48 Hours In Salt Lake

K.C. Dermody

Written by Justin Mewse

May 2024

Welcome to Salt Lake City, the perfect gateway to an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the American West. Whether you’re beginning or winding down from a tailor-made exploration of the stunning national parks of Utah and Colorado, Salt Lake offers an ideal starting point or a relaxing finale to your journey.

In this 48-hour sample itinerary below, we invite you to delve into the cultural richness and natural beauty of Salt Lake. From iconic landmarks and historic sites to culinary delights and outdoor adventures, immerse yourself in the unique charm of the vibrant city before or after your exploration of the majestic landscapes beyond its borders. If you’d like to uncover some more itinerary ideas – featuring falls colours, summer outdoor adventures, LGBTQ-friendly, romantic getaways and more…have a read here.

University of Utah Football - Visit Utah/Steve Greenwood

Day 1: Arrival and City Exploration

Arrival: Land at Salt Lake International Airport – or alternatively, head into the city from your days exploring the national parks.
Breakfast: Kickstart your day with a delicious breakfast at a local spot like Blue Plate Diner or Pig & a Jelly Jar.

Temple Square: Immerse yourself in the city’s history and culture by visiting the Tabernacle. Drop in to hear the choir practice on Thursday evenings from 7-9pm for free. For those interested in family history and genealogy, spend some time exploring the FamilySearch Library (closed on Sundays).

Food Trucks at Gallivan Center: Enjoy a casual lunch from the food trucks parked at Gallivan Center. Indulge in a variety of cuisines while soaking in the vibrant atmosphere.

Utah State Capitol:
Take a tour of the Utah State Capitol Building and enjoy panoramic views of Salt Lake City from its grounds. On the top floor is an exhibit on the 100 Years of Film in Utah (The exhibition ends in December).
City Creek Center: Spend the afternoon shopping or strolling around City Creek Center, a premier shopping destination with a mix of upscale stores and eateries.

Dinner: Treat yourself to dinner at one of Salt Lake’s renowned restaurants. Consider trying Red Iguana for authentic Mexican cuisine or the Copper Onion for a more upscale dining experience.
Entertainment: Catch a show at the Eccles Theater or take a leisurely walk around downtown to soak in the city’s nightlife and ambiance. If there’s a sports game happening (basketball, soccer or ice hockey), hopefully you’ve already pre-booked your tickets!

Temple Square, Salt Lake - Visit Utah

Day 2: Further Exploration and Departure

Breakfast: Enjoy another delicious breakfast at a local cafe before starting your day.
Liberty Park: Spend the morning exploring Liberty Park, Salt Lake’s largest public park. Take a leisurely stroll around the lake, visit the aviary, or relax in the shade of the trees.

Museum visit: Dive into the city’s art and culture scene with a visit to one of its museums. The Utah Museum of Fine Arts or the Natural History Museum of Utah are excellent choices for a fascinating and educational experience. You can also visit Red Butte Garden – it’s just across the parking lot from the the Natural History Museum and close to the Fine Arts Museum.

Local eats: Have lunch at a local restaurant or cafe, sampling some of Salt Lake’s diverse culinary offerings.

Hiking or outdoor activity: If you’re up for some outdoor adventure, consider hiking one of the nearby trails, such as the Bonneville Shoreline Trail or Ensign Peak Trail, for panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscape.

Departure preparation: Depending on your departure time, use the evening to pack, relax, or squeeze in any last-minute activities.
Departure: Head to Salt Lake International Airport for your onward journey or make your way by car to the next stop on your big parks adventure Make sure that you allow enough time at the airport to sample some of the local restaurant’s food offerings that can be found in the terminal. Vessel Kitchen, Gourmandise, Beans & Brew and White Horse come highly recommended! For a full list of restaurants and shops found at the airport, take a look here.

Family hiking Cottonwood Canyons - Visit Salt Lake/Austen Diamond Photography

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Cape Newagen sunrise - Visit Maine

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