Salt Lake City, home to the Salt Lake Temple, will host the 2019 JACL National Convention.
Salt Lake City, home to this year’s JACL National Convention, offers a vibrant city scene and breathtaking sites for all to enjoy.
By 2019 JACL National Convention Committee
Welcome to Salt Lake City! We hope that while you are here for the 2019 JACL National Convention, you’ll also take the time to visit and explore our beautiful and vibrant city that we call home.
Salt Lake City is not a large metropolitan area, but it offers a unique blend of nature and urban living. The Wasatch Mountains provide a beautiful backdrop for downtown Salt Lake and the surrounding area. People of all different backgrounds call this city their home. Indeed, Salt Lake is growing rapidly — in fact, it’s the fastest-growing city in the country, adding around 400,000 residents in the past decade alone. As the city grows, so, too, does the cultural diversity of the people living here.
Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah, as well as the most populous city in the state. Prior to the 19th century, the Salt Lake Valley had been home to numerous indigenous tribes for thousands of years, including the Ute tribe, from which the state gets its name.
The first Westerners to settle in the valley were Mormon pioneers, who sought to establish a community in which they could practice their religion without persecution or threat of violence. It would take some time, but eventually, Utah achieved statehood in 1896, with Salt Lake City serving as the capital.W
Salt Lake City has a rich cultural history and is home to diverse communities. As the city and state rapidly grow, both are becoming popular travel destinations. Salt Lake City is made up of a variety of neighborhoods — the avenues to the north, the East bench and Sugarhouse in the south. All of these neighborhoods are growing fast and provide snapshots into life in the city.
We look forward to those coming to Salt Lake City for the 2019 JACL National Convention. We hope your time in Salt Lake City is memorable — we are proud of our home, our heritage, our history.
During your stay, we’ve put together places of interest and our most popular picks for the best food in town — we hope you’ll have the opportunity to see and try them all while at convention. Please note that distances are from the Little America Hotel, our host hotel. Enjoy!
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Temple Square (0.8 miles)
Temple Square (located at 50 N. Temple) is set in the heart of the city. Although it is a religious site, owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many visit its 10-acre grounds simply for its sheer beauty. If you have the chance, walking through Temple Square at night or in the daytime is sure to be a breathtaking experience.
Located within the grounds is the Salt Lake Temple, the largest Mormon temple in the world. Nearly 3 million-5 million visitors come here each year, making it the most popular attraction in the state, drawing more crowds than all five national state parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Zion) combined.
Admission is free, and tours are available daily in more than 40 languages. You can book a tour online or download a free planning guide at http://www.templesquare.com/tour/.
In addition, the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir holds an hourlong practice on Thursday evenings, which is open to the public.
Temple Square is located in-between South and North Temple, on Main Street. There is a UTA TRAX station on Main Street to the east of the Little America Hotel, where you can take the Blue Line north all the way to the City Creek station — and you will have arrived at your destination!
The Gateway (1.5 miles)
The Gateway (located at 400 W. 100 South) is a large, open-air retail mall connected to the old Union Pacific Railroad station. Gateway is home to Dave and Busters, Megaplex Theaters, Wiseguys Comedy Club and shopping stores including Bath & Body Works, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and the Walking Company.
For those with children, Discovery Gateway and the Clark Planetarium are perfect places for kids to explore indoors, out of the heat. On the plaza, kids love to play in the outdoor water fountains synchronized to music.
The UTA TRAX Green or Blue Line will get you there, or you can drive. There is a free one-hour parking garage on the premises.
City Creek Center (0.9 miles)
City Creek Center Shopping Mall (located at 50 E. Main St.), found in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, is the most modern and popular mall in the Valley. Apple, Coach, Michael Kors, Lululemon, Nordstrom and Tiffany & Co. are but a sampling of the stores at this premier shopping center in Utah.
Among popular eateries are Blue Lemon, Brio Tuscan Cafe, Cheesecake Factory, Johnny Rockets, Nordstrom’s Café and Texas de Brazil Churrascaria.
City Creek is situated just south of Temple Square. We recommend you take the UTA TRAX Blue Line to get here.
The National History Museum of Utah and Utah Museum of Fine Arts (4.0 miles)
Both of these museums are located on the campus of the University of Utah. The Natural History Museum (located at 301 S. Wakara Way) is a great way for visitors to appreciate the rich, natural history of the Valley and the state. Be sure to check out its latest exhibition, “Yellowstone: Invisible Boundaries,” which will be open during your convention stay.
Meanwhile, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (located at 410 S. Campus Center Dr.) provides a look into the cultural and visual arts aspects of the city. There is free parking for the Natural History Museum, but not for the Museum of Fine Arts.
We recommend driving to both locations. However, you can take the UTA TRAX Red Line to the University of Utah campus and use the campus shuttle or walk to both locations from the school.
Downtown Farmer’s Market (0.7 miles)
The Downtown Farmer’s Market (located at Pioneer Park at 300 W. 300 South) is one of the longest-running and largest markets of its kind in the country. Nearly 10,000 patrons, sometimes as many as 15,000, come each week during the summer.
A mix of vendors from more than 100 farms and ranches come from as far away as 250 miles of Salt Lake City to bring customers the best and freshest fruits, vegetables, home-baked bread and pastries, crafts, honey, candles and much more.
During the summer, the market is open on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and Tuesday evenings from 4 p.m.-dusk.
BARS AND NIGHT LIFE
Contrary to many people’s perception, Utah is not a dry state. Salt Lake City has a vibrant nightlife. There are various bars scattered throughout the Valley, though most are concentrated in the downtown area. Many of the bars are within walking distance of each other, which makes experiencing the city’s nightlife much easier than in other cities.
One of our favorite bars is within walking distance of the convention venue — the Bayou (located at 645 S. State St.) is a Cajun restaurant featuring more than 400 beers, including local brews.
Purgatory is also within walking distance (located at 62 E. 700 South), and it features a cool vibe and great burgers. Additionally, there are a multitude of nearby bars and clubs located on the TRAX Line or walking distance on Main Street in between 100 South and 400 South.
Some great spots are the Beerhive, Good Grammar, Gracies, the Green Pig, Whiskey Street and White Horse.
HIKING AND BIKING
As mentioned before, one of the most unique aspects of living in Salt Lake City is its proximity to nature. There are several biking and hiking trails within 15 minutes of the heart of downtown.
Local trails including Ensign Peak, the Living Room hike and the Bonneville shoreline trail are just a few of the many options available. Ranging from beginning trails to those for the most advanced, all offer a close-up look at the natural beauty of the state.
For more information on hiking and biking trails in Salt Lake City, visit https://utah.com/hiking/salt-lake.
PLACES TO EAT
There are various fast-food restaurants in the vicinity of downtown, but if you are looking for somewhere to sit down and hang out, the following are our top picks.
Bruges Waffles and Frites (0.7 miles)
Bruges (located at 336 W. 300 South) offers authentic Belgian waffles and cuisine. Bruges is also a cheap, delicious option for those who don’t want to spend a lot on dining out. The space is a little small, but there are numerous seating options around the restaurant. Bruges is located right next door to Caputo’s. Again, we recommend that you either walk or drive.
Caputo’s Market and Deli (0.7 miles)
Caputo’s (located at 308 W. 300 South) is an Italian deli offering a variety of specialty sandwiches. Along with the deli, Caputo’s is also a market that specializes in European cuisine and groceries. There is a multitude of free and paid parking around Caputo’s. We recommend driving to get there, though it is not a tremendously long walk if you are feeling up to it.
Koyo (7.3 miles)
This restaurant (located at 2275 E. 3300 South) is a little out of the way, but it is one of our favorite Japanese restaurants in town! Koyo has been a family owned and operated restaurant since 1976, and it serves traditional and modern Japanese cuisine. Koyo is about a 15-minute drive from Little America, but it is well worth the distance to get there.
Market Street Grill (0.4 miles)
Market Street Grill (located at 48 W. Market St.) is one of the most recognizable restaurants in the city. Although it offers a wide range of cuisines, it is most well known for its fresh seafood. Prices can be fairly expensive, but the food is amazing and well worth it. We recommend walking, as there is not much free parking around the restaurant.
Takashi (0.4 miles)
Takashi (located at 18 W. Market St.) is a sushi bar that serves a variety of signature rolls and sake. Along with sushi, Takashi offers a wide selection of modern Japanese dishes. Takashi is very close to Market Street Grill, and it is recommended that you walk due to limited free parking.
And here’s a few other delectable dining options nearby:
Chedda Burger (located at 26 E. 600 South), is right around the corner. Pretty Bird (located at 146 Regent St.) focuses on Nashville-style fried-chicken sandwiches and platters. For those looking for some of the very best sandwiches, choose the Robin’s Nest (located at 311 S. Main St.). And last but certainly not least, R & R BBQ (located at 307 W. 600 South) is a local favorite for delicious beef brisket, ribs, chicken and more!
VISIT SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL UTAH!
For those who have extra time, we encourage you to extend your stay and visit the southern reaches of the state. Depending on where you go, the drive will be around three-four hours. Utah boasts five National Parks. The most popular destinations in Southern and Central Utah are Arches National Park, Goblin Valley National Park and Zion National Park. Some of Utah’s most-famous tourist destinations are in this area, and the trip is certainly worth it!
We are looking forward to welcoming you all to Utah next month. Don’t forget to register for the 2019 National Convention! Early Bird Registration ends June 20. Please visit https://www.convention2019.jacl.org/ for more information. See you all there!