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Guides » City Guide

Welcome to Utah

Favorite Utah places, who's who in the arts



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Amber Espanet
Co-owner of Q Clothing

I love Liberty Park (600 E. 1300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-972-7860). I live by there and I have a 3-year-old, so we go there almost every week. It's got everything. I use it for the running trail. My family and I have brunch at The Park Café (604 E. 1300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-487-1670, TheParkCafeSLC.com). The carnival rides are adorable. They're antique-y and rickety, but cute. The duck pond, the paddleboats, the tennis courts—you could spend a week there and not do everything. As my daughter's gotten older, she loves to splash around in the miniature canyons. (LL)

Beth and Jimmy Miklavcic
Directors of Another Language Performing Arts Company

On Christmas day, we love hiking up City Creek Canyon (B Street and 11th Avenue, Salt Lake City). After opening a few presents, we'll go get all bundled up, and we'll go hike and take some photographs. It's nicer to be out in nature, especially if it's cold. Sometimes, you'll see other people hiking, and there's this really nice feeling of fellowship because it's Christmas Day. Instead of valuing things, we're up in nature and valuing that. It's very quiet and you can hear some birds; if it's icy, you can see all the glitter of the ice when the sun hits it. The snow, too, is blanketing different things, and it's all glittery.  (LL)

Mia Love
Saratoga Springs mayor, candidate for U.S. House

I got married in December and actually spent my honeymoon in Salt Lake City. It's my favorite time in Salt Lake. One of the great things that my husband and I did was just walk around—walk around the temple, go through the Visitors' Center, go through the Beehive House (67 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-240-2671). It was enchanting; it was snowing. We took a carriage ride, also. The lights were incredible. We ate at The Lion House Pantry (63 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-539-3258, DiningTempleSquare.com) that evening, and I guess it was the feeling of Salt Lake City. There's something magical about Christmas and all the lights. (LL)

Geralyn Dreyfous
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker and founder of the Utah Film Center

Jane's Home (1229 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801 244-7596) is this incredibly gorgeous house on South Temple that Bonnie Phillips, the art collector, used to live in. It is one of these gorgeous old mansions on South Temple that Bonnie has preserved and put her entire Utah art collection in. It is available for communities to have gathering spaces. It's got eight bedrooms, so we put all our filmmakers there, and it's sort of pay-what-you-can-afford. Her mother used to hold these grand salons back in the day, and she wanted to keep the spirit of her mother alive that way. (LL)

Cynthia Bioteau
Salt Lake Community College president

When I have a day to do whatever I want, I love to go to the Capitol Theatre (50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-2787). It's amazing to be able to see Wicked or The Lion King in Salt Lake City and park at a meter for minimal cost and be able to walk to dinner beforehand, it's just remarkable. I like to go to Caffé Molise (55 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-364-8833, CaffeMolise.com). That's just one of the nicest places to eat, especially when it's lovely weather and you can eat outside on their patio. (LL)

Steve "Doc" Floor
Utah Arts Festival performing arts coordinator

The thing I like about living in Salt Lake City is that we have everything here. I don't know of another metropolitan area that you can, in any one-week period, see all of the cultural events you can see here. We have a major opera company. I could be hiking in a wilderness area, come back and go to a symphony that night. Or, I could go skiing at, say, the No. 1-rated ski resort in North America, Deer Valley Resort (Park City, DeerValley.com), and come back and go see Ballet West (50 W. 200 South, 801-869-6900, BalletWest.org). (LL)

Merilyn "Miki" Hesleph
Calvary Baptist Church music ministry leader

The place I spend most of my time is at Calvary Baptist Church (1090 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-355-1025, CalvarySLC.com) with the choirs. I'm in the alto section. We're not limited to a particular denomination or group; we fellowship with lots of people, lots of different faiths, and everybody's welcome, which is one of the reasons I like that particular congregation. I like the energy of the service, the music, the participative nature. There's an 8 a.m. and an 11 a.m. service every Sunday. The doors are open. Everyone is welcome. Come have the experience. (LL)

Troy Williams
KRCL RadioActive host

Salt Lake City is the best place in the nation to be an out, gay progressive. I get radicalized at Ken Sanders Rare Books (268 S. 200 East, Salt Lake City, 801-521-3819, KenSandersBooks.com) by picking up books by Edward Abbey or Wendell Berry. They provide the fire needed to rally at the Capitol, or even occupy Pioneer Park. Then, I like to stroll over to Carlucci's Bakery (314 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-366-4484, CarluccisBakery.com) for the best iced coffee in town. For nightlife, I frequent The Garage (1199 N. Beck St., Salt Lake City, 801-521-3904, GarageOnBeck.com), with the bikers, hipsters and queers all drinking together. For culture, my favorite outlet for indie music and left-leaning thought is KRCL 90.9 FM (KRCL.org), which has been my home for eight years. The best Utah bands, nonprofit advocates and social-justice crusaders all find a voice on our airwaves. It's a great way to feel connected to our city. (Jordan Wallis)

Julian "The Flying Yeti" Carr
Professional skier/owner of Discrete Headwear

If I have a spare hour, I love going running and hiking. I head to the Mount Olympus trailhead on Wasatch Boulevard (5789 Wasatch Blvd., Holladay), then lace up my kicks and get my run on. You gain 1,400 vertical feet and, hopefully, if you're in decent shape, you get to the stream in less than 30 minutes. My buddies that fight forest fires run the trail, too; it is a great way to train. I chipped away at my time over the season, and I'm at 22:51. It's a doozy. And the sights are beautiful. This trail is truly a great way to spend an hour in Salt Lake City.  (JW)

Steve Williams
KUER jazz director/host

I work every night, so when I have a night off, my wife and I love to eat dinner downtown and catch a show at the Capitol Theatre (50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-2787). The Capitol is a classic place in Salt Lake City. Over the years, I have seen so many great shows there. I love that they have the GAM Foundation jazz concerts (JazzSLC.com) there now, as well as opera, symphony and theater. You can park the car and walk from so many of the great restaurants downtown. There is something about dining, walking and a show; maybe it's the New Yorker in me. (JW)

Joshua Kanter
Alliance for a Better Utah board member

Pack a lunch, and head to Rozel Point (at the Great Salt Lake) to Robert Smithson's "Spiral Jetty," a world-famous "earthwork" sculpture. Smithson built the Jetty in 1970, during a period of drought and low lake water levels. Soon thereafter, Smithson was killed in a plane crash, and the lake's rising waters submerged the jetty. It remained underwater for the next three decades, until it re-emerged in 2004. When it surfaced, the jetty, made of black basalt rock, was covered in white crystals. No matter how many times you go, your experience will be new and different. The jetty experience changes with the weather, light, lake color and air conditions. (JW)

Jocelyn Romano
Utah Health & Human Rights Project executive director

My favorite thing about Salt Lake City is the yoga scene. For me, it is the best in the country. We have so many skilled teachers and great studios that I couldn't even pick a favorite. I love Mudita Yoga (1550 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-699-3627, CarrieCoppola.com), Centered City Yoga (918 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-521-9642, CenteredCityYoga.com) and Prana Yoga SLC (Trolley Square, 602 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-596-3325, PranaYogaSLC.com). The range of different styles offered here is amazing. The teachers in the city bring themselves and their individuality, and it makes for a dynamic community. In the past five years, Salt Lake City has been put on the map, as far as training. Locals, as well as people from all over the country, come here for their teacher training. It is a strong part of the culture here. (JW)

Gerald Brown
Utah Refugee Services Office director

I love spending my free time outdoors, on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, BonnevilleShorelineTrail.org). I usually run along the section that overlooks Red Butte Garden and stretches to the Capitol and City Creek Canyon. The beautiful surroundings are what motivate me, with the natural scenery of the Wasatch Mountains to the east, and a beautiful panoramic view of Salt Lake City below, I don't think there is anything like it anywhere else. The trail is one of the greatest things about living here for me. (JW)

Kevin Ely
Uinta Brewery head brewer

My favorite spot in Salt Lake City is where I work, at the Brewhouse Pub at Uinta Brewery (1722 S. Fremont Drive [2375 West], Salt Lake City, 801-467-0909, UintaBrewing.com). After work, it's a perfect place to sit down with a beer and unwind from the day, especially on a sunny spring day—the patio is a spectacular spot for lunch. Plus, if you love what you drink while you're here, you can take some home—the Little Big Beer Store is situated in close proximity to the pub and the brewery tour. (JW)

NEXT: Who's who in
Utah's performing arts >>