words by Priya (@thewildindiangirl) and Michael (@michaelmatti)
Arriving by air in Salt Lake City has to be one of the best landing views in all of the US. As you fly over the endless mountains, it is easy to see why Utah is such a skiing mecca.
The below photo shows some of these amazing mountains and helps you realize just how close the mountains really are to downtown Salt Lake City.
The beautiful thing about Salt Lake City International Airport being so close to the mountains is that once you land, you are within a one-hour drive of 10 world-class ski resorts. With the help of Snow Country Limousine, our arrival and transport to one of these resorts, Solitude Mountain Resort, went incredibly smooth.
The Inn at Solitude would be our home base for the next few days.
Upon arriving at our room, we were instantly amazed by just how close we were to the slopes. We could watch skiers come down from our window, which helped get us inspired to go try skiing for ourselves. Before we could hit the slopes, we had to get some gear. Since neither of us are skiers, we arrived in Utah without any ski gear. Fortunately, there is a super convenient service offered by Ski Butlers where they come to your hotel room and outfit you with all the gear you need. Trying on different ski boots, helmets, etc, from the comfort of our own hotel room was such a nice way to start the trip and got us even more excited for what was to come. An afternoon arrival and feeling the impacts of the elevation change of going from near sea level in Seattle to nearly 8,000 feet at Solitude, had us taking it easy the first day. With this in mind, it was certainly nice that a delicious dinner option was just next door at Honeycomb Grill.
The food and drinks we had there were so delicious; it would not be our last time eating there on our trip.
After a restful night's sleep, we headed to our first ski lesson, both excited and nervous. Getting to the lesson was super easy since our hotel was right by the ski area; we simply walked out of the hotel to the nearby shuttle stop, and then took the shuttle to the main base area at Solitude Mountain Resort. Once we arrived at the Ski and Ride School, we checked in for our lesson, and then grabbed some waffles and coffee for breakfast at Little Dollie Waffles to fuel up for the day.
This trip was our first time skiing so we were as beginner as it can get! If you’re at the level we were, we highly recommend getting a lesson if you decide to try skiing. Having the instruction we got that day made all the difference in starting our journey with skiing off on the right foot, or ski if you will. After some time on the bunny hill, we headed up our first lift and down our first run of the trip. Nerves and adrenaline were at an all-time high as we made our way down the run. We certainly looked like beginners as we slowly turned our way down the mountain, but it was such a fun experience learning a new activity! As the day went on and we did a few more runs, we started to get more comfortable on our skis, and a lot hungrier as we worked up quite an appetite. Luckily there is a restaurant literally at the base of the slopes that we could ski right up to. After the workout we had that day from learning how to ski, this lunch at Last Chance Southwest Grill tasted so good!
With the morning being so eventful, we decided to take it easy in the afternoon/evening, relaxing at the hotel and then enjoying another delicious dinner at Honeycomb Grill.
Learning to ski left us feeling a bit sore, so the next morning we decided to get massages at our hotel. It was such a relaxing experience and definitely helped us recover and get back out on the slopes quicker.
Feeling more confident in our skiing abilities, we took the shuttle up to Brighton Resort right around sunset. They keep the lights on at Brighton for night skiing which was a totally new and exciting experience for us. After a few runs as the sun set and the lights came on, we skied right into our dinner spot for the day, Molly Greens. It was some well-deserved beer and food!
The next morning (our final morning at Solitude), we woke up early and decided to go on a snowshoeing adventure. We picked up some snowshoe rentals from just across the walkway from our hotel and hit the trail right behind our hotel. Something we definitely learned about Solitude Mountain Resort during our stay is just how close and convenient everything is. To be able to leave our room and 10 minutes later, be on a trail, having picked up snowshoe rentals in that time, was amazing. The trail we followed took us through the forest and up a hill, overlooking the beautiful mountains surrounding the resort.
Before we left Solitude we had to get one last series of runs in, so we took the shuttle back to the beginner slopes and made use of our last morning in the beautiful mountains of Utah. By day three we were feeling a lot more confident in our skiing abilities, although we still have so much to learn and lots of practicing to do! We couldn’t have asked for a better place to learn how to ski through. The experience we had at Solitude was perfect.
With an early morning flight out the next day, we opted to spend our final night at the beautiful Kimpton Hotel Monaco in downtown Salt Lake City. The drive from Solitude to the hotel took only 40 minutes, which gave us plenty of time in the afternoon to see a little bit of Salt Lake City. First up was the Natural History Museum of Utah which was just a quick Uber ride out of downtown. This museum was fascinating and we ended up spending a few hours walking through all the exhibits. Our favorite was definitely the dinosaur area though; it was incredible!
By the time the museum was closing, we had walked quite a bit and were ready for dinner. We opted to head back to the area around our hotel and decided on Squatters Brew Pub and the unique dining experience that they offer in the winter. We got to enjoy some delicious food and drinks in little igloos on the restaurant patio. It was such a fun way to end our trip to Utah!
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