Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ten Great Places to take Visitors

Last week we entertained out-of-town guests and it helped me remember what super things there are to do in Salt Lake and Park City in the summer. I thought I would give you a peek at my Top 10 great places to take family and friends:
1. Downtown Farmer's Market in Salt Lake at 300 S. 300 W. 8am to 1pm every Saturday (check website for dates) and always hoppin'. Get there early and here's a secret parking tip. On the south end of the market on 400 South, Western Nut Company charges $3 for one of their parking spaces and very few people use it. It puts you so close, its SO worth it. Food? So much it's hard to pick. Try the open face pesto - veggie sandwich for $5 (can't remember the name of the vendor but she's halfway down the main food aisle) or the mid-east plate with shishkabob, rice, falafel and salad, all for about $8. There are samples galore: cookies  from RubySnap, bread from Great Harvest, hummus from Happy Monkey, as well as gelato, cheese, salsa, bratwurst and fresh produce samples from the myriad of vendors.

2. Park Silly Market in Park City on Main Street runs from 10am to 5pm every Sunday, usually through September. Try the Mexican Hot Dog or the Mahi Mahi Tacos. We found a cute jewelry booth with 2 for $5 costume jewelry and they had a great selection of Owl and Butterfly necklaces. Other fun items: glitter dog collars, henna and air brush tattoos, purses, soap, lotion, pillows, and rugs.

3. Silver Fork Lodge Restaurant in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Patio seating gives great views, good breakfast (I recommend the huevos rancheros or the homemade corned beef hash with eggs) and the hummingbird feeders are always busy. Weekday mornings are best because Sat/Sun is always crowded and getting seated on the deck is near impossible. Lunch and dinner are good too but are much pricier than breakfast. As long as you are that far up Big Cottonwood Canyon, I recommend a walk around 4. Silver Lake at the Brighton Resort. It's boardwalked part of the way and then continues through the woods on a dirt trail. Many times we have been able to see a moose lounging in the grassy meadow in the center. If you are fit, try the walk up to the rock slide on the trail leading to Twin Lakes. Stand quietly right above the slide and you may see a Pica gathering grass for the winter. Both Silver Fork Lodge and Silver Lake Trail are outstanding between September 20 and October 5, while the Aspens are in full golden glow.
View from Deer Valley Sterling Express Lift
5. Deer Valley has a great scenic lift ride to their wonderful dining at the Royal Street Cafe. EVERYTHING is delicious - a very creative menu. If you have time, ride the second lift up to see the views off into Heber Valley. Spectacular. Of course, staying for a Deer Valley Concert is the icing on the cake.
Wildflowers at Albion Basin
6. The wildflowers are blooming in late July/ early August. You can combine a beautiful drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon with a small walk among the wildflowers at Albion Basin. Shuttles are provided up to the parking lot at Catherine Pass Trailhead to minimize your walk, or you can choose to hike through the lower parts of Alta Ski Resort to reach the spectacular fields of pink, blue, yellow, purple and white. On your way back down the canyon stop at Snowbird for lunch or just a refreshing drink on the patio, where the Cool Air Concert Series plays free at 6pm every Saturday.

7. Sundance Ski Resort is another beautiful location to take a scenic lift ride. Sundance has less crowds during the week and you can get a great lunch on the patio at the Foundry Grill or buy a sandwich at the deli in their General Store (highly recommend the Turkey/Bacon/Avocado) and eat on the porch or at the top of the mountain. Be sure to check out the jewelry items on sale in the Art Shack behind the resort. The stained glass necklace was a steal at $15 and the soap stack was $6.

8. Sugar House Shopping District offers some of the usual large chain stores like Old Navy, The Loft, Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods, but it also offers some not so common shopping like Pib's Exchange (a great resale clothing shop) Central Book Exchange (resale books), Sugar House Coffee, Sundance Outlet Store (where I found $2 wool sweaters in the little, obscure room at the back), Piper's Quilts and Yarn, plus there is now a  Sugar House Farmer's Market on Friday evenings. Also check out the NEW Sugar House DI Thrift Store, which is heralded as the best of the DI's in the valley, great bargains on clothes, books, and household goods. If you are in to old LP album covers, this is the place!

9. Check out the downtown restaurant/shopping districts, i.e: 3rd and 3rd (where you will find Caputo's Market (check out the chocolate aisle!), Aquarius Fish Market, Bruge's Waffles & Frites , and Carlucci's Bakery; then there is  9th and 9th where you will find cute shops, Dolcetti Gelato (the Coconut Sticky Rice is to die for), Mazza middle eastern food (love, love the Chicken & Cauliflower Kabseh), Coffee Garden and great independent films at Tower Theatre; another great corner is 15th and 15th where you will find the book store King's English, The Blue Cockatoo Gallery and Fresco Italian Cafe as well as a Starbuck's Coffee House. While you are downtown, try out the two best Sushi spots, Sapa and Takashi. I have become quite picky about my sushi and both are excellent. Sapa has happy hour priciing on many of their sushi rolls from 5 to 6 pm, Monday through Thursday.

10. And finally, Antelope Island State Park is the place I take visitors to catch glimpses of vast bird populations, bison, pronghorn antelope and sometimes a wolf or two. You can get a bison burger at the snack shack but really, this is about the quiet beauty of the Great Salt Lake and the enormous views of the Wasatch range. There is a nice museum with videos of the bison round up that happens each October and displays about the wildlife on the island. This is a destination for people who appreciate things being left as they are. Click on the photos for larger views. Enjoy.


Lisa T. Hansen said...

Nice to read TheMorsel again! Summer seems to short to do all these fun things. Thanks for the info.

We also like to take visitors with children to Lagoon and to enjoy a shaved ice - both spell summer to our family.

Liz Schubert said...

Lisa, I am very much looking forward to doing those two things with Maya in future years!