The Call of the Mall
Cast yourself in your own dazzling shopping montage.
By Rachel Piper
It is a universal truth—in Hollywood, at least—that new stuff makes people happier and more attractive. That's why no uplifting movie is complete without a shopping montage in which the main character and his or her friends run from shop to shop, trying on silly hats or sexy fashions, bursting in and out of dressing rooms, swiping credit cards again and again, and striding through a revolving door with brightly colored shopping bags. It looks so fun—and now you can have the same experience, right here in Salt Lake City. We've highlighted seven shopping districts for you to create your own dazzling shopping montage.
For a couture-level shopping scene that Ryan Gosling's dapper Crazy, Stupid, Love character would revel in, look no further than City Creek Center. No ordinary Utah mall, this giant, outdoor multi-use center, set to open in March 2012, is anchored by Macy's and Nordstrom and features a retractable roof and high-end stores such as Swarovski and Brooks Brothers. Bring your most stylish friends for a romp through the department stores and enjoy being one of the first to parade up and down the dressing-room aisles. Stop at Harmons for a gourmet treat before selecting an exquisitely designed timepiece at Porsche Design and ogling the jewelry and accessories at Tiffany's. Even Carrie Bradshaw would ooze with envy were she to watch you walk across the skybridge with an armful of shopping bags.
City Creek Center: 50 S. Main, Salt Lake City, ShopCityCreekCenter.com
If your ideal montage includes your whole family having a great time with no tantrums or teenage meltdowns, head to The Gateway. The outdoor mall stretches across two city blocks and is home to movie theaters, museums, music venues, restaurants and, of course, shopping. The Gateway offers a mix of large stores, like Dick's Sporting Goods, Barnes & Noble and Old Navy. Even if flipping through the racks of Banana Republic, Forever 21, Justice, Express, Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria's Secret gets old, cut scene to Sur la Table or the Apple Store, where you can examine gleaming blenders and knife sets or get lost in the spell of sleek iPads.
The Gateway: 400 West 100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-456-0000, ShopTheGateway.com
Evoking a bygone era, Trolley Square is the ideal setting for a through-the-years montage with your spouse or partner. Nostalgia aside, 2011 saw the notable additions of longtime Salt Lake City bookstore Sam Weller's (now rebranded as Weller Book Works) and a large Whole Foods. Rediscover favorite novels, then load up your cart with fresh organic cuisine for a romantic evening together. Trolley Square also features home-furnishing favorites Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma and Restoration Hardware, so the two of you can spend quality time inspecting linens and testing the cushiness of throw pillows. Browse unique jewelry, accessories and décor at The Hive Gallery (showcasing local artists' works) and Casa Bella (specializing in European-inspired vintage and antique items), then spritz on new cologne at Tabula Rasa Social Stationers. Finally, share hearty laughs over the many humor books at Cabin Fever, a quirky card and gift store.
Trolley Square: 602 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-521-9877, TrolleySquare.com
Not all shopping scenes have to be high-energy. For a low-key shopping day with your mom, head to Foothill Village, a tightly packed, two-story shopping destination with 20-some eclectic shops. Grab cappuccinos at Starbucks and stroll through small boutiques and home-décor stores for a soothing shopping experience. You're sure to find something to bond over—or at least agree upon—whether the goal of the day is high fashion (bella Forte) or high discounts (Stein Mart). For a change of pace, trot over to The Tutoring Toy or the Sports Den.
Foothill Village: 1400 S. Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-487-6670, FoothillVillage.com
Broadway (300 South)
A first date, with the right person, can be magical. Watch the sparks fly during a spree through Salt Lake City's downtown shopping district. After a matinee at Broadway Centre Cinemas, pop into Frosty Darling/Kayo Gallery, where the sassy and sweet stationery, accessories and gifts will mirror your buoyant mood. Stop next door at The Green Ant to discover a shared appreciation for swanky mid-century furniture. Just around the corner is Ken Sanders Rare Books, packed floor to ceiling with new and used tomes. Even if this montage—you and your date flipping through vintage paperbacks, joyfully uncovering a pristine first edition of a favorite Steinbeck novel—lasts just seconds, you'll want to spend hours among the stacks. Once you tear yourselves away, head east back on Broadway to Retro Rose, a color-coordinated store packed with kitschy vintage dishes and glassware to inspire visions of your fun, funky future together. Just a few doors away is House of Chuckles, a joke/magic shop that's rife with possibilities for shared hilarity. And, if things keep going well, you might find yourself returning in a few months to visit Antoinette's Antique Jewelry for a stunning vintage engagement ring.
Broadway: 300 South, between Main Street and 300 East
9th & 9th
Sometimes the urge to shop strikes with no reason or warning—it's like your credit card is begging to be swiped, and your fingers are itching to pick up and check the prices on whozits and whatzits. When this happens, grab your posse, turn up the peppy pop music and head to 9th and 9th. The Children's Hour will get your shopping off to a cheerful start as you browse the timeless women's fashions, gift products and the carefully curated selection of books for all ages. Nearby, locally owned boutiques like Fresh, Koo De Ker and Apt. 202 will have something in their windows that'll catch your eye and inspire you to sign over part of your paycheck. Make a stop at Cahoots for some raunchy fun in the adult section at the back of the store. Visit The Cosmic Spiral on the next block to make inspirational, helpful discoveries among the New Age gifts and books. Farther east is Hip & Humble, an adorable, pastel-hued shop with, unfortunately, more irresistible kitchen and home-décor do-dads, Fossil watches, bags and jewelry than you'll be able to fit in your car—even if you do bring the convertible.
9th & 9th: 900 South, between 800 East and 1100 East
Whether you're shopping for yourself—maybe as a reward after a successful career/training montage (think Rocky IV)—or are looking to buy a gift for someone else, Salt Lake City's Sugar House neighborhood has a wide selection of shops, allowing you to choose your own shopping adventure. A hip, alternative shopping bender can be had north of 2100 South—flip through the punk, rock and hardcore albums at Raunch Records, then browse the modern and vintage clothes, denim and accessories at Unhinged. South of 2100 is home to big-box stores like Old Navy and Michaels, but deals—and fun—can be found in Nordstrom Rack, Black Cat Comics and even Zurchers Party Supplies. Did someone say comical wig montage?
Sugar House: 1900 South to 2300 South, between 1100 East and 1300 East
Mormon Stuff That Doesn't Suck
Just because it's a Mormon idea doesn't mean it's lame.
By Kathleen Curry & Geoff Griffin
Things were pretty quiet here in Utah until 1847, when Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers showed up. Not long after, non-Mormons came and found they liked "the place," too. Thus began a battle that has been waged ever since. The "Gentiles" complain about the Mormons forcing their values on them and electing some of the nuttiest church members to the state Legislature. Mormons, in turn, claim religious persecution and remain suspicious of influences coming from outside Zion, since such influences often corrupt local morals.
City Weekly may be thought of as a bastion for outsiderness in a very insular city, but more Mormons ("self-professed" Mormons, anyway) read City Weekly (and look at the ads in the back) than either side of the equation would care to admit.
Like it or not, Utah was founded by Mormons, and while their attitudes on liquor laws and gay marriage can drive outsiders crazy, they give non-Mormons something to love or rebel against. Plus, Mormons have dreamed up some one-of-a-kind attractions you'd never find anywhere else.
In the spirit of Rodney King ("People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?"), here are a few examples that can be enjoyed by those with no interest in becoming part of the flock.
The Lion House Bakery
The subculture of most religions includes some sort of special bread or other carb that makes people temporarily consider converting. In the case of the Latter-day Saints, it's the delicious Lion House rolls. A dozen or more of the miraculously tasty bits of bread, along with other bakery goods, can be picked up in downtown Salt Lake City at the mansion Brigham Young had built to house some of his many wives and dozens of children. Many Deseret Book stores are also being retrofitted to be able to carry Lion House Bakery products.
63 E. South Temple, 801-363-5466, TempleSquareHospitality.com
Retractable Roof at City Creek
Somebody finally noticed Salt Lake City is nice outdoors in the spring, summer and fall, but it's better to be indoors in the winter. Besides making Salt Lake City temperate year round, what could be more fun than a retractable roof like they have at baseball stadiums sitting over a major part of downtown? The new mall is just one part of the church's overall investment in revitalizing downtown. Stores that are not church-owned but are still part of the City Creek development can be open on Sundays and some restaurants have the choice to serve alcohol. The people who seem to have little interest in staying out late and enjoying a cosmopolitan environment are the very people who have made it possible for Salt Lakers to do just that.
50 S. Main, Salt Lake City, ShopCityCreekCenter.com
Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center
Religions are at their best when they lay off the rule-making and focus on helping their fellow man. To that end, the Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center annually sends about 12 million pounds of shoes and clothing, 1 million hygiene kits and 1 million pounds of medical supplies to more than 100 countries. Additionally, the center typically employs about 100 people, many of them immigrants and refugees getting their first work experience in America while receiving training to enter the general workforce.
Anyone, LDS or otherwise, who wants to help out can donate to the Humanitarian Aid Fund or donate supplies for aid kits. The center's Website also has suggestions about what people can do to assist the needy in their communities.
1655 S. Bennett Road (2030 West), 801-240-5954, LDS.org/Service/Humanitarian
Family History Library
Cities are often known for their one-of-a-kind activities that can be found nowhere else. When you're in New York City, you take in a Broadway musical. When you're in Paris, you look at great art. And when you're in Salt Lake City, you happen to be in the best place on the entire planet to do genealogical research.
It turns out, turning up great-great-grandparents is easier, and more enjoyable, than you ever could have expected when you visit the Family History Library, just across the street from Temple Square. Even though more and more research can now be done online—including at the Website FamilySearch.org—David Rencher, the chief genealogical officer for the LDS Church notes that, "We're starting to acquire everything digitally, but it's still just the tip of the iceberg." To that end, the library has 2.4 million rolls of microfilm on hand from countries around the world. The library is so extensive, it's not unusual for people to come from another country to do research on the country they traveled from.
Those who are genealogical virgins need not be embarrassed. There is a special training for beginners, who can even wear a button identifying them as newbies so they can get special treatment from the many volunteer missionaries on staff, who specialize in research rather than recruitment.
35 N. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 866-406-1830, FamilySearch.org
BYU International Cinema
For two weeks out of the year, Utah becomes famous as the home of the Sundance Film Festival. For the other 50 weeks, Utah is also home to a foreign film festival that is less well known, but much more enduring. The BYU International Cinema program has been showing foreign films every week since 1968.
The films shown are diverse as well as challenging, although they are sometimes slightly edited to meet BYU standards. The schedule in recent months has featured a trio of Fellini films, former Sundance picks, a documentary on the controversial French thinker Jacques Derrida, a Bollywood musical and a movie focusing on the challenges faced by Pakistani Muslims since 9/11—and they're always free!
Spencer W. Kimball Tower, BYU Campus, Provo, 801-422-3529, IC.BYU.edu
Shake off the cynicism. A better Utah awaits.
By Kirk Jowers
This is a tale of our city. It's (mostly) the best of times, and (on one issue) the worst of times here in Utah's state capital.
On one hand, we live in an incredibly vibrant place. We have unparalleled access to outdoor recreation, the arts, booming businesses, and a world-class research, Pac-12, BCS-busting university. Nowhere else in the nation can you leave your city office and find "the greatest snow on earth" within a 40-minute drive. The Downtown Rising project, including the new City Creek development, will do wonders to revitalize our city center. Forbes magazine has repeatedly named Utah its "Best State for Business and Careers." For the past six years, Utahns have led the country in volunteering. These aren't the only areas in which we're on top nationally—the University of Utah has been ranked first in the country for start-up businesses, first for its health-care system and third for green power on a college campus. All of these factors contribute to making Salt Lake City a great place to live.
Utahns love what the state has to offer, and contribute tremendously to their communities (and to Mitt Romney's presidential campaigns), but they don't have the same passion when it comes to actually going to the polls and engaging in the political process. Simply put, political participation in our state is dismally low. Utah once led the nation in voter participation, but now regularly sits at the bottom. A key reason for this decline is that Utah is the only state in the nation that has not created a way for good candidates to get on the ballot without going through a political convention where narrow interests can more easily control the outcome. The U.S. Elections Project at George Mason University ranked Utah 45th in the nation for voter turnout after the 2010 midterm elections, with a mere 34.3 percent of Utahns voting in that election—and 45th was our best finish over the past few elections. According to the Utah Foundation, Utah historically had high voter-participation rates, but our numbers have been dropping consistently for the past 50 years. For example, 78.3 percent of eligible Utahns voted in 1960, but that number dropped to 51.6 percent in 1996 and has hovered around 50 percent in presidential general elections ever since.
Robert M. Hutchins said, "The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference and undernourishment." It's time for Utahns to step it up. The Hinckley Institute of Politics' mission is to promote political and civic involvement and to engage university students in the political process. Since Robert H. Hinckley founded the Institute in 1965, we have sent more than 5,000 interns to work locally, in Washington, D.C., and in more than 35 countries around the world. Hinckley believed that "our young, best minds must be encouraged to enter politics," a great clarion call for political engagement. However, this should not be limited to university students—nor do you even have to be "young" to participate! All Utahns should become informed, engaged citizens.
We live in an age of cynicism: People are skeptical of government, and perhaps rightfully so, but no matter how frustrated we are with Congress or what we think of the Utah State Legislature's policies and message bills, simply whining about it isn't going to solve anything. We have seen what can happen when people respond to government, as illustrated by the Legislature's 2011 GRAMA debacle, and our elected officials bowed to the people's will. When citizens get involved in government, good things happen. When participation vacuums caused by public apathy arise, bad things happen because narrow, non-public-minded interests will always fill that void. The will of "we the people" will make a meaningful impact if we frequently contact our legislators and city council representatives, attend our neighborhood caucus meetings and become delegates and actually vote on Election Day, even during municipal races.
Hinckley Institute interns are great examples of participation. Every year interns work at the Utah Capitol with legislators and lobbyists during the legislative session. They serve in Gov. Gary Herbert's, Mayor Ralph Becker's and the Utah congressional delegations' offices. They work within the justice system, serve political parties, run campaigns, staff public policy firms, help nonprofit organizations and work for media entities. These students are engaging in their community and government in diverse, practical ways. Most importantly, they leave empowered because they know one person can make a difference and a group of motivated people can change the world.
If you are committed to a better Utah, then get involved now. First, we need an informed electorate, so read newspapers, listen to news programs with differing ideologies than your own and attend or tune into Hinckley Forums and other community lectures and conferences. Second, if you're not registered to vote, do so immediately. You can register online at Vote.Utah.gov. Attend your neighborhood caucus meetings this spring—the Democratic and Republican caucuses are held on March 13 and March 15, 2012, respectively. You could even consider running to be a precinct officer, county delegate or state delegate for the statewide convention in May. And then, when it comes time to vote in primary and general elections, do it! Utah is the best in almost every other category, and we should again lead the nation in voting.
Kirk Jowers is director of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics. He thanks Hinckley colleague Rochelle McConkie Parker for assisting with this feature.
Visual Arts=Soul Food
Utah's artsy types reveal how to forage for art.
Compiled by Lexie Levitt
We can relate. Honest. You're new in town and feel like a stranger in a strange land. So how do you find your bearings? The answer is, and always has been, art. There is something about the expression of visual art that defines the place where you live and the people who live there. We've asked a number of folks who are "in the know" when it comes to the local arts scene for the best ways to plug in and take part in Salt Lake City's vibrant arts community.
Lisa Sewell, Utah Arts Festival, UAF.org
As the largest outdoor multidisciplinary arts event in the state, the four-day Utah Arts Festival features more than 140 visual artists, 100 performing-arts groups and 18 culinary artists and draws 80,000 patrons to downtown Salt Lake City. In 2012, look for it June 21 to 24.
"Year-round, the art scene kind of shifts cyclically. Fall feels like the start of the gallery stroll season, so you see all the local galleries and people coming out to Gallery Stroll, which is on the third Friday of the month. When the holidays hit, a lot of the galleries focus on holiday shows, and they have extended hours in the evenings and on the weekends, so there's an opportunity to get more plugged into the art scene between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the new year. In December, EVE (Dec. 29-31) starts the new year as a downtown event to get people excited about what's going on artistically, activity-wise and community-wise. Then, big stuff happens starting in the spring with Living Traditions (May 18-20), then the Pride Festival (June 1-3), Utah Arts Festival (June 21-24), the Kimball Arts Festival (Aug. 3-5)—those kinds of events. There's stuff to do all the time."
Sheryl Gillilan, Art Access/VSA Utah, 230 S. 500 West, No. 125, Salt Lake City, 801-328-0703, AccessArt.org
Art Access/VSA Utah was founded in 1984 to make the arts accessible to people with disabilities. Its Art Access Gallery, located in the downtown artists community known as Artspace, exhibits the work of artists both with and without disabilities.
"I would make my big pitch for why you should buy art, which is to say that if you buy a piece of art as a gift, it's unique. It's one of a kind, and the money goes back to the artist and a small percentage of that goes to the organization that hosts the event. In our case, 70 percent goes to the artist and 30 percent goes to Art Access; we use that to fund our programs. If you buy a gift here, you're supporting an artist who lives in your community, and you're supporting an organization in your community that employs people, so it's a very grass-roots way to spend your money. It's absolutely an investment. People always say, 'Art is the first thing I cut from my budget.' Well, that might be initially true, but really, you can't live without art because it feeds your soul. People are wanting to come out of the recession, are wanting to buy art again because it feeds that part of yourself, the beauty side of yourself, the soulful part of you."
Kristina Robb, Salt Lake Gallery Stroll, GalleryStroll.org
Founded by the Salt Lake Gallery Association in 1983, Gallery Stroll is a self-guided tour on the third Friday of each month where galleries and other businesses that support visual artists stay open late to allow art enthusiasts to tour exhibits after hours. (In December, the Gallery Stroll is held on the first Friday of the month.)
"The Salt Lake Gallery Stroll Web page (GalleryStroll.org) has a cohesive list of what's happening not only in the galleries, but all of the other alternative venues. For instance, one is Cathedral Tattoo (249 E. 400 South)—they do some really great exhibits, as does Blonde Grizzly (15 E. 400 South). We partner with 15 Bytes Magazine. It's an e-magazine published by Artists of Utah (ArtistsOfUtah.org) where you can get information, not only about Salt Lake City, but the surrounding area. They do reviews and write stories about certain exhibits. These are some go-to places for visual arts in Salt Lake City. We overlap to a certain extent, but we also provide different information and then people can choose what they like."
Adam Price, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (formerly Salt Lake Art Center), 20 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-328-4201, UtahMOCA.org
UMOCA has been around for more than 75 years, is housed in a beautiful downtown facility next to Abravanel Hall and is a must-see for those who crave contemporary visual art, especially large-scale avant-garde exhibits.
The way to get involved with visual arts in Utah is to visit the galleries and museums. I'll put in a plug for the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art which has some wonderful exhibitions up, but the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (410 Campus Center Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-581-7332, UMFA.Utah.edu), Brigham Young University Museum of Art (North Campus Drive, Provo, 801-422-8287) and even the Central Utah Art Center in Ephraim (CUArtCenter.org)—all have really terrific exhibitions. There's also some great local galleries that you could check out including Nox Contemporary (440 S. 400 West, Suite H, Salt Lake City, 801-289-6269, NoxContemporary.org), Phillips (444 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-364-8284, Phillips-Gallery.com) and Kayo (177 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-532-0080, KayoGallery.com). The Leonardo (209 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-531-9800, TheLeonardo.org) has some artwork that's quite good. If you want to get more involved in the local scene, you could start looking for the occasional openings of studios like Captain Captain (825 S. 500 West, Salt Lake City, CaptainCaptain.org) or Poor Yorick (126 W. Crystal Ave. [2590 South], South Salt Lake, 801-759-8681, PoorYorickStudios.com) or the Guthrie (158 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City), all of which are large collections of artists working in one place. Each opens about twice a year—some more frequently than that—and it's a great party you can go to and hang out with your friends and see artists in their studios and the things they're working on. It's a lot of fun.
Gretchen Dietrich, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 Campus Center Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-581-7332, UMFA.Utah.edu
Of course, my first answer will be the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. We're a university museum, but we're also a community museum. We have 19,000 objects covering 5,000 years of human history and a really amazing special-exhibitions program and awesome public programs. There's always a lot happening in our museum, with new exhibitions, visiting artists, people giving talks and people doing performances.
Definitely on my list would be the big works of land art in Utah that put Utah on the international map for art, and that's Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty (Rozel Point, the Great Salt Lake, Box Elder County), which was built in 1970. When I first moved to Utah eight years ago, one of the first things we did was see Spiral Jetty. If you're an art person, and you're interested in art, it's one of the few things that a lot of people who move here know about Utah. It's incredible. It's one of the most important art works made in the 20th century in the world, period. Must Sees Check out the "new kids" on the block—two museums taking the city by storm—and don't miss Utah's plethora of tried-and-true attractions.
New and old stuff to see.
Check out the "new kids" on the block—two museums taking the city by storm—and don't miss Utah's plethora of tried-and-true attractions.
The Natural History Museum of Utah (301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, 801-581-6927, NHMU.Utah.edu) features life-size dinosaur mounts, local Indian artifacts and eye-popping demonstrations of Utah geological history, in a brand-new building with a copper skin.
The Leonardo (209 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-531-9800, TheLeonardo.org) is a contemporary science, technology and art museum, a place to immerse yourself in exhibits, labs and community workshops that inspire a sense of wonder about the world.
Experience daily star shows, 3-D music concerts and 3-D IMAX movies.
110 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City, 801-456-7827, ClarkPlanetarium.org
"Hands-on" discovery museum with interactive exhibits including a 30-foot-tall beehive, a media center and a "Saving Lives From the Sky" life-size helicopter.
444 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-456-5437, ChildMuseum.org
Gardner Village preserves the old Gardner flourmill, listed on the National Historic Register. Surrounding the mill is a cluster of vintage structures restored into charming retail specialty shops, a restaurant, bakery, a meeting facility and a day spa.
1100 W. 7800 South, West Jordan, 801-566-8903, GardnerVillage.com
Established in 1931 at the mouth of Emigration Canyon, this zoo is home to 1,100 animals, representing more than 250 species.
2600 E. Sunnyside Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-582-1631, HogleZoo.org
Living Planet Aquarium
More than 100 animal species are on display in the Marine Hall and Utah Waters Hall exhibits that include a bio-facts station, coral reefs, a shark tank and a "touch pool."
725 E. 10600 South, Sandy, 801-355-3474, TheLivingPlanet.org
Museum of Church History and Art
Exhibits on the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, artwork by LDS artists and, usually, interactive exhibits for children.
45 N. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-240-3310, LDS.org/ChurchHistory/Museum
Pioneer Memorial Museum
Operated by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, this museum features memorabilia from when the earliest settlers entered the Salt Lake Valley until the joining of the railroads at Promontory Point, Utah, on May 10, 1869.
300 N. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-532-6479, DUPInternational.org
Red Butte Garden
This nonprofit botanical garden and arboretum has more than 150 acres of flowers, trees and shrubs, with walking and hiking paths available year-round.
300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, 801-581-4747, RedButteGarden.org
Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Cauldron Park
The campus site of the Olympic Ceremonies for the XIX Olympic Winter Games includes the cauldron that held the Olympic flame. The visitors center includes an interactive theater where moments of the games are captured.
457 S. 1400 East, Rice-Eccles Stadium, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
Includes Museum of Ancient Life, a championship-caliber golf course, Thanksgiving Point Village, the Farm Country, dining and shops.
3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, 801-768-2300, ThanksgivingPoint.com
This Is The Place Heritage Park
Site of the Mormon pioneers' entry into the Salt Lake Valley, the park features Old Deseret Village, This Is the Place monument, the Brigham Young Forest Farmhouse and picnic areas.
2601 Sunnyside Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-582-1847, ThisIsThePlace.org
Located in Liberty Park, Tracy Aviary houses some 400 birds of 135 species and cultivates about 100 varieties of plants.
589 E. 1300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-596-8500, TracyAviary.org
Wheeler Historic Farm
Historic demonstrations and exhibits are just a few of the things that will take you back in time. Discover the old-time farm lifestyle, once common for most families in Utah, but now largely past and gone.
6351 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-264-2241, WheelerFarm.com
Cathedral of the Madeleine
A recent $10 million renovation project has restored this wonderful Catholic cathedral to its original splendor, complete with magnificent stained-glass windows and elaborate artwork. Free tours and concerts.
331 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-328-8941, SaltLakeCathedral.org
Hidden in the middle of the city, Gilgal is known for its eccentric handcrafted stone art. There is a 25-ton sphinx with the visage of LDS Church founder Joseph Smith, depictions of biblical stories and a tribute to Masons.
749 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-328-8941, GilgalGarden.org
Salt Lake City Main Library
At 240,000 square feet, this state-of-the-art library holds more than 500,000 books and materials. Facilities include multilevel reading areas, a rooftop garden, amphitheater and public plaza.
210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-524-8200, SLCPL.org
Salt Lake Masonic Temple
Built in 1927, the landmark includes Egyptian, Gothic, Moorish and Colonial rooms. Free tours available by appointment.
650 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-363-2936
The Thursday evening rehearsal and Sunday 9:30 a.m. broadcast of Mormon Tabernacle Choir are open to the public.
South Temple & Main Street, Salt Lake City, 801-240-1000, VisitTempleSquare.com
Designed after the nation's Capitol and built in 1915.
350 N. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-538-3000
Hikers, horseback riders and cross-country skiers enjoy a variety of trails on the popular island in the Great Salt Lake. Picnicking, camping, and boating facilities are also available. The island is home to a roaming herd of 600 bison, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep. A visitor center offers information on the island's unique biology, geology and history.
Antelope Drive Exit on Interstate 15, 26 miles north of Salt Lake City
Eccles Dinosaur Park
See life-size creatures and hear them roar in the park's six acres. Watch technicians prepare fossils or visit the hands-on exhibits.
1544 E. Park Blvd., Ogden, 801-393-3466, DinosaurPark.org
Heber Valley Railroad
Utah's historic steam passenger railroad is a tourist attraction based in Heber City. The track follows the Provo River to Vivian Park near Sundance Resort in Provo Canyon. Don't miss the Polar Express and Tube 'n' Train that operate in December.
450 S. 600 West, Heber City, 435-654-5601, HeberValleyRR.org
Kennecott Bingham Canyon Copper Mine
One of the largest human-made excavations ever dug. The visitors center displays photographs, exhibits and more. Located in the Oquirrh Mountains approximately 25 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.
12800 South, State Route 111, Bingham Canyon, 801-204-2025, Kennecott.com
Lagoon Amusement Park
The state's largest amusement park features one of the nation's oldest wooden coasters, as well as kiddie rides, games, a water park and more. Open April through October.
375 Lagoon Drive, Farmington, 801-451-8000, LagoonPark.com
Ogden Union Station
Built in 1924, Ogden Union Station was the center of transcontinental rail traffic for more than 50 years. Today, it is home to train and art museums, a visitors center, a model-train shop and a restaurant.
2501 Wall Ave., Ogden, 801-393-9886, TheUnionStation.org
The 389-acre Utah Olympic Park was built for the 2002 Winter Games for Nordic jumping and the sliding sports of bobsled, luge and skeleton. Now used for national and international competitions, it also serves as a year-round training ground for development and high-performance athletes. Visitors can tour the Alf Engen Ski Museum and take a bobsled ride of their own.
3419 Olympic Parkway, Park City, 435-658-4206, OlyParks.com
LGBT Game Face
It's easy to navigate the city's LGBT scene. Just roll the dice and make your move.
By Brandon Burt
Whether you’re a newcomer fresh off the plane, or a Utah native fresh out of the closet, Salt Lake City’s vibrant and diverse LGBT scene has something for everybody—so much to offer, in fact, that it can be difficult to know where to begin. To help get you started, here are just a few of the community’s many available resources. Ready? Let’s play!
There’s no better place to begin than the Utah Pride Center (361 N. 300 West, 801-539-8800, UtahPrideCenter.org)—the epicenter of Salt Lake City’s LGBT community. A gathering place for advocacy organizations, support groups and a vast array of networking and social groups, the center is home to Café Marmalade, a full-service coffee shop and an LGBTQ library.
It’s your move: Want to shake things up? Work with smart, passionate folks impacting the lives of LGBT families? Move forward to The Political Swamp.
The Political Swamp
This is the place where real-life policy changes are made. It’s easy to get bogged down in conflict here, but that’s how democracy works. Equality Utah (175 W. 200 South, Suite 3001, 801-355-3479, EqualityUtah.org) focuses on ending discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. If you’re of a more partisan bent, you can join the fray with Utah Stonewall Democrats (UtahStonewallDems.org) or Utah Log Cabin Republicans (LogCabinUtah.org).
After all that political wangling, you’re probably eager to cleanse your soul. Move forward to The Spiritual Realm.
The Spiritual Realm
Sacred Light of Christ Church (823 S. 600 East, 801-595-0052, SLCChurch.org) has long been a vibrant, welcoming congregation for LGBT Christians. Gay and lesbian Latter-day Saints find respite and inspiration with Affirmation Gay & Lesbian Mormons (801-486-6977, Affirmation.org). Gay men can attain a magical connection through retreats and meditation with Queer Spirit (QueerSpirit.org). Many congregations may not be primarily gay, but are welcoming to the LGBT community, including First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City (777 S. 1300 East, 801-582-4921, FirstBaptist-SLC.org) and South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society (6876 S. Highland Drive, 801-944-9723, SVUUS.org).
Now that you’ve done your duty to God, it’s probably time to go shopping, right? Advance to The Commercial Zone.
The Commercial Zone
Whether you’re a fashionista or a fashionisto, we’ve got a shop for you. Spark/Cockers (629 S. State, 801-467-1574) is mainly for the style-conscious men; women will prefer Q Clothing Boutique (215 E. 300 South, 801-474-2000, QClothing.com). Kitschy gifts, surprising artifacts and perhaps somewhat-naughty items are on sale at Cahoots Cards & Gifts (878 E. 900 South, 801-538-0606) and Mischievous Cards & Gifts (559 S. 300 West, 801-530-3100). For us thrifty folks, the treasures at Our Store (358 S. 300 East, 801-819-7884, YourThriftAlternative.org) offer an attractive and affordable shopping option.
All dressed up with nowhere to go? Don’t sit there alone, decked out in your new finery—just move forward to The Social Whirl.
The Social Whirl
What would Salt Lake City be without The Royal Court of the Golden Spike Empire (RCGSE.org)? That crazy crew of drag queens and other sparkly individuals puts on fabulous charitable fundraisers. Furry male specimens will feel at home with the friendly Utah Bear Alliance (UtahBears.com). And, each June, our city is home to “the running of the gays”—the biggest regional LGBT event, courtesy of the dedicated volunteers and staff at the Utah Pride Festival (UtahPrideFestival.org).
It’s time to ask, “Why don’t we go and get a drink somewhere?” Move forward to The Club District.
The Club District
Get ready to match wits with the smart set at Jam (751 N. 300 West, 801-891-1162, JamSLC.com)—a nice, bright place with nice, bright people. Club Try-Angles (251 W. 900 South, 801-364-3203, ClubTry-Angles.com) is the spot if you’re in mood to relax—come for the friendly neighborhood crowd, stay for the beer-soaked weenies! You can get your cowboy on at the “cozy, country, cruisy” Trapp (102 S. 600 West, 801-531-8727, TheTrappSLC.com). The sisters are doing it for themselves at the Paper Moon (3737 S. State, 801-713-0678). Many clubs offer special gay nights, such as Fusion Saturdays at Metro Bar (540 W. 200 South) and PÜRE Fridays SLC at Club Sound (579 W. 200 South, 801-328-0255, 18+, Facebook.com/ClubSoundSLC).
If you’ve played your cards right and made all the best moves, you might’ve met the love of your life. Congratulations! Unfortunately, Utah marriage law discriminates against gay and lesbian families—but why not honor your commitment with the closest thing to marriage equity Salt Lake City can offer? Advance to The City & County Building.
The City & County Building
Since 2008, Salt Lake City has allowed same-sex couples (and other interdependent pairs) to enter their names into its Mutual Commitment Registry. Mutually committed couples receive no real legal benefits beyond what employers are willing to offer, but they do get a certificate suitable for framing, and a certain sense of satisfaction.
Brandon Burt is a freelance writer and author of Brandon’s Big Gay Blog.