A best friend of mine moved out to Salt Lake City, Utah about 2 years ago. She had just married to her childhood neighbor (yes, like in the movies), who is a fighter pilot and stationed in SLC. Between deployment and weapons school, she’s spent quite a bit of time alone since she’s moved there. We’d been trying to get something planned, but you know how that goes.. Hello, excuses: #work #time #money #life.. But, I knew I needed to just book the flight and get out there.
Whenever I mentioned I was going to Utah, I was shocked with how many people asked, “Utah?? What? Why?!” Maybe it’s my love of travel, my eagerness to see my friend, or even just the pictures she had posted over the last couple of years… but I was really excited to see this part of the country and didn’t understand why people were so confused by it.
Since it’s a cross country trip, I decided to fly out after work on Thursday and have a full weekend there. *Post-trip tip: 3 days still wasn’t enough. Spend at least a week there, it’s got that much to offer.*
Friday morning, we woke up and drove to Brighton to hike the Lake Mary trail. It was a little tough to start, but I’m blaming that on the altitude. It was so crazy to be walking up a ski trail, with the ski lifts up above… just no snow. The grass was so green and the flowers were so bright, it was hard to believe that in just a few short months, it would all be covered by feet of ice and snow!
The hike was so serene. Since we went during a typical work day, it wasn’t too populated. We got to catch up on life and get a great workout in. (hello, glutes!) It was so good for my heart to take in all this beauty with a best friend. We eventually reached Lake Mary, and oh. my. gosh. WOW. It was one of those places where you see it and you’re speechless, then you see it again or from another angle and you’re amazed that it can keep stealing your breath away. No picture could ever do this place justice. But, here are my attempts to capture it anyway:
We drove a beautiful scenic route from there to Park City. We checked into Treasure Mountain Inn, which is located right on Main Street and an absolute must for lodging.
As if the Inn itself wasn’t the most adorable, our room was just as endearing. The decor was perfect for this little town. And the balcony provided for great views for both cocktails and coffee.
After getting ready, we called a car for the quick ride over to Deer Valley Resort. Throughout the summer they host a concert series. We saw a funky “dub” band neither of us had heard of, called Thievery Corporation. The venue is set at the base of a ski slope, providing for perfect stadium seating. Guests can bring their own blankets or chairs, snacks and wine… So you better believe we had a cooler full of goodies. We arrived early enough to get our blanket laid out, our charcuterie board set up, and our rose poured. Even though we didn’t know the music, it wasn’t hard to sway along to the beat and have a great time!
After the show, we called a car to take us back to the inn to drop off our [empty] cooler, chairs and blanket, and then we set out to hit the town… a.k.a. Main Street! We bounced from bar to bar, dancing and singing, having the best time. Some must hit spots include: The Spur Bar & Grill, Crystal Park Cantina and No Name Saloon.
Saturday morning, we got up and enjoyed our coffee out on the patio, breathing in the cool, fresh mountain air. Ohhh.. a little slice of heaven.
Once we were ready, we joined the slow moving morning crowd down below our balcony. We popped into the shop next door, Riverhorse Provisions, to check out what they had to offer. They had so many local drinks and snacks, but ultimately decided to get coffee from across the street at a coffeehouse called Stoked Roasters + Coffeehouse. I highly recommend this spot for your morning coffee – the barista was extremely friendly, helped explain their coffees and made drinks to perfection!
We took our coffee (and some local chocolate, cause.. duh) to go and headed down Main Street dipping in and out of the shops – everything from big name brands like L.L. Bean and Patagonia to local boutiques like Olive and Tweed and Hab-it (two of my personal faves) to art galleries, restaurants and more coffee shops!
It was quite a bustling little town by the time we made it close to the bottom of the hilled street and our caffeine was wearing off so we hopped into Atticus Coffee, Books, & Teahouse… and to my surprise it was a whole coffee shop themed after To Kill a Mockingbird, my all-time favorite book and black and white movie!
Now that we were powered back up, we worked our way back up the hill on the other side of the street, and meandered down a few side streets. I wanted to the High West Distillery, and it was exactly how I imagined it would be… so cool and so totally “old western” vibe.
We opted to save this stop for a future visit and head back to Salt Lake City so we could try to get to the Farmer’s Market before it closed. The drive back was GORGEOUS, but I must admit my body wasn’t too keen on it! Here’s hoping you don’t suffer from car sickness.
We didn’t make it in time to hit up the Farmer’s Market, but I have to say, it looked so awesome. They had all sorts of local vendors set up along the perimeter of a park. Ironically, my favorite hat company’s single brick and mortar store was across the street… Gigi Pip! If you don’t know about Gigi Pip, what are you doing?! They have the most beautiful and well-made hats. I meannnn….
I had a tough time deciding which one to take home with me since I want them all (not kidding), but finally I settled on one… for now. Since we had done so much walking – we were, you guessed it, starving. We chose White Horse Spirits & Kitchen, which is in the heart of downtown of Salt Lake City, on their Main Street. Since the weather was perfect, we sat outside in their cute little patio and ordered the most delicious Bloody Mary’s and Wagyu cheeseburgers. My mouth is watering just thinking about that combo right now.
We had dinner reservations next door at The Rest, and ironically, we both needed to take a rest before that. But, as I’m sure you know what happens when you take a nap when you’re in your thirties…
Yep, we decided to cancel the reservations and have a Netflix and chill kind of night. I know, I know… kinda lame when you’re visiting a new city, but when you don’t get to see your best friend very often, it’s easy to choose a night of snuggles and quality time. Sad I didn’t get to see this spot, but I’ll be back and it’ll be at the top of my list. Plus, I’m still going to recommend you try it – I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it.
Easy like Sunday morning: Mountain Top Brunch @ Snow Basin. If there is one thing you take away from this post, make it be this. This runs every Sunday from the end of June to the middle of September. It’s $49/person, but that gets you a gondola ride, all-you-can-eat brunch and coffee. (Make sure you call well in advance so you’re sure to reserve your spot.)
The ride up was seriously breathtaking. We lucked out with a gorgeous, sunny summer day, but I imagine this view is just as stunning when the mountains below are snow covered.
Once we arrived at the top, we entered into Needle Lodge and… WOW. Everything looked and smelled ahhhh-mazing. We ordered coffees and mimosas, then quickly started filling our plates with the yummiest breakfast. We had asked for a seat so that we could enjoy the view while we ate.
We took the gondola ride back down, and again, it took my breath away. It was quite the send-off as my trip was coming to an end.
Needless to say, Utah is severely underrated and I am already trying to plan my next trip back. On the next trip, I’ll be certain to revisit some of the same spots, but I’m also looking forward to seeing more of the beauty that this amazing state has to offer. I’m thinking maybe some national parks like Zion, Arches, and Bryce Canyon. Some other big ticket places like Moab, The Great Salt Lake, and the Bonneville Salt Flats. Maybe learn a little more about Utah’s Mormon history by visiting the Mormon Temple or St. George’s Temple. Hey, maybe I’ll even go skiing! And, yes, of course, The Rest, along with other restaurants and bars… because if you know me, you know I love trying new restaurants!
Have you been to Utah? If so, what else else should I add to my list for my next trip?! If not, what are you waiting for???