Best of Utah 2010: Active Life | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City
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Best of Utah

Best of Utah 2010: Active Life


15th Street Gallery - NIKI CHAN WYLIE
  • Niki Chan Wylie
  • 15th Street Gallery

Best Uptown Strolling
15th Street Gallery

This gallery, in one of Salt Lake City’s classic neighborhood business districts, has become a new home for local artists to display their work outside of the downtown circuit. Glenda Bradley closed her old framing business and remodeled it over the course of two years into the white, minimalist design of today. With the help of curator Rebecca Richards, the place now serves as both a gift shop up front and one of the larger galleries in town in the back, one that’s piqued the interest of local artists as a new home to showcase their works. Not a bad turnaround, at all. 1519 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-468-1515,

Best Biking

As a haven for bikers from around the world, on some summer evenings in Moab, it’s common to hear more German spoken than English. Luckily for Salt Lakers, this biking center is only a few hours aways, giving locals ready access to the the grippable surface of red rock that helps riders defy gravity. Close to downtown Moab, the world-renowned Slickrock Bike Trail satiates every biker’s masochistic urges, with hairpin turns and roller-coaster drops. Then there’s Porcupine Rim Trail, another five-star ride. Its hair-raising cliffs keep pedlars holding on to their handlebars for dear life. Afterward, Moab Brewery helps relieve the tension from two-wheelin’.
2. Park City
3. Mill Creek Canyon

Best Indoor Racing
FastKart Speedway

You’ve got the need for speed, but Utah hasn’t been forward-thinking enough to build an Autobahn, and you’re not quite ready for the NASCAR circuit. Luckily, you can feed your inner racer on a smaller, safer scale. This Murray fun-spot isn’t just a louder version of a Disneyland ride; you can simply show up for between 18 and 35 solo laps around the track, or match yourself against others in a 35-lap race. You’ll need to sign a consent form, and then you can floor that pedal. And when you feel like you know what you’re doing, there’s always the option of joining a league. 3969 S. 500 West, Murray, 801-261-3668.

Best Market that Teaches How to Grow Your Own
People’s Market

On the west side of town is a farmers market that might not get the attention of the Downtown Farmers Market, but the People’s Market has a great, unique vibe. How could you not be attracted to a farmers market held at the International Peace Gardens? The market features not only a wide variety of produce and other foodstuffs from local farmers and producers, but also vendors who’ll teach you to grow your own, along with cooking demonstrations and workshops. Best of all, the People’s Market captures the community spirit and enthusiasm of Salt Lake City’s west-siders. The People’s Market runs from June through October. 1000 S. 900 West, Salt Lake City,

Best Year-Round Indoor Farmers Market
Rico Locals Food Co-op

During the summer and early fall, Utahns flock to farmers markets to buy fresh, local groceries. Some vendors recognized the demand for a year-round market and Rico Locals was the result, dedicated to the idea of providing year-round locally grown food for “locavores.” Vendors Morgan Valley Lamb, Drake Family Farms cheeses and Canyon Meadows Ranch Natural Beef came together at Rico’s retail site. The co-op is proving to shoppers that a full tank of gas is not always required to get food to the table. 779 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-364-9700,

Best Year-Round Indoor Farmers Market (Southern Utah Division)
Made in Good Taste

Many thing that farmers markets are a warm-weather phenomenon, but the residents of Elsinore weren’t content to limit their support of locally made and grown products to just the summer and fall months. Launched as an outdoor market in 2007, Made in Good Taste has now taken over a 3,500-square-foot retail space for its rotating selection of crafts, jams, baked goods and other Utah items. From Wednesday through Saturday, you might find fresh cookies, breads, pies and whatever else the bakers can dream up. 40 W. Main, Elsinore, 435-527-1777,

Best Hiking
Mill Creek Canyon

Being able to bring your dog on your hike—they’re even allowed off leash on trails on odd number days—is one reason to love Mill Creek. Plus, it’s not nearly as steep as Little Cottonwood nor as crowded as Big, and it’s closer to downtown Salt Lake City than both. The canyon is a pleasant destination for a quick ride, either by bike or car, or an evening cookout. Mill Creek attracts recreationists year-round. In the springtime, wildflower enthusiasts gather to see colorful blooms, while others come in the fall to for the fall foliage. Pack a lunch and walk or ride to Dog Lake, a favorite getaway. 3800 South & 3500 East, Salt Lake City
2. Big Cottonwood Canyon
3. Little Cottonwood Canyon

Best Neighborhood to Live In
Sugar House

Sugar House has got it all: a big park with lots of family-friendly picnic areas; great restaurants like Omar’s Rawtopia, Fiddler’s Elbow and Blue Plate Diner; friendly hole-in-the-wall dives like The Tap Room; and arts in Sugar Space Studio. Even with the grubby fingers of developers leaving a “Sugarhole” in the area, it has retained its charm. This is the neighborhood where college students, working professionals, ski bums and Salt Lake City’s best-looking ladies converge. Not to mention, if you need a scenery change, there’s easy access to Park City, downtown and many canyons. But, really, why would you leave?
2. The Avenues
3. 9th & 9th

Best Racetrack
Miller Motorsports Park

If you have the need for speed, Miller Motorsports Park has the right stuff, from karts geared toward kids of any age to World Superbike and NASCAR events. Miller Motorsports Park is a world-class racing facility that hosts some of the world’s most prestigious racing series, including the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series—all a mere 35 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City. And, if you’d rather drive than watch, MMSP also offers learn-to-race courses for the wannabe hot rodder. 2901 N. Sheep Lane, Tooele, 435-277-7223,

Best Skiing

Three factors bring skiers coming back year after year: the pillowy mounds of snow for softly and smoothly putting turns together down chutes (or padding a missed landing off a cliff); the absence of snowboarders who scrape said snow off of said chutes; and the “ski free after 3” program, for novice skiers or those new to telemark. OK, there are many more factors, and that’s the lure of this classic mountain, even when it’s a subpar season (like this year was). And, the closing-day party isn’t to be missed. Little Cottonwood Canyon, Alta, 801-359-1078,
2. Snowbird
3. Solitude

Best Advanced Hike
Deseret Peak

Deseret Peak Wilderness Area features beautiful flowers, a wide mix of trees, strenuous switchbacks, snow mounds that stay frozen almost year-round and a picturesque mountain lake. Nestled in the Stanley Mountains, Deseret Peak’s summit is over 11,000 feet in elevation and Utah’s fourth most prominent peak. Getting to the top is a moderately difficult task, but the fit and adventurous may want to do the entire 8-mile loop with a whopping 3,600 feet of elevation gain, then take a detour up to South Willow Lake, before returning to the trailhead. The usually lush plant life changes considerably along the way. South Willow Canyon Road, Grantsville, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, 801-236-3400

Best Swimming
Steiner Aquatic Center

Whether sporting a mankini, one-piece, orange floaties—no matter the swimmer’s fashion choice, Steiner Aquatic Center near the University of Utah offers an opportunity to drop your robes, dip your toes and get wet. It caters to a diverse crowd, from toddlers to seniors to even those who don’t yet know how to swim. If cheap day passes don’t excite you, maybe the two lovely pools will. The 25-yard indoor pool is open year-round for lap swimming or dropping can-openers off the short diving board. Finally, come May, the 50-yard outdoor pool beckons sun worshippers. Then, after you’re limbered up or worn out, stay wet with a soak in the hot tub. 645 S. Guardsman Way (1580 East), Salt Lake City, 801-583-9713,
2. Fairmont Aquatic Center
3. Cottonwood Heights Aquatic Center

Best Beginner Hike
Adams Canyon

Adams Canyon features a giant waterfall and a lovely primitive picnic area—perfect for blanket relaxation. Hot days are best because the waterfall functions like a 45-foot swamp cooler. The rocky tidal pool where the mist is super-chilled is a blast for the senses and a rare romantic interface with wilderness. The hike is rigorous for beginners, but the payoff at the end convinces novices and reluctant hikers that the great outdoors is as great as everyone says it is. It’s just east of Layton, conveniently located for most of the Wasatch Front. About 400 N. Eastside Drive, Layton, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, 801-236-3400

Best Family Photo-op
Salt Lake City Main Library Roof Patio

Salt Lake City Main Library makes brilliant use of it curved structure by winding a walking path along the roof line. At the top are flowers, tables and a grand view of downtown Salt Lake City that’s so close and dramatic you’ll feel like you’re in any other big, modern city. Pose the family in any nook and cranny and capture the organic coolness of spring flowers in contrast to the steely chilliness of modern city skyline. Turn around, and the family will have the Salt Lake Valley and the majestic Wasatch Mountains framing their posed domestic bliss. 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-524-8200,


Best Hidden Jewel
Jordan River Parkway Trail

Disecting the Salt Lake Valley is the unappreciated marvel that is the Jordan River Parkway Trail. Much like the river itself, the trail for bikes and pedestrians has to accommodate the encroachment of housing developments. While stretches have been all but squeezed out of existence by indifferent developers, there are still parts of the walkway that are flush with birdlife, offering places to sit with a picnic and watch this lifeline to the natural world lazily drift by. Great Salt Lake to Utah Lake,

Best Place to Escape Work
Park City

Why does Utah’s historic resort town make it so easy to play hooky? In January—with the Sundance Film Festival, good skiing and red-air-day respites—bosses surely know why employees are calling in “sick.” Then there are the other 11 months. The endless abundance of quality restaurants and nightlife never gets stale nor does the world-class golfing, spa services, boutique shopping. Even if you can only squeeze out a long lunch—say, if your “car battery went dead”—you can hop on Interstate 80 and drive over Parley’s Summit and into Park City. This is indeed Life Elevated.
2. Moab
3. Liberty Park

Best Way to Keep the Sabbath Thoughtful
First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City

If you’re a socially conscious person looking for some spiritual food for thought rather than standard issue organized religion, then swing by the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City in the summer months. Guest speakers are invited to conduct the sermons. Past speakers have included city-planning leader Robert Farrington discussing the future of keeping Salt Lake City a vibrant locale, or Richard Dutcher, the “Father of Mormon Cinema,” discussing faith and film. Come on in: The doors are open to anyone looking for answers to the challenging questions of our day. 569 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City, 801-582-8687,

Best Birders
HawkWatch International

For birders, the most badass birds are the ones eating other birds—raptors. And for the Salt Lake City-based nonprofit HawkWatch International, there’s no greater sign of a healthy ecosystem than observing plenty of majestic hawks preying on smaller birds, rodents and other critters. The group is winning over hawk converts each year with special educational programs (in which hawks visit elementary school) or special raptor sighting and migration-counting trips from locales in Utah to New Mexico and old Mexico. 2240 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-484-6808,


Best Hot Air
Canyonlands Ballooning

Living in Salt Lake City, sometimes we don’t get out enough to take in the gorgeous southern Utah landscape. The Castle Valley area around Moab offers such a stark Martian landscape, it’s hard to imagine how one could top it—until you try floating over it, that is. With Canyonlands Ballooning, you can cruise serenely over the majestic arches of Arches National Park, watch the sun cast the shadows of the 13,000-foot La Sal Mountains, and gain a bird’s-eye perspective of Canyonlands Park. This is a great way for a newcomer to the Edward Abbey country of Utah or the more seasoned desert rat to get a new perspective on some of state’s greatest natural treasures. 435-655-1389,

Best Buffalo Lovers
Zion Mountain Ranch

Drive from Mount Carmel Junction to Zion National Park and you’re likely to pass a herd of bison. They and the land they roam upon belong to Zion Mountain Ranch, a cabin resort with its own buffalo-dedicated restaurant, The Buffalo Grill. The animals on display, however, are not the source of the tender buffalo burgers the restaurant serves. Stand by the fence and watch the animals graze or move en masse to other pastures and you experience something viscerally unique: The past brought so vividly to life it even imbues the already extraordinary surrounding mountains with majesty. 9065 W. State Road 9, Mount Carmel, 866-648-2555,

Best Place to Dance With a Trout
Lower Provo River

For the beginner fly fisherman or for the journeyman, the Lower Provo is a perfect stretch when it comes to finessing your fly into a fish’s mouth. The clear waters yield beautiful brown trout, which, if you find the right spot, seem to practically flock to your hook. Under achingly blue skies, in the crystal-clear air, the Lower Provo’s matchless scenery of a towering mountain backdrop lets you slip easily into the genteel state of flicking that line back and forth until you land it at just the right eddy. The Lower Provo has a certain magical quality—even though tubers swilling beer float by, and at times, other fishermen crowd the way, the magical allure of that glittering stretch of water never fades. Provo Canyon

Best Snowboarding

If names like a Front-blunt 270 and a Michalchuk don’t ring a bell, then you’re probably not hitting the many terrain parks at Brighton as hard as you could be. While free-ride skiers still bust out tricks, they are the minority. On any given day, professional riders work the halfpipe alongside after-school kids, snow bums and white-collar work skippers. What Brighton lacks in big, steep terrain, they compensate for in the four dynamic, artfully designed terrain parks—shreddin’ has never been so good. 12601 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Brighton, 801-532-4731,
2. Snowbird
3. Solitude

Best Folk-Song-Inspired Geological Site
Big Rock Candy Mountain

Never let it be said that Utahns don’t know how to cash in on pop culture; they were figuring out ways to do it during the Great Depression. Harry McClintock’s 1928 folk tune “Big Rock Candy Mountain” became a national hit and inspired Piute County residents to decide that the mythical mountain was right in their back yard. North of Marysvale, a colorful mountain sports volcanic rock in shades of yellow, orange, red and white—so a sign was placed at the base identifying it as “Big Rock Candy Mountain.” And just to stick closer to the song’s lyrics, a nearby spring also became “Lemonade Springs.” Marysvale Canyon, Highway 89

Best Hangover Cure
Brewvies Cinema Pub

It’s Sunday after a Saturday night drowned in beers or cocktails, and your soul is in the same place as last night’s dinner: the toilet. The weekend isn’t over, but you’ve barely got enough verve to scramble eggs. Solution? A dark room, good food, good movies and a beer or two to chase away the pains of alcohol withdrawal. There’s only one place to accomplish all that: Brewvies Cinema Pub. The food and atmosphere are so good, people who aren’t even seeing a movie hang around to play a game of pool—or consume more hangover-inducing cocktails (that’s right, Brewvies has a full liquor license now). 677 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-355-5500,

Best South-S(l)ide Water Park
Cowabunga Bay

The newly opened Cowabunga Bay arrives as a perfect summer solution for that South Valley population who consider Seven Peaks too far south, Lagoon too far north and Raging Waters too far west. But it offers more than geographical convenience—the park touts its 6-story-high, 225-foot-long Cowabunga Splash structure and its two tipping buckets as the “world’s biggest splash”—and indeed, it’s an impressive way for people of all ages to get doused, squirted, sprayed and otherwise dampened. 12047 S. Factory Outlet Drive, Draper, 801-553-1000,

Best Sports Injury Free Advice
Salt Lake Regional Medical Center Sports Medicine

For serious athletes and weekend warriors, getting hurt is a major bummer, but not knowing what is keeping you sidelined adds insult to injury. The benevolent trainers at Salt Lake Regional Medical Center can help. They will pinpoint the mysterious source of pain at no cost, and that free evaluation could mean the difference between at-home RICE (rest, ice, compression, relaxation) and a costly trip to the doctor. Either way, the fast, easy-access peace of mind is priceless. 1050 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-350-4593,

Best Place to Rest on our Laurels
Utah Olympic Park

The Vancouver games were a bigger hit on Salt Lake City TVs than anywhere else in the country—thanks to many local athletes participating and our own recent experience hosting the games. If watching this year’s athletes put you in the mood to reminisce about 2002, the Utah Olympic Park is the ideal spot to wax nostalgic. Feel like playing an athlete? Hop on board a skeleton sled or get behind an experienced driver on a bobsled. Or, take in the many exhibits at the Eccles Olympic Museum in the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center, including athlete equipment, collectible pins, torches and other hands-on activities. Keep that fire within lit. 3419 Olympic Parkway, Park City, 435-658-4200,

Best Picnic Spot
Liberty Park

Liberty Park’s 80 acres is so huge, there are some nooks and crannies that locals don’t even know about. But no matter the season, locals love to flock to the park, where they munch on picnic fare and inevitably walk or ride around the park’s perimeter to walk off their food comas. Others take in some frisbee action or a pickup game of kickball. Whether you pack just a blanket and a book, make up a romantic and elaborate spread for two, or bring a bucket of chicken for the whole family, Liberty Park offers fresh air and green scenery for all. 700 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City
2. Sugar House Park
3. Mill Creek Canyon

Best Snowshoeing
Mill Creek Canyon

Unlike the Cottonwood canyons, Millcreek is not usually clogged with ski traffic. But what really makes this canyon perfect for snowshoeing is the variety of terrain. From short hikes with a gradual rise to day-long leg-burners, there is pretty much a trail for everyone of any fitness level or age. 3800 South & 3500 East, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, 801-236-3400

Best Urban Fishing
City Creek Canyon

It’s an outdoor gem tucked in the heart of downtown and especially popular with runners and cyclists. However, it is a creek, and yes, there are fish in the water. You won’t set any size records with the brown trout coming from the relatively shallow water, and the tight foliage can make fly casting difficult. But for anyone who can’t drive the hour or more required to get to a Blue Ribbon fishery, City Creek provides a respectable alternative for tying one on. 11th Avenue and B Street, Salt Lake City,


Best Winter Getaway
Mill Creek Yurt

Tucked up Mill Creek Canyon is a snowy little getaway, the sort of rustic setting that inspires the poets and romantics in all of us. Managed by the U.S. Forest Service, this quaint establishment provides no water or power, but makes up for it in charm. It is minimally furnished: six wooden bunks, wood-burning stove (wood included), lantern with fuel and table with chairs. Because it is so accessible, reservations fill quickly, sometimes all in the first week of November when they are first available—so plan ahead. 4 1/2 miles past Maple Grove parking lot, 3800 South & 3500 East, 801-483-5473

Best Wet & Wild Fun for Kids
Fairmont Aquatics Center

Rising from your typical indoor pool is a panoramic landscape of spilling buckets and spewing fountains. A small whirlpool is in the corner, and a waterslide towers above everything. The Fairmont leisure pool is open year-round and is the perfect place for younger kids to burn off pent-up winter energy. But it’s also a great option during the hot summer months when the sun is too daunting to brave an outdoor pool. 1044 E. Sugarmont Drive (2225 South), 801-486-5867,

Best Day at the (Not a) Pool
The Gateway Fountain

On hot summer days, people flock to the Gateway fountain with beach blankets, coolers, lawn chairs and every other apparatus usually reserved for the water park. Kids run in bathing suits, while parents sun themselves on the sidelines. Yet ... it’s a shopping mall. People don’t pack lunches for a day by the coin fountain in an indoor mall, so why The Gateway’s fountain? And how, in the name of all things holy, does the repeated Olympic theme music not drive all of them crazy? 6 N. Rio Grande St., Salt Lake City, 801-456-0000,

Best Historical Road Trip
U.S. Highway 89

Slicing through the heart of Utah, U.S. Highway 89 is one of the most scenic drives in the country. It starts in the north at Bear Lake, and heads south through the Wasatch Front. But the central and southern parts of the state are its real soul. From the pioneer homesteads that can be found in Sanpete County to the petroglyphs just a few minutes from the highway in Red Rock country, a road trip on U.S. 89 will give you the Utah history lesson you slept through in high school.

Best Afternoon Beer
The White Owl

Sure, there are a lot of places to enjoy a burger and a beer in the sun, but no place does it better than Logan’s The White Owl. During warmer days, they open the rooftop patio, which includes a grill where burgers are made to order. Even if you don’t eat, the sunshine and incredible view of Logan from three stories high are the perfect complement to one (or more) of the dozens of beers they have on tap. 36 W. Center St., Logan, 435-753-9165

Best Place to be Alone
Henry Mountains

Triangulated by Goblin Valley to the north, Capitol Reef National Park to the west and Lake Powell to the south, the five-peak Henry Mountains are seriously ignored by the masses and pristine. Home to one of the last remaining wild bison herds, the Henry Mountains were the last-mapped mountains in the lower 48 states. If it’s immaculate calm you seek, pitch your tent near one of many tree-filled springs in the foothills of these desert peaks. Utah State Roads 95 & 276, Garfield County, 435-896-1500

Best View of the Valley
Ensign Peak

While many peaks give mountaintop views of the Salt Lake Valley, Ensign Peak takes top honors because of its easy accessibility. With views as beautiful during the day as they are at night, Ensign Peak looks south at the Capitol and across the Salt Lake Valley. Just a 1/4-mile hike from the road, Ensign Peak pays back the effort a hiker puts into it tenfold. 147 Ensign Vista Drive, Salt Lake City, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, 801-236-3400
2. Sugar House Park
3. Mill Creek Canyon

Best Cheap Adventure
High Country Rafting

The white water is frigid, the rocks are sharp and the trees are pokey, but two hours tubing the Provo River will leave you wanting more. For the ridiculously low price of $10, High Country Rafting will provide you with a life jacket and super-strong tube to protect your bum and some cargo and give you a ride upstream in a bus with couches in the back. They’ll even look the other way if you disembark midway down the river to finish a six-pack—of root beer, of course. 3702 E. Provo Canyon Road, Provo, 801-224-2500,

Best Wildlife Spotting
Upper Red Pine Lake

Chances are, there’s no better spot in close proximity to Salt Lake City where you’ll have a better chance of seeing moose and mountain sheep. Just outside the boundaries of the Lone Peak Wilderness Area, this Little Cottonwood Canyon hike is marked by beautiful lakes and creeks. A popular camping spot for backpackers, Lower Red Pine Lake is a good place to set up camp before quiet meditation around isolated Upper Red Pine Lake, a glacial pit stop enjoyed by many in the animal kingdom. If there is any snow left in the Wasatch Range during late summer, chances are Upper Red Pine Lake has some. About 5 1/2 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, 801-236-3400

Best Deep Blue Fun
Neptune Divers

From beginner Open Water certification to more advanced classes like underwater digital photography, you can go where it seems humans don’t belong. The feeling of weightlessness is hard to describe—you’ll probably want to do underwater flips and upside-down dance moves, to the chagrin of your instructors. Classes are taught at Bonneville Seabase, a geothermically heated, salt water, high-altitude, man-made mini-ocean stocked with tropical fish. 2445 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-466-9630,

Best Mount Everest Training
Utah Mountain Adventures

Not satisfied with just hiking the many trails of the Wasatch? Hire a guide service. Utah Mountain Adventures has been guiding in the Wasatch Range for 13 years. UMA guides lead expeditions or private parties up classic routes like the north ridge of Pfeifferhorn—which helps in training for bigger mountains like Denali, Rainier or Everest. They’ll give you all the technical training you could ever want. 2070 E. 3900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-550-3986,

Best Public Golf Course

Bonneville is one of Utah’s golfing gems. It’s a course that fits the terrain, as opposed to relying on massive dirt relocation and man-made lakes. The deceptively narrow fairways bordered by thick scrub oak and the undulating greens make the course challenging, yet it’s the type of challenge beginners will embrace. Here, even the embarassment of a bad shot will pale against the striking views of the Salt Lake Valley. 954 Connor St., Salt Lake City, 801-583-9513
2. Mountain Dell
3. Old Mill

Best Winter Car Camping
Jordan Pines

Some winter days, you just have to get away from the city—to a white wonderland of snow and s’mores. Jordan Pines, off Cardiff Fork in Big Cottonwood Canyon, is the only car-camping option close to Salt Lake City. Depending on snow conditions, winter camping opens between November and January and closes March 31. Permits, for a donation of $1, can be reserved in advance through the Public Lands Information Center, which can answer every query about the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, but won’t teach you how to perfectly toast a marshmallow. Jordan Pines, Big Cottonwood Canyon, 801-466-6411

Best Pool for the Bone Weary
Holladay Lions Fitness & Recreation Center

Got a meniscus tear? An ACL injury? Arthritis? Clubfoot? Diabetic foot? Plantar fasciitis? Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction? Achilles tendonitis? Recovering from surgery? Recovering from last night’s pub crawl? It really doesn’t matter what ails you, because after a soak in this pool, you’ll be feeling better. For one thing, the water is a little warmer than most pools. You can enter the pool on gentle stairs rather than taking a polar-bear plunge. You’ll also find designated areas for lap swims, a lazy river for underwater walking, a bubble couch and water slide. 1661 E. Murray-Holladay Road (4800 South), Salt Lake City, 801-424-0621,

Best Place to Hone Your Art Edge
Kayo Gallery

In March 2010, Kayo Gallery became an L3C, or low-profit limited-liability company—a for-profit entity that encourages socially responsible activities. That Kayo is at the forefront of this newly established status is no surprise. Since its inception, the local art gallery has worked to promote innovative, cutting-edge work while building community through shows, fundraisers and parties that highlight art’s importance off the wall. Former co-owner Davina Pallone recently moved out of state, leaving partner Shilo Jackson at the helm. We have no doubt that the year ahead holds amazing things for the Salt Lake City institution that adapts so brilliantly to change. 177 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-532-0080,

Best Public Nudity
Diamond Fork Hot Springs

Before U.S. Highway 89 splits from Highway 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon, turn left for Diamond Fork. From there, take a modest hike to a collection of hot pots that are enjoyed by guests in various stages of undress. Frequented as much by BYU undergrads as by Salt Lake City naturists, each weekend the pools cook a uniquely Utahn cultural soup. The naked individuals usually announce their bare state to any newcomers in order to avoid surprising the bashful when a bare ass emerges from beneath the water for a fresh beer. Utah County sheriffs have been known to sneak a peek at the nudies—and write a few misdemeanor lewdness citations while they’re at it—but for the diehards, it’s still all nude, all the time. Three Forks Trailhead, Diamond Fork Canyon, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, 801-236-3400