So you’re in a new-to-you city for a conference. Of course you want to try to check out the local area at least a little bit! You’ve probably heard all about Utah’s beautiful national parks, but Salt Lake City itself has tons going on.
As a remote eLearning Brothers employee, last year’s eLBX Live was actually my first trip out to Salt Lake City and I really enjoyed exploring the town! I gathered some suggestions from the local eLB team (and interjected a couple ideas of my own) for those of you coming out to Salt Lake City for eLBX Live 2019. Whether you’re coming out early for the weekend, staying for Learning DevCamp, or just want a spot to unwind in the evening after the eLBX festivities, there’s something on this list for everyone.
If you don’t have a car with you, it’s easy to catch an Uber or Lyft in Salt Lake City, and downtown you’ll find rentable bikes and scooters. Remember, scoot safely, friends!
Short Drive from eLBX Live Venue
Porcupine Pub & Grill (8 minute drive)
Google says: “Bustling destination serving pub fare, microbrews & brunch in a historic former firehouse.”
Reviewers say: “The food is great, and the restaurant has a very lovely atmosphere. Each time I've gone I have enjoyed it immensely.”
The Pie Pizzeria (8 minute drive)
Google says: “Quirky pizzeria in a dimly lit space decorated with graffiti that makes its pizzas from scratch.”
Reviewers say: “Who wouldn't want to get Pizza from the basement of a Pharmacy??? It makes me feel as if there was a prohibition on Pizza and you have to literally go underground to get it.”
Red Butte Garden (6 minute drive)
Red Butte Garden, located on 100 acres in the foothills on the eastern edge of the University of Utah, is an official arboretum of the state of Utah. The Garden; which is community-funded; is renowned for its numerous plant collections, display gardens, 450,000 springtime blooming bulbs; including a vast collection of daffodils; world-class outdoor summer concert series, and award-winning horticulture-based educational programs.
- Outdoor Concert Series - June 6
- They may also be doing their Sundance Institute Summer Film Series. Summer dates should be posted soon.
Hike the Living Room Trail (7 minute drive to trailhead)
My fellow marketing team members recommended this hike. This classic Salt Lake hiking trail to the Living Room is a favorite for its stone-stacked furniture at the top. The trailhead is near the Natural History Museum of Utah, just off the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Difficulty is rated as moderate.
Reviewers say: “It's good if you want a short, good cardio workout, with good views, and close to the city to hike after work.” and “Best view of SLC I’ve seen.”
Photo from AllTrails.com user
Downtown Salt Lake City
If you're going to downtown, you should of course stop by Temple Square. It's historic, beautiful, and literally can't be missed.
Clark Planetarium (20 minute drive)
Located in downtown Salt Lake City, Clark Planetarium offers 10,000 square feet of exhibit space, the Hansen Dome and Northrop Grumman IMAX Theatres, and one of the best science gift stores in Salt Lake City. Admission to the store and exhibits are FREE to the public. The Hansen Dome and the IMAX theater require separate tickets, ranging $7-9.
Utah Scottish Festival & Highland Games (20 minute drive)
Happening downtown the weekend before eLBX Live, this event boasts full pipe band and solo competitions including a championship drum major competition. There’s also a Highland dance competition featuring champion dancers. Sports enthusiasts will love the traditional heavy athletics competitions.
Salt Lake City Downtown Farmers Market (16 minute drive)
Every Saturday, June through October, a farmers market takes over Pioneer Park in downtown Salt Lake City. It’s huge, it’s awesome, I went when I was in town last year for eLBX and it put my local farmers market to shame. And I got this tasty raclette (melted cheese and potatoes and other goodness) treat from a local business, The Raclette Machine:
Social Axe Throwing (20 minute drive)
The most alarming new trend. As the name implies, you get to throw axes at the wall. Please do this, film it, and tag us on social media so I can live vicariously through you in the safety of my home where there are no sharp axes.
Reviewers say: “It's not as difficult as you might think! There's a reason this sport is on the rise these days! Our instructor was fun and engaging, and monitored our group for the full two hours to make sure we were having fun and staying safe. By the end, everyone was sinking at least a few axes into the target!”
Red Iguana (20 minute drive)
This Mexican restaurant is so good they have two locations right around the corner from each other—and a giant iguana statue. If you’re a first time visitor, they will bring you a mole sauce sampler platter, which is practically an appetizer unto itself.
Google says: “Bustling, family-run Mexican cafe serving signature mole plus traditional & gluten-free favorites.”
Stephanie says: “Take a selfie with the giant iguana. #NoRegrets” (My dinner companion clearly does regret the iguana selfie, but you won't. I promise.)
Under 2 Hours Drive
Big Cottonwood Canyon (25-30 minute drive)
This canyon is great for a relaxing scenic drive through the canyon, as well as stopping to hike one of its many trails.
Reviewers say: “Beautiful canyon with beautiful views, hikes, and climbs. Great for a quick hike and getaway from the city.”
Photo from Utah.com
Bonneville Salt Flats (1 hour, 50 minutes)
Okay yes, this is basically a big stretch of salt. But a COOL stretch of salt. Each summer, professional and amateur teams from around the world compete for landspeed records in different vehicle classes at annual events such as Speedweek. Beyond recreation, the Bonneville Salt Flats have become internationally renowned as a unique backdrop for filming major motion pictures, fashion layouts, and automobile commercials. The Bonneville Salt Flats are free and open to the public most of the year.
I'd like to wrap up by reminding everyone what we're really all coming to Utah for...
eLBX Live 2019!