Salt Lake City is one of the most scenic cities in the American West, set against the backdrop of the majestic Rocky Mountains and the stunning Great Salt Lake. Couples looking for exciting things to do on dates in the city have their choice of lovely cultural museums and attractions to explore, including the renowned Clark Planetarium and the Leonardo Museum, dedicated to the works and philosophies of Renaissance figure Leonardo da Vinci. Clever venues like the Paint Mixer offer lively, social painting courses for novices and experts alike, fueled by local craft brews and wines flowing liberally. Couples can also check out top dining destinations like Log Haven, regularly named as Utah's most romantic and scenic restaurant.
1.The Paint Mixer
© Syda Productions/stock.adobe.com
The Paint Mixer is one of Salt Lake City's most unique creative and social venues, offering three locations throughout Utah, including a location in the city's Sugar House neighborhood. All visitors can enjoy two hours of creative instruction led by Salt Lake City area artists, giving them a choice of images to paint from the business' online gallery and daily image selections. All supplies are provided for painting sessions, including brushes, palettes, canvases, smocks, and paint colors. Regular courses take participants through painting skills step by step, with lively music playing to help get creative juices flowing and keep the atmosphere social. All participants can enjoy delicious snacks from area bakeries, including Utah Truffles and PopArt popcorn. For participants 21 and up, wines and beers are served from local craft liquor partners.
1327 E 2100 S #102, Salt Lake City, UT 84105, Phone: 801-484-0282
2.Zest Kitchen and Bar
© Zest Kitchen and Bar
Zest Kitchen and Bar is a delightful vegetarian and gluten-free restaurant in Salt Lake City, helmed by restaurateur Casey Staker. The 21-and-up restaurant and bar is known as one of the city's most vibrant nightlife destinations, serving up one of the region's largest selections of locally-produced wines and beers from its full-service bar. Farm-to-fork entrees highlight unique plant-based fare, including eggplant ratatouille with spinach quinoa, baked zucchini mac and mock cheese, and Thai Sunrise coconut curry with sesame stir fry vegetables. Shareable plates include selections like beet and walnut dip, housemade mock cheese bread, and seasonal wild mushrooms and herb flatbread. Live music performances are showcased throughout the week, along with DJs playing sets for dance nights.
275 S 200 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, Phone: 801-433-0589
Provisions is one of Salt Lake City's most award-winning restaurants, taking top honors on the city's culinary scene from Salt Lake Magazine and City Weekly every year since 2015. The restaurant, which is helmed by executive chef and owner Tyler Stokes, focuses on regional modern American fare crafted with organic, sustainable ingredients. Contemporary fare is served up at brunch and dinner throughout the week at the East Millcreek eatery, highlighting Old World and New World cooking techniques and international culinary influences. Large plates include hearty, delicious selections like housemade pappardelle with braised rabbit and sage brown butter sauce, grilled hanger steak with ginger soy jus and watercress, roasted Alaskan halibut with fiddlehead ferns and Thai coconut broth, and daily catch seafood chowder in coconut milk curry.
3364 S 2300 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84109, Phone: 801-410-4046
Manoli's serves up elevated Greek fare in a stylish Central City space, overseen by executive chef and namesake owner Manoli Katsanevas since 2015. The restaurant is known for its traditional Greek mezze small plates selection, which are crafted with seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients. Diners can select from a wide variety of traditional mezze offerings, including classics like halloumi with marcona almonds and black olive honey reduction, dolmathes stuffed grape leaves with house Greek yogurt sauce, and classic spanakopita stuffed with spinach and feta. Seafood selections include charred octopus, seared scallops, and black butter lobster, while land offerings highlight favorites like pork and beef kofta meatballs with cinnamon tomato sauce. Traditional Greek coffees are paired with a selection of Mediterranean-inspired cocktails from the restaurant's bar.
402 E 900 S #2, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, Phone: 801-532-3760
© Lake Effect
Lake Effect is a lively craft cocktail bar in Salt Lake City's downtown district, opened in 2017 by Nick Chachas and Jeff Burbach. The bar is known for its stunning craft beer, wine, and cocktail menus, which showcase over 100 international wine selections and 150 craft beers from around the nation. Charming ambiance pervades the restaurant's main level and basement-level Rabbit Hole lounge, with live music performances offered seven days a week. A Latin-influenced menu is presented by executive chef Adrian Harris, highlighting high-quality barbecue plates, creative tacos, and a large selection of craft burgers and sandwiches. Shareables range from tapas plates like papas fritas to international fare like crispy lamb ribs and fried spiced falafel. Excellent house cocktails include the Oaxacan Old Fashioned, which pairs mezcal and tequila with orange bitters and chocolate.
155 W 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, Phone: 801-285-6494
6.The Natural History Museum of Utah
© The Natural History Museum of Utah
The Natural History Museum of Utah is a delightful museum in Salt Lake City's University of Utah Research Park, known for its unique exhibits on the geography and natural history of the Intermountain West region. The museum, which was opened to the public in 1969, has been housed at its current facility at the Rio Tinto Center since 2011. More than 1.6 million artifacts are showcased in permanent exhibits for visitors of all ages, including a renowned Nature Voices exhibit, which documents the history of Utah's eight recognized indigenous tribal groups. The state's three major geographic regions are highlighted in exhibits, as is the beautiful Great Salt Lake. Other exhibits explore the region's flora, fauna, climate, and weather through hands-on activities for adults and families alike.
301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, Phone: 801-581-6927
© Clark Planetarium
Clark Planetarium is the newest planetarium facility in Salt Lake City, founded in 2003 as a replacement for the city's former historic Hansen Planetarium facility. The lovely planetarium, which is located in the city's downtown district, is home to the first pitless digital planetarium dome in the United States, which offers seating for 190 for regular planetarium screenings. Visitors can watch presentations dedicated to the solar system, astronomy, deep space, and nature throughout the week for a ticketed upcharge from standard planetarium admission. Outside the planetarium, a lovely museum showcases three floors of exhibits on the Earth and outer space, highlighting interactive activities like a Foucault pendulum and a NOAA computer animation globe. The planetarium is also home to a certified IMAX Theater, which shows nature and science films throughout the week.
110 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, Phone: 385-468-7827
8.The Leonardo Museum
© The Leonardo Museum
The Leonardo Museum is downtown Salt Lake City's premiere science and art museum, opened to the public in 2011. Its collections and educational philosophy are inspired by the works of renowned Renaissance figure Leonardo da Vinci, who famously exhibited a curiosity and a belief in the interconnectedness of the arts and sciences. Visitors can explore family-friendly exhibits that outline the intersections between STEM principles, art, and creativity, including Leonardo's Workshop, which offers maker and problem-solving challenges, and Leonardo's Studio, which lets participants create Claymation films, stop-motion movies, and engage in art projects. Other exhibits focus on the principles of flight, astronomy, and the complexity of the human mind. After exploring exhibits, visitors can enjoy hearty entrees at the museum's Salt Bistro, which serves lunch and dinner daily.
209 E 500 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, Phone: 801-531-9800
© Valter's Osteria
Valter's Osteria is one of Salt Lake City's most beloved Italian restaurants, opened in 2012 by namesake chef Valter Nassi, the force behind area favorite Cucina Toscana. The restaurant serves up the same great Italian favorites as its predecessor, known for its familiar, comforting pasta dishes and land and sea entrees. Diners can enjoy excellent pasta selections like gnocchi boscaiola in mixed mushroom cream sauce or try the restaurant's acclaimed pasta sampler, which showcases daily homemade ravioli and gnocchi selections. Hearty classics like tuna tagliata, cioppino toscano, pollo nassi, and scaloppine di vitello in lemon cream sauce. Delicious Italian dessert offerings include favorites like molten lava chocolate cakes and homemade biscotti.
173 Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, Phone: 801-521-4563
Log Haven has been consistently acclaimed as one of Utah's best fine dining destinations, honored with major awards, including a title as America's most scenic restaurant by Forbes magazine. The restaurant is set on 40 beautiful acres within the gorgeous Wasatch National Forest, housed within a gorgeous historic log mansion just minutes from downtown Salt Lake City. Its log cabin space was originally crafted as an anniversary gift by Salt Lake City steel baron L.F. Rains, adding to its romantic legacy and ambiance. Since 1994, it has served up delicious gourmet cuisine offerings throughout the week, including grilled bison steaks with jalapeno aioli, fresh corn and enoki mushroom risotto, Duroc pork loin chops with charred tomato sauce and Oaxacan graten, and seared scallops with wok-fried shiitake mushrooms and broccolini.
6451 Millcreek Canyon Rd, Salt Lake City, UT 84109, Phone: 801-272-8255
© Red Iguana
Red Iguana is one of Salt Lake City's most popular Mexican restaurants, serving up delicious Oaxacan-style fare since 1985. The authentic, family-operated restaurant is famed for its Oaxacan-style mole sauces, which are prepared from scratch on site daily and available for takeout by the pint or quart. Diners can enjoy delicious mole negro, amarillo, poblano, or verde dishes or choose from a wide variety of traditional Mexican favorites, including creative enchiladas, tacos, burritos, chimichangas, and tostadas. Delicious house specialties include pork loin cochinita pibil, corn tortilla enmoladas with refried beans and queso fresco, and the restaurant's famed fish tacos, which are prepared with mahi mahi and accompanied by housemade spicy coleslaw and cucumber salsa.
736 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, Phone: 801-322-1489
© Caffé Molise
Caffé Molise is a full-service restaurant known for its delectable Italian cuisine, which focuses on regional specialties prepared with locally-sourced ingredients. The restaurant, which originally opened to the public in 1994, is helmed by restaurateurs Aimee Sterling and Fred Moesinger and is known as a popular spot for pre-theater dining throughout the week. Diners can enjoy Italian classics like pollo alla gratella or secret-recipe bistecca or select from house pasta specialties like ravioli con melanzana, scampi alla diavola, gnocchi di patate, or traditional meat lasagna with Italian sausage and asiago. On Friday evenings, the restaurant hosts delightful jazz performances from John Flander's Trio.
404 S W Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, Phone: 801-364-8833
12 Best Things to Do in Salt Lake City On a Date
- The Paint Mixer, Photo: Syda Productions/stock.adobe.com
- Zest Kitchen and Bar, Photo: Zest Kitchen and Bar
- Provisions, Photo: Provisions
- Manoli's, Photo: Manoli's
- Lake Effect, Photo: Lake Effect
- The Natural History Museum of Utah, Photo: The Natural History Museum of Utah
- Clark Planetarium, Photo: Clark Planetarium
- The Leonardo Museum, Photo: The Leonardo Museum
- Valter's Osteria, Photo: Valter's Osteria
- Log Haven, Photo: vasanty/stock.adobe.com
- Red Iguana, Photo: Red Iguana
- Caffe Molise, Photo: Caffé Molise
- Cover Photo: RG/stock.adobe.com