Along the east bench of Salt Lake City, the University of Utah is nestled into the foothills of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. At the edge of campus – which encompasses the state arboretum – a natural stream winds its way through Red Butte Garden and a well-maintained hiking and biking trail crosses paths with the Natural History Museum of Utah.
Salt Lake City offers a spectacular mix of city life and nearby natural solitude, with plenty of family friendly activities throughout Utah’s four lovely seasons. Utah’s capital city has an increasingly diverse population of approximately 194,000 and has become a welcoming destination city for refugees, fostering an exceptional variety of diverse community cultural events. The greater metropolitan area has grown to a population of more than 1.1 million, with new companies choosing to call Utah home for their headquarters every year.
Visitors are greeted by warm, friendly people, clean streets, and a relaxed but active atmosphere. Walkable and bike-friendly neighborhoods lend to the safe, small-town feel of one of the 50 largest metropolitan markets in the U.S.
Utah is home to five stunning national parks and five national monuments, with six more national parks within a day’s drive of Salt Lake City. There are also seven world-class ski resorts within 30 minutes of the U campus. While Utah’s ski resorts boast the “greatest snow on earth” in the winter, many also offer a range of fun summer activities, including family movie nights, thrilling zip lines, decadent spa services, scenic tram rides, hikes through fields of wildflowers, and brunch with breathtaking views.
Hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails are easily accessible from the U campus, but a short drive (or a ride on public transit) opens up countless options. Quiet alpine lakes, beautiful aspen forests, and unbeatable views from mountain peaks reward hikers of all skill levels.
Utah is consistently praised for its remarkable local food scene, as well as its award-winning craft breweries and distilleries. Inventive and locally-sourced cuisine, impressive beer bars, creative restaurateurs, and thoughtful sommeliers have earned Salt Lake City a place in the hearts of foodies around the country.
Salt Lake City hosts bustling farmers markets in the summer and winter, featuring a variety of local produce, grains, protein, and crafts. The U also enjoys a smaller farmers market in the fall, with fresh produce grown in the campus’ two edible gardens.
Utah has a rich tradition of film, music, and art that draws in and inspires people from around the world. While the internationally-acclaimed Sundance Film Festival is based in Park City – a short and scenic 30-minute drive from the U campus – many Sundance films are also screened in downtown Salt Lake City during the annual event. Two independent Salt Lake City theaters bring back many Sundance films throughout the year, along with many other documentaries and international films. Ballet West, the Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival are just a few of the performing arts treasures of the state. Salt Lake City hosts multiple outdoor concert series every summer, as well as a multi-day arts festival and monthly gallery strolls. Professional, Broadway-caliber live theater is readily available at the Eccles Theater – an exciting new performing arts center in downtown Salt Lake – and at a number of the city’s playhouses.
Salt Lake City’s many concert venues host some of today’s hottest names in music, as well as local talent bound to go big.
And not to be upstaged is Utah’s sports scene. The University of Utah’s football, gymnastics, basketball, swimming, and baseball teams have plenty of loyal fans. Utahns also enjoy cheering for the state’s NBA team, the Utah Jazz; the Triple-A baseball team, the Salt Lake Bees; and the Major League Soccer team, Real Salt Lake. With the Salt Lake International Airport just minutes from downtown, and Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Denver within a day’s drive, it’s easy for fans to cheer on their favorite teams at away games.