Everything You Need To Know

177th NPL Convention, Salt Lake City, Utah

July 7-10, 2016


Welcome to SiLiCon, the 2016 NPL Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. We hope you have an intriguing, engaging, and enjoyable time here with your fellow Krewe. We will do our best to support this. Explore the town, partake in as many puzzling and entertaining opportunities as you can, and have fun!

The SiLiCon Hotel

Salt Lake City Marriott City Center

220 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84111 (801-961-8700)

Hotel and Con Details


The main room is Capitol Ballroom A/B on the 2nd floor, capacity 250 people (available: Thu 8AM - Sun Noon). The breakout room is Capitol Ballroom C, capacity 80 people (available: Fr 6AM - Sat 3AM, then Sat 6AM - Sun Noon). Meals are in the Olympus Ballrooms, which are down the hall from the Capitol Ballrooms.


Room 300 (available: Wed 8AM - Sun 8AM)
• Snacks, fruit, etc.
• Small fridge
• Table for puzzles

Official Program

This is a condensed version of the official con program. See the program page for complete details.


Hidden Contest by ????

Wednesday, July 6th

5:00PM SiLiCon Picnic [at Liberty Park's Rice Pavilion]

Thursday, July 7th

8:00PM Welcome! An evening of puzzles and games:

Puzzlemasters All, Blankety Blanks, Cryptic Mad Libs

Use Google Content by Elfman, Oh, Beehive! by LeXman, Just Add Salt by Zebraboy
     Over-the-weekend cryptics

Friday, July 8th

4:30PM How to Solve Cryptic Crosswords [workshop] by Hot

Explaining all the types of cryptic clues, followed by a special introductory puzzle.

8:00PM Another evening of puzzles and games:

Dictionary Triathlon, Dilemma, Shrediting

Saturday, July 9th

10:00AM Business meeting

2:15PM An afternoon of pencil-and-paper competitions:

Time Test, Urban Renewal, Casey at the Flat

5:30PM Convention photo (dressing up is welcome)

7:00PM The Golden Sphinx Awards presented by Teki [after dinner]

8:00PM Salt Lake City Buzz [extravaganza] by Colossus

Sunday, July 10th

10:30AM Awards for all the weekend contests

The Weather

The weather forecast for Salt Lake City during con is mid-to-high 90°s during the day and high 60°s at night.


The SiLiCon Picnic is 5:00PM Wednesday at Liberty Park's Rice Pavillion (map, directions) and runs as long as folks want it to. It should be a blast. The Rice Pavillion is in the Northeast corner of Liberty Park.

Liberty Park is just under 2 miles from the hotel. Cabs are available (about $13 plus tip), as is UTA bus service ($2.50; $1.25 for 65+; use links below for current schedule). For those of you who have cars in SLC, it would be wonderful if you can pack them with hungry, excited Krewe (or upon returning, satisfied, happy Krewe). It's a pretty easy trip by car, so even a couple trips would be great.

Bus to the park: The park can be reached by the 205, 307, and 320 buses. Bus pickup from the Marriott is on the South side of 200S, just across State St. from the hotel; the bus will drop you off at the Northeast corner of the park. UTA Bus: Hotel to Park

Bus back to hotel: Return trip is via the 205. Pickup is on the East side of 500E about a block North of the park; the bus will drop you off right in front of the hotel. UTA Bus: Park to Hotel


Included in your Con fee are five fabulous meals, which will take into consideration as many common food sensitivities as are practical (if you have not done so already, please notify the con host as soon as possible of any allergies). Meal times are:
Fri Dinner6:00 - 8:00 PM
Sat Breakfast8:30 - 9:30 AM
Sat LunchNoon - 1:00 PM
Sat Dinner6:00 - 8:00 PM
Sun Breakfast8:30 - 9:30 AM
All meals are served in the Olympus Ballroom

If there are any members of your group who are not participating in Con events (i.e., have not paid a con fee) but who would like one or more meals, please email as soon as possible.

Con Photo

The annual con photo will be taken at 5:30 sharp on the stairs adjacent to the hotel's South side, off of the plaza.

Map and Directions

Most of the items in this page include links to a map and to get directions quickly. There is also a master map which contains all of the local attractions in one place. Click here to open the master map in a new window.


TRAX From Airport

The last train leaves the airport at 11:27. The hotel is the Gallivan Plaza stop.

TRAX To Airport
Shuttles from the airport

Express Shuttle 801-596-1600 Visit the Ground Transportation Desk in baggage claim of either terminal. Rates are around $10. They request advance reservations () as walk-up requests may not be able to be accommodated. Last shuttles leave between Midnight and 12:30AM (after hours rates apply after that).

SuperShuttle 800-258-3826 / 801-505-5550

Terminal #1 - Across from carousel #4 in Baggage Claim. Terminal #2 - Across from carousel #8 in Baggage Claim. Please check in once you have all of your luggage. Your wait time should be approximately 20 - 30 minutes. If for any reason our counter is unmanned, please call 801-505-5550.

SLC International Airportx

Nearby Services & Stores


Wells Fargo
US Bank
Zion's Bank


Henrie's Dry Cleaners
Red Hanger Cleaners




Harmon's City Creek




FedEx Kinkos



LDS Hospital
Salt Lake Regional Medical Center

Walk-in Clinic

InstaCare Urgent Care


Fire Station



Salt Lake City Public Library

Opened in 2004, the main branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library is architecturally stunning, featuring broad curves and a lot of glass. The main entrance hallway, pictured, is lined with a number of fun shops. It is well worth the visit!
Distance from the hotel: 3 blocks

Architecture, Historical

Capitol Theatre

Renovated and reopened in 1978 the Capitol Theatre is known today for its elegant turn-of-the-century architecture and serves as the home for Ballet West, Utah Opera, Children’s Dance Theatre, and Broadway Across America -Utah. The current schedule of events doesn't yet go through the Con dates, but something interesting will be playing. The interior is simply beautiful.
Distance from hotel: 1.5 blocks
Cathedral of the Madeleine

A beautiful church and the Mother Church for Utah Catholics, it was built from 1900 to 1909.The cathedral combines a mostly Romanesque exterior with a Gothic interior. The cathedral is listed on the Utah Register of Historic Sites, and the National Register of Historic Places. It was designed by Carl M. Neuhausen who also designed the Utah Governor's Mansion (Day #97).
Distance from hotel: 4.5 blocks
Governor's Mansion

Built in 1902 by US Senator and mining magnate Thomas Kearns, the house was designed by notable Utah architect Carl M. Neuhausen who also designed The Cathedral of the Madeleine (Day #32). Visitors to the mansion included Theodore Roosevelt, who was a friend of Kearns. After Senator Kearns passed away in 1937, the house was donated to the State of Utah to serve as the Governor's residence. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also called The Thomas Kearns Mansion and Carriage House. During Con, it may visited on Thursday from 2-4pm.
Distance from hotel: 7 blocks
Utah State Capitol

For nearly a century, the State Capitol has been one of Utah’s most prominent landmarks. Designed by local architect Richard K. A. Kletting, the Capitol has been home to state government since its opening in 1916.

From 2004 to 2008, the Utah State Capitol underwent one of the largest historical preservation projects in the United States. In addition to safe-guarding the building against the risk of an earthquake, the project also repaired and restored the original beauty and artwork of the Capitol. Each year, thousands of people visit the Capitol to witness its modern magnificence and historic significance. While you are here, check out the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum (Day #69) just to the west.
Distance from hotel: 5 blocks (right up the street, but there's a fairly steep hill)


Club JAM

Alternative dance club

Admittedly not my area of expertise, I'm looking to provide a variety of entertainment options. Club JAM has been voted Utah's 'best gay bar' for seven years running. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 8pm-2am, Club JAM is a nightspot frequented and highly recommended by a number of my friends from the Salt Lake area.
Distance from hotel: 2.9 miles

You've likely heard of Geocaching. If not, it's a 'treasure' hunting activity featuring containers ranging from tiny to large that are hidden throughout the world.You can search for them with any GPS receiver, or with a smart device. The app is free, although you may purchase a premium membership which offers a few more caches. A search of the hotel's zip code reveals about 50 caches within a mile radius. If you're willing to go even a little farther afield, there are hundreds of caches of all kinds hidden, waiting for you to discover them.
Distance from hotel: varies (multicache adjacent to the hotel)

Ingress is an increasingly popular game with players from all parts of the globe. The essence of the concept is that there are portals located in our world from which exotic matter is emitted. There are two 'teams' or sides to this. The Enlightened seek control of the portals to move humanity to a new state of being. The Resistance seeks control of the portals to stop what it considers mind control. Players must physically walk to these locations. Salt Lake City, and especially the hotel vicinity has hundreds upon hundreds of these portals. If you're a player, you can clean up here! The app is free for Android and IOS.
Distance: varies (over 40 portals right in the block the hotel is on)
Salt Lake Acting Company

From its humble beginnings in a Unitarian Church in 1969, SLAC has gone on to become the region's premiere theatre for contemporary American plays. In 1978, SLAC moved to the Glass Factory Theatre, which it called home for five years before returning to a church. Today SLAC's home is the historic 19th Ward House of Worship, originally built in 1896 by early settlers with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the Marmalade Hill District of Salt Lake City. The 14,000-square-foot facility, which SLAC leases from the City, contains rehearsal space, dressing rooms, offices, lounge and kitchen. Fully-renovated, it includes two flexible theatres: the 113-seat Chapel Theatre, and the 160-200-seat Upstairs Theatre. The performance being staged during Con is the premiere of Saturday's Voyeur, by Allen Nevins and Nancy Borgenicht. Non-CONflict times include Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoon.
Distance from hotel: 1.4 miles
Wiseguys Comedy Club

Piff the Magic Dragon

Wiseguys is Salt Lake City's best comedy club. During SiLiCon (July 7-10) Piff the Magic Dragon will be performing. I'd recommend getting tickets right away, as they will sell out quickly. If you're around on Sunday, that's probably your best bet, as the shows on Thu-Sat evenings will conflict with Con activities. Wednesday night is open mic night and could be really fun too!
Distance from hotel: 5 blocks

Escape Room

Mystery Escape Room

Five rooms, including EnTwained, Bio Base 5, Knight's Adventure, Private Eye: A Murder Mystery, and King Under the Hill

The second of two escape room facilities (see Day #4), this location currently presents five rooms, including EnTwained, Bio Base 5, Knight's Adventure, Private Eye: A Murder Mystery, and King Under the Hill. It'd probably be a good idea to book this early!
Distance from hotel: 7 blocks
The Escape Key

Three escape scenarios - CSI:SLC for six players, The Impossible for eight players, and The Lair of Lunacy for ten.

The Escape Key has been named Utah's best escape room. Currently they offer three escape scenarios - CSI:SLC for six players, The Impossible for eight players, and The Lair of Lunacy for ten. It's a good idea to book these as soon as possible, as they're bound to be popular. One of two escape room facilities in SLC. (See also Day #54)
Distance from hotel: 4 blocks


Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum

two-headed lamb, really old loaf of bread

This museum (also called the Pioneer Memorial Museum) is the headquarters of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. It preserves some of the early history of the Mormon presence in Utah and the state of Deseret. Admission is free. Among the more interesting displays is a two-headed lamb, the original eagle from the Eagle Gate Monument (Day #72), and a loaf of bread from 1893. Located near the Utah State Capitol (Day #24).
Distance from hotel: 6.5 blocks (uphill)
Eagle Gate Monument

The Eagle Gate Monument, more in the form of an arch than a gate, stretches 76 feet across the corner of South Temple and State Street. It was erected in 1859 and commemorates Brigham Young's property at the mouth of City Creek Canyon. It was originally topped by a wooden eagle, refurbished several times, and finally replaced by the current 4,000 pound bronze eagle whose wingspan is 20 feet. The original wooden eagle is on display at the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum (Day #69).
Distance from hotel: 2 blocks. (hard to miss)
Eagle Gate Monument article
Memory Grove Park

Memory Grove Park in Salt Lake City, Utah contains several memorials dedicated to Utah war veterans and the memory of those who died in various battles. The striking veteran monuments offer an interesting contrast to the Harbor of Beauty pond. The park features the quiet sounds of City Creek. It is also the center of a series of hiking trails that wind through one of the state's botanical gardens.
The first survey/drawing of Salt Lake City valley, was (made) by the great explorer and author, Sir Richard Burton. The picture he drew faces the title page in his book The City of Saints. The picture had to have been made somewhere on the hills above Memory Grove. When Brigham Young asked Burton what he thought of Salt Lake City, Burton quoted `The Rime of Ancient Mariner' by making reference to the Great Salt Lake and the lack of alcoholic beverages, saying, `Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink'.
Distance from hotel:8 blocks
This is the Place Heritage Park

Site of SLC's founding

Step back in time and see the West as it was in the early settlement of Utah. Ride one of the three trains as they tour around the park, or enjoy a ride around the pond on the Mini Train. Kids will love riding ponies, meeting and petting farm animals. Don't forget to try your skill at milking Clarabell the Cow. The park is also home to the monument pictured here which marks the location where Brigham Young declared that the pioneers' travels had reached an end.
Distance from hotel: 4.7 miles

Local favorite

Abravnel Hall

First opened in 1979, Abravnel Hall (originally Symphony Hall) is home to the Utah Symphony, and is part of the Salt Lake County Center for the Arts. It was named for Conductor Maurice Abravnel in 1993. Dr. Cyril M. Harris, who was the acoustical consultant for the remodeled Avery Fisher Hall in NYC also consulted on this project. Although the Utah Symphony will not be performing during Con, the building is still of interest.
Distance from hotel:4.5 blocks
Clark Planetarium

Great for younger attendees

Clark Planetarium's mission is to create and present enlightening experiences that inspire wonder in learning about space and science, and to promote greater public awareness of science in our daily lives. Regular exhibits include an Earth globe, Foucault pendulum, telescopes, NASA Space Launch System, and a lot of other hands-on activities and presentations.
Distance from hotel: 6 blocks
Gallivan Center

Yes, that's our hotel in the top left of the photo. The Gallivan Center is host to a daily concert series, dancing, and a variety of other events, as well as many weddings and private activities. The current calendar does not show anything scheduled during Con, but that could change between now and then. There's also 'food truck Thursdays' and 'weekday workouts' for you. The TRAX stops to and from the airport are just on the other side of the plaza from the hotel (marked with yellow pins on the map).
Distance from hotel: a few feet
Gilgal Sculpture Garden

Sphinx with Joseph Smith's face

The Gilgal Sculpture Garden contains twelve original sculptures and over seventy stones engraved with scriptures, poems, and literary texts. Tucked into the middle of a block, behind homes and businesses, many are still unaware of its existence and enjoy a true sense of discovery upon finding it for the first time. The Garden was envisioned, designed, and created by Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. In the mid twentieth century.
Frankly, if a sphinx with Joseph Smith's face doesn't scream SiLiCon, I don't know what does.
Distance from hotel: 9 blocks
Gravity Hill

creepy optical illusion

Located not far from the Capitol complex, Gravity Hill is an optical illusion. A car placed in neutral seemingly rolls *up* the hill. Of course there's a ghostly legend too. A farmer named Emo misjudged the hill, and his tractor tipped over on him. Emo's spirit is what pulls vehicles uphill. His grave supposedly glows blue at night too.
Distance from hotel: 3 miles
Grimm Ghost Tours

Spooky evening tour

Visit some of the oldest buildings in Salt Lake. Learn where the Hoppity Lady roams looking for her lost husband. Try to summon her yourself to see if she comes out! Visit many locations on the 1.5 hour tour, including the First Mansion in Salt Lake, The Rio Grande Train Depot, The Largest Municipal Cemetery in the United States, The Old Washington Square and Historic City and County Building where jousting events occurred, treaties were signed, and is home to a few lost spirits!
Distance from hotel: tour bus stop is about 3 blocks away.
Liberty Park

Wednesday picnic location (the picnic is in the Rice Pavillion)

It's official. Liberty Park's Rice Pavilion will be the location of the SiLiCon Wednesday evening picnic. The pavilion is huge, and should provide shade on a hot day, or cover on a rainy one. The park features lots of play space (tennis, volleyball, basketball etc.), traditional park structures, jogging path, and more. Don't miss the Tracy Aviary (see Day #43) while you're here.
Distance from hotel: 13 blocks (to the pavilion)
The Leonardo Museum

Great for younger attendees

The Leonardo is a first-of-a-kind museum where you can explore the unexpected places and ways that science, technology, art, and creativity connect. The museum opened on October 8, 2011. The mission of the Leonardo Museum (named after the artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci) is to fuse science, technology and art in experiences that inspire creativity and innovation in young people and adults. This program is aimed to attract those individuals, families and businesses who can help to create and build on Utah’s and the city’s brand as an innovation economy.
Distance from hotel: 4 blocks

Tracy Aviary

Fascinating collection of birds!

Located in the southwest corner of Liberty Park, the Tracy Aviary is home to a variety of birds from around the world. My wife and I stopped by here yesterday, and really enjoyed the place. Several youngsters on field trips were enjoying themselves immensely. From Sun Conures to Bald Eagles, this place has it all. A number of educational and entertaining programs are also on tap.
Distance from hotel: 15 blocks
Utah Museum of Contemporary Art

The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art has been an award-winning aesthetic force and community leader since it was established in 1931. Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, UMOCA encourages exploration into what it means to exist in today’s world through art that inspires imagination, stimulates thought, and transforms society. The Museum connects people around the contemporary art practice of Utah and beyond to shape an engaged and thoughtful global citizenry. UMOCA strives to be a place where all points of view, experiences, and ages feel welcome to explore the pressing issues of our time through socially relevant art exhibitions and programming.
Distance from hotel: 3.5 blocks
Utah's Hogle Zoo

Great for younger attendees

Utah's Hogle Zoo was originally established in 1916 and moved to its current location in 1931. It is owned by Salt Lake City, and is funded by both tax dollars and donations. Among the permanent exhibits are Elephant Encounter, Asian Highlands, Rocky Shore, and African Savanna.
Distance from hotel: 4.7 miles


Discovery Gateway Children's Museum

Great for younger attendees

Discovery Gateway children’s museum is located in the Gateway Mall in downtown Salt Lake City. Discovery Gateway offers 60,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on fun. Explore engaging workshops, programs, and exhibits that invite the whole family to create, learn, and play together! The Garden includes a 30-foot beehive. Kids Eye View explores eight different areas in a kid-sized scale. Block Party allows participants to use their imagination, and construct things with big blue blocks. Much more!
Distance from hotel: 6.5 blocks


City Creek Center

Large upscale mall

Just north of the hotel is an upscale retail center that covers two full city blocks and features a retractable glass roof, a creek which runs down the center of the property, a pedestrian sky bridge, and more. As it is owned by the LDS Church, the mall is closed on Sunday.
I'd tell you about the convenient underground parking, but it's only about a block north of the hotel, and just south of Temple Square - the heart of downtown Salt Lake. We'll get to that next time.
Distance from hotel: 1 block
Eborn Books

Eborn Books is Utah's largest store for new, used, and rare books. It has 30,000 square feet of space on three levels with over 500,000 books. While there are a number of books on the LDS Church, and Salt Lake City, their collection covers a wide variety of categories.
Distance from hotel: 1.5 blocks
Game Night Games

Best game store in the city

Some of us have excellent game stores nearby. Some of us have to travel almost three hours to get to a good game store. (*cough *cough) Game Night Games is a decent-sized well-stocked store, with play space and friendly employees. It is an excellent place to gather and try out games for free. The store opens at 11am (10 on Saturday) and closes at 10pm or later Mon-Sat, with noon-5 hours on Sunday.
Distance from hotel: 4 miles
Trolley Square

Trolley Square offers a variety of high-end trendy shopping options. It consists of a series of barns which were originally built in 1908 to house Salt Lake's streetcars. While the complex has had its shining moments, as well as fairly difficult times, it has been a place of interest for many years. A museum detailing its history is in the works. The historic water tower has been fitted with new lighting, and can be seen for miles. Formerly, the color of its lights were indications of weather.
Distance from hotel: 9 blocks


Bonneville Shoreline Trail

The Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) will one day stretch from the Idaho border to Nephi, more than 280 miles. Currently just over 100 miles of the route is officially designated as part of the BST. The route attempts to follow the Bonneville Bench which was formed by an ancient lake. The closest trailhead is at City Creek Canyon. Be prepared for some spectacular views!
Distance from hotel: 2 miles (to trailhead)

SLC Must-see

Temple Square

The heart and soul of SLC. This must not be missed.

This would be way too easy to break up into a bunch of different places of interest, but I'm going to avoid that. Temple Square is the center of Salt Lake City, and the center of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints (LDS), commonly called the Mormon Church. From the magnificent temple to museums and other things to see and do, this is the one place not to miss. in SLC. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be on hiatus during Con, but there are daily organ concerts (free) at noon (2pm on Sunday). It's also home to the Family Research Center, which contains a wealth of genealogical data.
Distance from hotel: 2 blocks


Smith's Ballpark

Salt Lake City Bees games

If you're coming early or staying late, perhaps you'd like to take in a Minor League baseball game. The Salt Lake Bees play the Fresno Grizzlies here on July 3rd. The El Paso Chihuahuas are in town Thursday through Sunday. Although the Thu-Sat games are in the evening and run during Con activities, Sunday's game is during the afternoon.
Distance from hotel: 12 blocks
Vivint Smart Home Arena

Home of the NBA's Utah Jazz, the arena has undergone a variety of name changes. The Delta Center replaced the Salt Palace (now demolished) from 1991-2006. It became the Salt Lake Ice Center during the 2002 Winter Olympics. From 2006-2015 It was known as Energy Solutions Arena. When not playing home to the Jazz, the arena is home to concerts and other events. Outside the arena are statues of NBA greats John Stockton and Karl Malone.
Distance from hotel: 6 blocks

University of Utah Campus

Fort Douglas Military Museum

Located on the campus of the University of Utah, the Fort Douglas Military Museum was registered by the Center for Military History as an official museum of the U.S. Army Museum System on 8 August 1974 with the date of establishment being two days later. Renovation of Building 32 began in June of that year. The Museum was dedicated on 26 October 1975 and officially opened on 14 May 1976. Through exhibits, educational programming and publications, the Museum seeks to engage and inform the public about Utah's rich military heritage.
Distance from hotel: 3.7 miles
Huntsman Cancer Institute

Jon M. Huntsman is chairman and founder of Huntsman Corporation, a multinational chemical manufacturing and marketing business with world headquarters in Salt Lake City. In 1995, the Huntsman family pledged $100 million to construct a state-of-the-art cancer center in Salt Lake City. Shortly thereafter, the Huntsmans pledged another $125 million. More than a decade later, Huntsman Cancer Institute and Hospital is world-renowned. Located on the campus of the University of Utah, the Institute is architecturally stunning. Because it is on the eastern hillside of the campus, it also offers beautiful views of the city.
Distance from hotel: 3.6 miles
Natural History Museum of Utah

Excellent views

On the University of Utah campus, the building is immediately recognizable due to the 42,000 square feet of standing seam copper that wraps the exterior of the building. The copper, mined from Kennecott Utah Copper's Bingham Canyon Mine located across the Salt Lake Valley from the new Museum site, is installed in horizontal bands of various heights to represent the layered rock formations seen throughout Utah. Permanent exhibits include First Peoples, Native Voices, Gems & Minerals, Great Salt Lake, and much more.
Distance from hotel: 4 miles
Red Butte Garden

Great hiking

Red Butte Garden, located on 100 acres in the foothills on the eastern edge of the University of Utah, is the official arboretum of the state of Utah. The Garden has welcomed guests since 1985 and is the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West with over 18 acres of developed gardens and five miles of hiking trails winding through an extensive Natural Area. The Garden, which is community-funded, is renowned for its numerous plant collections, display gardens, 450,000 springtime blooming bulbs, including a vast collection of daffodils, world-class outdoor summer concert series, and award-winning horticulture-based educational programs.
Distance from hotel: 4.1 miles
Rice-Eccles Stadium and Olympic Cauldron Park

2002 Olympics arena and torch

When Salt Lake City received the bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympics, it was understood that Rice Stadium, home of the Utah Utes, was inadequate to serve as the Olympic arena. The initial plans to substantially renovate the stadium figured on three years of construction. Spencer Eccles, a Utah alum, and chairman of Utah's largest bank, stepped in with a donation of $10 million, and the project was completed in ten months, allowing for an uninterrupted college football schedule. The Olympic Cauldron Park sits just south of the stadium.
Distance from hotel: 2.8 miles



Applebee's $$

Visit to see a Zion Curtain

This may seem like an odd recommendation but the reason I'm suggesting it is even more interesting. Utah has a law in place which requires the use of so-called "Zion Curtains" in family restaurants where alcohol is served. When there is a hybrid bar/restaurant, there must be a barrier (often frosted glass) around the area where drinks are dispensed/mixed to keep people who are not drinking from being exposed to this activity, and to keep minors from seeing (and thus being attracted to) alcoholic beverages. This law is unique to Utah, and has been challenged on several occasions, but has never been successfully repealed. Applebee's is a familiar example of this sort of set-up. Newly constructed Applebee's in Utah are architecturally different than the ones you may be used to, based solely on this law. The link below is to the Wikipedia page on the law.
Distance from hotel: several locations
Bambera $$$

Located in the Hotel Monaco, critically acclaimed and locally loved, Bambera's great arched windows, original brass accents, and travertine marble blend stylishly with its contemporary design. In chef Nathan Powers' dynamic exhibition kitchen, ingredients from local farmers and ranchers are reimagined as inspired New American bistro plates. In a nod to the diversity of tastes and preferences, they offer a diversity of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options in addition to their regular menu. While they are a bit on the pricier end, their food is excellent. They offer breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday, brunch on Saturday and Sunday, and dinner seven days a week.
Distance from hotel: 1 block
Log Haven $$$

A log mansion in the Wasatch National Forest, but still close to Salt Lake City, Log Haven has been named Utah's most romantic restaurant. Surrounded by wildflowers and waterfalls, the restaurant offers a delicious menu of New American cuisine. Entrees are a bit expensive, but include elk and bison, along with gluten-free and vegetarian choices.
Distance from hotel: 14 miles
Pago $$$

Pago is an upscale dining experience with a farm to table focus. They offer seasonal New American cuisine and a constantly changing menu, depending on what local ingredients are available. There are fewer than a dozen tables, and despite the sophisticated menu, they are not a 'dress-up' sort of place.They are located in the historic Woodman Building (1910). Pago serves lunch and dinner M-F, and adds brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Distance from hotel: 2.3 miles
The Atlantic Cafe and Market $$

For fifteen years, the Atlantic Cafe has served some of the finest Mediterranean food in downtown Salt Lake. Their prices are very reasonable and they serve lunch and dinner. You can even have a beer at their bar. Their no-frills website is linked below.
Distance from hotel: 2 blocks
The Copper Onion $$

variety of food, really close to hotel

The Copper Onion is hard to classify. They serve breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, all at moderate prices. Burgers and sandwiches are available, as are elegant entrees. The Copper Onion also features a very good full bar. All this is good, but the best part is:
Distance from hotel: less than a block (just around the corner)
The Melting Pot $$

The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant where guests can enjoy several cooking styles, and a variety of unique entrees, salads, and desserts. In addition, they offer a good selection of wines and craft beers. They are open evenings, seven days a week, and take reservations.
Distance from hotel: 2.5 blocks
The Park Cafe $

Easy stop if visiting the Tracy Aviary

If you visit Liberty Park (Day #44), or the Tracy Aviary (Day #43), an inexpensive place to stop for breakfast or lunch is the Park Cafe, which has been around since 1984. With almost 700 Yelp reviews, The Park maintains a 4.5 star rating. Enjoy!
Distance from hotel: 17 blocks


Beerhive Pub $$

24 beer taps, lots of bottles, pub food, pizza

The wordplay on the 'Beehive State' is worth the entry here alone. There are a few bars around downtown Salt Lake City that are known for their incredible beer selections; Beerhive Pub is the one the others try to keep up with. Not only does it have 24 taps, but the list of bottled beers is impeccable, and the reason transplants flock to the place to get a nostalgic taste of brews they left behind. The fact that there is a chilly ice bar on hand is a small but beautiful bonus. Link is to their Facebook page.
Distance from hotel: 1.5 blocks
Beerhive Pub Facebook
Brewvies Cinema and Pub $$

Combining movies with a variety of local beer, and traditional pub offerings (pizza, sandwiches and such), Brewvies is a SLC favorite. They recently made national news for showing Deadpool. The Utah Attorney General threatened to assess a large fine (story here). Eventually the matter was withdrawn. I have no idea what will be showing during SiLiCon, but it's a fun place to visit if you have some free time.
Distance from hotel: 8 blocks
Gracie's Gastropub $$

Gracie's is the city's only 'gastropub'. It has two floors, and two patios which offer spectacular views of downtown Salt Lake as well as the Wasatch Mountains.Gracie's has a large game area, 22 large flat-screen televisions, and serves lunch and dinner seven days a week, as well as brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The menu is excellent!
Distance from hotel: 3 blocks
Red Rock Brewing Company $

Red Rock was named the "Large Brewpub of the Year" by the Great American Beer Festival. It's located in an old dairy warehouse right in the heart of Salt Lake. Homemade draft and bottled beers are available, along with burgers, pizza, and more.
Distance from hotel: 4 blocks
Squatter's Pub $

Let's dispel one myth right away. There's beer to be had in Salt Lake City - real beer. Squatters serves a nice variety of food at really reasonable prices. You can get a burger or pizza, but can also order steak, Thai yellow curry, or meatloaf topped with bacon. Best of all, they make their own award-winning beer here. House drafts include Respect Your Mother Organic Amber and Polygamy Porter.

Distance from hotel: 3 blocks


Bruges Waffles and Frites $

excellent inexpensive breakfast

It's not a big place, but man oh man are the waffles good! Breakfast here is highly recommended. There are a couple tables with umbrellas outside in front, plus a deck above to enjoy a sunny summer day.
Distance from hotel: 5.5 blocks


caffe d'bolla $

If you prefer to have Single Origin coffee from micro-regions, small farms, or estates, this is the place for you. The owner is a bit of a 'soup Nazi' about his coffee, but it is *really* good coffee.
Distance from hotel: 3.5 blocks


Eva's Bakery $

Just up the street from Eva's (Day #49) is the boulangerie Eva's Bakery. They serve breakfast and lunch six days a week, and brunch on Sunday as well. Inside you'll find artisan breads, pastries, croissants, pies, sandwiches, and more. Both Evas locations have the same owner, Charlie Perry, who named them in honor of his great grandmother, Eva Coombs.
Distance from hotel: 1.5 blocks
Ice Cream (Farr's) $

Huge servings. Got a double cone and couldn't finish it. That never happens.

I know that's generic, but a request for this creamy delicious snack from one of the Krewe prompted me to look into the status of awesome ice cream places in Salt Lake. The result? Nothing particularly impressive. Someone who wanted to could clean up here. The photo above is for Snelgrove, which had a cool sign (it's still there) and remarkably good handmade ice cream. The location was bought out by Nestle/Dreyer which still makes ice cream at this spot, but there's no longer a restaurant. Probably your best bet for ice cream is Farr's. I'm breaking my own rule by including a place already mentioned since it is located in the City Creek Center (Day #2) just north of the hotel. Farr's is regional. We enjoy their ice cream here in Pocatello, and it *is* very good. It'll likely be hot in Utah. Enjoy!
Distance from hotel: 2.5 blocks
Farr's (Yelp Review)

Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives

Aristo's Greek Cuisine $$

Aristo's was named one of the top 100 Greek restaurants in the USA. Threy grow their own herbs, make their own cheese, knead their own bread, and butcher their own meat. It's no surprise that they are yet another Salt Lake City featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. They've been in operation for over ten years, and have picked up quite a following. Entrees generally range from $7-15, and they'll take reservations for groups of 8 or more.
Distance from hotel: 13 blocks
Blue Plate Diner $

Modeled after the mom and pop restaurants of a bygone era, the Blue Plate obtains much of its character from articles salvaged from such places. The authentic soda fountain, built in 1949, was reclaimed from the Olympic Club, located less than a mile away. Many of the tables, chairs, and kitchen furnishings were procured from the Cowboy Cafe in Fillmore, Utah.The Blue Plate Diner was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, and has been named Salt Lake's Beast Breakfast, and Best Eats on the Cheap a number of times.
Distance from hotel: 5.4 miles
Maxwell's East Coast Eatery $$

Yet another restaurant featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. The restaurant which appeared on the show was the Park City (Day #57) location but there's one located much closer. Either is good. As their slogan suggests, 'get fed, get full, get happy.' Steven Maxwell has taken his love of cooking from NJ, where his grandma ran a highly successful Italian-American restaurant for many years, and brought it to Utah. Maxwell's is extremely popular and boasts fantastic Italian food at very reasonable prices.
Distance from hotel: 2.5 blocks
Moochie's Meatballs and More $

Another place featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives (and on the Best of DD&D as well), Moochie's started out as a pottery gift shop. When they closed for remodeling during the 2002 Olympics, they moved the pottery to the back properties, and his wife (Moochie), originally from Philadelphia, opened a small kitchen. It took off, and has gotten rave reviews. Tony Luke's in Philly is run by Moochie's cousin.
Distance from hotel: 7.5 blocks
Oh Mai $

Vietnamese sandwich kitchen

This Vietnamese sandwich kitchen serves subs, soup, rice dishes and noodles. Their banh mi is perticularly delicious. Oh Mai has gotten rave reviews and appears on several top ten lists of places to eat in Salt Lake City. Oh Mai is another one of SLC's restaurants which appeared on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, although the restaurant in the show was their 3425 S State Street location.
Distance from hotel: 6 blocks
Pat's BBQ $$

Pat's BBQ offers award-winning ribs, pulled pork, chicken, burnt ends, and other southern comfort foods. It is yet another restaurant to appear on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. Pat's is regularly named the best BBQ in the city. Among my favorite menu selections is their smoked bbq meatloaf. The restaurant is obviously casual, and if you time it right, you may be entertained by a good ol' local band.
Distance from hotel: 3.2 miles
Ruth's Diner $$

Ruth's Diner has been open for 86 years, making it the second oldest restaurant in Utah. Housed in a converted Salt Lake trolley car, Ruth's serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. The menu is varied, the place is often crowded. Ruth's is yet another Salt Lake City restaurant featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.
Distance from hotel: 6.6 miles
The Red Iguana $

Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, The Red Iguana has won award after award for their "killer Mexican food". The restaurant serves over 700 people a day, and there's often a line. Stop by the restaurant which has been inducted into the Salt Lake City Restaurant Hall of Fame. (See also The Blue Iguana - Day #60)
Distance from hotel: 1.8 miles to The Red Iguana, 2.2 Miles to The Red Iguana 2, 1 block to Taste of Red Iguana (but try the first one)


Siegfried's Delicatessen $$

Siegfried's Delicatessen is a German deli that serves lunch and dinner. Enjoy genuine German food in a casual atmosphere. An open patio is available during the summer. They have a large selection of German beer and wine. The original owner opened the restaurant in 1971, and it is still the only German restaurant in Salt Lake City.
Distance from hotel: 1.5 blocks


Bombay House $$

Bombay House is Utah's most award-winning ethnic restaurant. The menu of fine Indian food is excellent, and the atmosphere is inviting. The restaurant is only open for dinner. Prices are very reasonable ($12-15 for most entrees), and a good vegetarian selection is available.
Distance from hotel:6.4 miles (though it is slightly quicker to take a longer route)


Caffe Molise $$

Caffé Molise is a full service restaurant featuring fresh Italian cuisine with a focus on regional specialties and local ingredients. Enjoy dinner surrounded by Utah art in the dining room or choose a table on the delightful garden patio. Friday evenings feature live jazz with the John Flander’s Trio. Dinner entrees run about $15, give or take. They feature an excellent wine list, and are open every day for lunch or dinner.
Distance from hotel: 2.5 blocks
Cucina Toscana $$$

Another Pioneer Park area location, you could conceivably have breakfast (Bruges Day #5), lunch (Tony Caputo Day #74) and dinner here and spend the rest of the day in the park. Cucina Toscana serves dinner only, and is rather pricey, but has some of the best Italian food in the state. It was a Diner's Choice winner in 2015. You should probably make reservations if you plan to eat here.
Distance from hotel: 5.5 blocks
Fresco Italian Cafe $$

Located a bit of a drive from the hotel, Fresco offers cozy dining inside, with a fireplace in the winter, as well as a comfortable patio during warmer months. As one local food critic remarked, “…around the corner the back of the store (King’s English), open a door and –like Lucy discovering the magic of Narnia in a wardrobe- you find yourself in one of the most enchanting restaurants in Salt Lake City.” Fresco is open evenings Monday through Saturday, and offers a marvelous menu at reasonable (but not cheap) prices, and an excellent selection of wines.
Distance from hotel: 4 miles
Valter's Osteria $$$

Valter's is a beautiful upscale Italian restaurant with authentic traditional food. The prices tend to match the elegant environment, but if you're looking for something special, this should do the trick.
Distance from hotel: 3.5 blocks

Italian, Greek, American

Tony Caputo's Market and Deli $

Best sandwiches in town

Tony Caputo's has won many local awards, including Best Hardcore Locavore, Best Sandwiches, Best Market, Best Deli, and Best Bang for Your Buck. It is Salt Lake City's leading purveyor of distinctive regional Italian and Southern European foods. Founded in 1997 in the heart of Salt Lake's historic Italian and Greek neighborhood, it is a regular stop for 'foodies,' lunch patrons, and cultural enthusiasts alike. Their signature sandwich, 'The Caputo,' was named best sandwich in America by FHM Magazine, and their meatball sandwich was picked as one of the top ten sandwiches in America by Unimited Magazine.
Distance from hotel: 5.5 blocks


Naked Fish Japanese Bistro $$

Naked Fish is an eco-friendly eatery, offering sustainable sushi, traditional fare and a big sake list, curated in-house by a certified Sake Sommelier. It's received 4.5 stars from Trip Advisor and Open Table. Highly recommended, and reservations may be made.
Distance from hotel: 3 blocks
Takashi $$

The very popular Takashi, located on Market Street in Downtown Salt Lake is known for its contemporary Japanese cuisine and serves sushi that competes with the best of San Francisco. Whether you're looking for a traditional roll or a deluxe chef's special, you'll find expert elegance and culinary genius on your plate. The Strawberry, Dragon and Imagine Rolls are favorite Specialty Rolls. In addition to traditional sushi, Takashi offers soups, salads, small plates, dinners, sashimi rolls and riceless treats (tuna talaki and spicy mussels). Be sure to check out the hot and cold sake list. If you don't arrive early, be prepared to wait or take the option to sit at the sushi bar. Ranked #4 out of over 1,200 restaurants on tripadvisor, it's easy to see why it can get crowded on any given night. Takashi is open for both lunch and dinner and closed on Sundays. Link is to Trip Advisor article.
Distance from hotel: 2.5 blocks
Takashi Restaurant


The Blue Iguana $

Salt Lake Folks like their iguanas in a variety of primary colors (See the Red Iguana - Day #8). While its differently-colored cousin is better known, the Blue Iguana also offers a large variety of scrumptious meals, at fairly low prices, and within easy walking distance of the hotel. They are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. [Note: the name is not an accident - the restaurant was purchased from the Red Iguana family in 1998.]
Distance from hotel: 1.5 blocks


Este Pizza $

NY Style pizza by the slice 1/2 block from hotel

By request, here's the lowdown on pizza in SLC. There are a fairly large number of pizza places nearby. Este Pizza is close (a half block east of the hotel) and serves NY style pizza by the slice. Settebello Pizzeria is 3.5 blocks away and serves Trip Advisor's highest rated pizza in Salt Lake. It's "awesome but pricey." The Pie Pizzeria - Underground serves made from scratch thick-crust pizza, and is located just west of the University area. The already-mentioned Beerhive Pub (Day #63) has highly rated pizza as well. Essentially, whatever kind of pizza floats your boat, you can find it here.
Distance from hotel: varies
Trip Advisor Pizza SLC
Settebello Pizzeria $$

3.5 blocks away and serves Trip Advisor's highest rated pizza in Salt Lake. It's "awesome but pricey."

By request, here's the lowdown on pizza in SLC. There are a fairly large number of pizza places nearby. Este Pizza is close (a half block east of the hotel) and serves NY style pizza by the slice. Settebello Pizzeria is 3.5 blocks away and serves Trip Advisor's highest rated pizza in Salt Lake. It's "awesome but pricey." The Pie Pizzeria - Underground serves made from scratch thick-crust pizza, and is located just west of the University area. The already-mentioned Beerhive Pub (Day #63) has highly rated pizza as well. Essentially, whatever kind of pizza floats your boat, you can find it here.
Distance from hotel: varies
Trip Advisor Pizza SLC
The Pie Pizzeria $

Underground serves made from scratch thick-crust pizza, and is located just west of the University area.

By request, here's the lowdown on pizza in SLC. There are a fairly large number of pizza places nearby. Este Pizza is close (a half block east of the hotel) and serves NY style pizza by the slice. Settebello Pizzeria is 3.5 blocks away and serves Trip Advisor's highest rated pizza in Salt Lake. It's "awesome but pricey." The Pie Pizzeria - Underground serves made from scratch thick-crust pizza, and is located just west of the University area. The already-mentioned Beerhive Pub (Day #63) has highly rated pizza as well. Essentially, whatever kind of pizza floats your boat, you can find it here.
Distance from hotel: varies
Trip Advisor Pizza SLC


Market Street Grill and Oyster Bar $$

Since 1980, the Market Street Grill has been rated as Utah's most popular seafood restaurant, providing exceptional service and award-winning menu selections. Bustling waiters and exhibition kitchens contribute to a sparkling high-energy atmosphere where the best seafood between Seattle and Boston is served in an expansive variety of contemporary dishes.
Distance from hotel: 3 blocks

Small plate

Eva $$

Eva has a tapas-style dining menu, with a great variety of small-plate dishes to share. It also features not-so-small dishes, craft cocktails, a hand-picked wine list, and desserts from their bakery just up the street. (Day #50) "We are a small restaurant with big flavors. When asked what kind of food we serve, we have to pause and think. "Comfort food." "Delicious food." "Slightly Mediterranean." "Pizza and other stuff." "New American eclectic." To be honest, we're not totally sure. We just care that it's good."
Distance from hotel: 2.5 blocks

Tasting menus

Forage $$$
Forage SLC Exterior 2
Forage offers more of a dining experience than just a meal. Dinner consists of a multi-course tasting menu, currently $89 per person. A smaller 3-course meal may be available. As of August, 2015, the menu includesiblack current leaf and frozen tomato, burned eggplant, corn and broth, smoked trout with peach and peach wood oil, cucumber and marinated beef with borage, crispy shallot, turnips with sunflower and roasted chicken sauce, beets with amaranth and elm seed oil, duck egg pierogi, goat with fava beans, green tomato, and sprouted rye, blueberry and yogurt, and plums with plum kernel. You should set aside about 2.5 hours for the visit.

Distance from hotel: 1.4 miles


Chanon Thai Cafe $

Voted best hot/spicy food in 2012, the Chanon Thai Cafe is extremely popular, and offers traditional Thai dishes. It tends to be fairly crowded at dinner time. Both lunch and dinner menus offer most items at less than $10 (lunches are closer to $5-7). The reviews for the restaurant are generally outstanding. If you're looking sor good spicy food, this could be a good stop.
Distance from hotel: 9 blocks


La Caille $$$$

probably most expensive on this list, but amazing

Located in Sandy, Utah, La Caille is an experience. Peacocks and bunnies wander the grounds, which include a vineyard. Meals are exquisite, so prepare to open your wallet. This is a favorite place for weddings and other celebrations. Reservations are most definitely needed. All that said, the food is remarkable. If you're willing to sell your firstborn to pay for a meal, you can't do better than this in the Salt Lake area.
Distance from hotel: 18 miles

Outside SLC



Amusement Park, Great for younger attendees

Lagoon is a fun amusement park, full of rides and attractions. It's located just a bit north of Salt Lake City. It opened in 1886 as Lake Park, and moved in 1899 to Farmington, Utah, where its first thrill ride was added - Shoot-the-Chutes (boats sliding down a ramp into water). The carousel was added in 1906 and still operates today. A roller coaster which reached heights of 60 feet, and speeds of 45 mph was added in 1921. In 1965, the park's leader successfully fought ordinances that banned African-Americans from parts of the park. A pioneer village was added in 1976, and in 1983 the roller coaster 'Colossus the Fire Dragon' was added. 1989 saw the opening of an extensive water park. Most recently (2015), Lagoon introduced 'Cannibal' with a 208-foot tower, 116-degree inverted dive, and speeds of 70 mph.
Distance from hotel: 17 miles
Utah Olympic Park

Lots to do. Site of 2002 Olympics. Great for younger attendees

Located outside of Park City (Day #57), the Utah Olympic Park is a really fun way to spend a day! There are ample activities available, from zip lines, a bobsled run, several adventure courses, a drop tower, Alpine slide, and more. If you get there early, you'll avoid many of the lines. It's a memorable way to spend a beautiful sunny Utah summer day!
Distance from hotel: 27 miles


Golden Spike National Historic Site

Site of the Trancontinental Railroad completion

The location where the Union and Central Pacific Railroads merged to become the Transcontinental Railroad is at Promontory Summit, Utah. You can view replica trains, and enjoy the visitor center and bookstore. If you continue a bit further down the same route, you'll also find the Spiral Jetty (Day #56)
Distance from hotel: about 90 miles

Local Favorite

Park City, Utah

Home of Sundance Film Festival and many places of interest

The skiing venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics, Park City also plays host to the Sundance Film Festival every January. Park City boasts over 150 restaurants, a number of resorts, and a lot of fun stores and shops. The Utah Olympic Park (Day #19) is here as well. Park City is the kind of place where celebrities and notables have a second home, but you don't have to spend much to really enjoy the place. It's an easy hop from Salt Lake, and a lot of fun!
Distance from hotel: 32 miles
Springville, Utah

Full of sculpture

Less than an hour's drive from Salt Lake City is the town of Springville. Known as Art City, the downtown area is dotted with sculptures. The Springville Museum of Art is Utah's oldest visual arts museum, dating from 1937.
Every May, Springville hosts the annual Indian Festival of Utah also in Spring Acres Arts Park, the state's only cultural event devoted to East Indian, Pakistani, and South Asian communities across the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. Formerly held in nearby Spanish Fork, it represents the small but thriving Indian American and South Asian American communities of northern Utah.
Art City Days, held each year in early June, is one of the first city celebrations of the summer season in Utah Valley. Residents of the area join in a variety of activities to celebrate their community and its history, as well as the warmer weather. Activities include a parade, carnival, hot air balloons, contests, rodeo, sporting events, and fireworks.

Springville is also home to the Springville World Folkfest - a week-long celebration of folk dance and music held in late July at the outdoor amphitheater in the Spring Acres Arts Park. Each year folk dance groups travel from around the world to participate in this festival. Folkfest performers are housed by host families in the Springville area.
Distance from hotel: 50 miles


Crandall Historical Printing Museum

Only full-size demonstration of a Gutenberg printing press

Located in Provo, Utah, the museum is billed as 'the most complete printing museum in the world.' You may participate in demonstrations of various printing technology, including a full model of the original Gutenberg press, one of the only such demonstrations available anywhere. They are open daily from 10-2 and by appointment. This is definitely one of those places you won't quite find elsewhere.
Distance from hotel: 45.5 miles
Idaho Potato Museum

Giant baked potato, lots of fun

Especially selected for Wrybosh, but open to everyone who cares about potatoes, the Idaho Potato Museum is located in Blackfoot, Idaho. The museum is a converted railway station, and is, among other things, home to the world's largest collection of handheld potato mashers. Through videos, displays of equipment and vehicles, and professionally crafted informational panels, the history of potato cultivation is presented in detail. Don't miss the display of Mr. Potato Heads! Bonus - the gift shop has a free gift for all non-Idaho residents, or as they say, "Taters for Out-of-Staters!" Consider combining this with a visit to Pocatello's Museum of Clean (Day #108).
Distance from hotel: 190 miles
Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

Walk-through tunnel surrounded by sharks. Great for younger attendees

The Aquarium features 2,500 animals of 450 species. There are four galleries: Ocean Explorer, Journey to South America, Discover Utah, and Antarctic Adventure. The 136,000 square foot space includes a 300,000 gallon shark tank with a walk-through tunnel, a four-story high rainforest gallery, and a banquet room with a floor-to-ceiling window into the shark tank. This is really a gem! If you have time, it should not be missed!
Distance from hotel: 19 miles
Thanksgiving Point

Dinosaurs! Great for younger attendees

Located in Lehi, Utah, Thanksgiving Point is fun for all ages. The Museum of Ancient Life features a stunning display of dinosaurs found in Utah. The Ashton Gardens has 55 acres of beautiful landscape as well as the largest man-made waterfall in the western hemisphere. The Museum of Natural Curiosity has over 400 interactive experiences. Farm Country gives you the chance to feed and pet a variety of animals, and learn what it's like to be a farmer. About ten miles to the east is the Timpanogos Cave National Monument (Day #70), so it might be fun to visit both.
Distance from hotel: 26 miles
The Museum of Clean

Unique place in my home town

Let's finish off this blog with a gem from my hometown of Pocatello, Idaho. Don Aslett's Museum of Clean is a multi-story testimony to the history of cleaning, and to the machines developed to do the job. Creating this museum was a labor of love for Aslett, whose extremely successful cleaning products business has allowed him the financial wherewithal to create this unique and impressive place. A visit here would be well-paired with a trip to the Idaho Potato Museum (Day #17).
Distance from hotel: 162 miles

National Park

Arches National Park

Delicate Arch, shown above, is just one of over 2,000 natural stone arches and balanced giant rocks. The park is located just outside of Moab, Utah and is the second of the five National Parks in Utah on this list. It would be a great spot to visit before or after Con. In July, the park will be pretty warm, so hydration is a must!
Distance from hotel: 230 miles
Bryce Canyon National Park

There is no place like Bryce Canyon. Hoodoos (odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion) can be found worldwide, but this is the largest collection of hoodoos in the world. Photos do not do it justice. It will be warm in summer, but it is worth the adventure if you have time before or after Con, as it is only a few hours from SLC. This is probably a good time to mention that most highway speed limits in this part of the country are 80 MPH. You can make good time.
Distance from hotel: 273 miles
Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands, the third of Utah's five National Parks on this list, invites you to explore a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Rivers divide the park into four districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the rivers themselves. These areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, but each offers different opportunities for sightseeing and adventure.
Distance from hotel: 242 miles
Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef is the last of Utah's five National Parks on this list. Originally named a National Monument in 1937, and designated a National Park in 1971, Capitol Reef features a nearly 100 mile long upthrust formation called the Waterpocket Fold, a rocky spine extending from Thousand Lake Mountain to Lake Powell. Capitol Reef is the name of a particularly rugged and spectacular section of the Fold by the Fremont River.The park was named for a line of cliffs of white Navajo sandstone with dome formations, similar to domes placed on capitol buildings.
Distance from hotel: 235 miles
Grand Teton National Park

This is the famous Ansel Adams photo of the Tetons and the Snake River. I've stood at this point on several occasions. The trees in the foreground are taller now, blocking some of the view. Still, it's breathtaking. A variety of wildlife can be see hereabout, including moose, elk, pronghorn sheep (antelope) and more.A bald eagle soared by last time we visited. Grand Teton is located just north of Jackson, WY which is worth a stop in and of itself. Again, while it is a little far from SLC, it is still reachable in only a few hours, and is a great place to visit before or after Con.
Distance from hotel: 315 miles
Great Basin National Park

Established as a National Park in 1986, Great Basin is located in Nevada, just west of the Utah border. The park derives its name from the dry and mpuntainous region between the Sierra Nevada and the Wasatch Mountains. It is notable for its groves of ancient bristlecone pines, and for the Lehman Caves at the base of 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak. The park offers excellent camping and hiking.
Distance from hotel: 248 miles
Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful is probably the most iconic image of Yellowstone, but is way down on the list of 'WOW' that you'll see here. Yellowstone is a place that takes several days to fully appreciate. The wildlife is as spectacular as the landscape. On our last trip there we saw bison, mule deer, wolves, bighorn sheep, otters, a bald eagle, and more. It's the farthest from Salt Lake of any place on this list, but it's still reachable in half a day. It is an excellent place to visit either before or after Con.
Distance from hotel: 350 miles
Zion National Park

Located in the southwestern portion of the state, Zion is the most distant of Utah's five national parks, but among the most beautiful. Opportunities for spectacular drives and hikes abound. Zion was Utah's first National Park, established in 1919. While a day trip to Zion migh be a bit of a stretch from Salt Lake City, spending some time here either before or after Con is highly recommended!
Distance from hotel: 309 miles


Antelope Island State Park

Yeah, those aren't antelope. I know. You can hike, mountain bike or horseback ride the park’s back country trails for spectacular views of lake and island scenery; stroll along sandy beaches and take a dip in the lake’s salty waters or step back in time with a visit to the Historic Fielding Garr Ranch. Antelope Island is home to free-ranging bison, mule deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn (antelope), and many other desert animals. Millions of birds congregate along the shores surrounding the island, offering unparalleled opportunities for birding.
Distance from hotel: 47 miles
Big Cottonwood Canyon

This 15-mile scenic byway takes about one hour round trip. From the main road, this canyon narrows almost immediately into dramatic alpine scenery. This 15-mile drive provides access to excellent hiking, fishing, picnicking, rock climbing, and camping. During the mid-1800s, Old West miners sought their fortune in gold and silver ore here. Remnants of old mines can be spotted from trails winding up the slopes. The Canyon is located in the Uintah-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
Distance from hotel: 17 miles
Big Cottonwood Canyon
Bonneville Salt Flats

Land speed records set here

Managed by the BLM as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern and Special Recreation Management Area, the Bonneville Salt Flats are a 30,000 acre expanse of hard, white salt crust on the western edge of the Great Salt Lake basin in Utah. "Bonneville" is also on the National Register of Historic Landmarks because of its contribution to land speed racing. The salt flats are about 12 miles long and 5 miles wide with total area coverage of just over 46 square miles. Near the center of the salt, the crust is almost 5 feet thick in places, with the depth tapering off to less than 1 inch as you get to the edges. Total salt crust volume has been estimated at 147 million tons or 99 million cubic yards of salt! The Bonneville Salt Flats are comprised of approximately 90% common table salt.
Distance from hotel: 111 miles (straight west on I-80)
Craters of the Moon National Monument

Huge area of lava flow. Stunning landscapes

Craters of the Moon is a National Monument located in the Snake River plain in central Idaho. The Monument encompasses three major lava fields, all of which lie along the Great Rift of Idaho with some of the best examples of open rift cracks in the world, including the deepest known on Earth at 800 feet. There are excellent examples of almost every variety of basaltic lava, as well as tree molds, lava tubes, and many other volcanic structures. On the way to Craters, you'll pass Arco, Idaho, the first city in the world to be electrically lit solely by nuclear power. One caution - since the landscape is a deep black, the summer sun will make this location very warm. Prepare accordingly.
Distance from hotel: 262 miles
Logan Canyon

Logan Canyon cuts through the Bear River Mountains, a branch of the Wasatch Range. It is an excellent location for camping, hiking, rock climbing and fishing. The trail has a vertical climb of 2900 feet, cresting at 7800 feet. The trail runs from Logan to Garden City in Utah. US Route 89 has been designated a National Scenic Byway, and runs through the canyon. It connects the Cache and Bear Lake Valleys. Along the trail, you will find the Wind Caves, and China Wall.
Distance from hotel: 85 miles
Shoshone Falls

Second largest US waterfall only to Niagara

Located just outside of Twin Falls, Idaho, Shoshone Falls is often called 'The Niagara of the West.' The falls are on the Snake River and are 45 feet higher than Niagara. There is a park with several scenic overlooks nearby. The rim is almost 1000 feet wide. During the summer, the flow is somewhat smaller, as some water is diverted to irrigation and hydroelectric power. There are also several overlooks into the Snake River Canyon, including one near the highway turnoff. Evel Kneivel's attempt to jump the canyon took place fairly close to here.
Distance from hotel: 218 miles
Shoshone Falls
Spiral Jetty

Spiral Jetty is an earthwork sculpture constructed in April 1970 that is considered to be the central work of American sculptor Robert Smithson. Smithson documented the construction of the sculpture in a 32-minute color film also titled Spiral Jetty.

Built on the northeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake near Rozel Point in Utah entirely of mud, salt crystals, basalt rocks and water, Spiral Jetty forms a 1,500-foot-long, 15-foot-wide counterclockwise coil jutting from the shore of the lake. The water level of the lake varies with precipitation in the mountains surrounding the area, revealing the jetty in times of drought and submerging it during times of normal precipitation.

Originally black basalt rock against ruddy water, Spiral Jetty is now largely white against pink due to salt encrustation. Smithson reportedly chose the Rozel Point site based on the blood-red color of the water and its connection with the primordial sea. The red hue of the water is due to the presence of salt-tolerant bacteria and algae that thrive in the extreme 27 percent salinity of the lake's north arm, which was isolated from fresh water sources by the building of a causeway by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1959.
If you plan to visit the Golden Spike National Historic Site (Day #15), the Spiral Jetty is simply a bit further along the same route.
Distance from hotel: 102 miles
Timpanogos Cave National Monument

Great for younger attendees

What's it like inside Mt. Timpanogos? Take a Ranger-guided tour through three caves and discover the power of water, minerals, and time. Hike your way past stunning vistas to explore a hidden underground world. Enjoy the thrill of caving as you twist and bend to enter a variety of beautiful rooms. It's the same exit as Thanksgiving Point (Day #35) so it might be fun to combine the two.
Distance from hotel: 35 miles

Contact Information

If it is absolutely necessary to contact con host Lirath by phone, rather than in person, as Lirath puts it, "in case of dire peril", here is his contact information:
Lirath (Eric Suess):
Cellular: 586-215-5166