Salt Lake City Gay Guide: A Progressive City Full of Pride

Salt Lake City it the capital of Utah, and for much of its history, it’s been known as the headquarters of the Mormon church. What many people may not realize, however, is that it’s also a city known for having one of the largest LGBTQ communities in the United States.  Salt Lake City was the first city in Utah to pass anti-discrimination ordinances based on sexual orientation, and it has long been a city known to be welcoming, diverse, and accepting of people of all kinds. In addition to being an LGBTQ destination, Salt Lake City is also one of the most accessible ski destinations in the country. Utah’s mountains and climate make it ideal for skiing, and fourteen ski resorts can be easily accessed within a short drive of the Salt Lake City airport. And don’t worry – if skiing isn’t your thing, there are many amazing and stunningly beautiful national parks and other outdoor areas in the state to enjoy too, in addition to plenty of cultural, dining, shopping, entertainment, and business opportunities. Truly, in Salt Lake City, there’s something for everyone!

The History of Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City was founded in July of 1847 by a group of Mormon pioneers. Led by Brigham Young, the pioneers were the first non-native Americans to permanently settle in the Salt Lake Valley. They came to the valley searching for an area where they could practice their religion free from persecution. Upon arrival, they began farming and developing the area, and overtime as more and more Mormons flocked to the area, the city grew. Subsequently, the California gold rush brought more people, and eventually, the transcontinental railroad came through to connect Utah to the west. As the city continued to grow, it continued to have a strong Mormon influence, but also attracted people, businesses, and industries of many kinds. Today, Salt Lake is a thriving and diverse area that continues to experience strong economic growth and offers plenty to see and do for residents and visitors alike.

A Few Fun Facts About Salt Lake City

  • Downtown Salt Lake City is the world headquarters of the Mormon church.
  • In 2012, The Advocate named Salt Lake City “The Gayest City in the USA”. Though it no longer holds the number one ranking, it still consistently ranks in the top ten LGBTQ-friendly cities in the country.
  • Salt Lake City loves its beer – in fact, there are twelve local breweries in the area.

Find more fun facts about Salt Lake City here.

The LGBTQ Community in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a city that loves its LGBTQ community, and supports it well through a variety  of resources, including:

The Utah Pride Center

The Utah Pride Center is an LGBTQ community resource and support center with the mission of uniting, empowering, and celebrating Utah’s diverse LGBTQ community. The center does this by providing a welcoming and safe space for education, services, networking opportunities, and events that advance the collective health, wellness, and success of the LGBTQ communities and its allies.

Encircle Together

Encircle Together is a community center dedicated to supporting and encouraging LGBTQ youth in the greater Salt Lake City area. By offering numerous programs and services designed to meet youth where they are, the goal of Encircle Together is to encourage all LGBTQ youth to thrive and feel celebrated and accepted for who they are.

A Look at Salt Lake City Weather

Those who live in Salt Lake City can expect to experience four distinct seasons. Typically, winters in Salt Lake City are cold and snowy, and summers are hot and dry, with temperatures often reaching into the high-90s or even 100 degrees. Spring and fall are usually mild, pleasant, and beautiful, with bold, bright leaves in the fall, and blooming flowers in the spring.

Events in Salt Lake City That You Won’t Want to Miss

Utah Pride Festival

The Utah Pride Festival is a huge event, typically attracting more than 25,000 attendees, and which is usually held in downtown Salt Lake City in June. This celebration of all that the LGBTQ community adds to the city includes many events, a wildly popular parade, parties, and other festivities. You’ll definitely want to join in the festivities and fun!  

The Days of '47

Days of ’47 is an annual event celebrating Utah’s pioneer heritage. The parade is the largest yearly parade in the state, and other events include a rodeo, concerts, and other festivities. You won’t want to miss the chance to enjoy this uniquely Utah event each year.

The Best Salt Lake City Neighborhoods

Generally, Salt Lake City is a welcoming place with a wide variety of neighborhoods that would make great places to call home. If you’re looking for the neighborhoods with the most popularity in the LGBTQ community, however, a couple to consider include:

The Marmalade District

The Marmalade District is considered by many to be the friendliest LGBTQ neighborhood in the city. Named for the apricot and pear trees in the area, The Marmalade District is located in the northeast portion of the city adjacent to downtown. It is home to many gay-friendly and gay-owned restaurants, bars, and businesses. The median list price of homes currently for sale in the Marmalade District is approximately $400,000.

Capitol Hill

The downtown area of Capitol Hill is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Salt Lake City and is known for being very gay friendly. Rainbow flags frequently fly on street corners filled with historic old homes and stores, many of which are gay owned and operated. The median price of homes currently listed for sale in the Capitol Hill area is $582,450.

Arts and Entertainment

Salt Lake Acting Company

For 49 years, the Salt Lake Acting Company has been entertaining and educating the Salt Lake City community with innovating, progressive, and inspiring theater in all genres and for all interests. You don’t want to miss a chance to enjoy a show or two yourself.

Utah Museum of Fine Arts

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is Utah’s primary center for visual arts, and host an amazing collection of art from different genres and eras around the world. A visit spent strolling the galleries is sure to provide an inspiring, entertaining, and educational afternoon.

Parks and Recreation

Stonewall Sports

Founded in 2018, Stonewall Sports Salt Lake City is the city’s branch of the nationally popular LGBTQ-focused Stonewall Sports League. Stonewall Sports has a mission and vision to ensure that all people have the ability to feel comfortable being who they are in organized sports. All experience levels are welcome, and there’s a spot on a team for everyone. A number of sports including dodgeball, kickball, volleyball, and more are offered. Don’t miss your opportunity make friends, have fun, and raise money for great LGBTQ causes too.

Public Parks

Salt Lake City boasts many beautiful public parks and green spaces for visitors and residents alike to enjoy. Liberty Park, for example, has a rare and exotic bird sanctuary, a children’s amusement park, weekly drum circles, hiking and biking trails, and more – and it’s only one park of many. Utah’s public parks are a beautiful place to spend a sunny Salt Lake City day outside.

Salt Lake City Nightlife

The Sun Trapp

The Sun Trapp is known for being a warm and welcoming LGBTQ bar with a rustic theme, famous for serving its beer in mason jars. It has a beautiful, spacious outdoor patio, as well as a comfortable interior offering inexpensive drinks, a lively dance floor, regular drag shows, and great music.

Club Try-Angles

Club Try-Angles is a popular LGBTQ club known for its chill vibe, its frequent fun theme nights, and for offering pool, darts, and karaoke, among other fun for customers. Club Try-Angles is a great place for newcomers to Salt Lake City, and for long-time residents alike.

Contact a Salt Lake City Realtor Today

Salt Lake City is a diverse and growing community that has so much to offer visitors and residents alike. If you’re interested in calling Salt Lake City home, you’ll need a realtor who knows the community and can help you to find the perfect place in a neighborhood you’ll love. Contact a Salt Lake City gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!