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Nestled in the south valley with the Wasatch Mountains to the east and the Traverse Mountains to the south, Draper has mountains galore, and much more. A number of surprisingly delicious restaurants feed the folks in the ‘burbs. It’s a family-friendly neighborhood—of more than 14,000 households—just 20 minutes away from our ski-paradise mountains.

EAT & DRINK

Sometimes nothing less than a slab of prime meat will do, and when that’s the case, head to Christopher’s Steakhouse & Grill. Known for its incredible 180-degree views of the Salt Lake Valley, Cliff House Gastro Pub hits all the right notes with its selection of sushi, artisanal beers, and craft cocktails; there’s also live music and entertainment five nights a week. Let the students at the Art Institute of Salt Lake practice on you at the student-run restaurant, The Savory Palate, where you can buy a four-course gourmet dinner for a fraction of what you’d pay elsewhere. Another inexpensive option is the Mexican dishes and fresh salsas at Donkey Tails Cantina.

Despite its name, Pirate O’s isn’t a specialty store selling eye patches and parrots. It’s an importer of fine and artisanal goods with a classy cafe serving sandwiches. If you want a food challenge, try Virg’s Family Restaurant’s Burger Plus. They advertise that the 10-inch burger can feed your whole family. 

 

SHOP

Cactus & Tropicals has an incredible assortment of heirloom succulents, as well as exotic and traditional plants for home and garden. Camping World has all the RV supplies, accessories, and parts to keep you going on your Big 5 (Utah’s five national parks) adventure. Get lost in the Swedish wonderland of home goods at IKEA or find an assortment of shops at Bangerter Crossing, where you'll find the local and wonderful grocer Harmon's.  

PLAY

Draper offers a smorgasbord of options to keep the little ones entertained. The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is home to 4,000 animals representing 450 species. The public aquarium consists of three main exhibits: Discover Utah, Ocean Explorer, and Journey to South America. Boondocks is the place for bodacious activities of all colors, while Cowabunga Bay Water Park is where the kids can get wet and wild. And Strangling Brothers Utah Haunted Circus is one of the scariest spook allies around...because clowns. During the summer, check out community theatre and music at the Draper Amphitheater. 

The real treat in Draper is the more than 90 miles of cycling, hiking, and equestrian trails. Some of the most iconic destinations include Corner Canyon and Bell Canyon; the latter boasts several beautiful and photo-worthy waterfalls. At the Point of the Mountain, you can experience hang gliding or paragliding at one of the most well-known and best sites in the world.

STAY

There’s a cluster of hotels right off of I-15 for your convenience. For higher-end accommodations, check out SpringHill Suites Salt Lake City Draper or Fairfield Inn Salt Lake City Draper. For a night’s sleep that won’t break the bank, your options include Comfort Inn and Ramada Limited Draper.
 

HIDDEN GEMS

Rumor has it that the crag known as Red Rock was established by a dentist—there are route names like "Dry Socket" and "Bad Case of Gingivitis." The Red Rock wall has a number of moderate, top-ropable routes found by an easy approach, which makes it an excellent place to take beginners or to get in a couple of nice, mellow climbs at the end of a spring ski day.

Words: Austen Diamond Photography
Photos: See Credits