Salt Lake City Staycation Ideas

Year-round, we love Salt Lake City for what it has to offer. Conveniently nestled along the Wasatch Front, you’ll find the appeal of city amenities, as well as access to the mountains to hiking, biking, and skiing.

Where to Stay

In Salt Lake City, you can choose from several hotels or home rentals for your staycation. You can stay near all the action whether you book a room or a whole property in the city. Hotels in Salt Lake range from pricey to budget-friendly, and these are some of  the top-rated:

The Grand America Hotel 

This boutique, 5-star hotel in Salt Lake spares no comfort. It’s elegantly furnished and features both indoor and outdoor pools. The Grand is less than one mile from Lake Effect and offers beautiful courtyard and city views from its rooms. Don’t let its opulent decor and antique-looking furnishings fool you; during the winter holidays, there are themed displays on the ground floor of the hotel, and the toy store is also a big draw for families staying in Salt Lake. The Grand America is also within walking distance of the city’s Trax line, which offers public transportation in Salt Lake and its surrounding areas.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco

The Kimpton is a 4-star hotel situated between Temple Square and the Public Library in Salt Lake. It boasts a traditional yet historic style, with rooms showing off the city and the mountains. This hotel is just steps away from Lake Effect, making it easy to pop in for a drink, meal, or show. You’re also just a block from a Trax stop when you stay at the Kimpton Hotel, so you can conveniently get around the city without a car.

Little America Hotel

Did you know The Grand has a sister hotel across the street? Little America feels like a ski lodge situated in the heart of the city. It has large guest rooms and an indoor-outdoor pool. Although it can come across as dated compared to The Grand, Little America is still a 4-star rated hotel in Salt Lake City. 

If you prefer to experience more of the comforts of home during your staycation, be sure to check Airbnb or VRBO for home rentals in Salt Lake. Not only could you save some money, but you might find accommodations that offer more beds, better parking, or proximity to your planned activities.

How to Get Around

Did you know there’s a “free fare zone” in downtown Salt Lake for Utah’s public transit options (UTA)? You can ride either the bus or TRAX (train) downtown free of charge in the fixed route. This means you may be able to get to the Jazz game, City Creek, or a Museum at no extra cost to you. 

UTA also services some of Utah’s ski resorts, although they’re not in the free fare zone. If you have certain ski passes, your ride up to the mountain may be free, so make sure you check with UTA before hauling all your gear on the bus without bringing your fare. 

What to Eat

Of course, we’d love to have you at Lake Effect for a meal, but we understand you can’t have every meal of your trip with us. After you’ve sampled our menu (weekend brunch, daily lunch, and dinner) there are other eateries you should consider during your staycation.


  • Bombay House – Indian Cuisine
  • Pretty Bird Chicken – Southern Cuisine
  • Red Iguana – Mexican Cuisine
  • Nomad East – Burgers, pizza
  • Spitz – Mediterranean Cuisine
  • Freshies Lobster Co – Seafood
  • Takashi – Sushi
  • Valter’s Osteria – Italian Cuisine
  • Roots Cafe – Breakfast, brunch
  • Eva’s Bakery – French pastries, sandwiches
  • Feldman’s Deli – Sandwiches, bagels

What to Do

If you’re not attending an event or live show at Lake House, might we suggest adding one of the following to your Salt Lake staycation itinerary?


  • Gallivan Center
  • Jazz game at Vivint Arena
  • Performances at Eccles Theatre (musicals, comedians, bands)
  • Sundance Film Festival (January)


  • Clark Planetarium
  • Great Salt Lake Bird Festival
  • Hogle Zoo
  • Natural History Museum
  • Pioneer Memorial Museum
  • Red Butte Garden
  • Tracy Aviary
  • Utah Museum of Fiine Arts


  • City Creek Center
  • The Gateway


  • Alpine Loop
  • Cottonwood Canyon
  • Little Cottonwood Canyon
  • Mirror Lake
  • Salt Lake Trolley Tours (downtown sightseeing)


  • Alta
  • Brighton Resort
  • Deer Valley Resort – Park City, Utah
  • Park City Mountain
  • Snowbird
  • Solitude Mountain Resort
  • Woodward Park City

If you’re willing to drive a little more than an hour away for the slopes, you can also ski or snowboard north of Salt Lake.

  • Nordic Valley – Eden, Utah
  • Powder Mountain – Eden, Utah
  • Snowbasin – Huntsville, Utah
  • Sundance Mountain Resort – Sundance (yes, that Sundance!), Utah


  • Bell’s Canyon
  • Bonneville shoreline Trail
  • Ensign Peak
  • Grandeur Peak
  • Grizzly Gulch
  • Lake Blanche
  • Lake Mary, Martha, and Catherine
  • Mt. Olympus
  • Neff’s Canyon
  • Red Pine Lake

It seems like there’s no end to what you can enjoy on your Salt Lake staycation, whether you want bustling nightlife or some time to connect in the outdoors.