Salt Lake City: Highlights in the World of Paradox

Pictures are worth a thousand words and no words can describe what I experienced on this trip. Even pictures do not do it justice!! Maybe I should start video recording my trips.

I went to Salt Lake City back in September of 2014 with my boyfriend when we decided to go on a road trip to Yellowstone. I must admit, Salt Lake City was never a place I’ve longed to go but I am so glad I gave the place a chance when my boyfriend wanted to go, especially since we’re passing through it already! We stayed for 4 days and 3 nights at an extended stay for around $75 per night. Overall I thought it was very interesting to see how different, yet so similar, life is in other places and I definitely was not in Los Angeles anymore when I was here.

I call this the world of paradox because I noticed two ends of the spectrum when I was here. The people were either conservatively religious to the Mormon faith or they were crunchy hipsters (much to my surprise and delight!). If we lived in the world of Avatar (The Last Air Bender), people from Salt Lake City would be a blend of Air and Earth Benders. The buildings either honored the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints or expressed freely the creativity of a new generation. The state itself had different landscapes with red rocks to the south and rocky Wasatch landscapes to the north. No where have I seen so much juxtapositions in such a small amount of time.

Southern Utah. Source:
Driving on the Wasatch Mountain



I wish I knew this beforehand though. I didn’t take any pictures of Southern Utah as I thought the entire state’s landscape would be similar. Boy was I mistaken! Now I know to always always take pictures. There is never a shortage of pictures and in this case more is always more. I missed out on the red rocks but I learned my lesson fast and here are some highlights.

  • Driving to Salt Lake City – I loooooooooove road trips because it is one of the most comfortable mode of transportation when it comes to traveling. You get your own space with your friends and family. You don’t have to worry about your luggage being too heavy, you can definitely pack more essentials and food, thus saving on eating out cost. You can control the temperature inside the car. You can bring pillows. You can gradually see how landscape and environment changes. And don’t forget, this is your view all the way through!!

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I definitely see the appeal of American road trips. The land is just so vast and you look on miles and miles ahead into the sky.

  • The Great Salt Lake (minus the mutated mosquitoes with giant eyes) – The Great Salt Lake was one of the most spectacular things I’ve seen in my life. The boyfriend wasn’t too keen to spend an entire day with the limited time we had – but I insisted. As soon as we got there, the first thing he said was “this is a GREAT idea!” If you’re in the area, make sure you go. You won’t regret it. We went to the Antelope Island side of the Lake, there are also other areas around the lake that you can go to. Entrance fee was $10 per car, a bargain to be honest. Make sure you bring plenty, and I mean PLENTY(!), of bug repellents.
Just taking it all in


  • Roadside Bison – This was our first time seeing a Bison so we were ecstatic when we saw these. We even had a Bison steak during our stay and it was very interesting. That’s all I have to say about that.



  • The History – I am a history buff. I loved going through the museums and reading about Brigham Young and Joseph Smith. It was so interesting to see how modern society and the modern way of living is shaped by history. Everywhere you go in Salt Lake City, you would see properties owned by the LDS church, buildings dedicated to Brigham Young. The State Capitol, Brigham Young’s House, statues around the city, everywhere you go, the Mormon culture and history is reflected one way or the other.

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Brigham Young’s House. We got a tour by two “sisters” who are volunteering as part of their two-year mission.


Cost Breakdown

Now for the fun stuff. I don’t exactly have huge amounts of money growing on a tree so I need to budget all my spendings. I’ve mentioned some cost here and there within this post and I thought I better summarize it here for you so you can have a clearer idea of what a trip to Salt Lake City would cost you from Los Angeles.

Disclaimer: This is only the cost for our stay in Salt Lake City. Our full trip included 3 days in Yellowstone which I’m not including here. Please note that cost may change depending on the time of year and changes within the market. This is in no way a travel guide, I just want to share my cost to give you a sense of budgeting in case you’re making a trip up to Salt Lake.

  • Food was around $30 per day for the both of us. We got free breakfast at Extended Stay and we usually had leftovers for lunch.
  • The room at Extended Stay America was around $75 per night
  • Antelope Island Entrance Fee – $10 per car. Well worth it.
  • Most of the activities we did were free, such as the Brigham Young house tour, exploring the State Capitol, walking around museums, or just laying on the grass.

All photos are taken on my Canon DSLR Rebel XS unless stated otherwise.


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