2 p.m. • Wander Salt Lake's funky neighborhoods. You don't have to go far from downtown to do it.
9th and 9th , the area surrounding the intersection of 900 East and 900 South, is eclectic. Stop by Cahoots (878 E. 900 South; 801-538-0606) for weird gifts where else are you going to find a Marie Antoinette action figure? Or sample custom Hawaiian ice cream at Tropical Dreams (928 E. 900 South; tropicaldreamsicecream.com; 801-359-0986). Get a psychic reading or some new-age gifts and books at Dragon Dreams (920 E. 900 South). Children's Hour Book Store (914 E. 900 South; childrenshourbookstore.com; 801-359-4150) carries books, clothes, jewelry and more. The Tower Theater (876 E. 900 South; saltlakefilmsociety.org; 801-412-1824) shows foreign films, art films and cult classics. Right next door you can grab a cup of coffee and dessert at the Coffee Garden (878 E. 900 South; 801-355-3425). The neighborhood also is home to two local dining favorites: Mazza, which specializes in Middle Eastern fare (912 E. 900 South; mazzacafe.com; 801-484-9259), and Pago, small and casual with gourmet American fare (878 S. 900 East, 801-532-0777).
Up the road and over a bit is the 15th and 15th neighborhood (1500 East and 1500 South), filled with charming homes and several funky businesses. Browse the King's English Bookshop (1511 S. 1500 East; kingsenglish.com; 801-484-9100), where atmosphere and great books abound. Check out the work of emerging Utah artists at the 15th Street Gallery (1519 S. 1500 East; 15thstreetgallery.com; 801-468-1515). If you're hungry, nosh at Caputo's at 15th (1516 S. 1500 East; caputosdeli.com; 801-486-6615), a fun, friendly deli; or stop by the Paris Bistro (dinner only; corner of 1500 South and Emerson; 801-486-5585).
6 p.m. • For dinner, check out Blue Plate Diner (2041 S. 2100 East; myspace.com/blueplatediner; 801-463-1151). It looks like a traditional diner from the 1950s. But, in addition to comfort food and breakfast served all day long, there are a variety of vegetarian dishes. The most expensive item on the menu is $11.99. If you want to go more upscale, try Takashi (18 W. Market St.; 801-519-9595; takashisushi.com), arguably the best (and priciest) sushi in town. Unless you get there early, you'll probably have to wait for a table.
9 p.m. • Contrary to what you might have heard, there is nightlife in Salt Lake City and you can get a drink in a (relatively) normal fashion. See "Nightlife" below for more drinking information.
The Bayou (645 S. State; 801-961-8400; utahbayou.com) also known as "beervana" has some 30 beers on tap and a couple hundred more in bottles, along with pool, live jazz and blues, and food. If you're in the mood for a movie, try Brewvies Cinema Pub (677 S. 200 West; brewvies.com; 801-355-5500). It's a second-run movie house/pub where you can buy food and a drink and take it into the theater to enjoy. If you're looking for a gay bar, The Trapp (102 S. 600 West; 801-531-8727) caters to a younger crowd, while Try-Angles (251 W. 900 South; 801-364-3203; clubtry-angles.com) fits a somewhat older demographic.
8 a.m. • Breakfast: For something retro, the breakfast buffet at Little America Hotel has good food, but attracts an older crowd. (500 S. Main; 801-596-5700 saltlake.littleamerica.com).
10 a.m.• You can't come to Utah's capital and not spend some time at the state's No. 1 tourist site, Temple Square (center of downtown SLC; visittemplesquare.com). If you allow yourself a couple of hours, you'll be able to see just about everything the LDS Temple, the Tabernacle, the visitors' centers and the grounds and you can stop by Brigham Young's old digs, the Beehive House. It's all free. You can spend a lot more time at the various LDS museums in the area, but that's up to you. More information under "Architecturally Speaking" below.
Noon• It's 20 blocks south of downtown, but Pat's BBQ is a great place to eat lunch. Pork ribs, chicken, brisket and the sides are all amazing and reasonably priced. Closed Sundays (155 W. Commonwealth Ave., South Salt Lake; 801-484-5963; patsbbq.com). Closer to downtown is Vienna Bistro. It's only open for lunch on weekdays, but offers great sandwiches and the sort of thing you'd expect at a place with Vienna in its name like wiener and other schnitzels. It's also open for dinner every night but Sunday. (132 S. Main; 801-322-0334; vbweb.viennabistro.com.)
2 p.m. • It's been almost nine years since the Winter Olympics came to town, but there are still some gold-medal memories. Make a quick trip to see the 2002 Olympic Cauldron and Hoberman Arch (451 S. 1400 East, adjacent to Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah), the most visible remaining symbols of Utah's Winter Olympics. The Olympic flame burned in the caldron during the Games; the arch was the backdrop during medal ceremonies (it's been relocated from downtown). Go ice skating at the Utah Olympic Oval (5662 S. 4800 West, Kearns about 15 miles southwest of downtown; 801-968-6825; olyparks.com), site of the speed-skating events. If you've got more time and a car, go for a bobsled ride at Utah Olympic Park (3419 Olympic Parkway, Park City; 435-658-4200; olyparks.com). You have to be at least 16, sign a waiver and pay $60 per person. It's about 30 miles from downtown, on the way to Park City ski resorts. (Opens Dec. 21.)
7 p.m.• For dinner, try Red Iguana (two locations: 736 W. North Temple; 801-322-1489; and 866 W. South Temple; 801-214-6050; rediguana.com). This midpriced restaurant is famous locally for "killer Mexican food," particularly the mole. Red Rock Brewing Company (254 S. 200 West; 801-521-7446; redrockbrewing.com) features good food, good drinks and atmosphere housed in an old dairy warehouse.
9 p.m.• For a place that feels like everybody might know your name someday, try Murphy's Bar and Grill (160 S. Main St.), a classy hole-in-the-wall. Burts Tiki Lounge (726 S. State; myspace.com/burtstikilounge; 801-521-0572) is downscale and proud of it. You can also catch some great live music there if you hit the right night. At the other end of the spectrum is The Hotel Bar & Nightclub (155 W. 200 South; myspace.com/hotelelevate; 801-860-7680), a decidedly more posh establishment. It's relatively generic, but it's a good bet if you're looking for someplace to dance.
8 a.m. •While best-known for its Sunday brunch, Market Street Grill (48 W. Market St.; 801-322-4668; marketstreetgrill.com) offers a good breakfast at a good price the other six days of the week, too. And it's housed in the very cool New York Building, which dates to 1906.
10 a.m.•Red Butte Garden (300 Wakara Way; redbuttegarden.org; 801-585-0556) is the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West, with more than 100 acres of natural gardens, walking paths and hiking trails. Close to the city, it's a great place to enjoy views from the mountains to the Great Salt Lake. Hours vary; admission is $6 for adults, $4 for kids and seniors.
Noon • Stop by the Salt Lake Public Library (210 E. 400 South; slcpl.lib.ut.us; 801-524-8200), a very cool, modern, Moshe Safdie-designed building with a five-story, curved glass wall. It is open Mon.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 1-5 p.m.
Here are some other suggestions to keep you busy.
Despite what you may have heard, Utah is not a dry state. And, since the middle of 2009, drinking laws in the state have been pretty much normalized with a few quirks.
Whatever you may have heard about private clubs, forget it. They're a thing of the past. Now you can walk into a bar and order a drink. (You have to be 21, of course. And your driver license will be scanned to make sure you're not using fake ID.) You can get alcohol at bars, restaurants with liquor licenses and state liquor stores. State liquor stores are the only places you can buy wine and liquor. Full-strength beer is available at bars and restaurants, but only in bottles, not on tap. It's 4 percent alcohol by volume on tap or draft, and that's also what you can buy in grocery and convenience stores.
Area 51 • (451 S. 400 West; area51slc.com; 801-534-0819) Dance club that features electronic and Gothic music. Fetish night the last Saturday of the month.
Bar Deluxe • (666 S. State; myspace.com/bardeluxeshow; 801-532-2914) Neighborhood bar with live music and karaoke.
A Bar Named Sue• (3928 S. Highland Drive; abarnamedsueinslc.com; 801-274-5578) Neighborhood bar with darts, pool tables and karaoke.
The Depot • (400 W. South Temple; thedepotslc.com; 801-355-5522) Housed in the old Union Pacific train depot, this 1,200-capacity live-music venue features a couple of bars.
Gracie's • (326 S. West Temple; graciesslc.com; 801-819-7565) Good bar with good food.
Green Street Social Club • (602 E. 500 South; greenstreetslc.com; 801-532-4200) Televised sports, pool and a dance floor. Inside Trolley Square.
In the Venue/Club Sound • (579 W. 200 South; myspace.com/inthevenue; 801-359-3219 and myspace.com/clubsound; 801-328-0255) Two clubs in the same old warehouse that host a variety of live music acts.
Lumpy's Downtown• (145 W. Pierpont Ave.; lumpysdowntown.com; 801-938-3070) Sports bar.
O'Shucks Bar & Grill • (22 E. 100 South; 801-596-8600) Friendly, neighborhood-type bar.
Piper Down • (1492 S. State; piperdownpub.com; 801-468-1492) Old World pub with Irish eats and darts. And karaoke, spelled "kerry o' key."
Poplar Street Pub • (242 S. 200 West; poplarstreetpub.com; 801-532-2715) Casual bar that caters to the college crowd.
Squatters • (147 W. Broadway/300 South; squatters.com; 801-363-2739) Brew pub and burgers.
The State Room • (638 S. State; thestateroomslc.com; 801-501-2885) A 300-capacity live-music venue.
Tavernacle Social Club • (201 E. 300 South; tavernacle.com; 801-519-8900) Piano bar.
The Salt Lake area is replete with national chain restaurants, plus a lot of local restaurants you won't find in L.A., New York or Dubuque.
Bambara • (202 S. Main; bambaraslc.com; 801-363-5454) Downtown location with good food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Bruges Waffles & Frites • (336 W. Broadway/300 South; brugeswaffles.com; 801-363-4444) Great Belgian waffles and frites.
Cinegrill • (344 S. 300 East;801-328-4900) The food is just OK, but this Salt Lake institution has atmosphere and live piano music.
The Copper Onion • (111 E. 300 South; thecopperonion.com; 801-355-3282) Casual, Spanish-influenced comfort food.
Eggs in the City • (1675 E. 1300 South; 801-581-0809) Hip breakfast and lunch spot.
Faustina • (454 E. 300 South; faustinaslc.com; 801-746-4441) Inventive, upscale food.
Finn's • (1624 S. 1100 East; finnscafe.net; 801-467-4000) Scandinavian-inspired breakfast and lunch menu.
Himalayan Kitchen • (360 S. State; himalayankitchen.com; 801-328-2077) Northern Indian and Nepali food.
Kyoto • (1080 E. 1300 South; 801-487-3525) Terrific tempura and good sushi.
Lamb's Grill Cafe • (169 S. Main St.; lambsgrill.com; 801-364-7166) This downtown institution is a blast from the past very traditional, with decent food.
Martine • (22 E. 100 South; martinecafe.com; 801-363-9328) Casual lunches and dinner that includes small-plate offerings.
Mazza • (912 E. 900 South; mazzacafe.com; 801-484-9259) Lebanese cafe serves up a delicious, ambitious menu.
Moochie's Meatballs and More • (232 E. 800 South; moochiesmeatballs.com; 801-596-1350) With apologies to Philadelphia, this place has great Philly cheesesteak sandwiches.
The New Yorker • (60 W. Market St./350 South; gastronomyinc.com; 801-363-0166) First-rate food and service, for a price.
Oasis Cafe • (151. S. 500 East; oasiscafeslc.com; 801-322-0404) Good for breakfast, lunch or brunch.
O'Falafel • (790 E. 2100 South; 801-487-7747) Middle Eastern fare includes house-made pita, flatbreads and falafel.
One World Cafe • (41 S. 300 East; oneworldeverybodyeats.com; 801-519-2002) A different experience you serve yourself and pay what you think it's worth.
The Pagoda • (26 E. St.; 801-355-8155) Another Utah tradition, this one has added sushi to its Japanese/Chinese/American menu.
The Pie Pizzeria • (1320 E. 200 South; thepie.com; 801-582-0195) College hangout with great pizza.
Ruth's Dinner • (2100 Emigration Canyon; ruthsdiner.com; 801-582-5807) Seven miles east of downtown, this recently remodeled landmark is worth the drive.
Sawadee Thai • (754 E. South Temple; sawadee1.com; 801-328-8424) A great lunch/takeout option.
Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana • (260 S. 200 West; settebello.net; 801-322-3556) Great thin-crust pizza cooked in wood-burning ovens.
Downtown Salt Lake City is in the midst of a billion-dollar makeover. A few things are beginning to open in the massive new City Creek Center, but if you're looking to shop, you'll need to go one of the area's other shopping centers.
For your basic mall, there's Fashion Place Mall (6191 S. State St., Murray; fashionplace.com), about 11½ miles south of downtown. Or South Towne Center (10450 S. State St., Sandy; southtownecenter.com), about 16 miles south of downtown. Or Valley Fair Mall (3601 S. 2700 West, West Valley City; shopvalleyfairmall.com), about nine miles southwest of downtown.
For outlet shopping, there's The Outlets at Draper Towne (12101 S. State St., Draper), a relatively small shopping center about 16 miles south of downtown; and the much larger Tanger Factory Outlet at Park City (6699 N. Landmark Drive, Park City 27 miles east of downtown, right as you exit I-80; tangeroutlet.com/parkcity).
The Salt Lake area also boasts several shopping centers that are somewhat outside the norm.
Trolley Square• (602 E. 500 South; trolleysquare.com) Collection of specialty shops and restaurants housed in a renovated trolley barn; recently renovated.
The Gateway • (400 West between South Temple and 200 South; shopthegateway.com) An open-air mall that features local and national retailers, restaurants and a movie theater.
Gardner Village • (1100 W. 7800 South, West Jordan about 13 miles south of downtown; gardnervillage.com) Features a restaurant and furniture/accessories store in a 19th-century grist mill. The village is made up of a number of historic buildings relocated to the site, and they house a couple dozen boutiques.
In addition to 9th and 9th and 15th and 15th, there's Sugar House (approximately 12 blocks bordered by 1300 East, 900 East, 1900 South and 2200 South), a mecca for shopping and dining with a mix of local businesses and national chains.
There's more to Salt Lake City than just the LDS Temple, although that's a must-see for visitors.
Temple Square • Utah's most-visited tourist site and you can see a lot in a just a couple of hours. Yes, you'll be asked if you want to know more about the Mormons, but by very nice people who will politely take "No" for an answer. Temple Square (visittemplesquare.com) includes the iconic Salt Lake Temple itself (open only to faithful Mormons); Assembly Hall, site of many free concerts; two visitors' centers; a monument to seagulls; and the impressive Salt Lake Tabernacle with its large pipe organ.
You can attend Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsals (Thursdays, 8-9:30 p.m.) and the weekly telecast of "Music and the Spoken Word" on Sundays (must be seated by 9:15 a.m.). If you're here during the holidays, visit Temple Square after dark to see the spectacular holiday lighting. But be prepared to fight the bigcrowds.
Depending on how much time you want to spend, Temple Square is surrounded by other Mormon sites. On the block to the north is the Conference Center (daily tours, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.) with its roof gardens and waterfalls. Just to the west are the Museum of Church Art and History (Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; weekends, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.) and the Family History Library (Mon., 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tues.-Sat., 8 a.m.-9 p.m.).
On the block to the east are reflecting pools and a plaza, along with the LDS Church Office Building (50 E. North Temple), which features observation decks on the 26th floor that are open Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. It's the best view you can get of downtown Salt Lake City.
The block east of Temple Square also includes Brigham Young's former home, the Beehive House (daily tours, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.); the adjacent Lion House, where you can grab lunch or early dinner (Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.); and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building (15 E. South Temple), which was originally the elegant Hotel Utah. It has been beautifully restored and now houses LDS Church offices, a theater and restaurants.
Eagle Gate • Spans State Street at South Temple. A 76-foot-wide monument topped by a 4,000-pound bronze eagle. It's an updated version of the gate that once marked the entrance to Brigham Young's estate.
Elsewhere in Salt Lake City, you can visit:
Cathedral of the Madeleine • (331 E. South Temple; saltlakecathedral.org; 801-328-8941) A beautifully restored Catholic edifice.
Governor's Mansion • (603 E. South Temple; utah.gov/governor/mansion; 801-538-1005) An opulent 1902 mansion that was originally the home of mining magnate/U.S. Sen. Thomas Kearns. Limited, free tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-4 p.m. in June, July, August and December.
Grand America Hotel • (555 S. Main; grandamerica.com; 801-258-6000) An elegant 775-room hotel built to host the elite during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
McCune Mansion • (200 N. Main; mccunemansion.com; 801-531-8866) A restored Gothic revival mansion built in 1900. It's now used for dinners, weddings and receptions.
Salt Lake City & County Building • (451 S. State St.; slcgov.com/info/ccbuilding/; 801-533-0858) Now serving as Salt Lake's city hall, it's a beautiful Richardson Romanesque structure built of sandstone. Completed in 1894, it was renovated, restored and reopened in 1989. Tours are offered only during the summer, but the building is open to visitors during regular business hours.
Utah State Capitol Building • (350 N. State St.; utahstatecapitol.utah.gov; 801-538-1800) Utah's capitol is, quite obviously, modeled on the U.S. Capitol. And it's been recently remodeled. It is open Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and weekends from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Guided tours are given hourly Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The view from the front steps is pretty amazing.
Even if it's snowing in the mountains, the weather still might be good enough to go to the zoo, aviary or arboretum. And the aquarium is indoors.
Hogle Zoo • (2600 Sunnyside Ave.; hoglezoo.org; 801-582-1631) At the mouth of Emigration Canyon, itt features 42 acres of lions and tigers and bears … and elephants and monkeys and flamingos and so on. You can see all you want to see in a morning. Or an afternoon. Winter hours (November-February) are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for kids and seniors.
Tracy Aviary• (589 E. 1300 South; tracyaviary.org; 801-596-8500) A cool, hands-on bird zoo on the southwestern side of Liberty Park. There are lots of friendly docents and a free bird show. Open every day but Christmas;$3 to $5.
Antelope Island State Park • (4528 W. 1700 South, Syracuse about 32 miles north of downtown; utah.com/stateparks/antelope_island.htm; 801-773-2941) A 28,000-acre island in Great Salt Lake that's connected to the mainland by a causeway. You can drive to sites around the island and see the animals, which include antelope and bison. There also are hiking trails. It will take you 45 minutes or so to get there (longer during afternoon rush hour), but it's the best way to see the Great Salt Lake. Admission is $9 per vehicle, $3 for walk-ins and cyclists.
Living Planet Aquarium • (725 E. 10600 South, Sandy; thelivingplanet.com; 801-355-3474) A relatively small facility that features 1,250 creatures from 267 species from stingrays to penguins. Open Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission is $9 adults, $8 seniors, students and military, and $7 kids.
This Is the Place Heritage Park • (2601 E. Sunnyside Ave.; thisistheplace.org; 801-582-1847) A re-creation of 19th-century frontier life, complete with a pioneer village and American Indian village. Includes the This Is the Place Monument, commemorating the arrival of Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley. Hours and admission prices vary by season (prices range from $3 to $9).
Clark Planetarium • (110 S. 400 West; clarkplanetarium.org; 801-456-7827) Features exhibits, shows and IMAX movies. Open daily at 10:30 a.m.; closes Sun., 6 p.m.; Mon.-Wed., 8 p.m.; Thu., 9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 p.m. Admission is $8 adults/teens/seniors (with $6 matinees), $6 for kids. A stone's throw away is the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum (444 W. 100 South; discoverygateway.org; 801-456-5437), which features 60,000 square feet of fun for the kids. Admission is $8.50, $6 for seniors. Open Mon.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sun., noon-6 p.m.
Wheeler Historic Farm • (6351 S. 900 East, Murray about 13 miles south of downtown; wheelerfarm.com ; 801-264-2241) A 75-acre Salt Lake County park that preserves and re-creates 19th-century farm life. Admission to the park is free; there are nominal fees to tour the farmhouse ($2), go on a hay ride ($2), milk a cow (50 cents) and so on. Open dawn-to-dusk every day.
Utah Museum of Natural History • (1390 E. Presidents Circle on the U. of U. campus; umnh.utah.edu; 801-581-6927) Filled with exhibits, displays and lots of dinosaur stuff. Admission is $7 adults, $3.50 kids and seniors. Open Mon.-Sat., 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. From there, it's a short hop to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (410 Campus Center Drive on the U. of U. campus; umfa.utah.edu; 801-585-6961), the home of touring exhibitions and permanent collections. Admission is $7 adults, $5 kids and seniors. Open Tues., Thurs. and Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wed., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Fort Douglas Military Museum • (32 Potter St.; fortdouglas.org; 801-581-1251) Just east of the U. of U. campus, it houses artifacts from the fort's long history 1862-1991 as a military outpost. Admission is free; open Tues.-Sat., noon-5 p.m.
Salt Lake Art Center • (20 S. West Temple; slartcenter.org; 801-328-4201) Features contemporary artworks "which challenge and educate public perceptions of civil, social and aesthetic issues affecting society." Admission is free; open Tues.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Hill Aerospace Museum • (7961 Wardleigh Road, Hill AFB about 30 miles north of downtown; hill.af.mil/library/museum;801-777-6868) Worth the 40-minute trip if you're at all interested in aircraft. The collection which includes a large indoor museum and acres of planes parked outside is extraordinary. Admission is free; open seven days a week from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Pioneer Memorial Museum • (300 N. Main; dupinternational.org; 801-532-6479) Operated by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, it's chock full of artifacts from early Utah pioneer days. Admission is free; open Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., from Sept.-May.
Utah State Historical Society Museum • (300 Rio Grande; history.utah.gov; 801-533-3500) Housed in the century-old Rio Grande train depot, and worth a quick visit just to see the depot. Admission is free; open Mon.-Thurs., 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
The Salt Lake area boasts a number of sports and entertainment venues, and tickets to concerts, shows and athletic events may be available while you're in town.
Energy Solutions Arena • (301 W. South Temple) Home to the Utah Jazz (NBA) and a variety of other events; energysolutionsarena.com and smithstix.com; 801-351-SEAT.
Maverik Center • (3200 Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City) Home to minor-league hockey's Utah Grizzlies (ECHL) and a variety of other events; maverikcenter.com and ticketmaster.com; 801-988-8800
Rio Tinto Stadium • (9256 S. State, Sandy) Home to Real Salt Lake (MLS), other sporting events and concerts; riotintostadium.com; 801-727-2700.
Abravanel Hall • (123 W. South Temple) Home to the Utah Symphony and a variety of other events; arttix.com; 801-355-ARTS.
Capitol Theatre • (50 W. 200 South) Home to Ballet West, Utah Opera, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company and Broadway Across America-Utah; arttix.com; 801-355-ARTS.
Spring Mobile Ballpark • (77 W. 1300 South) Home to the Salt Lake Bees (AAA baseball/PCL); saltlakebees.com; 801-325-BEES.
USANA Amphitheatre • (5150 S. 6055 West, West Valley City) Site of a variety of concerts; usana-amp.com; 801-417-5343.
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center • (138 W. 300 South) Home to Repertory Dance Theatre, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company and a variety of theater productions; arttix.com; 801-355-ARTS.
Other theater venues include Desert Star Playhouse (4861 S. State St., Murray; desertstar.biz; 801-266-2600), Grand Theater (1575 S. State; the-grand.org; 801-957-3322), Hale Center Theatre (3333 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City; halecentertheatre.org; 801-984-9000), Off Broadway Theatre (272 S. Main St.; TheOBT.org; 801-355-4628), Pioneer Theatre Company (300 S. 1400 East on the U. of U. campus, pioneertheatre.org; 801-581-6961), Salt Lake Acting Company (168 W. 500 North; saltlakeactingcompany.org; 801-363-7522).
Salt Lake City and the entire Salt Lake valley are laid out on a simple grid system, with the center being Temple Square. North-south streets are named for how far east or west they are from the center of the grid 200 East is two blocks to the east, 300 West is three blocks to the west and so on. The same is true of streets that run east-west 200 North is two blocks north, 1300 South is 13 blocks south and so on.
North Temple and South Temple border Temple Square to the north and south; West Temple borders Temple Square to the west. The portion of Main Street bordering the east of Temple Square, between North Temple and South Temple, was purchased by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2000; it is now the Main Street Plaza, and is open to foot traffic only.
State Street is 100 East. Locals often refer to 100 South as First South, 900 West as Ninth West and so on. It also helps to remember that the closer, bigger (Wasatch) mountains are to the east; the smaller (Oquirrh) mountains are to the west.
Because the 385 area code is an "overlay" in Utah, you must dial the area code for all local calls. Even if you're calling the place next door. Most Salt Lake numbers are in the 801 area code. Dialing the area code for a local call does not subject you to long-distance charges.
Salt Lake City has a light-rail system and an extensive, interconnecting bus system. Schedules and other information can be found at rideuta.com.
Like every other town, Salt Lake City has its share of oddities. (And no, we're not talking about the people who live here.)
Great Salt Lake • Most locals tend to avoid the lake because it's big and smelly. If you want to get a look, head out on I-80 west to exit 111 and park at Saltair. It's about nine miles from downtown. If you've got a boat, you can launch it from the Great Salt Lake Marina (1075 S. 13312 West, Magna; gslmarina.com; 801-250-1898), but the marina does not offer rentals.
Ballooning • If you want to get even higher than the slopes, how about a hot-air balloon ride? There are a number of companies operating in the Park City area, including Morning Star Balloons (mstarballoons.com, 877-685-8555), Sky Walker (skywalker.at, 801-824-3934), Park City Balloon Adventures (pcballoonadventures.com, 800-396-8787) and Wasatch Ballooning (wasatchballooning.com, 435-962-3009). Rates vary, but they're in the $150-$200 per person range for an hourlong flight.
Gilgal Sculpture Garden • (749 E. 500 South; gilgalgarden.org) Tucked into an otherwise normal neighborhood, it's home to a dozen sculptures most notably, a sphinx with the face of LDS Church founder Joseph Smith and dozens of carvings.
Let us know
Have we missed one of your favorite Utah attractions? Let us know. Send an e-mail to features@sltribcom