Salt Lake City

A vibrant community, Salt Lake City impresses many first-time visitors. The 2002 Winter Olympics helped put Salt Lake City on the map, and the many world-class ski resorts, nature reserves, and state parks in the area make this a year-round destination. It’s no surprise there’s also a growing gay population, part of a more liberal and urban blue/Democrat enclave within an otherwise very red/Republican state.

The city is a lot less dominated by the Mormon Church than elsewhere in Utah, but liquor laws here are strict, and taverns and lounges sell beer only. For mixed drinks there are “private membership” clubs where you can buy a two-week membership card or get someone to “sponsor” you at the door.

 

Getting here

Salt Lake City International Airport is about 7 miles northwest of downtown. If you’re going to be doing a lot of driving, rent a car there. If not, taxis are reasonably priced, and many hotels provide free shuttle services.

Amtrak trains also head to Salt Lake City, with arrivals at the Salt Lake Central (Intermodal Hub), at 340 South 600 West. Greyhound Lines intercity buses arrive nearby, and there are easy connections to local UTA bus services.
 

Getting around

Salt Lake City has great public transportation. The light rail and city bus systems can get you around with a minimum of fuss. See UTA for online information about routes, schedules and fares. There are also taxis in the downtown area.

 

Media and Resources

Q Salt Lake Magazine is the leading gay news and events listings website.

City Weekly is the local alternative paper, with general listings, events and reviews.

The Utah Pride Center (255 East 400 South, Suite 200) is the state’s gay community resource, also the organizers of Pride each June. 

Drag shows and pageants are popular, and the Royal Court of the Golden Spike Empire (RCGS) holds their annual coronation each Memorial Day Weekend.

The Sundance Film Festival has screenings each January in Park City, Utah; and for information on the Utah Gay Ski Week each February, also in Park City, see their website.

Visit Salt Lake is a useful general tourism website, with hotel, restaurant and recreation information, plus events listings.

For map locations and website links to the businesses listed below, and more, see our gay Salt Lake City listings pages.

 

Accommodations

Hotel Monaco (15 W 200 South; 801 595-0000), downtown boutique hotel, refurbished landmark 14-story building, special gay package deals; Bambara Restaurant New American Bistro dining.

Peery Hotel (110 W Broadway; 801 521-4300) Victorian-era buillding, boutique-style services, gym, in-room spa, gay-friendly vibe; near restaurants, theaters, bars and clubs.

Svea Hotel (720 E Ashton Ave; 801 832-0970), restored 1890 Victorian, generous in-room breakfast, near shops, restaurants, attractions.

For more lodgings suggestions, see our hotel & guesthouses map listings.
 

Going Out
In the midst of a generally conservative society, gay people of all kinds mingle in ways you don't often see in more liberal parts of the country. Men and women, straights and gays, and all races and ages hang together a little easier here.

Area 51 (451 S 400 West), straight dance club with "gorgeous freaks" and alternative vibe, monthly fetish party.

Circuit at Sky (49 W Pierpont Ave), gay Friday dance nights by Paul Sanchez, DJs play Hip-Hop, Top 40, and Dance music; live performances, national artists, drag shows, sexy male go-go dancers. Formerly One80 at Club 50 West.

Club Karamba (1051 E 2100 South), weekend Latin dance club, Sunday gay nights, drag shows, sexy male go-go dancers.

Club Try- Angles (251 W 900 South) lively mix of bears and other folks, weekend DJ dancing, smoking patio, BBQ Bingo, underwear parties, Leather Gear nights.

Kween at In The Venue (219 S 600 W), Friday night by Paul Sanchez, with young 18+ gay/mixed dancing on huge dance floor, foam and other theme parties; replaces previous nights known as Hydrate, then Gossip.

Jam (751 N 300 West), neighborhood LGBT bar, outdoor patio, karaoke, food, liquor, wine and beer. "fierce" drag shows. Missionary Position Conference Weekend Party, held each first weekend of April and October.

Metro Bar (615 W 100 S), mixed "alternative club" lounge and dance club, rock/hip hop/house, live music; gay nights play Progressive House EDM and Top 40 Dance music.

Off Trax (259 W 900 South), daytime cafe, reopens 1am on weekends as after-hours club next to Club Try-Angles; WIFI, games, pool table, jukebox, Sunday brunch.

The Moose Lounge (180 W 400 S), mainstream weekend lounge and dance club.

Sun Trapp (102 S 600 West), regular guys, cheap beer, sports, back patio, jukebox, country-western ambience, DJ/VJs, Wii games, WiFi.

Tavernacle (201 E 300 South), gay and straight men/women mix, piano bar, dueling piano shows, bingo karaoke.

CLOSED: Paper Moon (3737 S State St), women's weekend dance club, karaoke, pool table, open mic, shows, games.

See our list of theaters & performance venues and museums at our map listings pages.

 

Restaurants

Cafe Med (420 E 3300 South), Mediterranean/Greek specialties, Sunday brunch, breakfast burritos, steak and eggs; vegetarian or vegan options.

Cedars of Lebanon (152 E 200 South) weekend belly dancers, vegetarian-friendly menu.

Finn's Restaurant (1624 South 1100 East), outdoor summer patio, big breakfasts, lunch, soups, salads and sandwiches; sourdough breads and pastries.

Market Street Grill (48 W Market St), fine seafood restaurant in Salt Lake Hotel, steaks; also breakfast, lunch, popular Sunday brunch.

Mestizo Coffeehouse (631 W North Temple), coffees, WiFi, art, open mic nights, spoken-word performances, jam sessions.

Mo's American Diner (1280 South 300 West), breakfast all day, lunch and dinner all day; sandwiches, burgers, pizza, soups and salads.

New Yorker Club (60 Market St), award-winning American cuisine, great steaks, to-die-for soufflés, elegant vibe, excellent service.

Off Trax (251 W 900 South), daytime internet café, salad bar, large patio, pool games; weekend breakfasts after the bars close.

Red Iguana (736 W North Temple), all-regions of Mexico flavors, tasty burritos to smoldering mole sauces.

Sage's Cafe (234 West 900 South), City Weekly's best vegetarian restaurant, new location, breakfast to dinner, organic food and wine, open every day.

Tin Angel Cafe (365 W 400 South) bistro fare, fresh sandwiches, tasty salads, live music, local art, wireless internet.

See these and more restaurants at our map listings pages.

- Updated April 2016