Salt Lake City is the largest city within Utah, and is part of a very large metropolitan area. The city was founded by several leaders within the Mormon religion, and has remained the headquarters for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, it should be clarified that the city is certainly not universally a part of this church, and other religions also have active churches within the community. Salt Lake City is well known for the spectacular mountains that surround the city. These peaks are the same ones that made the city such an ideal site for the winter Olympic games. The city actually sits in a valley that was the site of the massive ice-aged Lake Bonneville.
When to Search
Salt Lake City doesn't have a dominant cycle for apartment hunting that you need to worry about too much. The city is large enough that there are always some decent apartments on the market. If you want to have a slightly larger selection, look in the summer. If you're worried about the competition, look in the winter, when there are slightly fewer people hunting for a new place.
Staying in the Know
When you're applying for an apartment in Salt Lake City, remember that religion is a hotbed issue in this city. Although not everyone in the city is religious, a very large number are, and their convictions are quite important to them. It is best to avoid saying anything that touches on the topic just to be safe and avoid unintentionally giving offense to any particular group.
Life in Salt Lake City
There aren't many cities as big as Salt Lake that are as easy to get around. Public transit options are available in both rail and bus form. The Utah Transit Authority operates both. The TRAX rail system is the quickest way to get around, but the busses provide service to areas not covered by the three lines. Driving is also a breeze, as the streets are laid out in a logical fashion, and are wide and well maintained.
Where to play
Even if you're not an LDS member, visiting Temple Square is a way to see one of the most important landmarks in Salt Lake City. There are several nice parks in the city, with Liberty Park being a great option that is also home to a huge aviary with many rare birds. Just outside the city is some of the best hiking in the country. Professional sports fans can watch the Jazz play in the NBA. Visit the Bayou if you want a bar experience that includes over 240 beer varieties.
There are several great attractions in Salt Lake City that are wonderful to experience with children in tow. The Discover Gateway: The Children’s Museum of Utah, and the This is The Place Heritage Park should both be on your list if you have children. If you want see one of the best natural attractions the area has, then visit Big Cottonwood Canyon. Visiting Temple Square is of course the real thing to do when you're in Salt Lake for the first time. Life in most of Utah is very heavily involved with the LDS Church, and the main temple in Salt Lake City is truly spectacular. If you get a chance, listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is also an amazing experience.
Pago is a fine dining establishment with a rotating menu that is based off of seasonal ingredients from the area. It offers fine dining without the pretension, bringing customers world-class food without making them feel like they need to wear a tie just to get a bite to eat. Red Iguana is a local legend, offering some of the best Mexican food the city has to offer. Bambara is a New American Bistro that is known for outstanding drinks that go along with the food. Takashi is a modern sushi restaurant that offers delicious food, as well as a hip place to hang out over the course of an evening.
The Beer Hive Pub is a classy establishment that offers high-quality food and one of the larger beer lists in the city. This is a place for food and beer lovers, rather than a place to swill down the cheapest thing on the menu. For a fantastic prohibition-era cocktail, Bar X should be part of your night’s plans. Avenues Proper is a small local brewpub that is a fun place to watch the game on TV while enjoying some handcrafted beers. If a true sports bar experience is what you're after though, Lumpy’s Downtown has TVs in private booths making for the perfect sports watching experience.
The Capitol Theatre and Kingsbury Hall are both frequent hosts to shows put on by the Broadway Across America touring series. The Utah Opera Company stages their works at the Capitol as well, and typically programs a four-show season. If you're looking for live music in a bar-type environment, the Urban Lounge is the coolest venue of that type in the city. There are also some wonderful museums and art galleries in Salt Lake City. The Pioneer Memorial Museum is a really interesting place to visit if you're interested in looking at the history of Utah’s settlement from a slightly different point of view. The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art presents important works from artists from around the world.
Just east of Salt Lake City in Park City is the annual Sundance Film Festival, one of the most prestigious festivals in the world. May is when the Utah Renaissance Festival and Fantasy Faire open for a costumed extravaganza. The Utah Arts Festival takes place each June, and includes a large marketplace where you can browse the wares of those who were accepted to present at the festival. June is also the month when the Utah Asian Festival is had. This festival has a history stretching back over 35 years, and is organized by the Asian Association of Utah to celebrate Asian food, culture, music and heritage.
The City Creek Center has received national accolades for being one of the best shopping centers in the country. Where else can you shop under a retractable roof that is pulled back when the weather is nice to inject fresh air and sunshine into a traditional shopping mall? Gardner Village is a cool place to visit, because the shops that contain modern gift shops and speciality stores once housed things like the blacksmith’s forge and mill that provided the foundation for an early settlement. If you like to shop upscale brand name stores, you should go to Foothill Village.
Salt Lake City is home to two professional sports teams. The Utah Jazz are the local NBA franchise, and MLS has made inroads into the city with the Real Salt Lake soccer team. College sports are also very popular in the city, with the Utah Utes from the University of Utah competing in the Division I Pac-12 conference. The “Holy War” football game between the University of Utah and Brigham Young University is always a huge event in Utah. 5-time Pro-Bowler Steve Smith is one of the most well-regarded football players to come out of the program.
The land in and around Salt Lake City is rich with opportunities for outdoor recreation. The local mountain streams and rivers offer very good fishing, Fishing is just one of the activities you can do at Big Cottonwood Canyon, which also offers some spectacular mountain biking and hiking paths. There are also campsites available if you want to get away from the city for more than a day trip. Salt Lake Overlook or Desolation Trail is a wonderful trail to take at sunset, as the elevated vantage gives you a one-of-a-kind view. There are also several national parks near the Salt Lake area, with Wasatch-Cache National Forest being less than a half hour away.