Salt Lake City is filled with all kinds of neighborhoods, from historic spots boasting beautiful Victorian houses to funky and trendy districts on the up and up. If you’re visiting and want to get to know the city, we wouldn't blame you if you wanted to get your bearings and explore downtown (there are, after all, so many things to do there). Once you're satisfied to your heart's content, branch out by delving into the many different neighborhoods of Salt Lake City.
First and foremost, downtown is the hub of many visitors’ Salt Lake City experience. This is where you’ll find the bulk of attractions, restaurants, and shopping centers like the Gateway and City Creek Center.
At the literal heart of downtown is Temple Square; here you can take a free tour led by missionaries and learn about the history of both the square and city. Other major attractions include the State Capitol, which is also open for tours.
Because there is so much to do in this neighborhood, you can count on plenty of hotels, ranging from your usual chain hotels to the ritzy Grand America Hotel. While this is the busiest part of town, it is walkable and not too burdened by traffic.
While Sugar House does not have as many attractions as downtown, it can't be beat if you prefer to make a fun yet laid-back neighborhood your basecamp.
The streets are lined with both chains and local shops. Duck into Beans & Brews for a cup of coffee before you bargain shop your way through Deseret Industries Thrift Store. Be sure to carve out time to wander around Sugar House Park, a large green space with paved trails, a central lake, and beautiful views of the Wasatch front.
Sugar House has a few hotels, including SpringHill Suites and Extended Stay America, both of which are in close proximity to all the action.
You won’t find tons of attractions in The Avenues, but that’s part of its charm. The neighborhood is cozy and historic, filled with grand, mostly Victorian-era homes. Within easy walking distance (or a super short drive) from the heart of downtown, The Avenues promises an idyllic way to spend an afternoon.
Stroll down tree-lined streets and marvel at the surrounding architecture, or pay a visit to the Salt Lake City Cemetery. If you want to get out in nature, you can access the Bonneville Shoreline Trail from here, or explore the City Creek Natural Area—great for an easy hike.
The Avenues is more of a residential neighborhood than a place to stay, but you can find AirBnb and VRBO options as well as a bed and breakfast or two.
Situated between downtown and Sugar House, Central City is close to everything and has a lot to offer in its own right. Liberty Park—arguably Salt Lake City’s best park—can be found here. Wander down picturesque walking paths, hang out by the duck pond, visit the Tracy Aviary, or let the kids run loose in the playground.
Later, stop by Trolley Square for some shopping, or explore Gilgal Sculpture Garden, one of the most pleasantly weird things you'll ever see (all you need to know is that there’s a Joseph Smith sphinx sculpture here).
Granary and Ballpark Districts
Just a few decades ago, the Granary and Ballpark districts of Salt Lake City were strictly industrial. But in recent years, this formerly drab part of town has transformed into a hub for creativity, with murals brightening up many of the buildings. Don’t miss cool spots like indie concert venue Kilby Court and live music venue The State Room.
It should come as no surprise that the area is booming with restaurants and brewpubs. Grab a bite to eat at R&R BBQ, dine upon delicious vegan and vegetarian cuisine at Vertical Diner, or enjoy the perfect cup of coffee at Publik Coffee Roasters. And you shouldn't miss Frida Bistro—marked by a big mural featuring Frida Kahlo—because they serve up truly delightful Mexican cuisine.
University of Utah/Foothill Drive
There's more to the University of Utah (or "the U") than academics. On campus, you can hit up the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the Natural History Museum of Utah, or catch a football game at the Rice-Eccles Stadium. If you have kids in tow, This Is The Place Heritage Park and Hogle Zoo are both nearby and promise a day of fun for the whole family.
Shopaholics can find plenty of stores along Foothill Drive, but the neighborhood is also close to Emigration Canyon Road if you want to drive up into the canyon for a day hike.