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Salt Lake City: Downtown Weekender

The heart of Utah's biggest city is jam-packed with fresh (and refreshed) attractions, plus a vibrant restaurant scene, artisan drinks, and all kinds of shops.

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  • Bar-X, Salt Lake City, Utah, image
    Photo credit
    Photo: Nicole Morgenthau
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    The speakeasy-style Bar-X opened the year Prohibition ended.
  • City Creek Center, Salt Lake City, image
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    Photo: Courtesy of City Creek Center
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    Shoppers watch a dancing fountain at Salt Lake City's City Creek Center.
  • Noodles at Plum Alley, Salt Lake City, Utah, image
    Photo credit
    Photo: Nicole Morgenthau
    Photo caption
    Cilantro adds the final note to the noodles at Plum Alley.
  • Owner of Ken Sanders Rare Books, Salt Lake City, image
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    Photo: Nicole Morgenthau
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    Antiques Roadshow’s book expert owns Ken Sanders Rare Books in Salt Lake City.
  • Philo Farnsworth, TV’s inventor, Utah State Capitol, Salt Lake City, image
    Photo credit
    Photo: Nicole Morgenthau
    Photo caption
    Philo Farnsworth, TV’s inventor, is honored at the Utah State Capitol.
  • Salt Lake City & County Building, Utah, image
    Photo credit
    Photo: Nicole Morgenthau
    Photo caption
    The Wasatch Range looms behind the Salt Lake City & County Building.

Area code is 801.

To do and see Gallivan Center The outdoor plaza’s recent face-lift doubled the size of its ice rink. 50 East 200 South, 535-6117, thegallivancenter.com. The Leonardo Art and science converge at a new museum with exhibits on topics such as Leonardo da Vinci and earth forces. 209 East 500 South, 531-9800, theleonardo.org. Salt Lake City & County Building Government offices and elegant grounds. 451 S. State St. slcclassic.com/visitors. Utah State Capitol During free tours, marvel at the domed interiors, murals of Utah’s early settlers, and a statue of television’s inventor, Philo Farnsworth. 350 N. Main St., 538-1800, utahstatecapitol.utah.gov.

shopping City Creek Center Shops and restaurants flank walkways and a man-made stream at a new mall with a retractable roof. 50 S. Main St., 521-2012, shopcitycreekcenter.com. Decades Scour the vast collection of vintage clothing, including fur coats and pillbox hats. 627 S. State St., 537-1357. Ken Sanders Rare Books First editions of Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang, used copies of old favorites like Green Eggs and Ham, plus antique embroidered postcards of women in Spanish costumes. 268 South 200 East, 521-3819, kensandersbooks.com. Paradise Palm A lush spot specializing in indoor plants such as bonsai, orchids, cacti, and Venus flytraps. 307 E. Broadway, 582-3212, paradisepalm.com.

eats Eva A hip haven with delectable small plates such as creamy and tangy sautéed brussels sprouts with toasted hazelnuts and cider vinegar. 317 S. Main St., 359-8447, evaslc.com. Pallet Upscale American fare, including french fries topped with Parmesan and truffle slices and subtly spiced meatballs on a bed of rich tomato sauce, served at a repurposed loading dock. 237 South 400 West, 935-4431, eatpallet.com. Pie Hole At this punk-rock pizzeria, the favorite slice is potato bacon. 344 S. State St., 359-4653, pieholeutah.com. Plum Alley The Asian-influenced bistro whips up mean sweet-glazed pork belly buns and heaping bowls of ramen. Don’t miss the Thai Tiger vodka cocktails with coconut water, lime, lemongrass, and chile. 111 E. Broadway, Ste. 190, 355-0543, plumalley.com.

sips Bar-X Start with a whiskey-ginger cocktail featuring house-made ginger beer at this dive reborn with a focus on artisan drinks. 155 East 200 South, 355-2287, barxsaltlake.com. Caffe d’Bolla Single-origin beans roasted in-house feed the espresso machine while baristas teach tasting classes. 249 East 400 South, Ste. 100, 355-1398, caffedbolla.com. Epic Brewing In the tiny tasting room, learn about high-alcohol-content microbrews including their Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout, infused with coffee and cocoa and aged in whiskey barrels. 825 S. State St., 906-0123, epicbrewing.com.

This article was first published in November 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.