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Top Things to Do in Salt Lake City: A Student’s Guide

Home to the University of Utah, Westminster University, and Salt Lake Community College - Salt Lake City has a lively, thriving student population. And, it’s easy to see why so many college students come here.

Salt Lake City is packed with places to go and things to explore, as well as a diverse dining scene and lively nightlife.

Ready to find out more? Take a look at our expert guide to the best off-campus things to do in Salt Lake City – including places to eat, drink and make memories with your college mates.

What to Do in Salt Lake City

Whether you’re interested in food, drinks, events, nightlife or the great outdoors - there’s no shortage of fun things to do in Salt Lake City.

The Best Restaurants in Salt Lake City

From fried chicken to comforting bowls of ramen, Salt Lake has something to tickle every tastebud.


Need a bit of retail therapy? Located centrally in the heart of Downtown Salt Lake City, City Creek Center includes more than 100 stores including Macy's, Nordstrom, Free People, H&M and Sephora. Oh, and don’t forget to research student discounts before you go!

You’ll also be able to get your fashion fix at The Gateway – an open-air shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. Or, visit historic Trolley Square, located in Downtown Salt Lake City, for boutique stores, restaurants, and the state’s flagship Whole Foods Market.

If it’s fresh produce you’re after, don’t miss the Downtown Farmers Market every Saturday from June 1 – Oct 19 at Pioneer Park.


Salt Lake City is packed with great bars, pubs, and breweries. Just remember – the state of Utah has a strict 21+ drinking policy, so don’t forget your ID!

The Green Pig Pub is a friendly and buzzing sports bar serving the best beers and the tastiest appetizers. Did somebody say nachos? There’s also live music two nights a week, karaoke, regular group trivia events, and a pretty special rooftop bar.

If you haven’t already guessed by the name, Quarters Arcade Bar is a bar and arcade offering speciality cocktails and beers alongside old-school pinball machines and video arcade games. Open until 2am, it’s the ideal spot for a casual drink and some friendly competition.

Located in the heart of Downtown Salt Lake City, Bar-X is a laid-back prohibition-era bar serving up the finest cocktails in the city. Feeling indecisive? Go for the Roulette option on the menu and let the bartender choose for you.

With an affordable and extensive beer and cocktail menu, live music, weekly entertainment, and the friendliest service - it’s no wonder that Twist Bar is a firm favorite among local college students.

Attractions and More

Salt Lake City is packed with places to go and fun things to do. If you need to take a break from studying, check out these activities.

Surrounded by spectacular mountains, Salt Lake City is a popular destination for outdoor activities. For great views and easy hikes, take the City Creek Canyon, Ensign Peak or Bonneville Shoreline trails. The Great Salt Lake is also just a short drive away. Here, you can go swimming, boating, or simply take in the views of this stunning lake from the shoreline. 

Grab some popcorn and head over to Redwood drive-in theatre. Here, you can catch old classics or new releases for just $10 a ticket. Or, try Brewvies Cinema Pub – a cozy cinema serving up pub grub and craft beer from the comfort of your seat.

Just an hour’s drive away from Salt Lake City airport lies Powder Mountain – one of North America’s largest ski areas. With over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain, it’s the perfect place to blow off steam with your buddies in the winter months.

Utah is famed for its dinosaur fossils and plenty of them are on display across the state. The Past Worlds exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah gives you the chance to see the world’s largest collection of horned dinosaur skulls, and imagine what life was like in Utah 150 million years ago.

Free things to do in Salt Lake City

Living and studying in Salt Lake City is great because there are so many free things to do -meaning even if budgets are tight, you can still get out there and explore.

Utah Olympic Park offers a number of activities at no charge. The two museums are free and open year-round, and there are nature trails available for hiking and biking.

Located in Downtown Salt Lake City, Temple Square is a 10-acre complex of historic sights and engaging exhibits. Free tours of the grounds are available in over 40 languages and in the summer, you can take a stroll through the stunning gardens. 

Talking of the summer, there’s nothing better than a picnic with friends when on those warm sunny days. And there are plenty of places to enjoy one, including Pioneer Park, the International Peace Gardens and City Creek Park.

Student Housing in Salt Lake City

If you’re considering relocating to Salt Lake City for university but aren’t sure where to live, don’t worry – we’ve got you!

Conveniently located on the corner of 500 S 1300 E in the UU college district, The Landing is the perfect place to call home during your studies.

A block from the University of Utah campus, these studio, one, and two-bed apartments have everything you need to thrive. The Landing is on the pick-up route for the city bus line, a short walk from the TRAX Light Rail station, and has easy freeway access to anywhere in the valley. This includes the international airport and Park City, where you can carve it up on some of Utah's finest ski resorts.

The Landing’s unique amenities are geared towards an on-the-go, active student lifestyle. There’s a 24-hour fitness center, a study room, in-house salon and barbershop, coffee bar, and media lounge. Oh, and let’s not forget the amazing SkyDeck – the ideal spot to watch the sunset or take in panoramic views of the city.

Exploring Salt Lake City

With such a large student population, Salt Lake City is a lively and thriving destination, with endless adventures to be had.

It’s packed with great bars, breweries, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Plus, with its proximity to nearby lakes and mountains, it’s the perfect place to get your fix of the great outdoors too.

Check out our booking form to book your spot at The Landing today. Or if you’re considering going to college in a different state, check out our other accommodation here.