Seven Summer Activities in Salt Lake City

Happy First Day of Summer!  Summer is without a doubt my favorite season in Salt Lake City.  The sun shines bright, the days are leisurely long and everyone has two things on their agenda :: to get together and be outside.  The best part of all is that there are plenty of excuses to do both.  Here are seven of my favorite summer activities to do in Salt Lake City (and beyond):

Summer is here!
Summer is here!

1. The Arts Festival! :: The Arts Festival is one of my summertime highlights, combining award-winning art, eclectic live music, food/wine/beer and the city’s best people-watching all into a four-day event.  It’s going on right now until Sunday, so check out the Utah Arts Festival website for details and get yourself to Library Square as soon as possible.

Breathtaking views at Snowbird and Trio.
Breathtaking views at Snowbird and Trio.

2. Patio Dining :: Food, friends and fresh air.  Enough said.  Restaurants with excellent patios :: Aristo’s, Caputo’s on 15th & 15th, Caffe Molise, Copper Onion, Finca, Fresco, Lone Star Taqueria, Lucky 13, Pago, Pallet, Sea Salt, Trio (both locations), Vivace and Wild Grape, to name a handful.

Enjoying wine and Earth, Wine & Fire at Deer Valley last summer.
Enjoying the Earth, Wine & Fire concert at Deer Valley last summer.

3. Concerts :: A serenade in the sunset is especially exquisite in summer.  And Salt Lake City knows how to do it right.  Venues with a view include Red Butte Gardens, Deer Valley and Snowbird.  The heart of the city hosts free (or almost free) concerts like the Twilight Concert Series at Pioneer Park and the Gallivan Center Concerts.  And don’t forget those worth the drive, like Usana and Salt Air.  The Salt Lake Tribune compiled a complete list of the all 150 concerts during the summer (including indoor venues).

Colorful and fresh produce at the Downtown Farmers Market.
Colorful and fresh produce at the Downtown Farmers Market.

4. Farmers Markets  :: One of Salt Lake City’s best attributes is how close we are to where our food comes from and the local farmers markets give you a chance to get up close and personal with the farmers, ranchers, growers, makers and creaters of all the awesome local products that Utah has to offer.  The Downtown Farmers market offers fresh produce, cheese, baked goods, grass fed/local meats, cut flowers, crafts and more.  Check out Billy Yang’s thorough rundown of the city’s markets in the Salt Lake Tribune here.

Beer and soccer.
Beer and the summer sunset during the Real soccer game.

5. Summer Sports :: Nothing says summer like a day watching sports.  The Bees play baseball at Spring Mobile ballpark where you can gaze at the mountains if the game gets boring.  They play til September, with several games featuring fireworks for the finale and Thirsty Thursday beer specials at $2.75/each.   Tickets are $8-24.  Meanwhile the southern end of the city is entertained by the rowdy Real Salt Lake soccer fans who cheer and chant all game long.  It’s a fast-paced, entertaining 90 minutes that will fly by faster than you can believe.  Their seasons heads into October, unless they make the playoffs (which is likely).  Tickets start around $20, depending on the game.

Caputo's patio on 15th & 15th, Wasatch Mountain Table Dinner series and Aristo's Thursday barbecue
Caputo’s patio, Wasatch Mountain Table Dinner and Aristo’s barbecue.

6. Food Events :: As if you needed another excuse to eat at Salt Lake City’s awesome restaurants, there are plenty of events to entice you further.  Weekly events include live music The Atrium at Snowbird on Sundays, Think Local small plates at Fresco on Sundays and Mondays, High West’s Whiskey Wednesdays featuring a whiskey/burger pairing for $20, Food Truck Thursdays during lunch at the Gallivan Center, Aristo’s Thursday night barbecue on the patio, live music on the patio at Caputo’s on 15th & 15th (also Thursdays), Dog Days of Summer at Log Haven (daily) and the Wasatch Mountain Table Dinner Series at Solitude Resort, which happens several times throughout the summer.

Can’t-be-missed special events are Savor the Summit on June 22, the Park City Food & Wine Classic July 10-14, Taste of the Wasatch at Solitude on August 4, and Oktoberfest at Snowbird (starting August 17).

Utah also has the best sunsets, hands down.
Utah also has the best sunsets, hands down.

7. The great outdoors!  Biking, hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, picnic-ing, do anything that gets you out of the house and away from your computer (after you finish reading this, of course!).  We are surrounded by gorgeous mountains, beautiful lakes, trails and everything that completes an outdoor lovers’ paradise.  Even a prissy girl like me can appreciate it during the summer!

What else do you like to do in SLC that I missed?  I’d love to know in the comments!

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