Travelers always sleep on Salt Lake City, for reasons that cease to make sense once you’ve actually visited. After spending a month living and working in Mormon Mecca this year, I am here to tell you that Salt Lake City cannot be beaten for living your best life on a budget. For me it began each morning watching the sun rise over the Wasatch Mountains and, each night, as I walked home in the warm desert air, watching the light dip and fade over the Great Salt Lake. Like the locals, I never grew tired of the view -- though I’m sure my friends in New York and London thought my daily #sunsetgoals Instagram posts got a bit braggy.
But that’s what happens in Salt Lake, perhaps the biggest city in America that you can feel you’re discovering for yourself. The sheer abundance of the free-to-enjoy nature, the low cost of food and housing and, well, just about everything, and some of the best skiing on the continent makes for a must-visit destination. And yet it’s still relatively pocket-sized: At noon you can be careening down ski slopes that overlook the downtown gastropubs where you’ll be sipping beer at 1.