Salt Lake City is Utah's state capital and is a vibrant cultural center featuring one of the nation's finest regional symphony orchestras, world-class opera, dance, and theater companies, an illustrious choir and an array of art galleries. Downtown Salt Lake City has undergone a revitalization including a new multi-million dollar light rail system, a newer central library designed by Moshe Safdi, and two new downtown mixed-use developments, the Gateway with more than 90 shops, 150 apartments and condos, a state-of-the-art planetarium, the Children's Museum of Utah and a restored Union Pacific Depot, and the newly opened City Creek Center, with three high-rise condominium towers surrounding a new shopping center featuring a retractable glass roof, a creek running through the property, a pedestrian skybridge, and offering over 100 stores and restaurants, including Nordstrom, Macy's, Tiffany & Co., and the Cheesecake Factory.
DOWNTOWN According to a 2012 Salt Lake Tribune news article, Salt Lake City is a "leader in a trend of big city downtowns becoming places to live – not just work or shop." Salt Lake City ranked fourth nationally in terms of growth over the past decade, with over 19,000 new residents calling the downtown area home within the past 10 years. Real Estate options downtown include charming craftsman, bungalow, Victorian, Tudor and cottage style homes in the Avenues, Capitol Hill, Marmalade District, University Heights and Central City neighborhoods. Other residents take advantage of urban loft living and high rise condominiums in the Gateway, City Creek, Depot, University, and West Temple districts. Other popular Salt Lake neighborhoods include the Federal Heights, Yale-Harvard, Gilmore Park, and Sugarhouse neighborhood, all within ten minutes of downtown.
EDUCATION The Salt Lake City School District is well respected and provides the community with quality education. The district has 36 school campuses: 27 elementary schools (K-6), five middle schools (7-8), three high schools (9-12), and one alternative high school. The city is home to a number of facilities of higher education including the University of Utah, the LDS Business College, Salt Lake Community College, Westminster College of Salt Lake City and others.
SHOPPING Salt Lake and shopping have gone hand in hand for over a century. The first department store in the United States opened for business in the city in 1868. Today, Salt Lake is a well-known area for excellent shopping with a variety of malls, shopping villages, specialty boutiques, antique and collectible shops, bookstores, factory outlet malls, outdoor shopping and entertainment destinations to choose from.
RECREATION When it comes to recreation, Salt Lake is a year-round destination. It is recognized as one of North America's finest ski destinations. Ten major ski resorts are located in the area with more than 100 ski lifts, seven cross-country areas, and the nation's only recreational ski jumping complex. Skiers are provided with quality and a great quantity of snow with an average annual snowfall of more than 500 inches in the ski resort areas. Many of the ski resorts also serve as summer playgrounds with mountain biking and hiking trails, zip lines, and other recreational activities available during the summer months.
Salt Lake is home to several professional sports teams, including perennial contenders in the NBA the Salt Lake Jazz; the defending champion Major League Soccer team, the Salt Lake Real; the professional hockey team, the Grizzlies; Utah's indoor football team, the Utah Blaze; and the Salt Lake Bees minor-league baseball team.
Salt Lake's public golf courses are some of the highest rated, best-maintained and most affordable public courses in the country. The city is home to eight incredible full-service golf courses. There are 126 individual parks covering 1,912 acres of land with 58 municipal playgrounds available. The intermountain region has 10 national parks all within a day's drive of Salt Lake City.
THE GREAT SALT LAKE The community's namesake, the Great Salt Lake, was created from prehistoric Lake Bonneville, which 10,000 to 30,000 years ago covered some 20,000 square miles of land in what is now Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. Four rivers and numerous streams empty into the Great Salt Lake carrying large amounts of dissolved minerals. The lake has no outlet, so these minerals are trapped. The resulting high salinity rate ranges from 9% to 28% as compared to 3% salinity in the world's oceans. Sunsets over the Great Salt Lake are breathtaking. Amazing red, orange, lavender and magenta hues slowly dissolve in the nighttime sky. The Great Salt Lake is a bird watcher's paradise with numerous species feeding on the lake's brine shrimp. For boaters, there is a marina with 300 slips available as well as camping facilities.