Liberty Park is to Utah is what Central Park is to New York – although we’re going to brag a bit and say our park is probably even more amazing. We love it because it’s like a one-stop shop for, well, basically everything. Liberty Park’s 100 acres is packed with oodles of things to do in every season. And if you live in the surrounding neighborhood, you’re living in one of the state’s coolest hotspots (oxymoron not intended).
The park itself is the oldest in the entire state, springing to life in 1882. That fact alone gives you a good idea of how majestic its shade trees have to be. Combine the shade trees with a lake, a swimming pool, a duck pond, tennis and bocce courts, walking paths, inline skating paths, pavilions, playgrounds and barbecues and you’ve got one heck of a community hub. There’s even a greenhouse and merry-go-round. Events run the gamut from summer fireworks to an annual no-holds-barred reggae fest. And you’re not done yet.
Liberty Park is home to the 8-acre Tracy Aviary where you can actually hand-feed some of these gorgeous critters. Stay outside to sashay through the 100-tree owl forest, or check out an indoor exhibit housing tropical birds of all shapes, sizes and colors. The place sets up ecosystems to match the birds that live there, essentially giving you a mini-tour of the entire world.
Take a step outside the park and you’re stepping into a neighborhood that epitomizes the laid-back, unique vibe that defines Salt Lake City. The Park Café is a good place to start. This place is like a microcosm of the culture all in one place that just so happens to serve pork potatoes. From the omelets to the burgers to the spiced chai, The Park Café is a breakfast or lunch must at least once a week. OK, maybe twice or three times.
When you want to chill out, there’s no better place to do so than at the Tea Grotto. We can sum this one up in two words: awesome space. Add another layer of chill with one of their more than 130 different varieties of iced tea or herbal drinks, each made fresh to order. This place regularly has free tea tastings so you can home in on a variety (or 12) you may want to try the next time around. Iced tea, hot tea and tea-infused foods are what make the place tasty. The atmosphere is what makes the place cool.
When it comes time to heat things up, head on over to The Chanon Thai Café. We’ve always said our deep knowledge of Salt Lake City means we know where the best Thai food is hiding. Well, this is it. We’re not the only ones who think so. City Weekly voted Chanon Thai the best in Utah for its supreme spiciness and sensational service.
There are way too many fabulous things on the menu for us to recommend only one of them. Blue crab and tofu. Mango and sticky rice. Curry powder and shrimp. What we will recommend, however, is that you enhance the flavors even further with a glass of “fresh young coconut juice.” Yeah, just reading the menu at this place is enough to make you drool.
There are so many (figuratively) drool-worthy things in and around Liberty Park that we could probably go on for another 10 pages. But we want to leave a little mystery, no? Whatever you discover, we’re betting you’ll simply love it as much as we do.