After four years of visiting our daughter at the University of Utah, my love affair with Salt Lake City is sadly over. She left the great state of Utah to start a career in Arizona. Although my husband said we can always go back, I wonder, how often will we? My bet is that on a rare occasion we will trek up to see our friends the McKinneys or maybe go to an alumni swim meet. But, other than that, I will miss the gorgeous city surrounded by mountain peaks. Salt Lake City is a vibrant, clean, friendly yet small city.
Another thing that is amazing is the community spirit of rooting for the Utes. Everywhere you see “Go Utes!” murals, flags and signs. The football stadium is always sold out–rain or shine. The gymnastics team is the most attended women’s sport in the country with more than 15,000 fans in the Huntsman Dome.
A friend asked my daughter and me to put together a list of things to do in SLC for her niece who’s a freshman at the University of Utah. Most of our things to do revolved around food. But, all in all it’s a list of our favorite memories during four years of being Ute fans. Here’s our Salt Lake City guide for UTE students, parents and visitors:
The Grand America Hotel — nicest in SLC, fun to walk through, even if you don’t stay there. I never made it to Sunday Brunch, but it’s supposed to be amazing.
The Little America — same company, Sun Valley Company, owns both the Little and Grand America hotels. It’s very nice but a little more low key than the Grand America. Restaurants are great, try the Coffee Shop for comfort food and amazing hot rolls with butter. I loved the gym and pool and big rooms at a great price. Our home away from home in Salt Lake City.
Valter’s Osteria — fine Italian, special occasion, delicious and great atmosphere. The owner Valter is so personable!
Market Street Grill — Pacific Northwest seafood flown in daily. Great for big parties or family lunch and dinner.
Takashi My favorite sushi restaurant. They have an excellent menu with many hot dishes, too.
Sapa My daughter’s favorite sushi restaurant. I think she and her friends liked the “all you can eat” special. Plus it was exciting because you aren’t allowed in unless you’re with someone 21 years old or older.
Les Madeleines — small Parisian bakery/cafe for breakfast and lunch. I love the tomato basil soup with salad!
Freshies Lobster Co. — Park City must! Casual restaurant that started as a food truck serving lobster rolls and lobster salad, amazing! The best meal I ever had in Utah! So simple but delicious. Here’s a review by the Salt Lake Tribune which says they opened a Salt Lake City restaurant blocks away from my daughter’s former house! No way! Not FAIR!
Italian — Antica Sicilia and Doce Sicilia. Recommended by Matteo Songe, swimmer from Italy on the Utah Swim team. He said this was authentic Sicilian. The Carbonara pasta is prepared with flames in a cheese wheel table side!
Aristo’s — family-operated Greek. Delicious. Outdoor seating on the patio in the summer.
The Pie — pizza hangout for students.
Kat’s breakfast list and what to order:
Blue Plate — Benedict omelette
Ruth’s Diner — Anything! Have the biscuits.
Finn’s Cafe — Eggs Benedict
Eggs in the City — Literally anything, if you want something sweet get the cinnamon roll pancake
Park Cafe — Michigan hash
Bruges Waffles & Frites– amazing waffles and fries. Only order a size small of the fries though
Kat’s shopping list
Love Street Apparel — super cute boutique and not expensive.
City Creek Center — nicest mall with the most stores including Nordstrom, Lush, Apple, Sephora, etc. Shop on Friday or Saturday if you’re there for a weekend, since the entire mall is closed on Sunday!
Patagonia Outlet in SugarHouse
Things to do:
Liberty Park — beautiful city park for walks or running.
9th and 9th — small area of shops and restaurants you can walk to and from Liberty Park. Thursday nights 9th and 9th at 9 pm bike ride.
Sugar House — more shops and restaurants
Salt Lake City and County Building — historic 1890s building with 2002 Winter Olympic display.
Temple Square — interesting to walk to and around. We never made it to find our geneology, but that is supposed to be available to the public.
Park City — day trip to walk and shop.
Deer Valley — chair lifts in the summer. Spectacular views and hiking.
Skiing — Alta, Deer Valley, Brighton, Park City, Snowbird, Alpine skiing at Brighton has beginning to more advanced, plus rentals.
Sports at UTAH — go to football, gymnastics, basketball, swimming, etc. The crowds at football and student MUSS section are so enthusiastic. Red Rocks Gymnastics is a top five NCAA team consistently and they have 15,000 plus in attendance — the most attended Olympic sport for collegiate women in the U.S.
Church — CenterPoint in Orem. Pastor Scott McKinney. Scott and my husband were best friends from grade school through high school. It was so nice to reconnect with Scott and his wife Sara. They provided our daughter with a home away from home.
Where your favorite places to visit and do you have any recommendations?