Salt Lake City is a destination for saints and sinners alike.
Whether your travelers prefer a holy start to the evening listening to the heavenly Tabernacle Choir or a night of fun at a brewpub, Salt Lake City can accommodate them.
Dubbed Ski City, Utah’s capital has four ski resorts and is near several other outdoor attractions. The city’s easy-to- navigate public transit allows visitors to ski or hike by day, then enjoy the lively metropolis by night.
Tours that take off in the morning for the area’s natural wonders can return in the evening for a relaxing choir concert, theater performance or art stroll. The city’s popular craft-brewing scene can also provide a laid-back atmosphere for dining and sipping on local beverages.
Salt Lake City’s night scene can stretch out an itinerary for visitors eager to keep exploring after sunset.
There is a reason that the Tabernacle Choir, formally the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, is well-known around the world. The 360-member choir exacts high standards from its performers while maintaining an impressively comprehensive repertoire.
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan dubbed the choir America’s Choir in 1981 when the Tabernacle Choir sang at his inauguration. One of the largest and oldest choral groups in the world, the choir has performed for several presidents, sold millions of records, won scores of awards and sung in more than 28 countries. Despite the prestige, choir members remain unpaid volunteers motivated simply by the joy of music.
Groups can listen to the glorious choir music on Thursday evenings. The weekly public rehearsal runs from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with options for visitors to come and go as they wish.
The rehearsals frequently occur in the famous Mormon Tabernacle. The 1867 church stands without pillars or posts to obstruct audience views. The groundbreaking design and historical significance led to the church’s designation as both a National Historic Landmark and a National Civil Engineering Landmark. The resulting extraordinary acoustics allow a person standing 170 feet away to hear a pin drop from the pulpit.
Sometimes rehearsals move into the 21,000-seat Latter Day Saints Conference Center to accommodate larger crowds. Groups can still tour the nearby temple as part of the experience.
“For groups, touring the temple and listening to the choir is a big attraction,” said Shawn Stinson, director of communications for Visit Salt Lake. “Sometimes we include it with a brewery or distillery afterwards for a saints-and-sinners-theme tour.”
Squatters Pub Brewery
To identify the defining characteristics of an ideal brewpub, Jeff Polychronis and Peter Cole planned a yearlong pub crawl to visit more than 40 brewpubs throughout the West. After many nights appreciating beer, the two opened Squatters Pub Brewery, Salt Lake City’s first brewpub.
Squatters Pub Brewery opened downtown in 1989. Inside a storied hotel on the historic registry, the brewpub offers award-winning craft beer in a space that can fit up to 300 guests. Indoor private spaces and outdoor patios give groups plenty of options.
“Squatters works with groups all the time,” said Stinson. “The beer is amazing. They also offer a full bar. If someone in the group would prefer wine or a margarita, then they can handle that as well.”
Visitors can sample some of the brewpub’s favorite beer blends, among them the Chasing Tail Orange, a golden ale infused with naval orange flavors. Squatters’ menu features daily specials and traditional pub favorites like bacon-topped meatloaf. The company uses mostly local and sustainable ingredients for both its food and brews.
The company operates five brewpubs, as well as a wine and ale house. Groups can learn the process behind Squatters’ craft beers on a tour at the nearby Utah Brewers Cooperative. Tours include a tasting and a take-home glass.
When Pelli Architects created the urban master plan behind the Eccles Theater, the firm had to not only design an important city landmark but also incorporate the character of the city into the project. In 2016, the theater opened to the public.
With architectural details that mimic trademark Salt Lake City buildings, the arts center features the 2,500-seat Delta Performance Hall, the 250-seat Regent Street Black Box theater and a six-story grand lobby. The lobby draws in abundant light through dramatic retractable glass walls.
The Delta Performance Hall recalls the terraced Utah landscape with warm-colored panels and gold-toned metal. When guests look up, they see a ceiling that resembles the night sky, with tiny starlike lights suspended in the dark.
“It’s a brand-new state-of-the-art theater,” said Stinson. “It shows all the big touring Broadway shows. It is an exciting development for the city.”
Among the Broadway shows scheduled for 2019 are “Rent,” “School of Rock” and “Aladdin.”
Salt Lake Gallery Stroll
The first public building in Utah was a social hall where pioneer settlers could gather and enjoy the arts together in 1851. The city has retained its love for the arts with murals and installations that dot the downtown landscape.
Groups wanting an evening filled with art have plenty of options in Salt Lake City. Every third Friday, galleries across the city keep their doors open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Live music, refreshments and artistic lectures often accompany the event.
“The nice thing is that you can make arrangements with the galleries to work with the groups,” said Stinson. “We can hire a guide to go with them. It is a casual walk around the city to see the various galleries. Groups can pop in and grab dinner somewhere on their own or at a scheduled stop.”
Visitors can browse through local paintings at the 15th Street Gallery, book an art workshop at Art Access or admire a rooftop sculpture garden at the Phillips Gallery. Some sponsors offer discount rates for Gallery Stroll participants.
If a group’s tour date does not line up with the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll, they can still have an art-themed evening out at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. On the University of Utah campus, the museum houses more than 18,000 works from around the world inside a 74,000-square-foot building. The museum stays open until 9 p.m. each Wednesday.
Another night option, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art stays open until 9 p.m. on Fridays. The museum showcases local, national and international artists in four gallery spaces.