This part of my trip report is Utah – the beginning and the end. We flew into Salt Lake City for our Yellowstone / GTNP trip and stayed the final nights in Park City before flying out of SLC. First, I wanted to thank all of the posters who helped with my hotel decisions – although you probably helped with a lot more of my decisions as I did a lot of searching and reading on both SLC and Park City before the trip. I have grouped the information up a bit and hopefully it will be helpful to someone else.
My flights into and out of SLC on Southwest were uneventful – just the way I like them. I used reward flights to help make this trip more affordable and to allow some splurges elsewhere.
Hotels – again used points to try to save some $$$. We stayed at the Hilton City Center in Salt Lake City. This hotel was not the most updated Hilton I have stayed in but it was convenient to the things we wanted to see in our short time in Salt Lake. We stayed at the Park City Marriott for two nights prior to returning home following our vacation. Our biggest complaint here was the lack of parking available to those staying at the hotel. We got there late (due to a mess up with my directions) and then to have to drive around the very small lot in front of the hotel for them to tell us to use a different shared lot further away. Also, nobody there to help with luggage or even tell us about the parking. It started things off on a bit of a sour note with this Marriott.
Restaurants – We arrived at Salt Lake City on a Saturday afternoon after traveling all day and wanted something quick and easy. We got some fantastic sandwiches from a great little place called Toasters that I had seen referenced here on the board. Exactly what we needed. We ate at the Hilton in the AM before checking out and heading to the parks! Quite often we end up opting for convenience over quality and that was the case with the Park City Grill that was in the Park City Marriott – food and service were both mediocre but we didn’t really expect much more as the place was deserted. (Not a good sign) But we had a great lunch at Bandits’ Grill & Bar – also recommended here – and their Tri-Tip steak sandwiches were excellent. No wonder they are their “most popular” sandwiches.
Things We Did – Salt Lake City – On travel days, DH tends to crash upon arrival so I left him in the hotel and explored Temple Square by myself. I did two of the tours (Beehive House and the Temple Square tour) that were conducted by the missionaries and learned a lot about the LDS church and the history of the buildings, church and area. The young women were well prepared and enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge. In the morning, I went to the Music and the Spoken Word program by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It was conducted in the Conference Center and was an excellent program and I enjoyed it immensely having sung in my church choir growing up. I brought a dress with me but probably needn’t have worried (and started a thread that got a bit contentious) as there were a variety of outfits in the center.
Things We Did – Park City – Late arrival the first night so we crashed. The next morning after a bit of a late start, we went over to the Olympic Park. They have a program on Saturday mornings called the Flying Ace Freestyle Show where they jump off of the training area and into the pool. They did lots of unbelievable tricks (they probably don’t call them that) and it was a lot of fun to watch. We took a look around through the museum and the other areas and then headed to town for some lunch – see Bandits review above. After lunch we rode the chairlift to the top of the mountain for some awesome panoramic views and called it a day. We had to pack and get ready as we were flying out the next morning.
Thanks again everyone – and Ncounty – we did look up the restaurant that your son provided that fabulous review for but it didn’t quite fit into our plans. Oh well – we’ll have to do it next time.
I'll post the Yellowstone and Grand Teton portions separately.
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Salt Lake City - Park City - The Beginning and the End of our trip to Yellowstone / GTNP