Salt Lake City is a dark horse that has a lot more going for it than its staid reputation would suggest. A case in point is the rapidly evolving restaurant scene which has led to the emergence of several fine dining and gourmet restaurants in the city. Utah's capital now serves up a diverse range of cuisines from Japanese to French and almost everything else in between, and does a pretty great job of it. Of course, outdoor sports and recreation activities are still Salt Lake City's top draw and the fast pace and adrenalin rush does not ease up no matter what time of year you fly here. There's mountain climbing, hiking, and biking in the summer; and in the winter, the world-class ski slopes and ice rinks come to life with visitors from across the globe.
With its well-organized grid of streets, Salt Lake City is one of the simplest destinations to navigate, making it easy to explore and use as a base for visiting other attractions in the area like the Grand Teton and Zion National Park, or the Salt Lake nearby. As home to the University of Utah and several other educational institutions, many Salt Lake City restaurants and coffee shops offer student discounts. If you're still in school or college, carry your ID to make the most of a cheap lunch deal or admission ticket.
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Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) is about 10 km from the city and is served by airlines such as American, Southwest, United, and Continental. Canadian travellers who are looking for direct flights to Salt Lake City can book tickets with Delta Airlines, which has non-stop services from Vancouver and Calgary. SLC is also used as a stop-over by travellers on Delta's route to Paris or by those flying from the Northern states to destinations in Mexico.
Summers in Salt Lake City are hot and dry with temperatures averaging 20-30°C. The city itself gets about 150-180 cm of snow from November to April of each year, but the snowfall is much heavier in the mountains.
Keep in mind that the winter 'inversion' effect, which causes pollution and fog to be trapped in the Salt Lake Valley, will result in some really bad air conditions in the city. But in the mountains above it results in clear, pollution-free air and excellent ski conditions.
Summers are the peak tourist season, but winter is also a popular time for booking Salt Lake City flights due to the ski resorts in the area. To save on your trip to Salt Lake City, visit in fall or spring when the city has pleasant weather and fewer visitors. You can also check into one of the mountain resorts in the summer, when there are several discount deals available in the resorts' low season.
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) is divided into Terminal 1 with Concourses A and B, Terminal 2 with Concourse C, and an International Terminal with Concourses D and E. The International Terminal does not have its own ground transportation services so passengers whose flights to Salt Lake City arrive at this terminal will have to make their way to Terminal 2 and access transport to the city from there. Check the airport website for any additional information you need on the ground transportation options listed below.
Airport Shuttle: Shuttle companies like Alta Shuttle and Xpress 4 Less operate booking counters at the airport. Several others also provide shuttles from the airport, but need to be booked in advance online or via telephone. For trips to downtown Salt Lake City, the cost ranges between $8 to $15 USD depending on whether you buy a one-way or round-trip ticket, as well as which company you choose. For passengers with onward train or bus journeys, all the shuttle companies have services to the city's Amtrak and Greyhound stations.
Hotel Shuttle: There are pick-up zones for courtesy hotel shuttles located at the exits of Terminals 1 and 2. If you need to contact your hotel for any assistance regarding delays or pick-up times, direct-line phones are located in the baggage claim areas.
Public Transit: The Utah Transit Authority runs a regular bus service from the parking structure between Terminals 1 and 2, which will take you to the city centre. Buses depart every 30 minutes until 7 p.m. and hourly after that. This service is limited on the weekends and public holidays so you may need to make other arrangements if this is when your Salt Lake City flight is scheduled to arrive. One-way tickets cost less than $3 USD, making this a really cheap way to travel to the city.
Taxi: City Cab, Yellow Cab, and Ute Cab operate taxi services from the airport. Taxi stands for all three are located near Exit 7 of Terminal 1 and Exit 11 of Terminal 2. Average cab fares to downtown Salt Lake City are between $25-$30 USD, and you can also take taxis to neighbouring towns like Alta and Brighton for about $85 USD.
Car Rental: Kiosks for rental companies like Thrifty, Alamo, and Advantage, can be found on the ground floor of the airport's short-term parking garage, located opposite the exits of Terminals 1 and 2.
Other: Several private companies offer specialized transportation services for those travelling with mobility devices such as wheelchairs. And if you're looking for a stylish entry into Salt Lake City, there are plenty of limousine companies who will be happy to accommodate you. Booking in advance is essential for these services.