You may come to Salt Lake for the snow, but we promise you’ll want to stay for the city. Booking a trip to Ski City gives you endless options for off days and downtime, so check out these deals on lift tickets and lodging. If you push your quads to the max or are planning a non-skiing day with your better half, there’s so much to see, eat, drink, and do in Salt Lake that you’ll love your mountain vacation. Here’s a few recommendations for your day off.
The Natural History Museum of Utah
One of the most fascinating places to spend an afternoon, the museum focuses on the anthropology, paleontology, and ecology of Utah and the Intermountain West. While the museum’s true treasure is undoubtedly its expertly curated and expansive collections, its rock-formation-inspired, copper-wrapped architecture is an awesome sight in its own right.
City Creek Center
City Creek is home to over 100 popular and high-end stores. Its dazzling fountains were designed by the creators of the Fountain of Bellagio in Las Vegas, the stream running through the mall is stocked with local trout, and the giant retractable roof offers the bright, open-air feeling of an outdoor shopping mall while protecting you from the elements.
A trip to Salt Lake wouldn’t be complete without visiting the city’s most popular attraction. Take a guided tour of the temple grounds, learn more about Utah’s Mormon history, admire the extraordinary Christmas lights between November 25 and January 3, catch an organ recital in the Tabernacle, and wonder at the 11-foot marble Christus statue in outer space.
Current Fish & Oyster
The reclaimed facade and outdoor fire installations at Current Fish and Oyster will pull you in like a magnet. As Chef Logen Crew puts it, the fish is the star of the plate here. You might not think of seafood in landlocked Utah, but logistical factors (i.e. Salt Lake’s Delta hub) actually bestow our city with fresh seafood daily. Try the oysters and whole branzino, then check out the adjacent Under Current bar, for a swanky after-dinner drink.
Sometimes after a day of skiing, the only thing that will satisfy is a big, huge burger. They have those at Lucky 13. In fact, we’re pretty sure that Lucky 13 is the maker of the biggest, hugest burger in Salt Lake: The Big Benny, “a foot-tall burger with house-smoked bacon, ham, cheddar, swiss, caramelized onions, Lucky 13 sauce, and 28oz of fresh ground chuck.” Not a superhuman with a bottomless belly? Don’t worry. There are plenty of mouthwatering burgers for mere mortals, including vegetarians.
With two locations in central Salt Lake, Mazza is one of the best Middle Eastern lunch and dinner destinations in town. Try a small-plate combo, which lets you mix and match your favorites (and even try something new without feeling too committed). From shawarma to kebabs to Mazza’s signature seasonal dishes, the entrees are delightful with perfectly sweet desserts following up the most delicious bites.
One of Utah’s longest-running breweries, Squatters has been crafting award-winning beers since 1989. Longtime favorites include the Polygamy Porter (try it on nitro), Black Forest Schwarzbier, and Full Suspension Pale Ale. The intense Hop Rising IPA will knock your socks off and be sure to scope the seasonals. You can find Squatters beers at most bars and restaurants throughout the city, but for the full experience, hit up the big, buzzy Squatters Pub Brewery in Downtown.
BTG Wine Bar
This elegant and comfortable wine bar is in the basement of the Historic Eagle Building. BTG serves over 75 wines, but also serves beer, craft cocktails, and Italian small plates and entrees from Caffe Molise upstairs.
If artful mixology is your thing, you’ll probably want to pop into Bar X for a negroni, a sazerac, or one of the bar’s artfully crafted, palette-popping cocktails. The setting here is dark and sexy, and if you go on a weekend, plan on getting pretty cozy with the crowd. There’s often live jazz or a DJ, and when you feel like switching scenes, it’s as easy as stepping through a doorway into the bright, open, beer-hall-inspired Beer Bar next door.
It’s easy to miss, located next to a used car dealership on State Street, but Epic Brewery is home to big bottles of some of the best beer ever to come out of the state. You can buy a self-made sampler of 22oz bottles to go, but we suggest hitting the “tapless tap room” first to sample the goods.
There’s always a good show in Salt Lake, whether it’s an obscure indie band playing to a passionate all-ages crowd at Kilby Court, an acclaimed blues guitarist wowing folks at the State Room, or a DJ packing the dance floor at Metro Music Hall. Check the live music events calendar to see who’s playing while you’re in town.
If you prefer to shop locally, you’re in luck: Salt Lake has a strong boutique scene. Start your browsing on Broadway (300 South), where you’ll find a string of vintage furniture stores, trendy clothing boutiques, a plant shop, and even a specialty cocktail store. Afterward, head to the 9th and 9th district, another walkable ‘hood chock full of shopping.
Winter is a prime time to see performing arts in Salt Lake. The Utah Symphony season is in full swing at Abravanel Hall, Capitol Theatre hosts The Nutcracker and other seasonal dances. Meanwhile, the Eccles Theater has an impressive lineup of Broadway shows, live music events, comedy, and more. For something off the beaten path, check out Ririe-Woodbury or Repertory Dance Theatre’s performance schedules, browse the events at the Rose Wagner Center, or buy tickets to Salt Lake Acting Company.