Salt Lake City, Utah

This city of historic Capitol Hill mansions, jazz music clubs, pop-up artisanal Farmers Markets, and world-class Clark Planetarium is set against the inspiring Wasatch Mountains. 21st century downtown office towers surround Mormon pioneer Brigham Young's 19th century Beehive House. Eight ski resorts are less than an hour's drive from downtown - a year-round mountain tram ride takes you to the top of Snowbird's 11,000-foot Hidden Peak.

The tremendous Salt Lake Mormon Temple, completed in 1893, is regal to behold as evening falls and the high tower lights go on. Enjoy elegant afternoon tea in the ornate 19th century Grand America Hotel. Or, get a Cajun Bacon Burger and spectacular views at Ruth's Diner in Emigration Canyon, a warm cafe originally set up in a 1930s trolley car. Enjoy excellent fried chicken and great live music at the Garage on Beck Street, a roadhouse pub.

Drive east through the Utah mountains to Park City, home of the Sundance Film Festival. Stop on the way for a sausage, spinach, and cheese frittata at the No Worries Cafe & Grill in Summit Park. In spring and summer, mountain bike on 350 miles of groomed trails, through the wildflower-covered Park City hills. In winter, ride dog sleds drawn by Alaskan malamutes and Siberian huskies.