Best of Utah 2013: Active Life | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City

Best of Utah 2013: Active Life 

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Best Sport Support

The mission of SheJumps is to help women of all abilities—couch potatoes to elite athletes—get outside and recreate in whatever sport or activity they feel passionate about. The Utah-based organization lobbies for funds to support women’s sports and creates a community for women who want to get or stay active, with everything from nights at a trampoline park to ski days to avalanche training. The idea has taken root, and SheJumps has branched out with events in towns across the country.

Best Club for Beard Enthusiasts
Utah Beardsman Alliance

The Utah Beardsman Alliance is not exclusive to those with the ability to grow robust mouth mittens—all that’s required is a passion for the facial-hair lifestyle. Created by a group of young men and women who love the all-natural look of a man’s face, the group hosts local charity events, competes in national bearding competitions and, of course, goes fishing, camping and anything else that looks awesome with a beard.

Best Spot to Get Your Pong On
Table Tennis Training & Event Center

Everyone has that one friend who thinks they’re really good at pingpong (sorry, “table tennis”). If you’re looking to put said friend in his or her place, head to the Table Tennis Training & Event Center, where you can build your strength against great players or get an education in the sport—it’s like a pong dojo. There are weekly leagues, training coaches, camps and even an automated pong-bot that can fire off 3,000 different spins.
3572 S. 1950 West, West Valley City, 801-866-1415,

Best Guided Tour of Salt Lake City
Grimm Ghost Tours

Even though this tour is ghost-themed, you’ll also get a huge dose of (actually interesting) historical facts. Grimm Ghost Tours does an enormous amount of research to highlight the bloodier, messed-up elements of Salt Lake City’s past. The result is an entertaining hour-and-a-half murder tour. Even if you’re not a believer in the paranormal, Grimm will make you see Salt Lake City in an exciting, darker light.
18 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-508-4746,

Best Backcountry Skier Resource
Wasatch Snow Forecast

The Weather Channel is for tourists and weather-guessers who care more about highway closures than powder runs. Luckily for powder hounds, there’s Wasatch Snow Forecast. Updated daily and operated by Utah skiers and weather junkies, Wasatch Snow Forecast predicts and pinpoints local snow accumulation to an almost uncanny level of accuracy. Whether it’s dumping or dusting outside, you’ll know which resort, canyon and tree well is packing the most white stuff.

Best Fitness Classes
Pinnacle Performance
At Pinnacle Performance, the focus is on replacing the achy, creaky, inflexible you with someone schooled in “intelligent movement.” Manual physical therapy can help loosen you up and prepare you for the re-education of your body in how to move properly, combining physical-therapy principles with a full range of exercises. Individual sessions can help evaluate posture, balance and general movement for specialized training; group classes include Pilates at a variety of ability levels, and specialty classes with more focus on cardio, yoga and even prenatal/postpartum fitness.
1515 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City, 801-583-5692,
2. Salt Lake Power Yoga
3. Pure Workout

Best Heavenly Patch of Green
Granite Park

Nowhere in the Salt Lake Valley is quite as majestic or as beautiful as this park nestled below the Wasatch Mountains, with the twinkling lights of Sandy descending to the west. With the early-morning rooster crows—there are a few small farms and horse stables nearby—and the clip-clop of horseback riders, this park provides an oasis of calm. By dusk, the park is almost ethereal in its beauty, the sky a cavalcade of colors and moods, and the mountains a riot of changing colors throughout the year.
2900 E. Mount Jordan Road, Sandy, 801-483-5473

Best Pace-Setters
Girls on the Run

Persuading kids to exercise isn’t always easy in this age of iPods, tablets and Netflix. The Girls on the Run nonprofit has a solution in its 10-week programs taught at Salt Lake County public schools. Volunteers train with girls ages 8 to 13, using running workouts to enhance emotional and physical development and build self-esteem. The programs culminate with a 5K race in Sugar House Park. Exercise never seemed so much fun.

Best Downtown Bursts of Color
Salt Lake City Parks & Recreation

When we’re not choking on the inversion, there’s an unexpected joy to be found in the streets of downtown Salt Lake City in the summertime. The flower beds, bursting with everything from pampas grass and tulips to daffodils and margaritas, are dazzling displays of color and life that bring energy and heart to otherwise drab streets. The folks at Salt Lake City Parks & Recreation, who care for these gems of much-welcome floral delight, contribute to what makes living and working downtown in Salt Lake City such a pleasure.

Best Yoga Party
Yoga Dance

The Utah Krishna community’s dance parties put the trance in transcendental. The all-ages yoga “raves” combine yoga sessions interspersed with consciousness-expanding ancient mantras set to a techno beat. The sessions usually start with a 45-minute yoga session, followed by a manic mantra dance party, all capped off with another 45 minutes of yoga. The monthly events cost just $5 and include juice and vegetarian finger foods to keep you going through a night of peaceful meditation and joyful dance.
965 E. 3370 South, Salt Lake City, 801-487-4005,


Best Terrible Lizards
Ogden Eccles Dinosaur Park

Every kid who ever played with plastic dinosaurs has wondered what it would be like to walk among them. If you’ve got one of those kids—or maybe used to be one—Ogden offers a chance to be (safely) part of their world. Life-size replicas of dinosaurs, constructed from the fossil record, move and make sounds throughout the winding paths of the eight-acre park, tucked along the banks of the Ogden River. Witness a battle between an allosaurus and diplodocus, or gaze up at a 20-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex. Then, head inside the adjacent museum for more exhibits and hands-on learning opportunities.
1544 Park Blvd., Ogden, 801-393-3466,

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