It's been 5 years since the heart of downtown Salt Lake City went under construction to build a brand new retail, living, and education center known as City Creek. As a long time Utahn, I was sad to say goodbye to the old ZCMI and Crossroads Plaza malls. I'm sure the construction workers had to wear masks to shield them from the toxic clouds of teenage hormones and middle-aged wool suit particles that were buried in those walls. I had the chance to visit City Creek Center before its official open on March 22nd, and let me tell you,
The spaces frame the heights of the buildings down to the actual creek that flows through the center. Massive arched glass roofs retract in good weather and close in inclement. Beautifully finished marbles, chrome, and sleek glass hide the LED certified building constructs...but enough of the architecture geek in me...City Creek is gorgeous. You have to see it to believe it.
As for the shopping? Pssh, girl, this is the motherlode. Anchored by Nordstrom and Macy's, dozens of shops and restaurants line the arched walk ways and tiered promenades. Tiffany's, Brooks Brothers, BCBG, bebe, Cache, Limited, Godiva, the Disney store, there's too many to visit in one day, with more coming soon. Although there are new retail names to Utah, I love seeing the return of old favorites to downtown, with fresh new spaces and upscale brands. I might've made out with some of the Tory Burch clothes I spotted at Nordstrom. Just sayin'.
Hauling kids in a stroller? The elevators aren't just in a couple hidden corners; I counted three separate elevator bays on one small stretch of walkway. My little ones loved playing in the interactive fountain, climbing over the gently sloped boulders, walking over the bridges, watching the waterfall and creek meander. The wide bridge over Main Street with low padded benches on either side, is the perfect place for train-obsessed kids to watch the light rail come up from the South and stop right under the windows, continuing under the bridge--a huge hit with my four-year-old.
The food court features all the familiar favorites, including Chick-Fil-A. A little story about Chick-Fil-A: I ordered kids meals for my kids and a couple Diet Cokes for my sister and I. She went to grab a table with her baby so I was left to haul two bags of food, two sodas, two more drinks, along with a stroller, holding the baby in my arms (because she was DONE with the stroller) and the other kid. As soon as I ordered, an Chick-Fil-A executive came up to the counter, grabbed my drinks, filled the bags with ketchup and nugget sauce, and hauled it all over to the table so I didn't have to wrangle kids and the food. Here's his smiling face:
I think I need a personal executive at all times. Make it happen, Chick-Fil-A!
I heard there was a play area for kids, but City Creek Center is so large that I didn't happen upon it while wandering around. You'll have to tell me if you saw it.
City Creek was so beautiful and packed with things to do that I went twice in two days, driving a distance of 80 miles round trip each time just to experience it. So go, take the kids or ditch them at home! Do some shopping, have some fun, and eat in one of the local restaurants that surround the new center (may I recommend Cedars of Lebanon, Himalayan Kitchen, or Red Iguana?) I'll be telling you about my favorite stores tomorrow.
Have you had a chance to visit City Creek? What did you think?
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