desert landscape of the Salt Valley and declared that this was the place where he and...
210 E 400 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
While the Salt Lake City Public Library system includes eight locations around the valley, downtown hosts what is clearly the flagship building: a six-story, 240,000-square-feet structure housing more than 500,000 books and...
131 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
Eccles Theater is a relative newcomer to Salt Lake City's cultural scene, one that has added a vibrant new space for the performing arts. Its opening in 2016 was the result of grassroots participation: The architects invited the public to sit down...
13 N 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA
Tucked into the old Union Pacific Railroad building, the Depot is a fun, intimate 1,200-seat concert venue with an open floor plan and a second-story balcony that surrounds the main space below and provides great views onto the stage....
3419 Olympic Pkwy, Park City, UT 84098, USA
Salt Lake City made its first bid for the Winter Olympics in 1989 and persevered until it was chosen to host the Games in 2002. The city built a number of facilities required to accommodate such a massive event, including the existing...
Antelope Island, Utah, USA
Just 40 miles northwest of downtown Salt Lake City, Antelope Island, in the Great Salt Lake itself, offers an alternative outdoor adventure, from the steep Wasatch Range that dominates the view to the east (and hoards most of SLC’s...
Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA
While the waters of the massive Great Salt Lake are too salty to sustain anything more than algae, brine shrimp, and brine flies, the wetlands on its north and east shores are critical habitats for millions of migratory birds, making it a...
NF-029, Salt Lake City, UT 84121, USA
While there is a single 12.5-mile stretch of trail called the Wasatch Crest Trail, there are actually dozens of miles of additional paths connecting to it, allowing moutain-bike riders to choose their own adventure. The main trail itself...
Bonneville Shoreline Trail, Salt Lake City, UT 84103, USA
Looking at a map of this trail might cause a little bit of confusion considering the name, since the shoreline it follows is that of an ancient lake that covered most of what is now northwest Utah. Lake Bonneville, which was a freshwater...
515 UT-319, Heber City, UT 84032, USA
If you’re keen to get on the water but want to avoid the crusty salt that will cling to your boat if you go out on the Great Salt Lake, head to the east side of the Wasatch mountain range and hit the Jordanelle Reservoir. Just 40 miles from...
50 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA
Spanning three city blocks in downtown Salt Lake City, the $1.5 billion commercial area opened in 2012 and blends high-end shopping with business offices, residential units, and tree-lined walkways centered on a simulated creek complete with...
602 700 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84102, USA
Nestled off the southeast corner of downtown, Trolley Square boasts a history that goes back to 1908, though the use of the land it sits on goes back even further to when it was the designated fairgrounds of the territory. While the streetcar...
235 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA
In a world where coffee is ubiquitous, it’s refreshing to find an establishment that cares equally about tea. Behind the bar at the Rose Estb is a shelf of jars hosting three varieties of each kind of tea: black, green, white,...
202 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA
Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night fare, this bistro-style American eatery is located in the lobby of the historical Continental Bank, right in the middle of downtown. Chef Nathan Powers and his team draw locals working nearby,...
736 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, USA
There’s almost always a wait at this Mexican eatery, but it’s worth it. Located just off the northwest corner of downtown and within easy striking distance of a number of hotels, the flagship location serves around 700 hungry guests a...
279 E 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
The beauty of running a seafood restaurant that's not located near the sea is that there's no regional bias—and Current takes full advantage of this. Chef Alan Brines is able to draw inspiration from seafood meccas such as San...
155 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA
Chef and owner Charlie Perry spent many hours by his great-grandmother’s side as she shared her love of cooking with him. Her name was Eva Coombs, and Perry opened this boulangerie in her honor. While there are a few gluten-free options...
1640 Bonanza Dr, Park City, UT 84060, USA
Not to be confused with the Mexican food chain of the same name, Alberto’s in Park City is a go-to for anyone looking for a good, inexpensive dining option. Doors open at 7 a.m., so you cab grab a hearty breakfast burrito on...
540 Main St, Park City, UT 84060, USA
Located in Park City's renovated Masonic Hall on historic Main Street, the Riverhorse caters to a high-end fine-dining crowd. Seth Adams, the executive chef and co-owner who drives the seasonally appropriate creative menu, has brought home...
151 Main St, Park City, UT 84060, USA
Situated at the top of the hill on Park City's iconic Main Street, the Italian restaurant Grappa occupies a beautiful 100-plus-year-old renovated building that over the years has been a brothel, bar, and bed-and-breakfast. The name comes...
703 Park Ave, Park City, UT 84060, USA
When you're ready to call it a day on the slopes, take Park City Mountain Resort’s Quittin’ Time run down to High West, the world’s only ski-in gastro-distillery. Tour the space, then try the 36th Vote Barreled Manhattan, made...
2005 E 2700 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84109, USA
Feldman’s—modeled on the classic Jewish deli one would expect to find in New York City—has landed and is thriving on the east side of Salt Lake City. The deli's hot half-pound sandwiches include multiple variations on the Reuben...
268 200 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
You don't have to be a bookworm to love the vibe and the stacks of books at this antiquarian bookshop in downtown Salt Lake City. Ken Sanders, who opened his first location in Salt Lake City in 1990 and moved it to its current location in 1997,...
Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, Pleasant Grove, UT, USA
For a beautiful summer drive where you'll find blissful pockets of outdoor beauty, head for this 20-mile byway south of Salt Lake City. The winding mountain road, which circumnavigates 11,750-foot Mount Timpanogos, offers access to miles and miles...
- 1 Air Travel Another U.S. Airport Now Allows Non-Ticketed Visitors Through Security
- 2 Travel News This Bistro Was Just Voted the Best New Restaurant in the United States
- 3 Travel News Tour Guides Will Soon Be Restricted at Two Popular NYC Sites
- 4 Travel Tips Temples, Tipping, and Train Rides: A Guide to Japan for First-Timers
- 5 Where to Go in Spring 10 Best Places to Travel in May