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Solo in Salt Lake City -- where to stay and what to do for 48 hrs?

Solo in Salt Lake City -- where to stay and what to do for 48 hrs?

Old Feb 27, 2024, 8:49 am
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Solo in Salt Lake City -- where to stay and what to do for 48 hrs?

I'm likely flying into SLC on Saturday afternoon and returning to SFO on Monday afternoon.

I'm taking a kid to visit a friend in Draper, so I'll be going from the airport to the closest avis outpost, and then straight to the suburbs. Not quite sure if I should just book a hotel in Draper or turn around and drive back to downtown SLC for two nights. I'm also considering going a bit further (within say, 35 min. drive of Draper in any direction) to spend the time in nature and maybe see some wildlife & more scenic stuff. I just don't want to venture too far in case there's any issue with the kids and I need to double back to Draper.

FTR, I've never been to SLC before and there's nothing in particular about the city itself that really excites me; perhaps I'm just not in the know. A quick flip through the usual travel sites leads me to believe that time spent in the surrounding outdoors would seem more rewarding, but it's also the middle of winter and I'll be solo and with extremely limited time, so I really don't know... I'd also be happy to just hang out in a nice hotel room and have a couple of good meals. Red Iguana. Caputo's. Sauce Boss in Draper looks great. I could always stay downtown and just drive out to Cottonwood Canyon during the day.

I'm not especially looking forward to this last-minute work trip since it interferes with plans at home and I'll be traveling on my lonesome for such a limited amount of time that I can't really tailor it to my own enjoyment. On the flip side, I have no expectations at all, so I could be up for just about anything...

As far as hotels, I've got some status with Marriott, but I'd be open to all suggestions. This is all comped, but I'd like to keep lodging under $250/nt or less, which seems easy enough. Please point me in whatever direction based on all of the above... Thanks!

Last edited by OliverB; Feb 27, 2024 at 10:02 am
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Old Feb 27, 2024, 11:43 am
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I've been to Salt Lake City at least a dozen times (maybe even two dozen), for both work and pleasure. Every time it surprises me even more.

I'd book something near downtown, preferably where you can take the free transit around. If you've never been, my suggestion would be to walk around Temple Square. There are some free tours, including to the Tabernacle (I'm not Mormon/LDS, but it is just such a fascinating site!) The state capitol building is downtown also, and rather impressive, and you can do another free tour. If weather permits, there is a great hiking trail just to the side of it (City Creek).
Food is amazing, and they seem to have something for everyone, and it won't break the bank (well I'm sure you can if you really want to). Let me know if you have anything you want to try and I'll get more specific recommendations.

The suburbs will be nearly like suburbs in Phoenix, Dallas, or most other western-ish cities, but with mountain views.

If the weather permits, you could do a daytrip out to Park City. I really like the drive up Cottonwood Canyon/Mill Creek, but if there is still snow it will be closed. If nothing else, you can drive a loop, out I-80, down 189 to Provo, then I-15 back up to town. Jordanelle and Deer Creek are rather impressive lakes out there. I'd also suggest getting close to the Great Salt Lake if you've never seen it...there's a state park (Great Salt Lake SP) off of I-80 as you drive just past the airport with tons of info about the lake.

I'm a bit tainted... I have a cousin who is about the same age who lives there, so when I've visited (even for work), I usually work in a visit with him, and he knows the city extremely well, especially the food scene. I also swim, and have always swum when there (even work trips)...swimming outside at the UofU in the foothills is quite breathtaking. I also cycle, and the cycling there is some of the best in the world (let me know if you cycle, I'll recommend a shop that rents bikes).

When I've stayed, I've done either work-event stuff (Grand America is pretty nice!), Hilton-family properties, or Airbnbs. If you aren't right downtown, the area around Liberty Park is really nice, as is the park itself.
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Old Feb 27, 2024, 1:12 pm
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Thanks so much for all of that info; its super helpful! Ive tentatively booked a corner view room at the hyatt regency SLC because it looks like a newer property and it seems to be centrally located, right by pioneer park.

Im researching all suggestions for nearby day trips and I have some questions about Park City hope you dont mind!

Obv. subjective - but, would you consider it worth driving to PC with prob. less than 48 hrs in SLC? Also, how much of PC feels like a normal mountain village vs. crowded overpriced resort? How easily accessible to just undeveloped nature in mid-winter - realistically, if bringing 2 days luggage packed in a carry-on? Would I need winter gear to move about comfortably?

Im just assuming snow boots arent needed for SLC, but would I more or less be stuck in my vehicle w/o snow boots in Park City or any of these destinations? Also, Im just assuming any basic class car rental comes winterized + could make the drive with regular road clearance up there would it be fine driving a basic airport rental compact?

SLC solo meals from what Ive gathered: orig. Red Iguana + copper onion seem like great dinner spots in the immediate area. Meatball sub at Caputos Deli is definitely on my radar + maybe quick stop at Hires Big H coming/going to airport. The Pie looks like a fun late night solo spot as well. Sauce Boss in Draper looks a bit dangerous to attempt one man tbh. If I were with my girlfriend, Id want to try caffe molise.

Thanks again for all the helpful info + tips!

edit: p.s. - any advice for best wildlife sightings?
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Old Feb 27, 2024, 9:54 pm
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I've lived in downtown Salt Lake City for the last 4+ years, so here are some more thoughts:
  • The LDS Temple is under construction. You can still walk around it, but there's not a lot to see.
  • If you want a good view of the city, go to Ensign Peak. It's a quick hike just north of downtown.
  • I probably wouldn't go to the canyons unless you want to ski. They're full of snow, so the hiking isn't great unless you have snow equipment. But the valley (which includes downtown Salt Lake) is snow free and you won't need snow boots for the city.
  • You have a very good list of restaurants; our food scene is what I would describe as quite a few above average restaurants, but nothing you'd want to hop on a plane specifically to eat. If you want a somewhat more casual meal downtown while you're here, try Robin's Nest for sandwiches (lunch only) and Siegfried's Deli for German food (check hours.) If you like holes-in-the-wall, look up Curry Fried Chicken on State Street just south of downtown.

Feel free to ask any questions. Enjoy your time here!
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Last edited by LoganFlyer; Feb 27, 2024 at 10:00 pm
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Old Feb 27, 2024, 10:20 pm
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Thanks so much! I had Siegfried's Deli on my short list as well

I'm also looking forward to nightcaps at twilight lounge and bar x... do all downtown bars follow the 2.5 oz pour law?
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Old Mar 4, 2024, 9:52 am
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We were there last spring break. Sadly, not a great deal of hiking. Too much snow. I think Park City is interesting, but absolutely overpriced and touristy. I would only go if you want to be able to say you've done it.
We liked Red Rock Brewery and the Settebello pizzeria next door.
In Draper, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is really interesting.

And maybe the locals can help me out. There was a little neighborhood of shops and restaurants in the south part of Salt Lake City that was really cute and interesting. Can't find it now though.
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Old Mar 25, 2024, 3:54 pm
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Originally Posted by pbiflyer
And maybe the locals can help me out. There was a little neighborhood of shops and restaurants in the south part of Salt Lake City that was really cute and interesting. Can't find it now though.
Well, if you mean the south part of Salt Lake City itself, as opposed to the greater urban area, then I assume you mean the Sugar House neighborhood.
https://www.lovesaltlake.com/neighborhoods/sugar-house/

If you meant just the south end of the downtown area, then perhaps you were thinking of the Ninth and Ninth neighborhood. https://www.lovesaltlake.com/neighborhoods/9-and-9/

Lots of quirky shops in both neighborhoods.
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Old Mar 26, 2024, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by amanuensis
Well, if you mean the south part of Salt Lake City itself, as opposed to the greater urban area, then I assume you mean the Sugar House neighborhood.
https://www.lovesaltlake.com/neighborhoods/sugar-house/

If you meant just the south end of the downtown area, then perhaps you were thinking of the Ninth and Ninth neighborhood. https://www.lovesaltlake.com/neighborhoods/9-and-9/

Lots of quirky shops in both neighborhoods.
It was Ninth and Ninth. But we did drive by Sugar House area as well and it did look interesting.
Thanks!
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