Vacation Homes: East Bench of Salt Lake City, Utah

    Photo: Courtesy of Corbis

A true metropolitan city with a year-round mountain playground and arguably the best resort powder skiing in the world. But with abundant hedge trimmers and bike-riding paper boys, this isn't everyone's idea of a ski town. Think split-level suburban ranches with big ol' garages—which is to say it's perfect for families or entourages. The East Bench district starts at the base of Little and Big Cottonwood canyons, eight miles from Alta/Snowbird and just a tad more to Solitude and Brighton. "You're on the slopes in 20 minutes," says Scott Beck, CEO of the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, "but instead of hot wings afterwards, there's opera, Jazz games, and gourmet restaurants."
NUMBERS: 4­5-bedroom homes for $275K–$500K. Condos from under $200K.
INTEL: Salt Lake's real-estate slide came late, so the bargain sale is in full swing: East Bench medians are off 6–12 percent from December 2008.
ACCESS: 20 minutes southeast of Salt Lake City's airport.

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