Travel Guide: 48 Hours in Salt Lake City

It was 1:00 AM Eastern time, and at this point I has been up for 22 hours.  I was standing in outside of the Salt Lake City International Airport waiting for my cousin to pick me up, in what was turning out to be the first larger snow storm of the year.  It was freezing, and like most holiday seasons, it was a busy travel season, and the pickup line at the airport was packed.  Standing there, allowed me to have a small moment of introspection, and the normal internal realization: the, "wait I'm actually here," moment that we all get during travel.  I had two days before my flight home from this Thanksgiving weekend visit.  Here's what I saw in a 48 hour holiday visit to Salt Lake City.


grandeur Peak

Salt Lake City is surrounded by mountains, and with that hiking opportunities abound.  Grandeur Peak is one of the smaller, and easier peaks in the area.  Located just ten minutes from the downtown area.  It is the perfect early morning hike, and don't be dissuade by early fall snow.  If anything, be excited about the beauty offered by it.  The trail offers a wonderful four hour, there and back hike, and if you go on the morning of Thanksgiving day, you may be in for a special treat of Salt Lake City hospitality.  I won't go into too much detail, but let's just say grog + after hike delicious food + amazing new company is beyond a wonderful time. 

capital building

The Utah capital building is a special treat in the foot hills of Salt Lake City.  As a forewarning, it is a little bit of a climb up the hills from downtown Salt Lake.  The Capital building offers amazing panoramic views of the entire Salt Lake Valley and - of course - stunning neoclassical architecture, so bring your camera!  On the exploration of the building and grounds, count how many bee hives you can find: they are everywhere, so don't expect to find them all.

Salt Lake temple

Somehow, I felt I would be doing a disservice if I had not included the Salt Lake Temple in the list of things to see in Salt Lake City.  While you cannot see inside the temple (unless you have a temple recommendation), the outside and 10 acre Temple Square is a gorgeous must see when walking around the downtown Salt Lake City Area.

public library

I know, I know, why am I telling you to visit a public library.  But, hear me out, the Salt Lake City Public Library is beyond gorgeous building.  It is a real life insight to the life of the city.  The rooftop garden, the art gallery, the many shops, and collaboration spaces illustrate Salt Lake City's city life.  At least, stop in to see the library on the way to see downtown.  You won't regret any part of the visit.

Tips, comments and Notes

Utah is an interesting place, and I felt it deserved a little bit of extra explanation.  Firstly, why the Great Salt Lake didn't make the cut.  Secondly, Utah State Alcohol Laws and the interesting things that exist because of them.  And Finally, the interesting culture of the city.  So lets break it down to a sentence each list.

  1. It was thanksgiving; it was cold; and I felt there were other places to see in such weather.
  2. Utah doesn't let beer over 3.2% on draft, so local breweries will make delicious craft beer over that in a bottle, only.
  3. Salt Lake City is an interesting place where you will find a polarization between the Mormon conservatives and the ski bum liberals.  You can find many #vanlifers there!