Bars · Restaurants · Salt Lake City · Travel · United States · Utah

Making the Most out of Conference Travel: Salt Lake City

We’re back with our Making the Most out of Conference Travel series talking about all things Salt Lake City, UT. I attended my first conference as a professional in Salt Lake City just over 5 years ago and this November, the conference circuit made its way back! As usual, I made it my mission to try to fit in some sight seeing in between meetings! I also made sure to check out some new restaurants while returning to a few of my favorites from my last trip.

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Bites & Brews

Leading up to the conference, I started planning my Friday afternoon activity. Since conference events in the fall don’t typically start until 4pm on Friday, I try to arrive first thing on Friday and spend a few hours checking out the local sites. It was a toss up this year between trying to see the Great Salt Lake and going on a brewery tour. Although it may be surprising, Salt Lake City actually has a great beer culture and there quite a few breweries, brew pubs, and micro breweries in or just outside of downtown. After talking to a few friends who would be joining me, we decided a brewery tour would be a lot easier to fit in without stressing about being late and so I booked a brewery tour at Uinta Brewing! Not only was the tour great, we also had an awesome lunch in their brewpub. Overall Uinta is definitely worth the Lyft ride. If you don’t have quite enough time to venture out of the downtown, you might want to check out Red Rock Brewing Co., which was so good on our first trip we went back as a big group this time, or Squatters Pub Brewery. Should you somehow drink your way through all of micro brews Salt Lake has to offer then definitely head on over to Beerhive Pub where you’ll find a great mix of local Utah beers along with beers from all over the world!

As far as restaurants go, Salt Lake City definitely has a ton to offer! They have a ton of restaurants downtown that could stand up to some of the great New York City restaurants but without the big price tag! If you’re in the mood for sushi, definitely check out Naked Fish Japanese Bistro. Not only is it right across from the conference center, it also has some of the best sushi I’ve ever had. I’m still sad I didn’t get a chance to stop in for a meal on my last trip and don’t plan to make that mistake again! Salt Lake is pretty well known for it’s Mexican food especially the restaurant Red Iguana.  While I haven’t made it to Red Iguana, I have made it to the unrelated Blue Iguana which is just a block from the conference center and their mole & margaritas are both delicious! On my first trip, I was still a newbie to mole, but I went back again and I still think it’s one of the best mole’s I’ve had!

Sight Seeing

On my most recent trip, I didn’t end up having a lot of free time to sight see. But my first trip I did find a few hours to wander around downtown Salt Lake City and check out the Temple Square and a few other of the major sites like the Capitol building and old Olympic village. A few of my friends did end up scheduling the Free Temple Square tour and said it was definitely worth the time!

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Conference Events 

Just like in Austin, being a part of the AIChE Young Professionals Committee (YPC) definitely has some advantages. The first was getting to participate in a big group dinner at Red Rock Brewing Co. Red Rock Brewing Co was great, helping us to get a table for 16 on a Friday night with only a short wait. Which considering that they don’t take reservations is definitely a feat!

On Sunday, we headed over to Squatter Brewery Pub where we had the whole second floor reserved for our YP Social! It was the perfect space for our growing group with lots of room to mingle and chat. The food was also delicious and definitely a step above your typical pub food. One of my favorite parts, was that they put out all their beers along with info cards describing them making it much easier to decide what to drink next!

Still on my To Do List 

While I have seen quite a bit of Salt Lake City now, there are still quite a few places I’d like to check out next time I make it back. For starters, I’d like to take a proper tour of the downtown. I’d also like to check out a few more restaurants including making it out to the famed Red Iguana and maybe another brewery or two! The two biggest things on my list though, aren’t actually in Salt Lake City. The first is to finally make it out to the Great Salt Lake! The second is to spend a day or two in Park City. While I’m not a big skier, I would to spend some time exploring the town as well as making it out to High West Distillery. I was on a panel during the conference with someone who works there. His experiences were so cool, we were all trying to figure out how to make it up to Park City before we left for a tour and tasting, but unfortunately weren’t able to fit it in.


Did your favorite places, activities, breweries, and restaurants make it on my list? If not let us know what else we need to check out! Also keep an eye out this Spring for the next city in our series, Houston!