What to do in Salt Lake City?
May 12, 2018 10:14 AM   Subscribe

After some camping further south, my partner and I will be in Salt Lake City May 20-22. We have some flexibility and could be there May 19 for something awesome. We are looking for cool but low-key things to do.

We are fans of street festivals, math and science museums, factory/brewery/distillery tours, outdoor movies, transportation museums (like the Udvar-Hazy Center outside DC or various railway museums we've visited over the years), quirky and vegetarian-friendly restaurants, and local theater. We want to go to an organ recital at the Salt Lake City Tabernacle, and if the weather is nice, we may go to Red Butte Gardens. Other than that, our schedule is open for inspiration.

We'll be staying downtown and will have a car, but are always happier to walk or rent bikes. We would probably like to stay in and around SLC, but if you think something is worth the drive, let us know.
posted by alligatorpear to Travel & Transportation around Salt Lake City, UT (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
Tracy Aviary
Hogle Zoo
Happy Cow Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurant Listings with reviews.
The weather will likely be nice.
posted by Crystalinne at 11:49 AM on May 12, 2018

I don’t live in Salt Lake City, but I visit family there, so my knowledge is limited. You’ll be there for the Living Traditions Festival. I have never been to this festival, but it looks interesting. Info here.

I assume you can google and are interested in personal recommendations. The Living Planet Aquarium is cool. Mi Ranchito Grill has good vegan Mexican food, but the location may not work for you. Tsunami Sushi has fantastic vegan sushi, but again, the location may be not great. But if you go there, try the honey badger roll.
posted by FencingGal at 12:54 PM on May 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The natural history museum there is ON POINT.
posted by Ausamor at 1:20 PM on May 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Nthing the natural history museum-it's in a gorgeous location in the hills on the U of U campus (and is pretty much next door to Red Butte Garden), the architecture of the building is very cool, and the exhibits are really fun and innovative (the dinosaur one is my favorite). If you feel like more museum while you're in the area, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts has some good stuff as well.

Red Iguana has absolutely transcendent mole, and I believe has decent vegetarian options.

(Source: I grew up in Utah and still visit family there regularly.)
posted by LadyNibbler at 2:17 PM on May 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

If you get a chance to see the Bonneville Salt Flats, do it. They are about an hour and a half west of SLC, but it's worth it, imo. They are otherworldly.
posted by fancyoats at 2:57 PM on May 12, 2018

Make a day trip to the Golden Spike NHS.
posted by brujita at 4:07 PM on May 12, 2018

Best answer: For brewery tours, maybe Mountain West Hard Cider or Desert Edge.

Vegetarian-friendly food is available all around*, but for dedicated vegetarian try Vertical Diner. Without linking all night long, a few more: Rusted Sun is my go-to for pizza; Koko Kitchen for sushi.

(*Exception: Many hipster-greasy-spoon-type brunch places have lines around the block on weekends, but they offer little of real interest if you don’t eat bacon. Skip the Hub and Spoke and Pig & a Jelly Jar.)

NHMU is as great as others are saying. Local theatre runs the gamut from cornball shallow-parody melodramas (Desert Star, Off-Broadway Theatre) to look-how-edgy-we-are (SLAC) to warm-and-fuzzy (Hale). Pioneer is the most solid professional option IMHO. There’s also plenty of improv around, again ranging from squeaky-clean to shock-comedy.

Little America and Grand America (sister hotels across the street from one another) are great. If you want something older and weirder in a charming way, the Peery might be worth a look.
posted by armeowda at 6:43 PM on May 12, 2018

If you need something fast, there’s a local chain called Cafe Rio with good veggie/vegan options. Seconding Vertical Diner as well, although it has been 5 years since the last time I was there.
posted by charmedimsure at 7:35 PM on May 12, 2018

If you're going to the Golden Spike NHS, definitely check out the Spiral Jetty. It's a beautiful artwork and a great place to see the Great Salt Lake.
posted by chairmanroflmao at 9:28 AM on May 13, 2018

Super late to this thread but the SLC botanical garden is incredible! Check it out!!!
posted by theRussian at 4:42 PM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: We didn't get to try everything we wanted, but I wanted to follow up and say oh my gosh the Natural History Museum was amazing and we loved it. We also checked out Vertical Diner and Red Iguana - both hits. Thanks all!
posted by alligatorpear at 1:52 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

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