What to do around SLC?
November 28, 2006 6:02 PM   Subscribe

How should my wife and I spend a three-and-a-half hour layover in the Salt Lake City Airport tomorrow morning?
posted by Etaoin Shrdlu to Travel & Transportation around Salt Lake City, UT (17 answers total)
take a cab to the red iguana! Its only about 10 minutes from the terminal.
posted by neilkod at 6:07 PM on November 28, 2006

Yes. Red Iguana is what you should do.
posted by JekPorkins at 6:25 PM on November 28, 2006

Response by poster: We'll be there too early for The Red Iguana. We fly out at 12:30, but they don't open until 11:00...
posted by Etaoin Shrdlu at 6:34 PM on November 28, 2006

I definitely agree with the Red Iguana if you are going to eat. What time are you going to be there? If it's after dusk, the Christmas lights just came on down town and they're pretty spectacular, as far as Christmas lights go. The bus comes every 30 minutes and it's a $3 round trip.
posted by toomuch at 6:35 PM on November 28, 2006

Yes, Red Iguana is very good. You could also go to the Garden Restaurant on the top floor of the Joseph Smith Building (located within Temple Square), for a nice view of the city. Or you can get some holiday shopping done at The Gateway, if that's your thing. Or! You can tour the city's new-ish, gorgeous public library.
posted by pfafflin at 6:39 PM on November 28, 2006

Well nevermind on the Christmas lights then. You could still head to the down town area to walk around. Many tourists visit the Mormon Temple but I'm not sure what it's like during the day. I've only been there after dark, to see the lights. There's always the brand spankin new mall.
posted by toomuch at 6:43 PM on November 28, 2006

We'll be there too early for The Red Iguana.

The Bakery is delicious and they open at 7 am. The Garden Restaurant pfafflin named is also a good suggestion, especially since it affords good views of the city and mountains (topped fresh with snow today)... but they also don't open until 11 am. As an alternative for high-altitude viewing, it looks like the LDS Church Office Building (which is the talest building in the city) has their observation deck on the 26th floor open to the public from 9 am to 4 pm. It's been a long time since I've done that so I can't remember if they just let you go up or if it's part of a tour, but it looks like there's a number you could call and find out.

Other suggestions here and here.
posted by weston at 7:55 PM on November 28, 2006

Go to Gilgal Gardens for a taste of the wierder side of Utah Mormonism. A truely fascinating place. PS. It's going to be dumping snow tomorrow morning, or at least I hope it is. I'll be up at Snowbird.
posted by trbrts at 9:44 PM on November 28, 2006

Saw the question and immediately thought "red iguana", and was bummed when I saw everyone else answered that.

I second the Gateway, its a great suggestion, but bear in mind its an open air mall and its going to be cold in the morning. Theres a barnes and nobles there thats nice to hang out in, and the virgin megastore is decent for music, I have no idea how early these things open though.

I also agree about the public library, its nice and new and if you like books could be a fun place to chill for a while.

And yes, Temple square can be nice to walk around, but again its going to be cold.

After those obvious suggestions that everyone else named, youve only got 3 hours and no car theres not much you will have time for. Damn, now Im thinking SLC is a boring town :P

Have fun and good luck.
posted by skrike at 10:35 PM on November 28, 2006

you've only got 3 hours and no car theres not much you will have time for

That's a good point. And since I never get to go to meetups... Etaoin Shrdlu, if you're interested in a ride or a guide for a bit tomorrow, I'll be running errands in SLC and would be happy to take and hour or two out. Email's in the profile.
posted by weston at 10:39 PM on November 28, 2006

Heh, I was about to offer the same thing as I work right by the airport, but then I remembered I have tomorrow off.
posted by skrike at 10:46 PM on November 28, 2006

go up to people at random and try to convert them to a religion other than their own. it should be a barrel of laughs.
posted by tabulem at 1:33 AM on November 29, 2006

Find a secluded place and join the "done it in an airport" club?
posted by crewshell at 1:34 AM on November 29, 2006

I had a one-hour layover in SLC just last month. I noticed that they had posters in the airport advertising a bus tour of Temple Square that originated from and returned to the airport. My dim memory tells me it might have been free. I'm not having luck finding info in Google, or the websites for the airport or the visitor's bureau.

If free, did it involve...proselytizing? I don't think so--I think it was being run by the City or a tourism org. Whoever was offering it seemed to be aiming it specifically at people with layovers who needed to get back to catch their next flight. I *could* be wrong.
posted by gimonca at 6:06 AM on November 29, 2006

Downtown is only 10 minutes from the airport, but there will be snow. Go to Temple Square. It will be unbearably pretty. You could also go to the top floor of the church office building across the street and get a beautiful, unobstructed view of the whole valley, including the world's largest strip mine (Bingham Copper Mine).

Also, you should walk over to the Salt Lake library. Not only was it recently featured in an Archie comic (could there be any higher honor?) it is filled with little coffee shops, a comic book store that is decent, and the gift shop sells surplus books cheap. You could easily do all this in two hours and get a feel for the city.

Gilgal Gardens is cool, but best experienced in contrast to Temple Square for full effect. It is sorta small, but an interesting example of Blake-inspired Mormon folk sculpture.
posted by mecran01 at 6:08 AM on November 29, 2006

Whoa, this comment may be too late, but you could take the free "Temple Shuttle" downtown.

The drivers are really nice, and the proselytizing, while extant, is not overwhelming. Plus you might get a free set of appliances.
posted by jumble at 6:32 AM on November 29, 2006

The proselytizing at temple square is easily deflected by not taking the official tour, and iirc is not overpowering during said tour.
posted by mecran01 at 12:41 PM on November 29, 2006

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