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Steiner Aquatic Center
If you grew up in Salt Lake City, you probably spent at least a few summer days lounging at Steiner Aquatic Center. But the local public swimming pool is more than just a place to cool off in 100-degree weather. Pristine and spacious with one 50-meter outdoor and one 25-yard indoor pool, Steiner is heaven for year-round athletes who—depending on the time and day—can get in a workout without sharing a lane. All ages and abilities are welcome, from heart-smart water-aerobicizing octogenarians to teenage water polo players and babes in arms.
645 S. Guardsman Way (1580 East), Salt Lake City, 801-583-9713, SportsComplex.SLCO.org
2. Cottonwood Heights Rec Center
3. Kearns Recreation Center Outdoor Pool
BEST DAY SPA
The Kura Door
Day spas are shooting up all over the Wasatch Front, but among the many, The Kura Door has wrapped itself around our readers like a soft cotton kimono. What sets this establishment, which bills itself as a “holistic Japanese spa,” apart? For one thing, location. The Kura Door is located in a quiet little building in the Avenues neighborhood, not in the middle of a sprawling shopping center or noisy strip mall. It’s tranquil. It’s peaceful. It’s private. It’s trademark Japanese Ofuro Bath is a thing of beauty—60 minutes in deep stainless steel tub in steaming hot water infused with your choice of bath salts and the strains of Japanese wind flute piped softly through the speakers. It’s the sweetest express detoxification ritual you can imagine. All the other niceties are there, too. Body and facial treatments, pedicures and massage. Captivating.
1136 Third Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-364-2400, TheKuraDoor.com
2. Sego Lily
BEST RESOURCE FOR OUTSIDE CONTEMPORARY ART
Salt Lake Art Center
In a city (and state for that matter) starving for exhibitions on par with other modern art museums and major art institutions in other metropolitan areas, the Salt Lake Art Center stands as the main hot-spot for contemporary art from elsewhere. With a sweet gallery space, fresh and diverse reading room, art talks and education outreach, it’s the closest thing Salt Lake has to a MoMA. Don’t forget to check in!
20 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-328-4201, SLArtCenter.org
BEST TRAVELING ZOO PARTY
Think beyond pizza and inflatable bounce-tents; you can turn a youngster’s birthday into an entertaining educational opportunity. Wild Things’ Safari Van can pull up right to your party location and unload a fascinating menagerie of mammals, reptiles, insects and birds. Trained educators accompany the critters, allowing kids to learn about—and pet—a wide range of animals (depending on your budget), ensuring that the wildest things at your party won’t be the guests.
BEST PLAYER PERSONNEL BLUNDERING
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake managed to land its new stadium deal—and has done nothing smart since. After leaving captain Jason Kreis unprotected in the expansion draft in 2006, the team had to pay to re-acquire him when he was selected—only to have him retire and become the team’s coach in 2007. And the splashy trade for Freddy Adu led to exactly one MLS goal—a penalty kick—before Adu bailed out for Portugal. These guys make the New York Knicks look like the New England Patriots.
BEST TUBE LIFT TREK
Heber Valley Railroad Tube ’N Train
Snow sledding and tubing: In the winter, there are plenty of places to slide down to your heart’s content but getting back up the hill ain’t so much fun. Make a day of it with a train ride along the Wasatch Back to a 1,000-foot snow-tubing hill, where every trip down ends not with a long climb, but with a tow lift back to the top. Request a pre-paid lunch as part of your day, and cruise back on the train with your legs still intact.
450 S. 600 West, Heber City, 435-654-5601, HeberValleyRailroad.org
BEST SNOWKITING RESOURCE
Utah Kite Addiction
Just when you think there couldn’t be any more ways to combine snow with adrenaline, along comes snowkiting—adding a little wind-powered assist to your winter sports fun. Based in the Ogden Valley, Les Vierra’s Utah Kite Addiction offers Professional Air Sports Association (PASA)-certified lessons at Powder Mountain for those interested in learning how to soar through the snow and provides a free trainer kite with the first lesson. Other equipment for more experienced kiters is also available, along with guided back-country excursions.
Oh, there were loads of contestants in this category: guiardia, crabs, Dell Schanze … but cryptosporidium, the fever-inducingest, stomach-crampingest parasite of them all, won hands down. Its transmission vector is so cute, too—Mommy takes her innocent little baby for a little swim in the county pool and, bingo! Instant epidemic! To curb the outbreak, the county closed pools and fountains during three of the hottest weeks of summer, and kids in diapers were permanently banned—which, you know, we were kind of surprised to hear hadn’t happened a long time ago. Now parents are abuzz about something called a “swim diaper.” In a sane world, wouldn’t people realize what an oxymoron that is?
BEST INDEPENDENCE DAY CLUSTERHUMP-EBRATION
Sandy City Fourth of July 2007
The suburban city didn’t change a thing for its reliably entertaining July 4th festivities—and that was the problem. While residents may some day reap the benefits of State Street construction, the one-lane traffic last summer led to massive congestion as thousands of families poured out of the City Hall area post-fireworks. And suddenly, Sandy was like the Hotel California: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
BEST GYM/FITNESS CLUB
OK, it starts off with a bit of an advantage, what with having 19 statewide locations and all. But from its birth in Venice, Calif., in the 1960s—as the brain-and-brawn-child of “Muscle Beach” stalwart Joe Gold—Gold’s Gym has become the gold standard for toning and maintaining a classic physique. It was good enough for Schwarzenegger back in the Pumping Iron days; today’s facilities and trainers aren’t about to let members become a bunch of girly-men (or girly-girls, for that matter).
Multiple locations, GoldsGym.com
2. 24 Hour Fitness
3. Xcel Spa & Fitness
BEST PLACE TO SHOOT YOUR BOSS
If you’re someone who, at your corporate team-building exercise, let the human pyramid crumble as soon as your boss got on top, you might want to recommend the next corporate outing be at Paintball Addicts’ 32,000 square foot playing arena. With excellent group rates, large parties can battle it out for hours for as little as $20 a person covering masks, guns, ample paint, unlimited CO2 and a personal referee to oversee the games. The field is great, too, for spectators, where, from the safety of a mesh net, they can watch from the sidelines as Larry from accounting gets massacred by the sales department. Urge your office manager to setup a reservation today, or come in by yourself to practice for the sweet paintball payback to unleash on your boss for making you work last weekend.
999 W. 2610 South, Salt Lake City, 801-886-8899, PB-Addicts.com
BEST YOGA STUDIO
In Utah, we are blessed with many quality yoga studios. What makes Flow the crème de la crème? Perhaps the secret lies in its all-star cast of instructors, a diverse crew whose talents inspire a loyal following among equally diverse students. New to yoga? Flow’s three-week introductory course will help you establish core moves while exploring the reasons we practice in the first place. Once you’re hooked, get your co-workers on board with Flow’s corporate on-site courses which lend a whole new meaning to “working lunch,” feeding your mind, body and soul. Namasté.
2065 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-485-5933; 2927 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-463-1549, FlowYogaSLC.com
2. Centered City Yoga
3. Bikram Yoga
BEST UTAH COUNTY DIVERSITY
Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple, Spanish Fork
If you’re looking for a beautiful temple set among a nice pastoral setting in Utah, and one that’s not LDS and not so pointy, your best bet is the Utah Krishna’s Sri Sri Radha temple just south of Spanish Fork off Interstate 15, about 20 minutes south of Provo. The beautiful domed structure regularly holds colorful Hindu plays, festivals and gatherings, always offering music and a bountiful fare of free vegetarian dishes. You can also stop by regular Sunday services or any other time for free tours of the temple and a chance to pet the llamas!
8628 S. State, Spanish Fork, UtahKrishnas.com
BEST DANCE SUCCESSOR