I started off the new year with a girl’s trip to Salt Lake City, Utah to see one of my best friends! Katie just moved there as a second lieutenant officer in the Air Force and actually just started her own blog, www.lifeoffbase.blog!
We stayed with her for a week and explored the area so much- here are a few amazing things to do, restaurants, and adventures around Salt Lake City- it was the perfect winter girl’s trip!!
Salt Lake City Restaurants & Bars
Casual and Quick:
In-N-Out Burger: Our first stop when we got off the plane was In-N-Out Burger! This famous burger spot is big on the West Coast (and unfortunately can’t be found in Atlanta!) so we were so excited to go!
Dutch Bros Coffee: Dutch Bros Coffee is another famous west coast icon (most commonly found in Arizona!), that we frequented in our trip. The marshmallow top on the coffee is amazing.
Sips Drive Thru: Sips Drive Thru is a soda shop with specialty sodas, as Utah has a large population of Mormons, who don’t drink alcohol. I loved stopping by and trying their diet cherry cola- so yummy! I’m not usually a big soda drinker, but it’s fun to visit and try their more exotic flavors (although I did go kind of boring with my choice, haha!).
Honest Eatery: This was a healthy, quick option right downtown in Salt Lake that was perfect for a smoothie or avocado toast (a girl’s trip staple!). We tried a similar option in Salt Lake on the second day of our trip that was not the best, so I’m pointing out this spot out as a great pick if you like a lighter lunch when you travel!
Squatters Pub: Squatters is a local pub and brewery, and we went for a casual dinner downtown. It’s a local classic with long-standing roots in Salt Lake. Because it’s right downtown, the location is convenient if you want to go to a local bar after.
Stanza Italian Bistro & Wine Bar: We chose Stanza for a fancier dinner night to try their wine tasting with our dinner. They offer reasonably-priced half pours and the staff is very knowledgeable when you order- it was great Italian food with a great sample of good wine. This was my favorite meal in SLC!
Desert Edge Brewery: This brewery is located upstairs in the shopping area of Trolley Square and the food and drinks were very good- I got a half sandwich and French onion soup and loved them! It’s a great choice for dinner or lunch and then walking around the square.
Lake Effect: Lake effect was my favorite bar in Salt Lake City- it has incredible food, a great upscale atmosphere, and a great vibe. They also have live music!
The Westerner: We didn’t actually have a “night” at the Westerner as we stopped by and it was completely empty, haha, but this is on my list to go back! This bar is a little outside the downtown area, but it has line dancing and bull riding…it looks very fun!
Things to Do in Salt Lake
Axe Throwing at The Golden Axe: This was fun to do before going out on a Saturday night! The axe throwing is reasonably priced and they also have a bar.
See East High from High School Musical: If you were a big Disney Channel fan, you can see East High School right in downtown SLC! It’s fun to stop by and take a quick photo.
Hike Ensign Peak: This hike is relatively easy (warning: it may seem more challenging if you are not used to the altitude of the mountains!) and has the best view of the city.
Antelope Island State Park: This park is home to free-ranging bison and other animals, and is a gorgeous walk on the water. We didn’t get to visit because of weather, but it’s on my list!
Trolley square: Trolley Square is fun to walk around and see the shops. You can also climb its water tower!
Adventures Near Salt Lake: Park City
Park City is nearby Salt Lake and has a cute main street that is right at the base of the slopes! A lot of people come to Park City to ski (I did in February of 2020!), but we skipped it for our girl’s trip. There are still a lot of things to do in & near Park CIty, though!
We had fun wandering in and out of the shops and art galleries, then finding a spot to sit and watch the skiers- if you walk down main street you can actually see the ski lift that takes you right into town! (Also, if you’re really into street art, you can find Banksy’s art on the buildings in Park City!) There are a lot of great restaurants in Park City, but here are my two favorites:
Wasatch Brewery: This was the first brewery in Utah and it’s food and beer are great. It’s right at the top of main street and fun to sit outside!
No Name Saloon: This is the most popular bar in Park City, and it’s for a reason- the atmosphere is very fun (there are things hanging all over the ceiling!) and the drinks and food are great, too (I got the chili, but the buffalo burger is very popular!).
Adventures Near Salt Lake: Midway
Midway is a little further out past Park City, and has a lot of charm! It’s known as “Utah’s Swiss Alps” and has a European-style main street. We had a great time exploring the area and it’s fun outdoor winter activities!
Snow Tubing: We went snow tubing at Soldier Hollow, which was very fun! There are a lot of options for snow tubing around Park City- we chose Solider because it was the most reasonably priced and open late, which was perfect because we went in the evening when there were fewer children. If you go, bundle up and make sure you wear shoes with a lot of traction (this is speaking from experience- I wore cheap boots and fell, haha!).
The Homestead Crater: The Homestead Crater is a geothermal hot spring with mineral water, and you can swim (and scuba!) in it! This was my favorite part of the trip- the water is about 95 degrees and it’s like swimming in a cave (there is a small opening at the top!). Reservations are booked months out and hard to get- call and put your name on the waitlist and hope that you get lucky like we did!
Ice Castles: Right next to the crater are the famous Ice Castles, which look like they are straight from the scenes of Frozen! These reservations are also hard to get (we didn’t get as lucky!) but they are on my list for next year. The castles are lit up at night, and absolutely stunning.
Adventures Near Salt Lake: A Little Further Out
The Bonneville Salt Flats: The Salt Flats were one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen- its 3000 acres of densely packed salt, remnant of Lake Bonneville! It’s an amazing sight to see- people drive on the salt (they even have a race track), explore, and you can even taste it. It’s absolutely gorgeous.
Crystal Hot Springs: The first hot springs we went to was Crystal Hot Springs, which is in Honeyville Utah but worth the drive. It’s basically a collection of outdoor pools…except they’re all natural! It’s so fun to go for a relaxing afternoon- be warned though, that the water has a sulfur smell.
And….that’s our girl’s trip to Salt Lake City!! We had such a great time- I can’t wait to go back!