By Pam Olson, Ski Utah Blog -- Fabulous architecture, art, dining and exclusive shopping at your fingertips. Sometimes it’s worth a break from the slopes.
While enjoying a week in Utah on a ski vacation, even the best of us—the most hard-core, the most enthusiastic—can’t ski every single day. The conditions might not allow it, for one thing. And, unless you’re in perfect shape, you’ll be feeling it after three solid days on the slopes. Rubber quads, anyone? In order to finish off the second half of your trip rocking it at the resorts, it would be wise to take a break and seek out one of Utah’s many other attractions or pastimes. Might I suggest…shopping?
I realize shopping isn’t for everyone, which is why I’m not recommending a mere mall. I’m proposing you visit an architectural wonder, a launch point for your immersion in the urban Salt Lake City experience with great dining to boot. I’m talking about City Creek Center, located at the epicenter of downtown. Sure, OK, it’s a mall; it has fabulous anchor stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s and chains like The Cheesecake Factory. But it’s also a structural marvel with one-of-a-kind features, including a 1,200-foot creek that flows past Godiva Chocolatier and Restoration Hardware, complete with live, native Cutthroat trout.
Make the most of your visit and ensure you don’t miss anything by first stopping at the Customer Service Desk, located on Level 1. Pick up the Directory, Passport to Shopping and Architectural Tour brochures. The Directory will familiarize you with the layout and 110 stores. The Architectural Tour will be your guide to dozens of the center’s historical, structural and artistic features. In addition to original sculptures and giant water fountains, the center’s most notable cachet is the enormous retractable skylight roof, the first in a shopping center. Not installed just for beauty, the roof is functional in controlling temperature and allowing fresh air, saving heating and cooling costs. The tour is also fun for kids, who can seek and follow mule deer, bear, or mountain goat tracks imprinted in the stone.
Once you know your way around, turn to the Passport to Shopping, a book loaded with coupons to great stores, including Athleta (gear!), Salomon (more gear!), N3L Optics (goggles!) and Sephora (skin care!). And, if you spend more than $150, take your same-day receipts back to the Customer Service Desk and you’ll receive a lovely gift.
City Creek Center is a remarkable destination that was an impactful addition to the city skyline. A few years ago, downtown was struggling and in need of a grand plan to shape its future. Part of the Downtown Rising project, the center has injected a whole new energy and vibe into the area that has begun to radiate to outer blocks, drawing more and more people downtown. Head down to see what it’s all about!
More Reasons to Visit City Creek Center
- Accessible by TRAX.
- The Gym at City Creek. Spend a few hours treating yourself to the sauna and steam rooms; the relaxation room with fireplace, the outdoor pool deck and the juice bar. Check the Passport to Shopping for $5.00 off a daily pass.
- Across the street from Temple Square, hub of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
- Excellent local restaurants. My favorites include 1. Taste of Red Iguana, award-winning Mexican food and home of my favorite taco, Tacos Don Ramon. Gluten-free options, such as posole. 2. Bocata artisan sandwiches: Try the Cuban pork with citrus braised pork shoulder, pickled red onion, cilantro, jalapeno and aioli. Yum! 3. Blue Lemon: Fast, health-conscious, delicious. Fuel up for more shopping!
- Real-Time Flight Monitor. Check departures from Salt Lake International Airport on the screen, located at Customer Service Desk, Level 1.
- Teavana. Swing by for a sample of an exotic tea blend. Perfect to warm your bones.
- Within walking distance to dozens of bars, restaurants, galleries and clubs in SLC’s downtown.
- Get your lux on with brands like Coach, Michael Kors, BOSS HUGO BOSS, Tiffany & Co., and Rolex Boutique O.C. Tanner.
- Regular store hours are 10am to 9pm, Mon–Sat; BRIO Tuscan Grille and The Cheescake Factory are open Mon–Sun.