HIDDEN GEM

Ogden’s a haven for the hip and the humble

Yes, it’s a ski town. The Ogden Valley boasts three resorts in one small area. But Ogden also offers a vibrant city experience, so not only can you hit the slopes, but you can abscond here for a weekend getaway that will be especially fun.

 

Utah’s Hub City

Ogden became the main terminal for a transcontinental railroad line in the late 1800s, and the town’s railroad past still can be felt today. To immerse yourself in it, book a stay at the Bigelow Hotel & Residences (2510 Washington Blvd., 801-627-1900, BenLomondSuites.com)—formerly the Historic Ben Lomond Hotel—the prominent anchor at one end of 25th Street. Dating back to 1927, the art-deco feel of the grand lobby is just one of the reasons the building is registered as a Utah Historic Site.

The anchor at the other end of 25th Street is Ogden’s Union Station (2501 Wall Ave., 801-393-9890), home to the Winter Market sponsored by Farmers Market Ogden that runs Jan. 20-Feb. 24, and features local produce, artisans and entertainment.

Between the hotel and the station, 25th Street overflows with dining and entertainment options. One of the originals that kicked off the revitalization of 25th Street some 20 years ago was Roosters Brewing Co. & Restaurant (253 25th St., 801-627-6171). Stop in to taste the O-Town Nut Brown or Irreverent Pale Ale while sampling the “What a Crock” appetizer—eight cheeses baked with crab, artichoke hearts and roasted garlic served with a baguette.

 

If you’re looking for one of 25th Street’s newest entries, keep an eye out for Underground 225, a speakeasy located under Zucca Ristorante (225 25th St., 801-475-7077,). Since it’s a speakeasy, the front door is easy to miss, but once inside, you’ll enjoy classic decor and cocktails. After your cocktail, head upstairs to Zucca for caprese risotto with tomatoes and basil, or risotto topped with shrimp and lobster sautéed in white wine and garlic.

Ogden’s youthful vibe might be at least partially explained by the presence of Weber State University (3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden, 801-626-6000) whose rousing Wildcats basketball, performing arts calendar and cultural events provide its student body and visitors with a steady stream of goings-on.

A new activity in town can be found at Social Axe (2236 Washington Blvd., 801-395-2937). If you’ve ever fancied yourself a lumberjack, this is your chance to try out actual axe throwing. This seriously is a thing. Get together with some friends (that’s the “social” part of the name), and they’ll teach you how to throw before your group finishes off the session with a bracket-style tournament called the “Axe Battle Royale.”

Up The Canyon

Couples looking for a romantic getaway in a mountain setting can find Alaskan Inn Bed & Breakfast (435 Ogden Canyon, 801-621-8600) on the drive up Ogden Canyon. You not only get your own secluded small cabin with all modern amenities, in the morning, you’ll hear a knock at the door and open it to find a tray filled with a home-cooked breakfast.

Once you make it to the top of the canyon, head over to Eden to New World Distillery (4795 E. 2600 North, Eden, 385-244-0144) that opened in December 2016. Whether your tastes run to Barrel-Rested Gin or Utah Tart Cherry Liqueur, you can find out how they’re made and have a taste during public tours and tastings held every Friday and Saturday during ski season.

Did We Mention Skiing?

The restaurants, clubs and accommodations in the Ogden area are also notable in that they sit close to some famous ski resorts.

When the Olympics came to Utah in 2002, the spot picked for the world’s fastest skiers in the downhill event was Snowbasin (3925 E. Snowbasin Rd., Huntsville, 888-437-5488). For 2017-18, the resort is celebrating the opening of the new Wildcat Express 6-pack chairlift. The new seats increase the carrying capacity of the Wildcat Lift, which was built in 1946.

The hashtag for Powder Mountain (Utah Highway 158, 8000 N., 5100 E., Eden, 801-745-3772) this season is #PreservingThePow, and the resort is doing it with two new lifts serving over 1,000 new acres. The resort’s skiable terrain of 8,464 acres—the largest patch in North America—can be enjoyed crowd-free since Powder Mountain caps its day passes at 1,500 and adult season passes at 1,000.

Nordic Valley (3567 Nordic Valley Way, Eden, 801-745-3511) is celebrating its 50th anniversary, having first opened in 1968. One-hundred percent of the mountain is under lights for night-skiing.

Ogden is worth a visit for the skiing alone, but you could easily make a case for visiting “just because.” And with the FrontRunner providing light-rail service from Salt Lake City, you don’t even need a car to get here. For ideas on how to enjoy your getaway, check out Visit Ogden.

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