A Beginner’s Guide to Salt Lake City

By: Billy Yang

July 5, 2013

Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah with the Wasatch Mountains in the background

Virgin Atlantic’s new codeshare agreement with Delta brings exciting new destinations like Salt Lake City within easy reach. Tucked away in the intermountain west and first settled by Mormon pioneers, Utah’s capital city quickly became a major hub of the Rockies. Today, SLC is known for its liveability, as well as its vibrant shopping, dining and nightlife scene. It also provides unparalleled access to the outdoors – a big draw for those looking to add a more active slant to their Salt Lake City holiday. Take a look at our beginner’s guide to Salt Lake City for a taste of what this spectacular adventure playground has to offer…

Utah’s major airport is Salt Lake International Airport (SLC). Getting to the city’s downtown from the airport is simple. Salt Lake recently expanded its light rail train system to accommodate the airport, so visitors can get to the city without renting a car.

Essential City Guide Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City’s light rail train system makes it easy to get around © Adam Barker

Salt Lake’s light rail system, known as TRAX, includes a designated fare-free zone in the downtown area where there are plenty of hotel options, ranging from the economical (Hilton Garden Inn and Red Lion Hotel) to the opulent (Grand America Hotel and Monaco Hotel), all located just steps from TRAX stations.

Beginner's Guide to Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City’s Temple Square © Jason Mathis

Staying downtown is the ideal choice as there is a wealth of things to see and do in the area. Visitors can take in a bit of local history around Temple Square or indulge in some shopping at City Creek Center. For those looking to take a break from city life, City Creek Park and Memory Grove can offer quiet repose. Conveniently, all four of these sites are within walking distance of each other.

A Beginner's Guide to Salt Lake City

The City Creek Center attracts numerous shoppers © Visit Salt Lake

For those looking to explore the city via an alternative form of transportation, Salt Lake City has a bike sharing program. Patrons can pay a nominal fee to borrow a bike, ride it and later return it to any of the 10 bike share stations scattered across the city.

Downtown Salt Lake City sightseers will be spoilt for choice when it’s time to refuel. Zagat recently named Salt Lake City one of the seven up-and-coming food cities in the U.S, and with dining options like the delicate pastries at Les Madeleines, the expertly executed Japanese cuisine at Naked Fish Bistro, and the fine dining experience at Forage, it’s no wonder Salt Lake made it onto the list.

A Beginner's Guide to Salt Lake City

The Wasatch Mountains make for perfect hiking opportunities © Adam Barker

To truly get a sense of what it’s like for Salt Lake locals, visitors need to venture outside of the city and head for the hills, or in this case, the mountains. The Wasatch Mountains are more than just a beautiful backdrop for the city, they’re the perfect playground for adrenaline and adventure junkies.

In the winter, skiers and snowboarders ascend the canyons to shred four world-class ski resorts, (Alta, Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude), whilst in the summertime, these same canyons are home to hiking trails with some of the most spectacular views in the west.

Header photo: Salt Lake City against the Rocky Mountains © Douglas Pulsipher

Connecting you to numerous destinations across the United States and Canada, our partnership with Delta makes booking a trip to Salt Lake City simple.

Where are your favourite spots in Salt Lake City? What should every visitor be sure sure to see while in town?


Billy Yang

Billy Yang is a freelance journalist specialising in travel and food writing. His passion for journalism stems from the idea that everyone has an interesting story to tell and it is a reporter’s job to find those stories and helps share them. More of his work can be found at