AOL PICK from our Editors
While the Salt Lake City shopping scene might not be a destination per se, the city has interesting pockets of independent galleries, bookstores and clothing boutiques. Immediately to the west of downtown, a large outdoor mall, The Gateway, houses not only a plethora of stores, but a popular public fountain, planetarium and children’s museum. The city is working on developing another shopping zone downtown, across from Temple Square, but in the meantime we recommend Trolley Square for Salt Lake City shopping—its historic brick walls shelter an interesting mix of stores and restaurants.
Following in the non-traditional role of library as a gathering space, a cluster of shops anchors the main floor of the downtown library and a few snake outdoors into the plaza. This is the place to buy unique, locally crafted items and gifts, such as jewelry made from typewriter keys and hard-to-find comic books. The local stores include Art at the Main, The English Garden, Night Flight Comics, The Salt Lake Roasting Company, SLCitizen and The Library Store, making for some interesting Salt Lake City shopping.
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Neighborhood: Ninth & Ninth
If you’ve drooled over a sporty road bike or noticed a well-dressed child somewhere in town, you may have already glimpsed the wares from the Ninth and Ninth neighborhood, a few blocks of restaurants and retail southeast of downtown. Ninth and Ninth makes shopping in Salt Lake City an experience so enjoyable that even your boyfriend will have fun. Wile away an afternoon at an upstairs yoga studio, at cafes and restaurants or by browsing home goods at Hip & Humble, clothing at Peach Boutique, wacky cards at Cahoots Cards & Gifts, bicycles and gear at Contender Bicycles or kids stuff at the Children’s Hour Toy and Book Store.
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Utah’s largest independent bookstore is a Main Street holdout, surviving various bouts of construction and downtown bust-and-boom. How did the third-generation-owned business do it? By offering a great selection of new, used and rare books curated by a hyper-intelligent staff that can offer informed recommendations in all sections of the store. For bibliophiles, this Salt Lake City shopping spot would put them on cloud 9. Spend some time in the onsite cafe or try to hit an author reading/signing.
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Trolley Square sits on the former hub of the city’s state-of-the-art trolley system from 1908—hence the name. New construction is adding to the old brick buildings, which sheltered the fleet of trolleys during off-duty times. Today’s cluster of stores includes the locally owned clothing boutique, Black Chandelier, and Tabula Rasa, a great place to buy fine stationary, pens and gifts. Other chain stores include Williams-Sonoma and Restoration Hardware, and food choices include the Desert Pub and The Old Spaghetti Factory. The various stores and amazing restaurants make Trolley square one of the finest Salt Lake City shopping districts.
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A large open-air mall that seems more suited to a California climate still draws crowds year-round. The Fountain Plaza area is teeming with kids and parents on hot summer days, but during the winter, water and light shows attract spectators—just like it did during its debut during the Olympics. Nearby condos and office space help create a sense of neighborhood, but the real draw is the stores, which include major clothing, bookstore and home interior chains. When you’re done shopping in Salt Lake City's Gateway mall, consider going to a movie at the megaplex, visiting an exhibit at the children’s museum, seeing a show at the Clark Planetarium or listening to some live music at The Depot.
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