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Savvy Shoppers Go Treasure-Hunting in Salt Lake's Distinctive Neighborhoods

Published: 05/31/2007

Name it and you can find it here. That’s what shoppers are discovering as they explore Salt Lake’s many shopping districts, from the city center to some wonderfully quirky neighborhoods. 

The City Center is the heart of Salt Lake’s shopping experience, offering a combination of familiar stores and eclectic shops, from Sam Weller’s Zion Bookstore, one of America’s largest bookstores specializing in used and rare tomes and is home to a cozy coffee café to the friendly Oxford Shop providing top-drawer shoes for men. Next door, the UTah Artist Hands specialize in local art while Bennion Jewelers, Utah’s oldest jeweler, is just a block from O.C. Tanner, the legendary goldsmith and maker of Olympic medals. Salt Lake’s nearby Avenues neighborhood frames Queen Anne cottages, Victorian gingerbreads, and Arts and Crafts bungalows with specialty boutiques.  Q Street Fine Crafts is sleek and contemporary with modern glass art, jewelry, and chic furnishings. It’s worth the trip to find these one-of-a-kind items.

In a national historic site made up of vintage red brick trolley barns, shoppers enjoy a cozy enclave of shops, galleries, and restaurants at Trolley Square. Among the Square’s national and local shops, Tabula Rasa may be the region’s finest stationery, pen and luxury gift store. Shoppers will also be glad to find Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma stores in this convenient location.

Foothill Village, an open-air mall on the city’s East Bench, is home to numerous fine shops and restaurants, most locally owned. The Village Sports Den is one of the city’s best ski equipment (to buy and to rent) and clothing stores like the nationally renowned style house of White House/Black Market. Scentsations offers lotions, potions and select clothing and Three French Hens is a wonderland of French antiques, finery and designer shoes.

The hip little Ninth and Ninth neighborhood, recently renovated with new benches, a flower-filled median and outdoor art, includes a new location for the venerable Coffee Garden, an art movie house, gift shops, and galleries. Western River Flyfisher is a renowned fly-fishing purveyor, while Chameleon Art Wear stocks international clothing and jewelry and Charlotte’s is an emporium of specialty items, from handbags to teacups. The Fifteenth and Fifteenth neighborhood is the grown-up sibling to Ninth and Ninth. One of Salt Lake’s premiere Italian cafes, Fresco, shares a house with the beloved King’s English Bookstore. Great Garb stocks high fashions, and the Blue Cockatoo is a gift shop extraordinaire.

Around the site of a long-gone sugar beet processing factory the Sugarhouse district is nearly bursting with second-hand shops, antique dealers, world-craft stores, and locally produced art shops. Shoppers browse through streets packed with chic little home furnishing stores such as the 1960-vintage Green Ant and the thoroughly modern Beyond Ordinary.  Robert Redford’s Sundance Catalog outlet store rounds out the shopping mix in this eclectic district.

Shopping goes big city bohemian with art galleries and hip second-hand collectible shops on Pierpont Street in the Warehouse District. “Eclectic” is just what the name implies—a veritable treasure chest of artful second-generation items. Tony Caputo’s stacked-to-the-rafters Italian deli is just around the corner from gourmet shops Carlucci’s Bakery and Aquarius Fish Co.  And, next door is the new Aloha Island Style Sushi.  Also gracing this area is Cucina Toscana, an award winning Italian restaurant owned and overseen by famed New York restaurateur, Walter Nassi. The grand new Gateway, a two-level urban lifestyle center in Salt Lake boasts over 105 stores (30 you’ll find only at The Gateway), the Megaplex 12 theatres, the Clark Planetarium, Olympic Legacy Fountain and 13 terrific restaurants.  The Gateway is home to the interactive children's museum, Discovery Gateway, while the beautifully restored 1908 Union Pacific Depot features French Renaissance architecture and original artwork.  The Olympic Legacy Plaza is overlooked by a classic clock tower and features the “dancing waters” of the Olympic Snowflake Fountain.  www.shopthegateway.com.

The Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, non-profit corporation responsible for the promotion of Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination. Salt Lake is a unique fusion of metropolitan city and quaint mountain town; the towering Wasatch Mountains that embrace Salt Lake offer a dramatic backdrop to the vibrancy and activities of downtown. Having recently undergone a $58 million expansion, the Salt Palace Convention Center now boasts 679,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space, ideal for groups of all sizes and needs. For more information on all that Salt Lake has to offer, visit www.VisitSaltLake.com.

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