Salt Lake City Travel Guide (What To Do, Where To Eat)

  Jun 9, 2017  |  #Food and Travel

Happy Friday, friends!!

Today, I’ve teamed up with the City of Salt Lake to put together a little travel recap for you! As you may recall, after our marathon in Ogden (I’m still on a high from that trip and experience), we spent a few days exploring Salt Lake City! Thank you to the City of Salt Lake for working with me and helping with my accommodations!

Salt Lake is a super cool city, and I hope you have a chance to go at some point. If you do, I’ve got ya covered with itineraries!

Salt Lake Travel Guide, Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City (and Utah in general), is an amazing and beautiful place. Though I only spent a few days there, I feel like I got a pretty good grasp of the area. As you know, this blog started as my bucket list (of mostly food), so it’s only natural that I talk about the yummy eats in the city.

So, if you’re ever in the area, here’s my suggestive itinerary.

Day 1:

Grab breakfast at A Pig and a Jelly Jar – they have delicious cast-iron scrambles (the kitchen sink is pictured below), breakfast sandwiches and chicken and waffles.

Salt Lake City Eats, Salt Lake City

Spend some time exploring the picturesque Antelope Island, about a 30 minute drive from Salt Lake City. Antelope Island is an outdoorsy’s person dream trip, with views of both the mountain and the Great Salt Lake. The island itself is 42 square miles, and just under 15 miles long. You could easily spend hours exploring and driving around the island. The island is full of bikers, and they have a few hiking trails, and even a ranch where you can go horseback riding.

Fun facts I’ve learned: The Great Salt Lake is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River. It’s salty because it doesn’t have an outlet. Tributary rivers bring in small amounts of salt dissolved in water. Once in the Great Salt Lake, much of the water evaporates leaving the salt behind!

Salt Lake City Travel Guide, Antelope Island, Salt Lake City Salt Lake City Travel Guide, Antelope IslandSalt Lake Travel Guide
If you’re lucky, you’ll see some buffalo and/or antelopes – we saw both!

Salt Lake Travel Guide

Next, check out the Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon drive. I imagine it’s very picturesque when things are in bloom. Yet even in May, you’ll be in awe at the size of the canyons you’re driving through. It’s a 15 mile round trip route that is open year round, and home to two world class ski resorts.

Salt Lake Travel Guide

Salt Lake Travel Guide

For lunch, grab a Mediterranean doner or salad bowl from Spitz, a fast and casual Mediterranean eatery. You won’t be disappointed!

Freshen up in the afternoon and head to Whiskey Street, a casual, open-aired bar off Main Street. They have a ton of whiskeys to choose from (naturally), as well as several different Moscow mules. Make sure to order the bourbon bacon caramel popcorn for a snack before dinner.

Salt Lake City Travel Guide Salt Lake City Travel Guide

For dinner, hop next door to Eva’s, an intimate tapas restaurant. Their menu boasts a variety of seafood, meat, veggie and pizza options, and it’s great for trying a few different dishes out. We went with the fig and pancetta pizza (my favorite), the clams and the pork cheek. They also have a delicious craft cocktail list as well.

Day 2:

Day 2 can be your educational day!

Grab breakfast at Ruth’s Diner, one of the oldest dining establishments in the Salt Lake Valley and the second oldest in Utah.  It’s outside the city but with planning, it can fit right in your plan. It’s right on the way to the Red Butte Garden and Natural History Museum. The menu has a little bit of everything, but make sure to get the mile high biscuits, which are dangerously good and fluffy. I’d also recommend the smoked salmon omelet, as they smoke their own salmon.

Salt Lake City Travel GuideSalt Lake City Eats

From there, plan a few hours at the Red Butte Gardens, which has 21 acres of gardens and flowers. There are many beautiful trails you can hop on (5 miles total), as well as a gorgeous amphitheater in the middle. We didn’t do any hiking (#marathonsoreness), but my gosh, I bet it’s beautiful!

Salt Lake City Travel Guide

Salt Lake City Travel Guide

After the gardens, hop right next door to the Utah Museum of Natural History. Utah is home to many dinosaur artifacts, so the first few floors of the museum talk about dinosaurs that once roamed there, and how they’ve used artifacts to estimate the years they roamed as well as how and what they ate. You’ll also learn about global warming, animal species in the different ecosystems in Utah, as well as history about the Native American tribes.

Salt Lake City Travel Guide
For a late lunch, head to Red Iguana, the highly regarded Mexican joint. Nearly everyone I talked to recommended going here.

They have two locations and rank a 4.5 out of 5 on Yelp out of over 2,000 reviews. This place is serious. Red Iguana is known for their mole sauces (unfortunately, I couldn’t have any of the sauces since most are made with tree nuts – I totally missed out). Ed loved the mole sauce sampler. I don’t think you can get a bad meal here, but I can vouge that the chicken tacos and mango enchiladas were delicious.

Salt Lake City Travel Guide
For an afternoon snack before heading to your room to change, grab some cookies to go from Ruby Snaps, a craft cookie shop. The best part about Ruby Snaps is that they let you try as many flavors as you want! Their sample portions aren’t small, either. I recommend buying a bunch to try so many flavors. Boxes to go come in handy!

Salt Lake City Travel Guide Salt Lake City Travel Guide

Before dinner, grab a quick cocktail at Bar X, a speakeasy type bar owned by Modern Family’s Phil Dunfy. They have excellent Pimm’s Cups and Moscow Mules, as well as a list of cocktails to choose from. The bar is dark, yet chill. I can see how it would get packed on the weekends. We were there on a Monday night and there was live music setting up.

From there, you have a few options for dinner. If you’re feeling something lighter or just some veggies, head to Zest, a fun vegan/vegetarian restaurant. We went with their super food protein salad packed with chard, kale, spinach, hemp seeds, pepitas, and golden raisins. Plus, topped with a mushroom-lentil patty.

Salt Lake City Travel Guide

They also have organic, vegetarian craft cocktails, like a Beet Margarita or Spicy Jalapeno Margarita (those are on my list for next time). If you have more of an appetite, head to Takashi (known for their sushi).

Half Day 3

If you have time for a half day, or need some more recommendations, plan on grabbing breakfast at Publik Kitchen, known for their toast combinations. You can choose your own toast as well as a creamy toppings and jam, or select some of their menu options, such as French toast, avocado toast, scrambles or breakfast sandwiches.

Salt Lake City Eats

After breakfast and coffee, spend some time walking around the 9th and 9th neighborhood streets, full of cute locally owned shops, houses, bars and restaurants.

Next, head to Temple Square for a little more history. Temple Square is a complex owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the center of Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s very well kept and open to the public to walk through.

Salt Lake Travel Guide

We also walked by this cute little outdoor library/book exchange thing that I loved.

Salt Lake City Travel Guide

Save the best for last – each and every person I corresponded with in Salt Lake City talked about the need to eat at Copper Onion.

They’re known for their brunch, but supposedly, every meal is that good. So, we grabbed lunch here on our last day before heading to the airport. It’s very busy during lunch, so I recommend a reservation! They have a highly regarded burger, which we obviously ordered. I’m such a burger gal. What sets this one apart is the caramelized onions  (which you can’t really see) and delicious bun they put it on. And, the most delicious fries I’ve ever tasted in my life, nice and thick.

Salt Lake City Travel Guide

There are no shortages of great food and drink spots in Salt Lake, and the scenery is beautiful. The sun didn’t set until like 9:30-10 pm, which was awesome. It’s a VERY active city, which of course we loved. Unfortunately, since we were post marathon, we didn’t do any hiking or exploring the outdoors. But, if you’re there visiting, you totally need to!

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10 responses to “Salt Lake City Travel Guide (What To Do, Where To Eat)

  1. I have never been to Salt Lake City, Sarah, but enjoyed your post and will save this for future reference.
    Thank you!

  2. Agh you always give me the BIGGEST wander lust.
    When I was younger and my family went on lots of trips, we would always ALWAYS go to the museums – especially the nature museums – and visit any dinosaur exhibits we could find. There is this one museum in Regina where my grandparents lived that had a T-rex (totally old school now but at the time I thought it was the most real looking piece of technology ever). We visited it every single year and I never got sick of it.
    Salt Lake City looks like it has so much beautiful history and scenery! Wow!

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