Fodor's Expert Review Downtown Arts District
The emergence of the offbeat 18b Arts District (so called because it comprises 18 blocks bounded by South 7th, Main, Bonneville, and Charleston streets on downtown's southeastern corner) continues to generate excitement in the city's arts community and, increasingly, among visitors. With a number of funky, independent art galleries in its confines, the area, officially named in 1998, is a growing, thriving cultural hub—think of it as the Anti-Strip. In addition to the galleries—some of which contain impressive collections of locally known and world-famous artists—you'll find interesting eateries and dive bars to serve the alternative artists, musicians, and writers who have gravitated to the neighborhood. Each month the district hosts a First Friday gallery walk from 5 to 11 pm with gallery openings, street performers, and entertainment. It's an excellent time to come check out the still-nascent but steadily improving scene for yourself.