Nightlife

After-dark excitement in the bars and back-waters of Utah

One of the great misconceptions about Utah is that glasses of wine or bottles of beer can be tough to buy and drink. In fact, opportunities for end-of-day relaxation are easy to find.

Salt Lake City, for example, has as thriving a bar and restaurant scene as one would expect in a state capital. Lively watering holes are laid out across the center of the city and include jazz-filled The Bayou on South State Street, where customers can enjoy 300 beers from around the world, Creole food and live music. Gracie's, on South West Temple, is a gastro-bar serving up potent cocktails and a splendid selection of wines. Fiddler's Elbow, meanwhile, is a vibrant entity with pool tables and a lively ambiance in the revitalized Sugar House district.

Busy establishments can also be found on the Wasatch Front. Logan, about 128 kilometers north of Salt Lake City near the border with Idaho, is home to The White Owl, a hot spot with pool tables and two bars. Historic Ogden, 64 kilometers north of the big city, claims Roosters Brewing Company, a microbrewery producing its own fine ales.

A day of downhill activity is rarely complete without a spot of après ski, and Utah’s ski resorts certainly oblige. Park City, for example, has the Wasatch Brew Pub, a fine evening option that crafts punchy beverages; try a second location in the Sugar House district of Salt Lake City.

The southern portion of the state also caters to thirsty travelers. Moab, an ideal base for trips to both Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, offers plenty of refreshments after a long day on foot in these spectacular landscapes. Moab Brewery is an oasis in the desert concocting brews with exotic names such as Dead Horse Ale, Raven Stout and Rocket Bike Lager.

Useful Facts
  1. Yes, you can get a drink in Utah! Restaurants and bars can serve draft beer that does not exceed 5% alcohol by volume; higher ABV beer must be bottled or canned. At most restaurants, food must also be purchased if alcoholic beverages are ordered. Cocktails contain a precisely measured 1.5 ounces of liquor. Beer with a 5% ABV can be purchased in grocery and convenience stores. Breweries, wineries and distilleries can sell products in closed to-go bottles. All other alcoholic beverages, including wine, spirits and higher ABV beers, must be purchased at a package store. Package stores and state liquor stores are closed on Sundays and holidays.
  2. Downtown Salt Lake has some fantastic bars, including Bar X, which opened in 1933, to Twilite Lounge, serving an eclectic client base since 1947. Purgatory, Beerhive and Desert Edge are a few more options.
  3. Downtown Salt Lake and the Capitol Building are adjacent to City Creek Center, a fashion and dining destination offering 110 retailers and restaurants. Perfect for combining city with nature, those walking the Bonneville Shoreline Trail can return and enjoy a selection of nightlife options.
  4. In addition to Logan, Ogden and Salt Lake City, Provo is an urban hub of great dining, bars and cultural events. Located on the edge of mountain adventures in the northern part of the state, visitors can enjoy weekly live music at ABG’s, bands and billiard games at City Limits Tavern or family-friendly laughs at Comedy Sportz.
  5. Park City, a year-round destination, offers a selection of après ski venues for the many winter sports enthusiasts who ski nearby at Canyons, Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley. Enjoy the vibe of the log cabin-style No Name Saloon with epic antler chandeliers, the cantina atmosphere at Billy Blanco’s and craft beers at Red Rock Brewery. The world’s only ski-in, ski-out whiskey distillery, High West, can also be found here.