The Ultimate Travel Guide To Salt Lake City, Utah

travel guide to salt lake city
travel guide to salt lake city

How about Moab, Utah?!

That was pretty cool, right?

After posting the travel guide to Moab, Utah, I realized that traveling has played a huge role in my personal development journey, and now I want to share these experiences with the world.

So, here we are with another travel guide.

This one is different though. This one is on a place that I used to call home… for six months. This is a travel guide to Salt Lake City.

Travel Guide To Salt Lake City

When you think about Salt Lake City, what thought immediately comes to your mind? Mountains? The Great Salt Lake? What about Temple Square? 

While those are some of the things to see in Salt Lake City, there is also a lot more – more that I want to share with you.

Here are a list of some places to visit, to eat, and some things to do during your stay in Salt Lake City.

Downtown Salt Lake City

Temple Square

travel guide to salt lake city

Let me be the first to say that Temple Square is nothing short of amazing. No matter what religion you are (if you practice at all), a trip down to Temple Square is a must. If you are traveling to Salt Lake City around the holidays, well that is just a bonus as lights are strung from every tree branch within the three blocks, 35-acre plaza.

Despite not being Mormon, I always found Temple Square to be a fun place to go during the times that I was either living in, or traveled to Salt Lake City during the holiday season. Imagine Rockefeller Plaza in New York City during the holiday season. It’s a pretty similar experience to that of Temple Square – especially with City Creek Center just across the street.

City Creek Center

If you have some extra money burning a hole in your pocket, City Creek Center is a great place to spend it. It’s a pretty neat open-air shopping mall with a wing full of luxury-named brands such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Co., Tumi, etc. As I said, if you have money just burning a hole in your pocket (and a lot of it), then that part of City Creek Center is for you.

There is another wing of the shopping mall that contains more affordable stores such as H&M, Forever 21, Lids, etc. I know you’re probably not going to Salt Lake City for the shopping, but the option is always there.

Where To Eat In Salt Lake City

Aside from the shopping, there are a ton of great restaurants around Temple Square and City Creek Center. My personal favorites are Red Iguana and Valter’s Osteria.

Red Iguana

Red Iguana is hands down the best Mexican restaurant that I have ever been to.

Located just over a mile from downtown Salt Lake, you NEED to check it out.

I’m from Minnesota, and we aren’t really known for our Mexican food. One of my favorite dishes is Mole, and having never seen that on the menu at any Mexican restaurant in Minnesota, I always make sure to get it when I am in Salt Lake City.

The wait at Red Iguana can sometimes be a tad bit long, especially is you go during peak hours. Sometimes you may have to wait close to an hour to be seated, but in my opinion, it is well worth it.

There is also Red Iguana 2, so if you don’t feel like waiting, you can always have the same amazing food, but just at a different location.

Valter’s Osteria

Valters Osteria

Warning: Valter’s is expensive, but you are paying for what you get.

If you want a chance to meet some famous people, including athletes that are playing against the Utah Jazz, then Valter’s is probably where you’ll have the best chance of doing so.

Valter’s Osteria is an amazing high-end Italian restaurant, where owner and founder Valter Nassi still goes on a daily basis and walks around to each table introducing himself to all of the guests.

Rather than choose from the menu, our server recommended that we try the three-course meal with all of the restaurants’ favorite dishes. Not only is the food absolutely amazing, but it is hand-crafted right in front of you.

Now you do get endless amounts of some of the best bread you will have ever had in your life, but try to save a little room for the main dish and the dessert to follow. It may be hard to contain yourself, but it is well worth it.

Great Sites In Salt Lake City

After all the amazing food, it’s time to walk some of it off. The four places around Salt Lake City that I would recommend the most are Liberty Park, Cottonwood Canyon, walking to the University of Utah (Go Utes!), and hiking up to the State Capitol of Utah.

Liberty Park

Liberty Park is a massive 80-acre park located in downtown Salt Lake City that offers great fun for the entire family. There are playgrounds for kids, pools, walking paths, and great restaurants surrounding it. 

If nothing else, it’s just a nice place to go, get some fresh air, and feel connected to the beautiful city of Salt Lake.  

Cottonwood Canyon

Cottonwood Canyon Salt Lake City
Travel Guide To Salt Lake City

If you are traveling to Salt Lake in the summer or fall, you definitely need to go hiking in Cottonwood Canyon. Cottonwood Canyons was one of my favorite (really the only place I would go) hiking spots in Salt Lake City as it provides beautiful scenery and incredible views of Salt Lake City. It’s also a great place to go mountain biking, skiing, or rock climbing.

University of Utah

As it is only a five-minute drive from the heart of Salt Lake City, I would also recommend taking a trip up and walking the campus of the University of Utah. It’s honestly just a nice place to walk around and is pretty close to Trolley Square, which is another neat and unique area. 

Utah State Capitol

travel guide to salt lake city

Okay, the Capitol is actually pretty cool. It is on top of one of the canyons, and it offers a view from above downtown Salt Lake City, as well as a view down State Street that can be seen for miles. 

If you are into photography or just have an itch for skyline views, then taking a trip up to the Utah State Capitol (especially at night) is a good idea.


Park City, Utah

Downtown Park City In The Winter

If you made it to Salt Lake City, you definitely need to make the 30-minute drive up the mountain to Park City, Utah.

Park City is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to, and it is where a lot of the big-name ski resorts are located such as The Canyons Resort, Park City Mountain, as well as Utah Olympic Park – home of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. 

If you’re on the slopes and get a sudden urge to go shopping, the good news is that you can literally ski into downtown Park City to do so or to get some food and/or drinks. 

Fun fact, there are also a lot of famous people who go to Park City. The last time that I went up, I was walking down Main Street and literally bumped into current NFL and future hall of fame quarterback Drew Brees. Yeah, that was pretty cool. 

Final Thoughts

In going back to visit my family in Utah this past time, it made me realize how beautiful of a place it truly is. While I lived there, I will be the first to admit that I didn’t do nearly as much as I should have. There are so many things to do and so much beauty to be seen in Salt Lake City and the surrounding cities. 

If you go to Salt Lake City, I would recommend fitting as much as you can into the time that you are there. It is a beautiful city and is definitely well worth the trip.

Michael Bonnell

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