• Salt Lake City becoming a popular year-round destination


    Salt Lake City attracted the world's attention in 2002 when it hosted the Winter Olympics, and although it has remained a popular destination during ski season, many travelers would not include it on their list of ideal vacations. That may be changing, however, as the city's downtown area has blossomed into a thriving hub of activity. Over the last four years, Salt Lake City has seen a significant increase the number of shops, residents and attractions, making it an appealing destination throughout the whole year, according to The New York Times.

    New mall holds the key
    Much of this recent improvement can be thanks in large part to the construction of the City Creek Center, which opened is doors in March 2012. The center is home to more than 100 high-end stores including Tiffany, Nordstrom and Coach. Additionally, the center's inclusion in the city landscape helped encourage other business owners to build there as well. Now, there is a trio of craft breweries, a popular summer concert series and a bike sharing program in the area.

    "Salt Lake is really ascending, and all the stars seem to be aligned [for the future]," Jason Mathis, executive director of promotion group Downtown Alliance, told the Times. "There's good stuff going on."

    Where to go?
    Now is the perfect time to head to Salt Lake City to catch it as it's on the way up, and there are plenty of stops you can add to your itinerary. Utah's capital is home to a number of popular museums, but its Natural History Museum may be its best. Since it opened more than 50 years ago, the museum has welcomed a seemingly endless stream of intriguing exhibits, and 2013 has been no different. One of its most recent exhibits offers an inside look at how natural disasters form.

    Of course, there's more to Salt Lake City than its impressive array of museums. There are also plenty of active pursuits for visitors, regardless of the time of year. Hikers can head to Bonneville Shoreline Trail, where they have the opportunity to trek along the banks of the ancient Lake Bonneville and admire that city skyline from afar. The city is also one of the best in the U.S. for biking.

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