Ski City – Done In A Day
By Isabella Bricker
If you plan it right, there are exactly enough hours to ski the best terrain in the US, check out a brewery, shop local boutiques at 9th & 9th, and eat a dinner to remember—all in one day. Here’s how my mom and I made it happen:
Prepping for the Big Day
Arriving at SLC Airport, we headed to the Peery Hotel. Built in 1910, the Peery greets you like a grandfather hug. Updated with current lighting and furniture, this grandfather isn’t stogie, he’s a cool gentle fellow. This was just what we needed after a cross-country flight and before our do-it-all day. After checking in, we planned our attack on plush, winged-back lobby chairs.
Alta and Snowbird share terrain and you can buy a double pass, but we planned to have an urban apres-ski, which dictated a hard ski stop at 3 pm. To maximize our ski time, we stuck to one mountain. The view of Snowbird from the Peak of Alta is boundless, eye and heart expanding. Looking across the backcountry terrain without the sound of snowboarders scraping up behind me I kept thinking, “We’re not in the Berkshires anymore…”
I noticed there was a crowd of 80-something’s at Alta. Turns out, you can ski there for free once you’ve reached 80. These are the firecracker “cool grandparents” that take a shot at beer pong when you play with your cousins at the holiday party. They are enjoying each other like a scouting troop. The best thing about skiing is the community, the camaraderie, and the shared thrill of the swoosh.
Grabbing a Brew
When the clock struck 3, we headed back to SLC to check out A. Fisher Brewing Co. This brewery, founded in 1884, sat dormant for decades until it was rebooted as an “employee-owned” craft brewery, serving choice ales and lagers. If you’re like me, an apres ski drink also comes with a snack. This place delivered.
Fisher has food trucks outside that rotate daily. When we went, I grabbed a crispy buffalo chicken wrap with creamy blue cheese dressing. We also would have been lucky to catch the raclette truck. Cheese pulls and beer? Check.
A. Fisher Brewing Co. is in the Granary District, an industrial neighborhood that’s starting to get repurposed. This place gathers what I call, a “Brooklyn Craft Beer Crowd.” One guy with his computer out, who is probably writing a tech blog, sits at the same table as the owner of a tattoo shop, who probably has a vintage collection of baseball hats. No matter what type you are, the bar is inviting with big windows, friendly service, and an open floor plan. It was the perfect place for my mom and me to take a minute to relax.
Retail Therapy Session
Our next move was a small shopping district, 9th, And 9th. Mom’s friend from college, an SLC resident, described the area to us as a trendy strip of local vendors and coffee shops.
We stopped in Curriculum Barber Shop, where you can get a fresh cut and pick up a gourmet cocktail mix.
For some reason, the delicious looking spicy bloody mary mix made perfect sense one shelf away from a mahogany-handled shaving set.
We proceeded to grab a pick-me-up coffee from Coffee Garden. The line for this coffee was out the door, but it moved quickly.
My iced coffee was perfectly smooth with plenty of depth in flavor.
With coffee in hand, we stopped at the Stockist, which reminded me of a more refined, hyper-local Urban Outfitters. The aesthetic soothing, and the graphic hoodies ultra-cool.
Finding Japan in the Heart of Utah
Around 6 pm, our gears shifted to thinking about dinner. Kyoto had online rave reviews and was near 9>th And 9>th. I was a little worried about having Sushi in a land-locked state, but soon realized we made one of the best decisions of the entire day.
Kyoto was established 30 years ago by husband and wife team Sam Tada and Yoshiko Yamasaki. Sam, originally from Kyoto, was the chef, and Yoshiko was both server and CFO. It was a winning combination for success.
Today, two women run the business—a rarity for sushi restaurants—they have remained faithful to the founders’ standards of high quality and tradition.
With partial shoji screen booths, Kyoto has the feel of a classic Japanese diner. There are even booths that allow guests to sit cross-legged on lightly padded platforms. The menu selection is traditional with a modern bend in some dishes—nothing too fusion or newfangled.
I had chirashi, which rivaled some of the best Japanese dining experiences I’ve had in America. My mother said it was as good as the very best place she had eaten sushi, Sado Island, Japan. You can check out her story on Japan here.
By the time Mom and I finished our enchanting dinner, we were exhausted. Seeing as we had seen and done SO much, we both felt that it was completely fine to call it a night and head back to the hotel. “Not enough hours in the day?” Yeah, right.
Isabella Bricker lives in NYC and works at environmental non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council. She loves eating local and traveling places that keep her outdoors. Isabella brings a New York-20’s perspective and enjoys scouting out locations that max out on fun but minimize on carbon footprint. Her mother, contributing GoNOMAD writer Cathie Arquilla, is one of her favorite travel companions.