Destination: Downtown

July 25, 2018 Written by

When is the last time you acted like a tourist in your own city? It’s easy to get caught up in the monotony of day to day life, which can make you forget to explore where you live. Fortunately, you are not far from the perfect getaway - downtown Salt Lake! Now is the time to plan a downtown staycation for your friends or family and enjoy local attractions you may have overlooked, or taken for granted.

Girls Getaway

So you finally have a weekend free, and so do your friends...this calls for a girls getaway! Put your schedules on pause and grab that opportunity to head to Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City (15 West 200 South) for a staycation full of R & R, delectable bites and memorable fun.

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This upscale boutique hotel sits in the heart of downtown and showcases modern decor, blissful bedding, animal-print robes and the finest Atelier Bloem bath and body amenities. Once the squad arrives, take advantage of this much-needed downtime with the ladies to unpack, order room service, catch up on life and plan your weekend adventures. After reveling in the fact that you pulled this retreat off, explore the hotel’s offerings. The hotel’s health-conscious perks include a high-performance 24-hour fitness center, yoga mats and custom-designed PUBLIC bikes for you to borrow. Guests can arrange to have spa services, including massages and facials, brought directly to their rooms.

Housed in the hotel’s historic Continental Bank lobby, Bambara serves seasonally inspired New American cuisine (think pan-roasted and grilled meats plus skillfully prepared seafood and game) and historic architecture. Friends looking to quench their thirst can enjoy hosted nightly wine receptions in the lobby or grab a specialty drink from the award-winning bar menu at The Vault. When it’s time to hit the town, let Salt City Cycle Cab take your crew around on an unforgettable pedicab adventure through downtown’s dining and entertainment district. Share tapas at Martine (22 East 100 South), make a toast to good friends and delectable gastropub fare at Gracie’s (326 South West Temple) or spice it up with Latin American street food at Taqueria27 (149 East 200 South). Remember to save some room for locally-crafted goodies at Last Course (115 South Regent Street) ice cream and dessert studio.

Polish the evening off with live music at The Depot (400 West South Temple), a Ballet West or Utah Opera performance at Capitol Theater (50 West 200 South) or an exciting Utah Jazz game or concert at Vivint Smart Home Arena (301 South Temple).

A girls weekend is incomplete without an escape to the spa or a shopping spree. Round up the ladies for a day of pampering and relaxing at Sanctuary Day Spa (42 South Rio Grande Street). Hot stone massages, spa facials, mani/pedi combos and designer haircuts and styles are just a sampling of what this full-service spa and salon offers. Window shopping is taken to the next level at City Creek Center (50 South Main Street). This retail experience is one of a kind, showcasing over 100 diverse stores and restaurants, including Nordstrom, Macy's, Tiffany & Co., Michael Kors and lululemon, all in a casual, pedestrian-friendly environment. Shop ‘til you drop and then head back to the hotel and reminisce about your weekend escapades.

Couples Retreat

Need a break with your honey but can't travel far? An escape to Hilton Salt Lake City Center (255 South West Temple) gives couples the opportunity to leave reality behind and reconnect, all in the comfort of your own town.

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Conveniently located in the center of downtown, the 18-floor Hilton Salt Lake City Center boasts 19 luxury suites featuring king-size beds, plush linens, posh European bathtubs, separate sitting areas and breathtaking views of the city and surrounding mountains. Couples can make the most of their staycation and maximize time away with an early check-in or late check-out. If leaving Fido at home gets you down, pets are invited to stay at the hotel. A relaxing soak in the hotel’s hot tub or a refreshing swim in the heated indoor pool are sure to kickoff your getaway. Kick back in a chaise lounge on the seasonal sundeck (open May - Sept.) and feel the tension fade. If a workout is on the agenda, the fully-equipped fitness center caters to any fitness needs. Don't miss an intimate dinner for two at Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops, the Best of State-awarded restaurant and winner of the 2017 Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence. Located in the hotel, this Salt Lake City staple delivers contemporary and seasonal dishes, hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, local produce and cheeses as well as classically inspired cocktails, local craft beers and an award-winning wine list that has kept locals coming back for two decades.

Feeling adventurous? Hilton Salt Lake City Center’s downtown location is within walking distance to a plethora of ethnic eateries. Finca (327 West 200 South) serves Spanish tapas and dishes, Valter's Osteria (173 West Broadway) offers a taste of Tuscany and Takashi (18 West Market Street) creates rolls to make any sushi-lover swoon. Dinner and a show go hand-in-hand and there is no better place to find that combo than downtown. Catch a Broadway production or concert at the new Eccles Theater (131 South Main Street) or treat yourselves to a Utah Symphony performance at Abravanel Hall (123 West South Temple). If you’re looking for a laugh, Wiseguys at the Gateway (194 South 400 West) comedy club has you covered.

Try something new and take a cooking class at Harmons Grocery (135 East 100 South) and learn how to make your own romantic dinner! Fresh and local produce and products sold at The Downtown Farmers Market (350 West 300 South) during the summer and fall months will inspire your next culinary masterpiece. A relaxing stroll through The Gateway’s (400 West 100 South) open-air retail and dining district promises the downtime that you both deserve.

Family Escape

Planning a family vacation is not for the faint of heart (think pitstops, juggling the circuit of movies and snacks and enduring the chorus of “are we there yets?” echoing from the back seats). While getting out of town can be daunting, a family staycation at Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown (215 West South Temple) can be the answer to many of the typical traveling woes.

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Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown is the perfect homebase for your family’s next retreat. Spacious, contemporary rooms and suites, outfitted with comfy beds and unique headboards that feature artwork by prominent pop artists, allow your clan to spread out and feel right at home. Even your four-legged family member is welcome at this pet-friendly destination. After settling in, vacation mode begins when you hit the indoor heated swimming pool. The kids are certain to burn some energy while parents soak in the adjoining hot tub and unwind in the onsite sauna. If you want to get your sweat on, check out the fully-equipped fitness center. Playing stirs up an appetite and feeding the brood is simple with the hotel’s onsite family dining options. In-room dining brings the goodies to you, offering an extensive menu including several kid-friendly bites. The hotel’s Copper Canyon Grill House & Tavern serves casual American-style fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pre-dinner and late-night drinks flow at the tavern and the in-house coffee shop has fresh brews to get you going in the morning.

With so many amenities offered at this hotel, it’s hard to find a reason to leave. However, if you want to venture out, family-friendly eateries are just outside the door. Try Bruges Waffles & Frites (336 West Broadway) for both sweet and savory lovers, grab a bite at Rich's Burgers-N-Grub (30 East Broadway), savor a home-style meal with a slice of history at The Lion House Pantry (63 East South Temple) or simply head over to City Creek Center where over 20 dining options satisfy any palate or pocketbook.

Be a tourist in your own backyard with the Visit Salt Lake Connect Pass, an all-in-one ticket to 13 of Salt Lake’s best attractions. This passport includes admission to Clark Planetarium’s (209 East 500 South) 3D IMAX and Dome Theatre, Discovery Gateway’s (444 West 100 South) hands-on children’s museum and The Leonardo’s (209 East 500 South) science and art exhibits, just to name a few. Buy your pass at It’s possible to get back to nature, even in the city. Feast your eyes on the gardens at the 35-acre Temple Square, take a hike in nearby City Creek Canyon or explore the downtown scene on a GREENbike.

No matter the reason for your staycation, you may find that you've been living in a tourist's paradise all along!