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Rocky Mountain Gays

Published: 12/17/2013
Gay List Daily -- Assume the missionary position now. Because you’re headed to Salt Lake City, a surprisingly awesome gay destination.

The home base for homo-hating Mormons may not sound like an ideal place to vacation, but once The Advocate named it the best gay city in 2012, we had to check it out for ourselves.

And boy are we glad we did.

SLEEP

For a relatively small metropolitan city (fewer than 200,000 in SLC proper), downtown life is rather vibrant. And smack in the middle of the bustling restaurant, retail and nightlife scene is Hotel Monaco, a wonderfully chic boutique property situated in a 1920s building that was originally a bank. Naturally, the Vault Bar is worth a visit, but wait until after the complimentary wine hour in the lobby each evening. Don’t forget to ask for a pet goldfish to keep you company in your well appointed room, either.

EAT

Whether you’re staying at the Monaco Hotel or not, its chef-driven restaurant, Bambara is a must. Crab-stuffed piquillo peppers and the seared duck breast are absolutely divine. Nearby, dinner at the super-popular Copper Onion can be packed, but sitting at the counter where you can watch all the magic happen in the kitchen is perfectly charming. And our favorite brunch is at Faustina, where hangover cures come in the form of cinnamon-swirl pancakes and the Faustina Benedict with polenta and Italian sausage.

DRINK

With only a handful of gay bars, chances are there will be a higher concentration of LGBT patrons in one place. There’s the Trapp for country music, Club Try-Angles for dancing on the weekends, Metro Bar for drag and dancing, eco-friendly JAM and Paper Moon, Utah’s only lesbian club.

EXPERIENCE

Winter is one of the best times to hit Salt Lake City, with four world-class ski resorts just a short drive away. Tack on a few extra days to your trip and head up to beautiful Park City for more wintry fun.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to SLC without a visit to the Salt Lake City Tabernacle. We may not agree with their views on homosexuality, but there’s no denying the beauty of Temple Square. Plus, it’s a great place to pose for a same-sex kiss.
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