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Things To Do In Salt Lake City

The psychiatry residents put this information together to share some of our favorite ways to spend time outside of work. We hope this info will help you picture yourself living in Salt Lake City, but this directory by no means captures everything there is to do here. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us about particular interests, because there’s a good chance we can direct you to at least one other resident who shares them. We recognize that liking where you live is an important part of the residency experience, and we want to help you feel out if this city is a good fit for you.

A Day in the City

So, did we already mention there are nine ski resorts located within an hour drive of Salt Lake City? Oh, we did? Well, did we mention that Salt Lake City has plenty of nice ways to spend a day even if you never step foot on any one of them?

If you visit on a weekend, we recommend starting out at the bustling Downtown Farmer’s Market (Saturday mornings June through October and November through April). You’ll probably start to pick up on the city’s friendly yet offbeat vibe, which reflects a unique medley of laidback mountain town culture (note the outdoor adventure enthusiasts and disproportionate showing of dogs and beards), family-oriented culture (note the young kids and involved parents of all genders) and an understated counter-culture that attracts tattooed creatives from all over the largely rural state. While you’re downtown, consider checking out the kid-friendly Clark Planetarium and its neighbor Dreamscapes, which is an installation by dozens of local artists and builders through the Utah Arts Alliance.

You can cap off your morning with an easy in-city hike to the Ensign Peak overlook (0.8 mile out and back), to see the cityscape and Great Salt Lake stretched out before you. Alternatively, there are some great trails located right behind our home base, the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI), which make for easy access to hike or mountain bike after work. The Living Room Lookout is a doable hike that offers a nice view the whole way up. If you’re wanting a bigger adventure and are up for a thirty minute drive, there are great trails in Millcreek Canyon and the Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons that are stunning and tend to be less busy than trails directly in the city. We recommend checking out the AllTrails app. After your workout, consider checking out Red Butte Garden, the Natural History Museum or Hogle Zoo, which are all kid-friendly and very close to UNI.

For those that prefer to use a paved trail for cycling, the Golden Spoke Network is the second-longest continuous multi-use trail network in the country. The Jordan River Trail is a nice 45 mile subsection that follows along a river and offers a natural oasis of sorts from which to explore Salt Lake County. Depending on the section you ride, you will see mountains, lakes, monuments, bridges, odd buildings and different neighborhoods’ backyards. If you would like to scout the Sugar House District - where many residents live-- the Jordan River Trail is connected by Parley’s Trail to the aspirational Sugar House Park. In Sugar House, you can rehydrate at Teazanti (teahouse and integrated market offering a well-curated selection of wine, beer and gourmet cheese they can plate for you to eat on their patio) or at Sugar House Coffee (comfy, artsy).

In the afternoon, we recommend spending some time in Liberty Park. A number of our residents live in surrounding neighborhoods, less than a 15 minute drive to UNI. There are some paid attractions at Liberty Park, such as paddle boating and the delightful Tracy Aviary, but it’s also a nice loop to simply walk (or run, or roll) around. If the timing is right you can soak up some boho drum circle energy before walking to the “9th and 9th” neighborhood at the north east corner of the park. Consider grabbing a quick bite from Vessel Kitchen (local, seasonal menu), before catching an indie film at Tower Theater and topping off the night with Dolcetti Gelato. Alternatively, Normal Ice Cream is a few long blocks west of the park and has some truly interesting original flavors. On your way there, you can stop for dinner at the incredible Manoli’s (Greek) or spend some time at Tinker’s Cat Cafe petting adoptable rascals. If you happen to be in Salt Lake on a Thursday night and don’t mind cycling on city streets, consider grabbing some reflective strips or lights and joining the weekly 999 social ride, which departs from 9th and 9th and is a jubilant and extremely inclusive way to explore the city.