City Cast

Essential Rules for Surviving Salt Lake

Terina Ria
Terina Ria
Posted on May 22   |   Updated on September 11
Vintage large letter postcard illustration of the Salt Lake Temple, Mormon Battalion Monument, Seagull Monument, the State Capitol Building, the Tabernacle Organ, and the Great Salt Lake ‘Greetings from Salt Lake City

Welcome to Salt Lake City! Here are some tips to help you thrive. (Found Image Press/Corbis via Getty Images)

From navigating our grid system to not burning bridges, there are certain things you should know as a Salt Laker. On City Cast Salt Lake, producer Ivana Martinez and host Ali Vallarta lay down the unofficial rules of how to survive and thrive in Small Lake City.

🟢 DO Learn the Grid System

Ali says: “It’s one of our defining features. It’s your friend, not your foe. [It becomes easier] once you figure out that everything is built around the temple. If you're on South Temple, you're south of the temple. If you're on North Temple, you're north of the temple, and then all the numbers branch out from there. Suddenly it opens up a world of possibilities to call someone and be like, ‘I'm on 300 W. and 400 S.’”

🔴 DON’T Burn Bridges

Ivana says: “The city that we live in is very small and is often referred to as Small Lake City. You will run into so many people here in the city. The person you went on a date with and ghosted or your ex-employer. It’s really important that if you don’t leave on the best terms, at least leave on neutral terms.

“If you kiss your bartender, fully acknowledge that you will probably go back to the same bar. Hopefully, it was a good kiss and your bartender likes you, or you may have to find another bar.”

🟢 DO Learn Trail Etiquette

Ivana says: “I think one of the big no-nos is don't bring your music speaker and play loud music out hiking because people wanna enjoy the sounds of nature and birds chirping and stuff like that. And it's quite frankly rude to assume that people wanna listen to your EDM music. Bring your headphones for that.”

🔴 DON’T Be Weird About Mormons

Ali says: “I don't roll up to Boston being like, ‘Do you know any Catholics?’ Like, why are you being so weird? Yes, a little under half of the population of our city is Mormon. But like any faith, there are all kinds of people, right?

A grassy plaza with a fountain and the Salt Lake Template in the background..

Navigating around Salt Lake City becomes so much easier when you learn that everything is built around the historical Salt Lake Temple in downtown SLC. (Ismael Paramo/Unsplash)

“You’re gonna meet Mormons who are queer, who are tatted up, who are still spiritually connected to the faith, who maybe socially struggle with it. It’s a huge church. It’s headquartered here. Get over it.”

🟢 DO Train Your Dog

Ali says: “Salt Lake Utilities estimates that 40% of people in the Salt Lake Valley have a dog. There are 1.3 million people in Salt Lake County, which means there could be 400,000 dogs in this Valley. Please train your dog.

“No one thinks it's amusing that your dog is poorly behaved. There is nothing more terrifying than when you are running on a trail and some dog is bounding towards you, and the owner is waving and screaming 40 feet behind.”

🔴 DON’T Wait to Get Your Liquor

Ivana says: “Don't wait to get your liquor because liquor stores here close early. If you are getting off [work] like most people at 5, and you have a night out that night, you got to book it to the liquor store by 7 o'clock. And you know that everyone and their mom is gonna be in that store. Go there early and know what you’re going to get. Then get in, get out, because parking is a nightmare.”

What are your cardinal rules for making it in this town?

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