Places to Go and Things to Do in Salt Lake City

View Salt Lake City's top spots for locals and tourists.

Food and Drink Essentials

BEST COFFEE SHOP

Coffee Garden
898 East 900 South
When locals hear Coffee Garden they think of 9th & 9th. The coffee shop is a fixture in the trendy neighborhood and surrounded by eclectic shops and restaurants. The coffee shop plays only classical music, so consider yourself warned if those aren’t the beats you’re accustomed to. The musical selection doesn’t seem like too much of a turn-off as you’ll find college students pounding away on their laptops, business professionals on their coffee break, or spandex-clad gym goers there on any given day.

BEST PLACE TO GET A BEER

The Bayou
645 South State Street
Their homepage is named “Beervana,” if that doesn’t say enough. The Bayou is Utah’s largest beer bar with well over 100 beers for patrons to choose from, with a selection that spans regional, national, and international choices. Customers can match their beers to a menu of edibles packed with cajun and creole flavors. If you don’t mind shouting your conversations, go on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night for live jazz music. Oh, and the giant plate of sweet potato fries will be worth it.

BEST MARTINI BAR

The Red Door
57 West 200 South
Like a classic martini? Needing one a bit stiffer to end a long work week? Or just wanting to drink something decadent? The Red Door’s martini menu has it all. The lounge is as small on the inside as it looks from the outside, so you’ll be sipping - or chugging - that martini in a cozy nook beside brick walls. Though crowded, the dim lighting and candle lit tables create an intimate atmosphere. If you’ve eaten all your thin mints and craving some, order the Dirty Girl Scout martini.


Entertainment Essentials

BEST NIGHT CLUB

The Hotel Bar & Nightclub
155 West 200 South
801-478-4310
Looking for a place to let your hair down and dance the night away? Worried about finding a place everyone will like? Look no further than The Hotel, housed in the old Hotel Victor Building. With five rooms spread throughout 4 floors, The Hotel provides unique atmospheres to suite your mood. The nightclub is also a popular venue for special events and live concerts which attracts a young, trendy crowd. Be prepared to bump and squeeze your way through a dance floor.

BEST MALL

The Gateway
400 West 100 South
The Gateway is the only outdoor mall in Utah, centered around the historic Union Pacific Depot in Salt Lake City. It’s loaded with enough shopping, dining, and entertainment for most locals to “make a day of it.” Shoppers can drop cash quick at big-name retailers like Apple, Brookstone, Banana Republic and J-Crew, get pampered at Sanctuary Day Spa, catch the latest flick at the Megaplex 12, or dine at over a dozen restaurants.

BEST THING TO DO WITH THE KIDS

Clark Planetarium
110 South 400 West
The Clark Planetarium is on the small side but there’s no shortage of fun for the whole family. There’s no charge to simply walk around and explore and some stationary exhibits are also free. If time allows there are cosmic light shows, 360 entertainment in the dome theater, and a 3D IMAX. Perhaps the best part is the gift shop that filled with enough educational gidgets and gadgets to put a smile on any kids face.


Outdoor Essentials

BEST CITY PARK

Liberty Park
600 East 1300 South
Liberty Park is to Salt Lake City what Central Park is to New York. It’s not the largest city park, but the oldest and most prominent in Utah. It provides patrons with nearly everything to keep them there for hours. Thousands flock to Liberty Park to walk/jog/bike/rollarblade around the perimeter, swim, play tennis, visit the aviary, feed the ducks in the pond, unleash their kids at the playground, or simply sit and relax. With 80 acres of open space lined beautifully with a variety of trees, Liberty Park is the summer destination for local residents who want to stay in the city.

BEST VIEW OF THE CITY

“The Living Room”
Foothills above Salt Lake City
“The Living Room” kills two birds with one stone. It’s a nice, moderate hike close to the city. You can make it up and back in two hours. If, during the hike, you wonder what the payoff is, you won’t be disappointed. Once at the top you get a spectacular view of Salt Lake City. Throughout the years hikers have turned the piles of smooth, flat rocks created by erosion into stone furniture - and yes, you can kick your feet up! Much like any living room, you’ll find couches, chairs, and footrests to maximize comfort and relaxation as you soak in the beauty of Utah’s capitol city. Because of its popularity there’s no guarantee you’ll get a seat, but if you do snag a stone sofa, don’t rush your visit.

BEST DOG PARK

Tanner Park
2760 South 2700 East
Tucked in a deep ravine and surrounded by freeways and steep hills, Tanner Park is the perfect place for dog owners to let their pups enjoy nature off-leash. Two-legged and four-legged friends can enjoy acres of open space, plenty of paths nicely shaded with trees, and water works from Parley’s Creek. Patrons will hardly find themselves alone. On any given day you’ll find the Park filled with well-mannered, friendly dogs.

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