Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City  is the capital and largest city of Utah, a state in the United States. It is one of the largest cities in the Southwest region of the United States, although its climate is more similar to the Rocky Mountain region. It lies in a valley (the Salt Lake Valley) along the Wasatch Front urban corridor, located between the Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west, located on the border between the Rocky Mountain and Great Basin geographic regions. Salt Lake City is well-known as the center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, although less than half of the city's residents are members. The city proper has a population of approximately 180,000, but the Salt Lake Metro Area in its entirety has over 1 million people.
Salt Lake City is well-known for the many ski resorts located in the Wasatch Mountains just to the east and southeast of the city, which were thrust into the world spotlight by the 2002 Winter Olympics. They are famous for the light, fluffy snowfalls caused by the low humidity and the dreaded lake-effect. In addition, some of the heaviest snowfall in the nation occurs in the Wasatch Mountains. These conditions make it just right for skiing and to the tagline "The Greatest Snow on Earth". However, summer activities, such as camping, hiking, mountain biking, rock-climbing, fishing, boating, etc are also popular, as the mountains around Salt Lake City provide outdoor opportunities of all kinds. In addition to the nearby mountain terrain and LDS culture and architecture, Salt Lake City is a 5-hour drive away from the major national parks and unique, striking desert sandstone terrain of southern Utah. Salt Lake City is, understandably, a major hub for recreational activities of startling variety.
- Downtown - home to financial core and Main Street.
- Central City - the main residential area of the city.
- Sugar House - commercial/residential district with many funky shops; this is the most recognizable and distinct of Salt Lake City's neighborhoods
- Federal Heights - affluent district to the northeast.
- The Avenues - first neighborhood in Salt Lake, many old buildings .
- East Bench - residential, to the east.
- Capitol Hill - affluent district near the capitol.
- Rose Park - residential, to the northwest.
- Glendale - residential, primarily Hispanic district, to the southwest, home to the International Peace Gardens.
When traveling to the city, knowledge of Salt Lake's famous grid system is a big plus. The entire valley lies on the same grid system. Most major streets are laid out precisely running north-south or east-west. The origin of the grid is located downtown, on the south-east corner of Temple Square (the location of the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Street addresses are coordinates within the grid system in intervals of 100 every street. For example, one might speak of the intersection of 700 East and 2100 South as either "seventh east and twenty-first south" or "seven hundred east and twenty-one hundred south" (remember that locals usually shorten the number part, so that instead of saying "seven hundred east", they usually say "seventh east"; try not to get confused between, say, 7th East and 21st South and 7 East and 21st South, both of which are very different addresses). Addresses are specific numbers, such as 855 South 1300 East ("Eight fifty-five south 13th east"). Downtown blocks are 1/8 of a mile in length, but blocks become more irregularly spaced farther from the city center. Most people will recognize the grid as one they studied in school, with a point of origin and 4 quadrants. After getting used to the system, you will find that it is very easy to navigate and simple to understand, although the streets become more and more irregular the farther south you move. It can also get confusing outside of the Salt Lake Valley, where many cities (whether or not they've grown into each other) often have separate systems, so that a single road that divides two cities may have two different names for the grid systems of the two different cities. The Avenues neighborhood adjacent to the northeast of the city center operates on a separate grid system with much smaller blocks. North-south streets are letters, while east-west streets are numbered avenues.
The benches are the mostly residential, upper-class communities constructed mostly along the slopes of the Wasatch Mountains on the east side of the valley, although they have recently been growing in the southern valley (the low Traverse Mountains) and the western valley (the Oquirrh Mountains). The east side is traditionally more affluent and conservative than the west side, leading to the expected "cultural rivalries" that you find in other cities with clear divides, although this divide is arguably less pronounced in Salt Lake City than in most major cities.
The Wasatch Front is the region located along the western edge of the Wasatch Range. It stretches from approximately Brigham City on the north to Santaquin on the south, and includes Ogden, Salt Lake City, and Provo. More than two-thirds of Utah's population are located in this region.
One thing to realize is that when people speak of Salt Lake City, they are often referring to Salt Lake Valley as a whole, or at least the suburbs adjoining Salt Lake City immediately to the south. The valley consists of 15 separate incorporated cities and several unofficial areas. Most of the residents are familiarized with most of the incorporated cities and several unofficial areas. Significant suburbs of Salt Lake City include Sandy (in the southern half of the valley), which contains a significant commercial strip containing two major shopping centers and a recently completed stadium for the local Major League Soccer team Real Salt Lake (with the "Real" being pronounced like the Real in "Real Madrid" rather than the English word real; the two teams even share an unofficial partnership) as well as the expected concerts and local events. Other major suburbs include Murray, generally in the center of the valley, West Valley City, the largest suburb, immediately to the southwest and also containing a developing "city center" area, West Jordan to the southwest, which contains the massive Jordan Landing shopping center and Municipal Airport #2, and Holladay, which although it only contains a small section of the eastern bench area, is often used to define the entire east bench area (often used colloquially with "Cottonwood"). "Millcreek" is used to define areas a little further north on the east bench and adjacent to Salt Lake City.
People who fly into Salt Lake City to visit the national parks and wild terrain of southern Utah should keep in mind that just because they're in the same state does not mean they are close; in most cases, Las Vegas is actually closer to the parks. Many of them are about a 5 hour drive away from Salt Lake City.
History and Culture
Salt Lake City was settled in 1847 by Brigham Young and his followers in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the LDS Church or the Mormon Church, and whose followers are often called Mormons (originally a derogative term, now accepted and widely-used) or, less frequently (but more officially), Latter-day Saints. The Mormons migrated to the Salt Lake Valley following religious conflicts and violence in the East. The city immediately became a major transit point for people moving to San Francisco in the California Gold Rush, and the LDS Church's strong practice of missionary work drew converts primarily from Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia to emigrate to Salt Lake City during the 1850s and 1860s in long "handcart treks", a tradition that is now ingrained in Mormon, and, to an extent, Utah culture. This migration allowed it to become one of the largest cities in the Old West, although the conservative Church values bucked the typical Old West trend of lawless towns, sheriffs, cowboys, brothels, and rowdy saloons. Pacific Islanders are another group that was significantly recruited by the Church, and Salt Lake City possesses an unusually high Pacific Islander population. The handcart tradition ended with the arrival of the railroad in 1870, which also, with the rise of mining (attributed primarily to the Kennecott Copper Mine to the southwest) and industry, contributed to the first major influx of "Gentiles" (non-Mormons) into the city.
The "Utah Territory" often clashed with the U.S. government over the LDS Church's practice of polygamy. The most notable clash occurred from 1857-1858 when the government mistakenly believed that Brigham Young, the church leader and governor of the territory, planned to lead a rebellion against the government. The government then sent the military to install their own governor and maintain control over the supposed rebellious colony. However, when they arrived, they found the settlement abandoned. Although little actual fighting took place, the event is now known as the Utah War. Brigham Young eventually conceded to their demands, although long fights over the legal status of polygamy continued through the 1880s, with statehood for Utah being denied multiple times and with the federal government passing increasingly harsher anti-polygamy laws throughout the 1870s and 1880s that landed several prominent church officials in jail. In 1890, the LDS Church prophet, Wilford Woodruff, told his members to give up polygamy, a declaration that eventually allowed Utah to achieve statehood, with Salt Lake City as its capital, in 1896. Although polygamy is no longer accepted in the LDS Church and is illegal, and despite the fact that less than 1% of Utah's residents are believed to practice it (most of whom live in the town of Hildale along the Arizona border), the Church's former practice of polygamy is still often the most-thought of thing when it comes to Mormon among a wide variety of the country's population. It has become the butt end of enough jokes that some people even still mistakenly believe that the LDS Church still widely practices it. (This is helped in no small part by the high-profile case of polygamist Warren Jeffs, who was hunted by the FBI and prosecuted for charges of rape as an accomplice for forcing underage brides to marry older men within his Fundamentalist LDS Church (FLDS Church), a group that is not affiliated with the mainstream LDS Church and is widely considered to be a cult.) If making a joke about polygamy in front of an LDS Church member, while some members may get defensive about it, most will either laugh it off or roll their eyes (as most have heard the jokes a thousand times).
Although the majority of Utah's residents are still members of the LDS Church (estimates generally range from 60%-70%, although the percentage of practicing members is lower), Salt Lake City itself is less than half Mormon, with some areas (especially areas dominated by ethnic minorities or more artsy areas such as the lower Avenues and Sugarhouse) being lower still. Salt Lake City has recently developed a tradition of even being one of the most gay-friendly cities in the country (the Utah Pride Festival draws about 20,000 people annually) and has a recent tradition of zealously liberal mayors (most notably Rocky Anderson, who organized protests against President Bush both times he visited the city). Utah and Salt Lake City often has a sharp and sometimes bitter divide between the Mormon and non-Mormon populations. The state's position as being the state in the country with the highest proportion of residents adhering to a single religion, and also possessing one of the highest atheist populations in the country, creates a unique situation, and there's generally a fairly sharp divide between the Mormon and non-Mormon populations and cultures.
The climate of Salt Lake City is widely-variable from season to season. It's very dry, averaging from 14-20 inches (350-500 mm) of precipitation per year, much of which falls as snow, which averages from 50-80 inches (125-200 cm) per year. The wide variation is due to the huge elevation changes within the city; the lower amounts are the averages on the valley floor. Summers are hot, long, and particularly dry, while winters are cold and snowy.
Winter (mid-November to early March): Winter is generally a poor time to travel in Salt Lake City, unless you're looking to ski in the nearby ski resorts. Daytime temperatures generally run anywhere from 25°F to 50°F (-4°C to 10°C). Low temperatures are usually below freezing, and on rare occasions can even drop below 0F (-18°C). Snow falls often, but single snowfalls exceeding about 10 inches (25 cm) are rare, except on the benches. Even when it is not snowing, a phenomenon known as the inversion develops, which traps cold, moist air and air pollutants in the valley, sometimes for weeks on end. This can lead to some of the worst air quality conditions found in the country. The mountains are clear and beautiful during these times, but also quite warm. During an inversion, be prepared for fog on the valley bottom.
Because of the frequency of snow, it takes a very large snowstorm to cripple or shut down the city. Minor snowfalls are basically treated as a daily occurrence in winter, with the city continuing to operate as normal. Generally it takes about 12-15+ inches (30-38+ cm) valley-wide to have a significant effect on the activity of the city, and even more for a citywide shutdown. Despite the frequency of snowfall, it is usually calm (no blizzards are seen in Salt Lake City, unlike in the Midwest or Northeast), and most snowfalls are very light and fluffy (although heavy, wet snowfall can occur). Even though snow is common, there are still far too many people who don't know how to drive in it (often half-jokingly attributed by the locals to transplants from southern California).
Spring (early March to late May): Springs in Salt Lake City are mild, but it is also the wettest and windiest time of year. High temperatures during this time range from about 45F to 80F (7C to 27C). Low temperatures are cool, and usually still drop below freezing on occasion into April. Although it's the wettest time of year, it's still dry in comparison to many cities in the Midwest or Eastern U.S., and heavy, prolonged rain is rare. Light-to-moderate snowfall can often be found well into April as well. Sunny spring days, which are quite common, offer some of the best weather available in Salt Lake City. However, the snowpack in the mountains usually reaches its peak in early April and doesn't melt entirely until late May or June, so spring is still a poor time to enjoy outdoor summer activities, such as hiking, camping, and boating, in the mountains. However, the ski resorts are usually open until mid-April, and Snowbird is often open longer.
Summer (late May to mid-September): Summer in Salt Lake City is long, dry, and hot. High temperatures during this period range anywhere from 80°F to 105°F (27°C to 41°C). Humidity is very low and nights are usually comfortable. Although a very dry season, powerful Pacific storms can sometimes impact the city as late as early June, prolonging the wet season and keeping temperatures cooler. Mid-June through early July in particular is very dry. From mid-July to mid-September, the monsoon affects Utah, bringing fairly frequent evening thunderstorms to the city. Although sometimes these thunderstorms are very powerful, bringing hail, lightning, and street flooding, they're usually relatively short-lived. However in late August of 2006, there was a violent storm that ripped through the Salt Lake Valley. It was short-lived, but did do a lot of damage in the process, and in 1999 a tornado hit downtown Salt Lake City directly. Sometimes the humidity is so low that the rain doesn't even reach the valley floor. However, even a "dry" thunderstorm in the valley often drops heavy rain and even hail in the mountains. If you can avoid the thunderstorms, summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities in the mountains. The snow is long-gone by the end of June, and temperatures rarely reach above 80°F (27°C), even during the heart of summer.
Autumn (mid-September to mid-November): Autumn is the best time to visit Salt Lake City. It's usually drier and warmer than spring. Temperatures are comfortable, ranging from 45°F to 80°F (7°C to 27°C) during the daytime. Powerful Pacific storms begin impacting the state by mid-October, but are usually infrequent. Although storms can again start dropping snow in the mountains, the snowpack usually doesn't begin building until November. The first light snowfall and overnight freezing temperatures in the valley usually occur by the beginning of November, and by mid-November, snowfall and cold temperatures should be prepared for. The leaves on the trees reach their brilliant peak color in the mountains in mid to late September and about a month later in the valleys.
Salt Lake City generally has a relative lack of severe weather. The worst flooding that can be expected is short-lived street flooding during powerful summer thunderstorms. The last major flood to occur was in June 1983, when City Creek burst its banks in downtown due to excessive snowmelt. However, due to safety precautions and emergency measures implemented since then, widespread snowmelt flooding is unlikely to ever occur again. Severe weather events such as hail, sleet, and freezing rain are rare (freezing rain is unheard of). The most common severe weather is crippling snowstorms, which can occur from late November to early March. Tornadoes are an extremely rare occurrence; the only tornado of note to ever hit the city was an F2 that tore through downtown on August 11, 1999, killing 1 person. The all-time record high is 107°F (42°C) and the record low is -30°F (-34°C), although this record low is rarely even threatened.
- Salt Lake City International Airport (IATA: SLC), 776 North Terminal Drive, Phone: 801-575-2400, Toll-free: 800-595-2442, . Located on the western edge of the city. It serves as Delta Airlines mid-country hub, with over 120 daily departures for Delta alone. Hotel shuttles and taxis connect the airport with downtown. UTA ] buses offer a cheap service from downtown to the airport. It has direct international flights to various cities in Mexico and Canada, as well as to Paris and, beginning in June 2009, to Tokyo.
- Airport #2. Located to the southwest of the city in West Jordan, this serves as a regional airport for smaller aircraft.
Interstate 80 slices through the city east-to-west, passing the airport and meeting Interstate 15 west of downtown. I-80 continues east into the Wasatch Mountains and eventually Wyoming, and west across the desert to Nevada. I-15 slices through the city and its suburbs north-to-south down the center of the valley, providing access across the entire Wasatch Front, reaching St. George and eventually Las Vegas far to the south and entering eastern Idaho to the north. Interstate 215 provides a loop around the city, providing access to many of its suburbs and running near the airport. U.S. Highway 89 enters from the north parallel to I-15. The new Legacy Parkway runs parallel to I-15 form the north and connects to I-215, providing an alternative to travel into/out of Davis County. Otherwise, there are few routes into the valley due to geographic constraints, although all of the suburbs fit nicely into the grid system of Salt Lake City. Traffic jams are relatively rare, although they can occur, especially along I-15 during rush hour. I-80 is currently undergoing a major reconstruction and expansion from I-15 east to 1300 East.
- From Boise: Take I-84 East from Boise to Tremonton. In Tremonton, I-84 merges with I-15, continue on I-15 South into Salt Lake City. Time: ~4 1/2 to 5 hrs depending on traffic.
- From Reno and Wendover: Take I-80 into Salt Lake City. Time: (From Wendover) ~2 hrs, (From Reno) ~6 1/2 to 7 hrs depending on traffic.
- From Moab: Take US-191 North to I-70 and continue West on I-70 past Green River to exit 156 (US 191 North). Continue north to just North of Price and continue North on US-6 to Spanish Fork. In Spanish Fork take I-15 North to Salt Lake City. Time: ~4 to 4 1/2 hrs.
- From Cheyenne: Take I-80 West to Salt Lake City. Time: ~5 1/2 to 6 hrs, depending on traffic. During the winter, if any section of I-80 is closed due to any problem that is related to winter weather, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TAKE AN ALTERNATE ROUTE unless you are 100% sure it is safe.
- Greyhound, 300 S 600 West (Salt Lake Intermodal Hub), Phone: 801-355-9579, .
- The Utah Transit Authority (UTA), Phone: 801-743-3882, . operates an extensive bus system all across the Wasatch Front, so you can easily and readily reach Salt Lake City by public transportation from almost anywhere along the Wasatch Front.
- Amtrak, 340 South 600 West (Salt Lake Intermodal Hub), . Salt Lake City is served by the California Zephr, Amtrak's Chicago-San Francisco train. The westbound train (#5) arrives daily at 11:00pm and departs at 11:30pm; the eastbound train (#6) arrives daily at 4:05am and departs at 4:35AM.
- FrontRunner, . A commuter rail line running between Ogden and the Salt Lake Intermodal Hub. Service currently runs every half-hour on weekdays and every hour on Saturdays. One-way fares range from $3-$5.50 depending on how far you travel. Future extensions are planned to Pleasant View, north of Ogden, for late 2008 and south to Provo by 2013.
When navigating the city, it is important to have a knowledge of the unique and simple grid system that the city is based on. (See the description under Understand).
The city is very car-friendly due to wide, straight roads and the fact that they're laid out in a simple grid orientation. Although the streets become much more irregular in the suburbs, the grid system maintains itself pretty well within the boundaries of the city (although the east bench makes straight grid-oriented roads impossible, evidenced by the northwest-to-southeast orientation of Foothill Boulevard). Although the grid becomes more irregular the farther away from the city center you move, the numbering system remains consistent, and even named streets have their corresponding "grid number" listed below the name of the road on the street sign. The grid system means that you can easily reach almost every major road from almost every other major road. Car travel is also simplified by the fact that only one major one-way street pair exists in the city (500 South and 600 South).
Salt Lake City is well-served by freeways, with Interstate 15 running straight north-south through the city, running straight past downtown. I-15 through the city is 10 lanes with 2 High-Occupancy Vehicle lanes (more commonly known as "carpool lanes"). I-80 briefly merges with I-15 just west of downtown, and continues west past the airport and east past the Sugarhouse neighborhood, passing a major shopping district and running through a major residential area. Interstate 80 east of I-15 to 1300 East is currently undergoing a major and sorely-needed reconstruction and expansion project (a huge chunk of concrete in one of the bridges recently fell out, and the road is very rough and worn). I-215 runs through the west part of the city, directing traffic into the city from the western neighborhoods and the northern and southern suburbs. It intersects with I-80 just west of the airport. Highway 201 (often referred to as the "201 freeway", "21st south freeway", or just the "201"), heads west from I-80's southern merge point along the border with West Valley City, although it mostly serves residents looking to come into or go out of the city. The interchange where the three freeways come together on the border with South Salt Lake is known as the "Spaghetti Bowl".
Although the roads are generally wide and spacious and generously laid out in a grid pattern, the geography of the valley forces transportation to be very north-south oriented, and this can cause severe traffic congestion on all major roads. The worst traffic is seen on I-15 north into Davis County, where rush hour traffic jams are a common sight, throughout the surface roads, especially in the heart of downtown and in the central and southern parts of the city. The Legacy Parkway was recently completed into Davis County and connects with I-215 in the far northern part of the city. This has significantly alleviated traffic during rush hour going into and out of Davis County.
Driving Courtesy Utah has many drivers on its roads from many different surrounding states and various countries. For the most part, you will find most western US drivers' styles consistent with other urban and rural locations. However, Utah drivers are somewhat known for being more prone to cutting people off and aggressively changing lanes. While driving in any location, the best advice is to safely follow the flow of traffic, whether it is faster in the city or slower in the country, obey all traffic laws, and be patient and courteous to other drivers.
Utah drivers also generally know how to drive in snow, although like anywhere there are still plenty of people who don't (particularly transplants from sunnier locations).
The Utah Transit Authority  operates an extensive bus system that reaches the entire Wasatch Front, with the most extensive coverage in and around Salt Lake City. Every light rail (TRAX) station in Salt Lake City is connected by several bus routes. Only the most important routes operate during nighttime hours, Sundays, and holidays, although even nighttime routes will often end service around midnight. In winter, service to the four ski resorts located in the Cottonwood Canyons to the east, in the Wasatch Range, is provided. Standard one-way fares are $2.00, a day pass (which is good for both bus and TRAX rides) is $5.00, and most of downtown is a free fare zone for all UTA service (bus and light rail).
Another good way to get around the city is on the light rail system, or TRAX. TRAX is administered by UTA. There are two separate lines, both of which begin at the Salt Lake City Intermodal Hub, which is also used by Amtrak, Greyhound, FrontRunner, and UTA buses. The two lines head past EnergySolutions Arena and Temple Square before turning south on Main Street. The University Line splits east along 400 South and serves the University of Utah on the east bench. The other line continues south through Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake, Murray, Midvale, and ends at the Sandy Civic Center at about 10000 South. Total, the lines contain 26 stations. Standard fares for all light rail lines are $2.00 one-way, $4.00 round-trip, and $5.00 for a day pass (which includes bus and light rail service). Downtown is a free fare zone for all UTA bus and light rail lines. Schedules are available at ride UTA . The Mid-Jordan line into West Jordan and South Jordan, the West Valley City line, and the Airport line are all under construction - an extension south to Draper from Sandy is also planned. All of these lines are expected to be completed by 2014.
Many of the major attractions of Salt Lake City are accessible by bicycle and it is easy and quick to get out to the zoo or the university by bike.
Salt Lake City offers trails and routes through the city and around the city for bicyclists of all ages. It is legal to cycle on the footpath in all but the central blocks of the city, and footpaths tend to be wide and there tend to be few pedestrians.
Several major streets offer bicycle lanes and signed shared roadways, but often these can be "car-door" narrow cycle lanes, and it can be often easier to cycle on an adjacent quieter street heading the same direction. Navigation is easy, and if the street you are on looks too busy, there is always an alternative street to choose. The wider streets in the city centre don't make it any easier for cyclists, as they are just taken up with extra car lanes, and are just extra lanes to get across when turning.
There are some off-road paths and mountain bicycling trails, following the Jordan River south from I-80 is a well developed path, but a little desolate in parts. City Creek Canyon is open to bicycles only some days. The Salt Lake City Green Bikeways Map 2006  provides detailed bicycle route information about these routes and trails.
- Temple Square. Located in the heart of downtown, Temple Square is the most visited location in Utah. There are numerous missionaries speaking many languages to help to show you around the temple grounds, tabernacle, assembly hall, and two visitor centers. Inside the visitor center are numerous exhibits and video presentations explaining the Mormon faith. Note that non-Mormons are not permitted inside the Temple itself. There is a free tour from the airport for connecting passengers, weather permitting. 
- Church History Museum. Just south of Temple Square this free museum has a permanent display that outlines the history of the LDS church from Joseph Smith until the arrival in Salt Lake City. There is also a rotating display of different LDS themed artwork. The church history portion takes about 30 minutes to walk through if you read the descriptions of the museum pieces. Admission is free. Hours: M-F 9AM-9PM, Sat,Sun,Holidays 10AM-7PM. 
- Salt Lake City main library, . M-Th 9AM-9PM, F,Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 1PM-5PM. One of Salt Lake City's newest and most architecturally unique buildings. It includes unique uses of natural light, plenty of reading space and a rooftop garden. Location: 210 East 400 South.
- Salt Lake City and County Building, 451 South State Street.. Seat of city government since 1894. The building's central clock tower is topped with a statue of Columbia and rises 256 feet (78 m) from the ground.
- The building has four floors and over one hundred rooms. Onyx lines the hall of each lavishly decorated floor. The third floor houses the mayor's office in the south wing and the city council chamber in the north. Portraits of the city's past mayors up to and including Deedee Corradini line the corridor between these offices. The fourth floor features an exhibit commemorating the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City.
- Sugar House is one of Salt Lake City's oldest and most interesting neighborhoods. The center of the Sugar House neighborhood is located at 1100 East and 2100 South. In recent years it has become the home of hip shops and the fashionable youth of the city. Sugar House is a mixed-use commercial/residential region located approximately between State Street on the west, 2100 East on the east, 1700 South on the north and 2100 South on the south (2700 South east of 500 East). The area around between 1300 East and 1100 East, and down 1100 East for a short while was recently the location of many of the fashionable shops and youth culture of the region, however because of a major renovation project, many of the unique businesses have relocated to different parts of the city or have been forced to close.
- Grand America Hotel, 555 South Main Street, (801) 258-6000, . A five star hotel on the south end of downtown. Often rated among the best hotels in america it is certainly one of the most beautiful city hotels in the world. Almost no cost was put on building the hotel which was built to be "the best hotel ever built". The hotel features some of the most expensive chandeliers and mirrors in the Western Hemisphere. The hotel has a million dollar mirror.
- Sugar House Park is located between 1300 East, 1700 East, 2100 South, and I-80, and is the former site of the Utah Territorial Prison. The park features walking trails, baseball fields, basketball courts, playgrounds, picnic sites, and even a small pond often inhabited by the renowned California Gull, the state bird. Every July 4, one of the largest fireworks shows in the state takes place here, so expect traffic jams around the park after the show and heavy car and foot traffic before. The fireworks are set off from the pond on the east side, so the area of 1300 East between 2100 South and I-80, including the 1300 East interchange, is closed. Fireworks usually start around 10pm and last a half hour.
- Rice Eccles Olympic Stadium, 451 South 1400 East, . The site of the 2002 Winter Olympic opening and closing ceremonies. The torch is located on the south end of the stadium. Currently home to the University of Utah football team, and former home of Real Salt Lake soccer team of Major League Soccer.
- Great Salt Lake - shallow, salty lake in northwestern portion of state northwest of Salt Lake City. The Great Salt Lake Marina, operated as a state park, Great Salt Lake State Park and Marinais located on the south shore of the Great Salt Lake, 16 miles west of Salt Lake City along Interstate 80. The Great Salt Lake Marina has 300 slips and is available for year-round boating on the lake that never freezes. Few power boats frequent the lake which makes this large lake with beautiful vistas and expansive night skies an excellent sailing location. The Great Salt Lake Yacht Club organizes sailboat races which occur all summer. The Great Salt Lake is also one of the largest bird refuges in the West, and is home to a large pelican colony on the cliffs of Antelope Island. Antelope Island is a state park and offers a herd of bison, hiking and bird watching.
- Kennecott Copper Mine is located about thirty miles southwest of Salt Lake City, and is one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world.
Ski or Snowboard one of the many world class ski resorts accessible within minutes of SLC. Ski Areas in both of the Cottonwood Canyons are served by UTA buses There are a few of them:
- Brighton, Big Cottonwood Canyon, . Within 20 minutes of downtown.
- Solitude, Big Cottonwood Canyon, . 20 minutes from downtown.
- Snowbird, . This resort is within 30 minutes of Downtown S.L.C., up the scenic Little Cottonwood Canyon.
- Alta, Little Cottonwood Canyon, . This resort is also within 30 minutes of Downtown. This resort does NOT allow snowboarding.
- Park City Resort, a short trip up Parley's Canyon to the city of Park City, . About a 40 minute drive from Salt Lake.
Granite Peaks Lifelong Learning is part of the Granite School District in Salt Lake City and offers a wide variety of courses for serious education or for fun at a reasonable price. English as a second language, GED Prep and Food Handler's Permit classes are available, as well as a few Spanish-language courses. For those of you looking for something more fun, sign up for wine tasting, pottery or even ghost hunting!
The Univeristy of Utah Continuing Education Department also offers classes on art, finance, foreign languages and a variety of specialty subjects.
For many years, Utah has experienced a very low unemployment rate. Wages are less than the national average and have not kept up with the steady rise in housing and food costs.
Gay and Lesbian Employment. Utah is a "right to work" state where it is legal to fire an employee for any reason, including living a homosexual lifestyle. In Utah, an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) frequently does not include equality for homosexuals. (It is also legal to evict homosexual tenants for their lifestyle.) The best employment and job security is with larger national companies which have an active policy of non-discrimination. Smaller companies with a large LDS (Mormon) work force will greatly increase the chances of discrimination.
- Every city has a Main Street, and Salt Lake is no exception. This revitalized area is home to many ethnic restaurants, specialty shops, and was recently the location of Crossroads Mall and ZCMI Mall. The two malls have been closed down and are in the process of being demolished, in addition to several other buildings on the two blocks, to make way for the mixed-use City Creek Center, which is expected to open in 2011 and feature a new major shopping area for the city (complete with a skybridge over Main Street). Notable among Main Street stores is Sam Weller's Zion Bookstore, a local new and used book emporium. Note that construction will be ongoing on the two blocks bordering Main Street between 100 South and South Temple to make way for the new shopping center.
- Salt Lake's Gateway Mall, 90 South 400 West. Hours: M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 12PM-6PM. A new development built in anticipation of the 2002 Winter Olympics. It was built on the site of the old Union and Rio Grande railway stations, and incorporates the Union building in its structure. Many national (and several local) mall stores can be found here. Stores include: Abercrombie & Fitch, Barnes & Noble, Victoria's Secret, Brookstone, PacSun, etc. Restaurants include Thaifoon, California Pizza Kitchen, The DoDo, etc. The Gateway is Utah's largest open air shopping district. The area also includes condominiums and office space.
- Historic Trolley Square, 600 South 700 East. Shop among a nice selection of smaller boutiques along-side well known national chain retailers housed in and around Salt Lake City's former streetcar & trolley barns. Come visit the historic trolley square and enjoy its unique flavor of restaurants, boutique shops and services. Take in a movie or, one of the many every-changing events going on in-and-around the square.
- Salt Lake's 9th & 9th, 900 South 900 East. Hours vary by store. This small eclectic neighborhood is a frequent hang out for University Students and the more diverse residents of the city. There are several coffee shops in the area, including Starbucks, the Coffee Garden and Cafe Expresso. Eat at one of the trendy and fun restaurants including Barbacoa and Great Harvest Bread Company. Be sure to visit the less-than-reverent Cahoots Cards and Gifts. Catch a movie or rent a video from the Tower Theatre, the home of Utah's alternative theatre for foreign, underground and Sundance Film Festival releases. Visit Contender Bicycles before setting out on a bicycle tour of Salt Lake City. This is an excellent starting and stopping point and is central to the Harvard/Yale neighborhood, Liberty Park, the University of Utah and downtown. Other shopping includes: Charlottes, The Square Nest-House to Home, Western Rivers Flyfisher (offering guided fly fishing tours in Utah), Chameleon Artwear, Hip and Humble, Koo De Ker, Gypsy Moon, Moroz Violins, Mutual Beauty Supply, The Country Homes Antiques, Children's Hour, Floribunda, The Yuppie Puppy and The Vug Rock and Gem Jeweler.
Fry sauce is a Utah specialty. What is it? Fry sauce is a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise (and other seasonings depending on what restaurant is making it) eaten on French fries. Fry sauce was created many years ago by the local fast food restaurant Arctic Circle and has since spread to the rest of Utah, as well as eastern Idaho. Almost any local (and many chain) restaurants will serve this tasty pink concoction. For more on Arctic Circle locations see: Arctic Circle Restaurants 
- Moochie's Meatballs and More!, 232 East 800 South. M-Th 11AM-7PM, F,Sa 11AM-9PM. Great Italian food with an emphasis on Philly cheesesteak sandwiches.
- Squatter's, 147 West Broadway. M-Th 11AM-12AM, F 11AM-1AM, Sa 10:30AM-1AM, Su 10:30AM-12AM. Tasty local brewpub. Nice patio.
- Ichiban Sushi, 336 South 400 East. Daily 4PM-10PM. Sushi restaurant in a converted lutheran church.
- Scandia Kaffe House, 1693 South 900 East. Coffee house and import store with a Scandinavian flair. Very inexpensive pastries.
- The Red Iguana, 736 West North Temple. +1 801 322-1489.  M-Th 11AM-10PM, F 11AM-11PM, Sa 10AM-11PM, Su 10AM-9PM. This great Mexican restaurant is famous for its incredible moles. Consistently ranked among the best restaruants in the valley, it can get very crowded on weekend nights. $10-$20
- Mazza, 1515 South 1500 East. 912 East 900 South.  M-Sa 11AM-9PM. Excellent Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food with plenty of vegan options along with a good supply of meat.
- Cafe Trio, 680 South 900 East. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-10:30PM. Great flatbread, pizzas and pastas with a good selection of wine. Nice ambiance.
- Porcupine Pub & Grille, 3690 Fort Union Blvd # 204, . M-F 11AM-11PM, Sa 9:30AM-11PM, Su 9:30-10PM. Half price appetizers M-F 2-5PM. Après-ski hot spot. One order of nachos serves 4 people. Local beer on tap.
- Market Street Grill, 48 West Market Street, . Breakfast: M-F 6:30AM-11AM; Sa 7AM-12PM; Su Brunch (Special Menu) 9AM-3PM. Lunch: M-F 11AM-3PM; Sat 12PM-3PM. Dinner: M-T 5PM-10PM; F 5PM-11PM; Sa 4PM-11PM; Su 4PM-9:30PM. Voted best breakfast in Salt Lake City, very good seafood restaurant.
- I Love Sushi, 368 South State Street, . Lunch: M-Sa 11AM-2:30PM; Dinner: M-Th 5PM-9:30PM, F,Sa 5AM-10PM. Great family run Sushi joint, less atmosphere than Ichiban, but more consistent on being good. The 007 roll is a great thing to try there.
- Bohemian Brewery, 94 East 7200 South, . M-Sa 11AM-Midnight, Sun 11AM-10PM. An excellent Czech (although you could confuse it for German) dining. Great beer as well, try the Cherny Bock.
- Training Table. They are approximately everywhere over the city. A good restaurant with fry sauce. Please try their BLT. We love soda too! Remember, call to make your order, don't bug the servers with what you "need." Loves ya.
- Blue Plate Diner, 2041 South 2100 East, ☎ (801)-463-1151, . Su-Th 7AM-9PM F-Sa 7AM-10PM. Great breakfasts, funky décor, a great patio and reasonable prices bring the locals to this diner. Unlike most diners, they have plenty of vegetarian options. Expect a wait on weekend mornings.
- Bambara, 202 South Main St.(Inside the Hotel Monaco), ☎ (801)-363-5454, . M-F 7AM-10PM Sa-Su 8AM-11AM 5:30PM-10PM. Upscale dining serving New American type food. Eclectic décor, excellent service, a great bar and outstanding food make this worth the splurge.$20-$35.
- Red Rock Brewing Company, 254 South 200 West, ☎ (801)-521-7446, . F-Sa 11AM-Midnight Su-Th 11AM-11PM (Tavern open later). Excellent food, killer appetizers and even better beer. Try the French Onion Steak Sandwich or the Almond Crusted Trout. Winner of Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year at the 2007 Great American Brew Festival. $10-$25.
- The Pie Pizzeria, 1320 East 200 South, ☎ (801)-582-0193, . M-Th 11AM-1AM F-Sa 11AM-3AM Su Noon-11PM. This Utah institution is located in a dark but cozy basement right next to the University, and the walls are covered with the graffiti of patrons from the last twenty years. They serve salads and subs, but they’re famous for their giant and thickly loaded pizzas. Beer available. $6-$20.
Utah liquor laws
Utah's liquor laws are known as one of the more peculiar things about the state. Liquor is sold only in state-owned stores which can cost more than in other states - but are neat, clean and always well stocked. In fact, the wine stores are brimming with a surprising selection of wines. "Near-beer" (3.2% alcohol by weight/4% alcohol by volume, as opposed to the standard 4-5% alcohol by volume) replaces the usual brew, which is available in stores and restaurants. "Full strength," or, "Strong Beer," is available in bars and liquor stores. Also, state law prohibits the serving of more than 1.5 ounces of alcohol as the primary liquor in a mixed drink. This used to be circumvented with the purchase of a "sidecar" (a separate shot of liquor), but the laws have recently been amended. Secondary alcoholic flavorings may then be added to a mixed drink as the recipe requires.
Although liquor laws in Utah are more strict, they are not impossible. There are several kinds of establishments to know about:
- Private club. Sometimes seen with the tag "for members only" added to the end. Don't let this intimidate you. This is code for a full service bar serving hard drinks as well as beer. There is a small temporary "membership" fee required at these locations, but anyone can be a member and this is analogous to a cover charge. Most only run a few dollars, and most members can then bring "guests".
- Tavern. A tavern is a bar that serves only beer and requires no "membership".
- Restaurants. Many restaurants serve beer as well as hard liquor. No "membership" is required, but you must order food. You cannot order more than one drink (per person) at a time.
- State Wine Store. There are approximately 10 state run wine stores  in Salt Lake City. One State Wine Store is located near downtown Salt Lake City (205 W 400 S; off-street parking). The wine prices vary significantly, but the store must sell the wine for at least 67% above cost (beer 75% above cost) plus state taxes. You cannot buy wine openers at the wine stores, so bring your own or be prepared to buy one somewhere else. The selection of wine is fairly large, but the selection of spirits is quite small and centered around "premium" spirits. There is also no case discount available.
- The Bayou, 645 S. State St., ☎ (801)-961-8400, . M-F 11AM-1AM, Sa-Su 5PM-1AM. A beer lover's paradise, The Bayou is home to 240 different kinds of beer from all over the world, with about 30 on tap. They also serve excellent creole food and feature live music most nights.
- Grand America Hotel, 555 South Main Street, (801) 258-6000, .
- Hotel Monaco, 15 West 200 South, (801) 595-0000, . A classy high rise with gorgeous rooms. It is primarily a business hotel (although it is just as comfortable as a typical luxury hotel), so look for discounts on the weekend.
- Marriott University Park, 480 Wakara Way, (801)581-1000, .
- Metropolitan Inn, 524 South West Temple, ☎ +1 801-531-7100, .
- Microtel Inn & Suites Salt Lake City Airport, 61 North Tommy Tompson Road, Tel: (801) 236-2800, .
- Sheraton Salt Lake Hotel, 150 West 500 South, (801)401-2000.. Four blocks from LDS Temple Square.
- SpringHill Suites by Marriott Salt Lake City Airport, 4955 Wiley Post Way, ☎ 801-532-6633, .
- Utah Vacation Homes, 4411 S 2950 E ,800-667-9456,  Private Homes and Condos located near Alta, Brighton, Solitude, and Snowbird. Sleep between 6 and 24 people.
- Quality Inn Salt Lake City, 1659 West North Temple, ☎ 801-533-9000, .
- The Avenues Hostel, 107 North F Street, +1 801 359-3855, toll free +1 877 467-8351, . Beds start at $14 per night.
- Camelot Guest House, 556 South 500 East, +1 801 688-6196, . Beds start at $23 per night for one person or $34 per night for two.
- Camelot Hostel, 165 West 800 South, +1 801 688-6196, . Beds start at $18-23 per night for one person or $34 per night for two.
- International UTE Hostel, 21 East Kelsey Ave, +1 801 595-1645, . Beds start at $20 per night, private rooms at $45 per night. Free organic breakfast, free soup for supper. Wifi. Parking. The place for "joyful dance"!
- Jefferson Guest House, 802 South Jefferson Street, +1 801 688-6196, . Beds start at $23 per night for one person or $34 per night for two.
- Utah International Hostel, 50 South 800 West, +1 801 359-4525, .
- Salt Lake Tribune, . The Trib is the main Salt Lake daily newspaper
- Deseret Morning News, . Another major newspaper in the city - this one tends to be slightly more biased towards the LDS Church but is otherwise a traditional newspaper
- In Utah This Week, . Weekly paper covering current and upcoming entertainment events.
- Salt Lake City Weekly, . Salt Lake's answer to the Village Voice, the Weekly is a paper covering music, theatre, arts, and current events.
- Salt Lake Underground, . SLUG is a monthly music magazine.
Utah's main professional sports team is the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Utah's fans are known as being raucous and their home court of EnergySolutions Arena is considered one of the most difficult places to play in the entire NBA. The NBA season lasts from November through mid-April; the playoffs can last as long as early June. It is directly accessible from the TRAX light rail system and service is often increased for games.
Real Salt Lake (pronounced ree-awl like in Real Madrid as opposed to the English word real) is a member of Major League Soccer (MLS) and plays their home games at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. It is also directly accessible from TRAX. The season lasts from March through October, with the playoffs lasting into November. They are a fairly new team, having only been established in 2005, but gained a significant amount of notoriety due to major controversy over the construction of the stadium.
The Utah Blaze are part of the Arena Football League (AFL), a fast-paced, indoor version of American football. They play their home games at EnergySolutions Arena. However, due to the financial difficulties of the AFL, the league has suspended play for the 2009 season and the future of the franchise may be in jeopardy.
Utah also has two minor-league teams - the Salt Lake Bees baseball team of the Pacific Coast League who play their home games at Franklin Covey Field south of downtown (which is served directly by TRAX) and the Salt Lake Grizzlies of the ECHL, a hockey legue, who play their home games at the E Center in West Valley City (which will soon be served by a TRAX station as well).
Crime, Compared to other major cities in the nation, Salt Lake City has relatively low violent crime rates, but relatively high rates of property crime. Pioneer Park is a popular hangout for drug dealers and should probably be avoided at night. The west-central and northwest areas of the valley tends to have more crime and gang-related activity. As in any other case, basic tips go a long way.
Gay and Lesbian Travel, Salt Lake City is home to Utah's large Gay and Lesbian community. The LDS (Mormon) church strongly opposes homosexuality, and intolerance and prejudice are common. Visiting homosexuals are safest while in Salt Lake City. The more rural and remote smaller towns are less tolerant and gays and lesbians should either make a convincing effort to act straight or avoid visiting these locations.
Weather, The weather is generally mild and has few extreme weather events. It can become fairly hot during the summer, but humidity levels are low, while winter can see the occasional major, crippling snowstorm. A temperature inversion, where cold heavy air locks warm light air in the valley, are frequent in the winter months and can last for several weeks. During an inversion, the valleys quickly fill up with dense smog that leads to unhealthy air quality and becomes a hazard for those with asthma or other respiratory problems. Stenuous outdoor activity should be avoided during an inversion. Inversions only occur in the valleys and none of Utah's ski resorts experience temperature inversions.
This page was last edited at 15:08, on 27 March 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Chuck Carroll, Peter Fitzgerald, Jason Berntson, Colin Jensen, Sam, Ryan Holliday and David Sullivan, Wikitravel user(s) PerryPlanet, Stevenpete and Edmontonenthusiast, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.