Long overlooked, the warehouse district on Salt Lake City's west side has been transformed by artists and developers drawn to its pioneer-era brick-and-steel façades.
Now bustling with boutiques, galleries, and Vespa scooters, the area boasts ethnic and artistic diversity with an organic, urban frisson, explaining why a homeless shelter can sit right across the street from the Gateway ― a multimillion-dollar shopping and entertainment complex ― and seem perfectly at home.
Aloha Island-Style Sushi
WHAT: Think pineapple and mango plus wasabi. Chef "Billy Z." slices and rolls his fish fresh every morning. Ready-to-go boxes make it easy to grab takeout. WHEN: Lunch Mon-Sat. HOW MUCH: $. WHERE: 336 W. Broadway; 801/322-3224.
WHAT: A cavernous warehouse packed with Tibetan and Indian furnishings and rugs, as well as hand-spun wool from Kathmandu. WHEN: 10-6 Mon-Fri, 10:30-4 Sat. WHERE: 454 South 500 West; 801/519-6900.
Olympic Snowflake Fountain
WHAT: Hundreds of jets shooting water 30 feet into the air at random intervals. The fountain and its adjacent stream are located at the north end of the Gateway shopping center ― a perfect place to pause after a day on your feet. HOW MUCH: Free. WHERE: On Rio Grande St. at S. Temple St.; 801/456-0000.
Pierpont Avenue gallery stroll
WHAT: Monthly tour of an unpretentious row of galleries and studios ― many artists live upstairs and are happy to chat about their work. Check out the one-of-a-kind belt buckles at the Women's Art Center (open during gallery stroll and 12-6 Wed-Fri, 1-4 Sat; 345 W. Pierpont Ave.; 801/577-8367). WHEN: Third Fri of every month (next event is 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Apr 21). HOW MUCH: Free. WHERE: Pierpont Ave. between 300 and 400 West.
A Cup of Joe
WHAT: A cafe with overstuffed chairs, floor-to-ceiling windows, and inspiring Open-Mic Poetry Slams every Sat (8–midnight; free). WHEN: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. HOW MUCH: $. WHERE: 353 West 200 South; 801/363-8322.
Info: Salt Lake's arts district is still finding its boundaries; you'll discover lots to do between 300 and 500 West and 500 South to 50 North.