The tinkling sounds of a trout-filled creek swept by as I sipped my morning coffee. Snow-capped peaks greeted my view in the distance, and aspen leaves gently rustled in the breeze in my periphery. The springtime sun felt good on my skin after what was a long, hard winter. This wasn’t your average morning in the mountains, though. I was sitting in the middle of City Creek Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, enjoying an orange-infused cold brew from Nordstrom eBar.
Located in downtown Salt Lake City next to Temple Square, City Creek isn’t your typical retail center. The first thing you’ll notice is that it was designed with natural elements interwoven throughout. Beautiful views to the mountains and Salt Lake Temple are around every turn. The mall honors its surroundings while offering the excellent shopping and dining you would expect of a Taubman Property (purveyors of similar shopping centers around the nation). Here, Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout swim through the creek and native animal tracks like mountain lion and elk crisscross the walkways. And with a splash pad to cool off in the summer heat, even the kids will rejoice at spending a day here! One stroll through City Creek Center and it is obvious: this is an experience-based shopping center that is a bar (or several) above the rest.
STAY NEARBY AT THE MONACO
My trip began at the nearby Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City. An ideal jumping off-point for your stay in Salt Lake City, the boutique hotel is only two blocks away from City Creek Center. Here, friendly staff greet you and luxurious and quiet rooms await; perfect for catching up on sleep after your travels. There are also yoga classes offered in the hotel on Thursday and Saturday mornings. These exercise opportunities helped me work off the deep-fried French toast from the Monaco’s restaurant, Bambara—a real indulgence before my day shopping down the street! Visitors who don’t feel like walking during their stay at the Monaco might borrow a bike from the front desk, or take advantage of the city’s GreenBike program, for an extra-expedient tour of downtown. There are also a number of electric scooters located throughout the city for a different kind of unique urban spin.
NATIONAL PARK VISITORS ARE WELCOME
Salt Lake City is a fantastic hub for travelers on their way to Utah’s Mighty 5 National Parks. I recommend spending a day on either side of your journey at City Creek Center. Athletic retailers like Salomon, Athleta, Lululemon, Fabletics, and Albion abound. These shopping options are perfect for picking up forgotten items such as hiking shoes, sunglasses, activewear, and swimsuits. Missing something important? Glowing signs for Apple and Microsoft stores will be a welcome sight for travelers who need charging cables! Visitors also will enjoy browsing the high-end options City Creek has to offer, such as BOSS HUGO BOSS, Rolex Boutique O.C. Tanner, Coach, Kendra Scott, Nordstrom, and Tiffany & Co. for a taste of luxury. Stores like Böhme and Bronxton are also worthwhile stops for visitors who want to explore Utah’s local brands. Those on the hunt for homewares will particularly enjoy visits to Restoration Hardware, West Elm, and Anthropologie. Shipping special gems of any size to international addresses is a breeze.
EXPLORE THE PASSPORT TO SHOPPING
Devouring an ahi tuna bowl and cucumber basil lemonade at CoreLife Eatery, I flipped through the Passport to Shopping I’d picked up earlier that morning. The customer service representative had explained the booklet. Essentially, it’s a collection of special offers at over 60 retail and dining locations at the mall. The offer is only available to visitors who live 50 miles (or further) away. Those who spend $150 or more during the course of a day receive a free gift upon presenting their receipts back at the desk! I didn’t quite hit that budget during my stay, but maybe next time. I was still able to get great deals on a few items that caught my eye at the local shops!
CITY CREEK IS MORE THAN JUST A SHOPPING CENTER
I washed down a great day of shopping with a glass of sustainably-grown pinot grigio at Brio Tuscan Grille. It paired oh-so-well with the lobster ravioli I enjoyed beneath twinkling patio lights. The sun was beginning to set, and I polished it off just in time to saunter back to the western side of the center. There, the Transcend Fountain was scheduled for a choreographed show complete with fire effects. Beneath a creamsicle-colored sky, the joyful waterworks were the ultimate finale to a day well spent at City Creek Center in the heart of Salt Lake City!