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Hi, I'm Georgina! A coffee-loving adventure enthusiast here to share my favorite travel tips with you! My goal is to inspire others to get out and explore this wild planet by camping, hiking, or wandering around a fun new city!

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  • Georgina D'Angelo

Planning a Trip to Salt Lake City

Updated: May 1

Planning a Trip to Salt Lake City

When you think of a fun city trip in the US, you might not immediately think of Salt Lake City. But this is your sign to add SLC to your travel list! This smaller city still packs a punch and is a must-visit in our book.


It has the perfect mix of city and nature. There are tons of hiking trails located all around the city and the suburbs. Park City and its famous ski resort are a 40-minute drive away. And there is lots to do, and lots to eat, within Salt Lake City itself.


So if you’ve been thinking about visiting SLC, this is your sign to book that plane ticket or plan that road trip! Let’s dive into planning a trip to Salt Lake City. From accommodations to packing to dining, we’ve got all the SLC details for you below.


Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through one of them. Read our affiliate disclosure. Thank you for your support!


Planning a Trip to Salt Lake City


Salt Lake City is a great city for a solo trip, a family trip, or a couples getaway. You can fly into Salt Lake City international airport and explore the city for a few days, or plan a Utah road trip and make SLC one of your stops.


To really explore the city, and possibly get some hiking or skiing in, I highly recommend visiting for at least 4 to 5 days. If you plan on just stopping through on a road trip, you should spend at least 2 nights here so you have a full day for exploring!


When to Visit Salt Lake City


Overall, winter is the best time to visit Salt Lake City and enjoy snow sports. If you want to avoid the cold weather (it drops down to the 20s °F), plan a summer trip to Salt Lake City to enjoy hiking, exploring downtown, etc.


Depending on what you want to do in Salt Lake City, the best time to go will vary. If you visit in the winter, you can visit Park City Mountain Resort and plan a ski trip. From December to March, Park City, and surrounding ski resorts, will generally all be open.


If you want to do lots of hiking in the SLC area, spring or summer will be the best time to go. It doesn't get super hot here, so hiking in the summer is possible. But always be well prepared for hiking in any weather. Spring and fall also have nice weather.


Remember it snows in Salt Lake City in the winter. The snow generally doesn’t stick around for very long in the city, but be prepared to stay warm, and be cautious when driving in the snow if you don’t normally do so.


Thankfully, Salt Lake City is used to receiving lots of snow so the roads will be very well plowed and salted.


After driving here for a month in the heart of winter, I can tell you it’s not too bad. The roads are cleared immediately and everyone is generally used to driving in the snow.


Transportation in Salt Lake City


Planning a Trip to Salt Lake City

There is decent public transportation in Salt Lake City. You can get around the city without a car by utilizing the trains and buses here.


You can buy single-ride passes or day passes, which are much cheaper if you plan on taking more than one ride. Learn more about Salt Lake City transportation passes here.


If you want to go skiing in Park City or go hiking further from downtown, I highly recommend having a car. There is free parking in downtown SLC on some streets.


Pay attention if you are driving and parking downtown. Some streets are pay-to-park, but it generally doesn’t cost a lot to park for a few hours.


Where to Stay in Salt Lake City


There are nice hotels located in downtown Salt Lake City. If you are staying for just a few days, a hotel downtown would be perfect.


You’ll be close to many attractions and restaurants, and if you don’t have a car it will be much easier to get around if you’re staying downtown.


If you want to stay in downtown Salt Lake City, check out the best hotels below!



Where to Stay in Salt Lake City

If you want to stay in a quieter area, or if you’re staying for a longer period of time, check out this cute basement apartment on Airbnb! It is a one-bedroom apartment with a kitchenette, perfect for cooking if you want to save money on food.


It is also close to grocery stores and gas stations. Downtown SLC is only a 5 to 10-minute drive away, and it is very close to the airport as well.



Things to do in Salt Lake City


While Salt Lake City isn't the biggest city in the US, there are still many fun things to do here. Below you'll find some of my top picks, or browse the best things to do in Salt Lake City!


Hike Ensign Peak

Even if you’re not a huge hiker, you need to check out Ensign Peak for a breathtaking view of Salt Lake City. This is a 1-mile out-and-back trail with free parking located at the base. Even if you only hike a portion of it, you will see Salt Lake City nestled into the mountains below you.


things to do in Salt Lake City - hike Ensign Peak

Day Trip to Park City

Skiing is one of the most popular activities in the Salt Lake City area. The best place to ski is Park City, about a 40-minute drive from downtown Salt Lake City. Get ready to hit the slopes and plan an epic ski trip to Park City!


Shopping in Downtown

There are tons of shops and boutiques around downtown Salt Lake City. Head to Main Street to find lots of shopping options. This is the best area to start from as there is a nice outdoor shopping center on Main and Temple Street.


Get Cozy in a Coffee Shop

This one is especially fun to do in the winter. Salt Lake City has a surprisingly great coffee scene. From co-working spots and quirky vibes to local roasteries and amazing pastries, enjoy them all at the best coffee shops in Salt Lake City. Then tell me which is your favorite!


Two Lattes | Best Coffee in Salt Lake City

Utah State Capitol

If you’re a fan of architecture or history, the Utah State Capitol is a must-visit. You can schedule a free tour and learn from a knowledgeable guide, or you can take a self-guided tour to visit at your own pace. There is a lot of history to learn about this monument, as well as architectural details to admire.


Natural History Museum of Utah

If you’re a museum fan, the Natural History Museum of Utah needs to be on your Salt Lake City itinerary. Here you can learn about the plants, animals, and people who shaped Utah and the surrounding area of the US. You can also catch various traveling exhibits here and learn about different parts of the world such as the Pharaohs of Egypt or the wildlife of Southeast Asia.



What to Wear in Salt Lake City


If you are visiting Salt Lake City in winter, November through March, you will want to pack lots of layers, a winter coat, waterproof boots, gloves, hats, and a scarf.


Check out my full winter packing list, check out what to wear in Salt Lake City to stay organized and comfortable during your trip.


If you are planning to visit Salt Lake City in the summer, you’ll be most comfortable in shorts, dresses, short sleeves, or tank tops. The temperature averages in the high 70s to 80s (Fahrenheit).


It doesn’t rain a lot in the summer here, but it’s always a good idea to have a compact umbrella when traveling. You will definitely want an umbrella or rain jacket when visiting SLC in the spring as it rains more often this time of year.


If you’re visiting in spring or fall, bring some warmer layers as the weather is still very cool. I recommend a coat or thick jacket, as well as long pants, and warmer shoes like boots.


what to wear in salt lake city

With all the important details of planning a trip to Salt Lake City, you can start planning your very own trip to this fun US city! When are you planning on visiting SLC?


If you want to hit the slopes, plan a visit sometime between December and March. Park City is typically busier in December as families will go on vacation while their kids are off. January and February are colder, but there are far smaller crowds and fewer people on the ski runs.


If you want to go on some hikes around Salt Lake City, make sure you pack some trusty hiking boots, especially if you are visiting outside of summer. The rain and snow will make the trails more slippery, but it is fun to go hiking any time of year here. The views are gorgeous, and if you wear proper hiking gear, you’ll stay comfortable!


Are you flying into SLC airport or will you be driving around the city? Let us know if you have questions about visiting Salt Lake City!


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aboutME

Hi, I'm Georgina, adventure enthusiast and creator of Alpacka My Bags. I'm here for all of your travel and adventure planning needs! 

 

I've been exploring this beautiful planet since I was a child, so I decided it was time to share my travel tips with others to enjoy. After college, I knew the "traditional career path" was not for me.

 

I needed to travel and explore what this world has to offer. It sounds cliché but you do only live once. So I made going on adventures a priority, and soon realized that I wanted to share them with others so you can enjoy them too! 

My passion is spreading the travel bug and showing others that travel is attainable and so worth it. From itineraries to camping tips to packing lists, Alpacka My Bags has you covered!

Join me, and often my partner and my dog, as we find exciting adventures and travel recommendations for you! If you've been bit by the travel bug just as I have, I hope you find my tips useful for all of your future travels.

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