Bring Your Wallet: Explore Salt Lake Valley's Best Shopping Centers



Salt Lake Valley - enormous and flat - is a dream location for shopping centers. Not only is there plenty of space for great malls, the valley also offers an abundance of dry, sunny weather perfect for enjoying Salt Lake City’s open-air shopping centers. Accordingly, the Wasatch Front is filled with shopping centers of all sizes, styles and eras.

Those staying in and around the Downtown area should take advantage of the opportunity to check out Salt Lake City’s freshest shopping center, the all-new City Creek Center. Featuring a high-end blend of local shops and national stores, this center is a must-see for all avid shoppers.

Just west of downtown is City Creek’s largest and sexiest competitor, The Gateway. A Salt Lake institution since the 2002 Olympic Games, The Gateway is an outdoor mall with attractive, winding pedestrian lanes, high-end shops, numerous restaurants, a children’s museum and a cinema.

Those looking for a low-key shopping experience might consider visiting Trolley Square, just five minutes southeast of Downtown. Located in an historic, brick trolley barn, this center contains numerous shops, as well as the Desert Edge, one of Salt Lake City’s most popular brewpubs.  

Farther south in the valley stands Utah’s largest mall, the South Towne Center. With more than 150 shops, an indoor climbing gym, a cinema and numerous restaurants, this center could function as a city in and of itself.



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West Jordan


 

Built in 1877 on the banks of West Jordan Canal, Gardner Mill was a prominent site for flour-milling in its original time. Today it serves as the centerpiece of an appealing shopping center and stands as a reminder of the mill's importance in the development of Salt Lake Valley's southern side. As you walk through the village, keep in mind that these historic buildings - a grist mill, mattress factory, blacksmith shop, and general mercantile store - once served as the meat and bones of an early Utah pioneer settlement. Today the village contains Archibald's, a top local restaurant, and a host of specialty shops. Here you'll find everything from Christmas ornaments and quilts, to antiques and children's books.


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West Valley City


 

The northern, eastern and southern regions of the Salt Lake Valley are filled with shopping centers of all sizes. However, the western end has but one gem, the Valley Fair Mall. This shopping center, located in West Valley City, holds over 120 stores including JC Penny, Costco and more. A food court and a cinema are also on site. Enjoy the convenience of public transportation as the mall is situated across from a TRAX station and is just 10 minutes from the Salt Lake International Airport, downtown and the University of Utah. Those with a vehicle will find that the mall's nearness to the I-215 beltway makes it extremely accessible.


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South Salt Lake City


 

The Brickyard Plaza stands along the east-west artery of South Salt Lake, 3300 South, and at the major north-south thoroughfare of 1300 East. Given this location, it is a major center for South Salt Lake shoppers. There you can shop for groceries, get your hair cut, go to the bank, shop for clothing, order a bridesmaid's dress, or rent a tux. Here you'll find major national shops like T.J. Maxx and Sally Beauty Supply. If you prefer to visit local businesses, you'll have your choice of an LDS bookstore, a spa, a soup & salad restaurant, and a scrap booking store.


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Located toward the southern end of the Salt Lake Valley, Fashion Place Mall is *the* area's classic shopping mall. As one of Salt Lake's premiere shopping destinations, Fashion Place contains a host of familiar stores such as Dillard's, Macy's, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Eddie Bauer, and Sears. In addition to these big names, the mall boasts 100-plus shops and restaurants. Given the staggering number and wide variety of its shops, this mall is among Utah's best. Hungry shoppers have a similarly vast number of eateries from which to choose. Restaurants at Fashion Place include pizza joints, steakhouses, chocolatiers, espresso bars, brew pubs, sub shops, and frozen yogurt stands.


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Foothill Village
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


 

Located on the benches of Salt Lake City's posh east side, this fashionable shopping center - Utah's first - provides discriminating shoppers a range of upscale venues. Whether you seek ski gear, running shoes, or groceries, you'll find what you're looking for - or at least the high-end version of it. The shops of Foothill Village don't set out to be snobby; they simply have some of the best goods and most knowledgeable staff in town. The Sports Den outfits local ski racers, and the Salt Lake Running Company is the best place in Utah for expert running shoe advice. The village offers numerous shops specializing in toys, jewelry, and candy, and also contains a handful of restaurants. Well-known retailers include Stein Mart, Hallmark, and White House/Black Market.


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Sugar House


 

Sugarhouse is one of Salt Lake City's most magnetic neighborhoods for shoppers, diners, and home-buyers alike. Offering a number of locally-owned and national-brand retail shops, restaurants, galleries, and cafes, Sugarhouse attracts all walks of life. Big-name stores include Old Navy, Men's Warehouse, Walgreens, and Famous Footwear. However popular these shops, it's Sugarhouse's local boutiques and restaurants that really draw the crowds. Hip second-hand shops, a tobacco outlet, burger joints, beer bars with billiards, and coffee shops attract everyone from highschool punk rockers to middle-aged couples. Sugarhouse is also the location of a Utah State Liquor Store - the one with the longest open hours in Salt Lake Valley.


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Trolley Square


 

If you've ever driven the length of 700 East Street, you couldn't have helped but have noticed Trolley Square's100-foot-tall, light-up water tower, just a few blocks southeast of downtown proper. Marking one of the city's more central shopping centers, this tower once serviced a yard of trolley car barns. Housed within the historic brick walls of these structures today are numerous shops and eateries of various sizes. Among the potpourri of boutiques and national stores, you'll find a Pottery Barn, Whole Foods, Williams Sonoma, American Apparel, and Lululemon Athletica - as well as a collection of locally-owned and operated outfits. On the dining end, you'll find the Desert Edge Brewery, a Rodizio Grill, and The Old Spaghetti Factory.


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South Towne Center


 

South Towne Center, billed as "Utah's largest shopping destination," offers more than 150 shops and restaurants. From Bath & Body Works to REI, the mall delivers just about anything you might need. Familiar names include The Buckle, Express, Pier 1 Imports, Forever 21, Dillard's, JCPenney, and Macy's. Plenty of food options ensure that you're sustained throughout any shopping adventure. Rock climbers and yoga practitioners will even find themselves satisfied at Momentum Climbing, a full-scale, indoor rock climbing center with yoga classes, as well as weight training and cardio equipment. Located immediately off of I-15 Exit 293, this mall is easy to reach, no matter where you're located in Salt Lake Valley.


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The Gateway
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


 

Located on the west end of downtown, The Gateway offers a large number and variety of shops - ranging from modern furniture, to teen boutiques and an Apple Store. This open-air center has a high-end feel, with its curving streets and walkways, attractive architecture, fountains, and tree-studded courtyards. Resident stores suit nearly any shopper's taste and include Barnes & Noble, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Brookstone, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor Loft, and Victoria's Secret. The upscale Gateway also boasts an excellent food court that serves as a great place to cool your heels and do a little people-watching. Among the center's more popular attractions is the Discover Gateway, a colorful, state-of-the-art children's museum.


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Anyone who's lived in - or visited - Salt Lake City in recent years has witnessed one of the largest urban redevelopment works in the Rocky Mountain West. During a massive project called "Downtown Rising," numerous buildings, including the former the ZCMI center, were razed, with an entirely new development rising in their absence. Covering approximately 20 acres, the new City Creek Center contains an interconnected, walkable community of residences, offices, and retail stores. Here, Nordstrom and Macy's find themselves surrounded by more than 500,000 square feet of retail space, including a supermarket, bakery, and numerous locally-owned restaurants and boutique shops.


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Meet Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz began her unexpected writing career in Salt Lake City with her first book on Wasatch Skiing and Travel in 2006. On the subject of Utah, Christine has written numerous...  More About Christine

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