One Day in Salt Lake CityAAA editors suggest these activities for a great short vacation experience.
Morning Market Street Grill & Oyster Bar Downtown (48 W. Market St.) has a reputation for seafood dinners, but it's under the radar for breakfast. Fuel up for a morning of sightseeing with eggs Benedict or an avocado-topped crab omelet; both come with potatoes and toast you can slather with homemade raspberry jam.
Then explore Temple Square , the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Salt Lake Temple , built by Brigham Young's devoted followers over a 40-year period beginning in 1853, is the massive and inspiring focal point of the square. Take a tour of the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square (50 West North Temple St.), home to the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The acoustics are amazing: It's said that a pin dropped at the front of the cavernous interior can be heard all the way at the back. The Church Office Building has an observation deck; visitors are welcome to take the elevator to the 26th floor and enjoy the panoramic city views.
The Beehive House (67 East South Temple St.), one of church founder Brigham Young's two former Salt Lake City homes, is named for the image of a beehive—the symbol of industriousness—that sits atop the residence. Young served as Utah's territorial governor and, as president of the Mormon church, helped establish pioneer settlements throughout the West. Tour the house for a look at how the Young family lived in the 1850s.
Afternoon Salt Lake City's dramatic backdrop of towering mountains sliced by deep canyons offers wonderful scenic drive opportunities, so hit the road. One of the most popular routes is east via I-80 to Parleys Canyon, on the eastern side of the Salt Lake Valley. Side roads off the interstate wind through forests that blaze with color in the fall.
If you don't feel like a drive trip, spend time at Trolley Square (602 South 700 East). The brick buildings that house mall standards like Lululemon, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma once served as storage barns for the cars that made up the city's trolley system.
And if you want to spend time outdoors but not behind the wheel, head to Wheeler Historic Farm (6351 900 East). This restored dairy farm offers cow-milking demonstrations, tractor-pulled wagon rides and tours of the historic Wheeler house, where Henry and Sariah Wheeler and their six kids lived when not engaged in wood chopping, butter churning, soap making and various other tasks. You can also take a walk along Little Cottonwood Creek.
Evening Locals swear that the Red Iguana (736 W. North Temple) has the best Mexican food in Salt Lake City. It's a festive, fun destination complete with plastic poinsettia-pattern tablecloths and strolling mariachis. The seven different moles include mole Amarillo, an unusual blend of golden raisins, yellow tomatoes, zucchini and guajillo chiles. The strawberry margaritas and Mexican beers pack a potent punch. It's very popular, so reservations are advised.
The ornate decorations and huge crystal chandeliers at the Capitol Theatre (50 West 200 South) are reminders that going out to see a show can still be a special occasion. The home of Ballet West and the Utah Opera also presents touring Broadway productions and holiday perennials like “The Nutcracker.”
The Tavernacle (201 East 300 South) is a dueling piano bar that also offers karaoke on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. Reservations are recommended; phone (801) 519-8900.
Lumpys Downtown (145 Pierpont Ave.) is favored by the college crowd. Expect the usual at this rowdy sports bar—pool tables, foosball and private booths with HDTV for game viewing. There's also an upstairs dance floor with DJ music Friday and Saturday nights.
Salt Lake City, UT
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The sales tax in Salt Lake County is 6.85 percent. There also is a 4.75 percent tax on lodgings in Salt Lake County, 9.5 percent levied on automobile rentals and a 1 percent restaurant tax.
LDS Hospital, (801) 408-1100; St. Mark's Hospital, (801) 268-7111; Salt Lake Regional Medical Center, (801) 350-4111; University of Utah Health Care-University Hospital, (801) 581-2121.
90 S. West Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1406. Phone:(801)534-4900 or (800)541-4955
Salt Lake City International Airport
Hertz, 775 N. Terminal Dr. at the airport, offers discounts to AAA members; phone (801) 575-2683 or (800) 654-3080.
The Amtrak station is at 340 South 600 West; phone (800) 872-7245.
The Greyhound Lines Inc. terminal is at 300 South 600 West; phone (801) 355-9579 or (800) 231-2222 or TTY (800) 345-3109.
Taxis are on the meter system. Cab companies include City Cab, (801) 363-5550; Ute Cab, (801) 359-7788; and Yellow Cab, (801) 521-1862.
Utah Transit Authority (UTA) provides bus service for Salt Lake City as well as transportation to nearby ski areas. Salt Lake City's light rail system, TRAX, also is operated by UTA. The Blue Line runs from downtown south to Draper. The Red Line connects downtown with Jordan and the University of Utah campus. The Green Line connects downtown with West Valley City and the airport. TRAX arrives at stations within 10-30 minutes. In addition, the FrontRunner commuter rail line connects downtown with Ogden, and a high-speed MAX bus links the Millcreek TRAX station with the town of Magna.