Last but not least, for the final sha-bang of our grand adventure out west we hit up Salt Lake City!  The funny part about this stop is that we hadn't actually planned on it.  As we were in midst of planning and picking up suggestions from family who live out west who visit the Yellowstone area often, this little detour happened and we are so thankful that it did.

This trip was all about family and the extras were a huge bonus!  Dave's cousin suggested that we stay with her family at the tail end of our trip to visit more and check out Salt Lake City.  They are pretty awesome, and getting to spend extra time with them checking out SLC sounded great, but our flights had been booked prior to this conversation and we were scheduled to fly out on Saturday. 

We reached out to a friend who is a flight attendant, and once we told her we were flying Southwest she gave us the best advice to call and see if we could change our flight to Sunday.  Who knew this would have been so easy?  Southwest was amazing in the process of switching flights.

Southwest was extremely flexible and the only cost involved in switching is if the flight you are changing to is more expensive.  Then you are left to simply pay the difference, which is completely fair.  I think we actually ended up with a dollar credit per flight.

Southwest might have lost a bag on our way there, but we got to check two bags each (for free) and they were great with switching our flight.  Shoutout to Southwest for being awesome!  Thanks to you, we got to explore Salt Lake City with the best tour guides around.

There are strong Morman ties in Dave's mom's side of the family who was born in Provo, Utah.  Dave hadn't had the opportunity to visit Utah while growing up, so this was a special part of the trip for him to learn more about where she came from.  Maybe one day we'll actually make it to Provo?

The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints is huge in the Salt Lake area.  In fact, their entire city center is located around the historic Temple Square.  This area is Utah's most visited attraction.  We had great tour guides to show us all around, but there are complimentary tours offered as well.

We loved walking through this area and learning about all of the history.  It's truly an amazing space that we would encourage everyone to visit.  We learned that a stop to Temple Square is not complete without visiting Lion House Pantry and getting some of their dinner rolls and butter.   

Lion House is a cafeteria-style eatery that serves home-style cooking in the 19th-century home of Brigham Young.  Super cool!  We enjoyed the rolls as an appetizer while exploring and taking in all of the views.  There were gorgeous flowers everywhere we looked.

The Church is also responsible for one of the nation's largest mixed-use downtown redevelopment projects.  Right in the heart of Salt Lake City lies City Creek Center, a retail centerpiece.  This area is so unique in the fact that the Church was responsible for giving life back to the downtown area.

The space is one-of-a-kind and features a retractable glass roof, a creek that runs through the property and a pedestrian sky-bridge. The Center holds tons of fashion and dining destinations.  Another fun fact is that nothing in this space is open on Sundays and no alcohol is served at any of the restaurants.  

We believe we had the very best accommodations in the Salt Lake area, not to mention the cutest little hostesses.  I mean, look these precious towels! Ah, fun design and a hand-written note!

If you're staying in the downtown area, the recommendation we received was Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City.  This spot is a Kimpton hotel, and if it's anything like the Kimpton properties we have stayed at before, we figure we'd be quick to suggest the hotel to those visiting SLC as well.

After exploring downtown, we checked out Beer Hive Pub to grab a drink.  They had a great list of local and draft beers.  The pub is cozy and features elegant, vintage decor.  We sat at a table together, but if you're sitting at the bar there is a huge ice strip to set your drink on to keep it cold... brilliant!

After grabbing a drink, it was time for dinner so we stopped at Whiskey Street Cocktails & Dining.  The atmosphere was really neat and had a vintage-chic lounge feel.  The menu featured all kinds of imaginative American fare along with an extensive beer and whiskey selection.

We finished our stay with a great brunch on Sunday morning at a local place in their neighborhood before flying back to Nashville late that afternoon.  We were so thankful that we switched our flight home from Saturday to Sunday.  Our trip just wouldn't have been the same without getting to spend this sweet time together.   The second we left, we were already missing them (and the dogs).

We seriously had the best time with Dave's cousin and her family.  They are such awesome people and their girls are truly something special.  Smart, sassy and sweet.  They both have such big things ahead in life.  It was the very best way to end our wonderful adventure out west.  We started the trip with family and ended the trip with family which was absolutely perfect.  We can't thank them enough for our time together and hope we get to host them in Kentucky sometime soon.
Salt Lake City is not a drinking friendly town.  If you want a strong beer, order a bottle or a can.  State law prohibits selling draft beer above a low certain alcohol percentage.

The alcohol they can serve you in mixed drinks is lower than normal as well.

Soak in every minute up with your family that you can.  Life is so short.  Stay up late and wake up early.  Experiences are best enjoyed when you're surrounded by loved ones.

To check out more about our Family Reunion in Yellowstone, click here.
To see even more posts from our grand adventure out west, see below...
Yellowstone - Upper Loop

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