Maile’s Quick Hits – Must Do List of Things in Salt Lake City

Every year the Outdoor Retailers show brings thousands of folks to Salt Lake to check out the latest gear, trends, and technology in the outdoor industry. The town fills up with lots of scruffy looking but healthy and handsome guys. The entire thing makes my single girlfriends happy.

Ski! One of the most amazing facts about Salt Lake is that within a 20 minute drive you can be at 4 different ski resorts. Within 30 minutes, add another 3 resorts. An hour and you can hit another  2 ski resorts. Is there anywhere else in the world that within an hour you can be at any one of 9 ski resorts? I think not.  Alta, Brighton, Canyons, Deer Valley, Park City Mountain, Solitude, Snowbasin, Snowbird, and Sundance Pick one or two and ski world famous powder.

Eat! I could write thousands of words on this category, but I’ll limit it to my favorite dining spots and my favorite dishes.  I’ve eaten Walnut Shrimp all over our great nation and J. Wong’s Asian Bistro’s is stellar. Takashi’s for sushi is a must; order the Strawberry Fields roll. For Mexican food, the Red Iguana is an institution. Try anything with Mole sauce on it. If you still have room, drop by Bruges Waffles and be prepared to be transported to heaven. Or skip dinner and eat one of their waffles topped with Belgian chocolate, strawberries and crème fraiche .  Yes, I am trying to make your mouth water.

Drink! Salt Lake has some of the finest craft breweries anywhere. Start at Uinta, have lunch and a beer at the Brewhouse Pub.  Try the seasonal  Yard Sale, my personal favorite.  Head to The Bayou for a second round of beer and choose from an astonishing selection of over 300 beers. Oh, and the food there is delicious and deserves to be mentioned in the “Eat!” section. For live music while getting your favorite drink, head to Gracies for the latest local bands.

Sightsee!  If you are in the mood to bobsled, guess what? You can! Dinner in a yurt? Yup! Ride a funicular? Sure! There is a reason a lot of us live in Salt Lake City and it has to do with the plentiful number of activities. For those with a bit more refinement and a couple of hours to spare, swing by The Leonardo museum.  The current exhibit includes a Da Vinci exhibit that showcases a high definition recreation of The Last Supper at actual size (29 x 14.5ft). Seeing that would certainly be an impressive conversation starter.

Shop! As a shoe collector, this might be my favorite pastime. The new City Creek Center is a shopping extravaganza that includes a retractable roof. Again, great conversation starter while you are hunkered down at The Bayou or Gracies.  Afterward head over to the Gateway, go to my favorite shop, Z Gallerie, eat, and take in a movie, all within a few blocks.

Relax. For gals like me in the outdoor and travel industry (and the occasional metro man), we have fabulous spas like downtown at the Grand America Spa or, for a mountain experience, The Cliff Spa at Snowbird. The view from the pool will make you wish you had a better camera. If you are pressed for time and can’t take a spa day, stop by the Beehive Tea Room for Afternoon Tea.  For $22.50 per person they serve a selection of scones, sandwiches, sweets, and a tea off their extensive menu. Afternoon tea is Wednesday through Sunday from 2-4pm; reservations are required. I love the funky vintage vibe of the tea room and find it extremely relaxing to sit and sip a cup of tea. Their scones are mouth wateringly delicious!

I may have to write a “round two” of quick hits because I’ve only scratched the surface of the extraordinary amount of things to do in our great city. As a note, these are MY favorites and might not be yours, but if you are from out of town it is a solid start of must-do activities. Send me your thoughts to add to my next list– what are the favorite things that folks from out of town must do when visiting Salt Lake City? Let me know so I can try them!

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