The mister and I visited Salt Lake City back in January so I could attend the Alt Summit Blog Conference (you can read my recap on the conference here and here) and we since we really like to be able to explore and see everything, we decided to drive.It was a 12 hour drive from Los Angeles, and we set off around 11am because we are super, super slow in the mornings. Since we’ve already been to Las Vegas a few times, we didn’t stop very much along the way and we didn’t stop in Vegas. But as soon as we hit the Utah border we saw the sign. The Cracker Barrel sign! We had just stopped for some cokes and fries in Nevada about 45 minutes prior, but as soon as we saw those rocking chairs, we knew we had to stop. Plus, we justified it with the time difference and called it dinner. (Note: we do not have Cracker Barrels in California and I never knew about them until I started dating the mister and visited his family in North Carolina. It was only then that I knew what I had been missing my entire life: the crispy edges of delicious pancakes with warm maple syrup.) Also, they have games at the table, and the mister won, so he’s a little happy.The remainder of the drive was in the dark, but since you’re legally allowed to drive 80 mph, it went by fairly quickly. Also, if you’re in the middle of Utah at night, don’t forget to look up! The night sky is amazing!We woke up the next morning in Salt Lake City feeling a little hungover despite not drinking anything. I think it was the altitude and weather, so make sure you drink plenty of water and bring some aspirin and decongestants if need them. Breakfast was at The Park Cafe. If you’re looking for a good breakfast, go there, (but maybe not on the busy weekends), for great food, service, and fun decor. And then we drove around to some of the antique stores and thrift shops. Here’s my recommended list:
Eurotreasures Antiques is worth a visit even if you don’t have room in your suitcase for a couple of chairs, a lion, or a dining room table. It is FREEZING cold inside during the winter (too large to heat) so wear your layers, bring gloves, etc if you visit during the colder months.The upstairs is shocking. It is FILLED with chairs. Matching chairs, mismatched chairs, broken chairs, chair seats. It could play host to the most amazingly epic game of Musical Chairs EVER. Capitol City Antique Mall was the BEST antique store if you like the small items/treasure hunt. I found this little guy, who I had been searching for as I already have his mate, a blonde mug with bangs who also swings and bounces. I also picked up an awesome vintage cookbook and a few Christmas presents. Utah Book & Magazine has an awesome selection of vintage books; however, they are a bit pricey. They also had some awesome deals out front:The Deseret Industries Thrift Stores are so CLEAN! The mister said, “Wow, that is the first thrift store where I didn’t feel like I had to wash my hands when I left.” And they are so organized, with great prices. I picked up some candlestick holders, some vintage clipboards, vintage pink glass Christmas ornaments, a couple vintage books, and for $2 an Emily Post Etiquette book.We went to the DI (because I learned that’s what you call it) in Welfare Square (743 West 700 South) and Downtown (131 East 700 South). Weller Book Works has a great rare books section upstairs as well as some great $1-5 sale books out front and new books as well.After the shops were starting to close up, we drove up to the State Capitol building, walked around a bit, froze our asses off, and decided to make a stop at Target to stock up on some thermals, gloves, and earmuffs. Yes, it was a warm winter in SLC, but this California girl was COLD.After my conference, the mister and I had a couple more days in SLC, so we took the first day to wander around more of the city and explore. We hit up some more bookstores and antique stores (included in my list above) and then walked to the Mormon temple. The temple is absolutely stunning. Make sure you take a look at the door knobs! The visitor’s center was well done and worth a visit inside. Then we went to the Tabernacle where the organist was practicing. (Check the website to see if there will be a choir rehearsal during the time you are there, the mister went and he loved it!) Walking back, it was starting to get dark and cold, so we stopped into Eva’s Bakery for some life-saving hot chocolate.The downtown area has so many amazing buildings, great architecture, and amazing details! We walked around and explored some more. I LOVED the honeycomb tree planters representing the Beehive State:We then visited The Leonardo Museum which was hosting a Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit.The next day we drove out to see the Great Salt Lake and visit Antelope Island.The trip was recommended to us by my in-laws who had visited SLC the year prior for a genealogy convention. Some of the reviews for Antelope Island on Tripadvisor aren’t great, and I can see that if you visit during the summer, the smell and the brine flies might be overwhelming, but we had a great time! The drive out to the island on the causeway is gorgeous and there were very few people there. We visited Fielding Garr Ranch, Buffalo Point, and the Visitor’s Center and saw some bison and mule deer.
And in case you have questions about whether you can drink in Utah (because that was one of the first things we Googled), you can. Although there are some rules, here are the details.