Salt Lake City
For skiers, SLC is a required stop en route to Alta, Snowbird, or Park City. But the city is well worth a few days in its own right. It's full of innovative restaurants, trendy hotels, and lively bars (yes, bars — the city relaxed its liquor laws in 2009), without the high prices or the hassles. Stay downtown at Hotel Monaco (from $159 a night), an upscale boutique in a former bank building. After a breakfast burrito at the Oasis Cafe, play a round of Frisbee golf at one of the city's world-class courses, such as Creekside Park, or rent a mountain bike; local trails are an easy 15-minute ride away. For dinner, hit the Red Iguana for margaritas and mole or enjoy fresh seafood at Current Fish & Oyster. There's almost always a touring band playing at the Urban Lounge or Kilby Court. Or embrace the Mormon vibe and visit the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which offers free organ recitals Monday through Saturday at noon and 2 pm.