As a southern Californian resident, winters come few and far between. We are extremely lucky to have 350 days of sunshine a year, but sometimes we just want to play in the snow! So, we booked a weekend trip to Utah for an early Valentine’s Day celebration and the city welcomed us with incredible adventures, small town charm, and an abundance of snow.
Park City, only a 45-minute drive from Salt Lake City, is home to some of the best ski resorts and snow-covered mountains in the country. After hosting the 2002 winter Olympics, the city attracts tourists from all over the world. Infamously, celebrities and film enthusiasts are spotted at the Sundance Film Festival which takes place annually. Peak travel times are in the midst of winter (December – March), of course, while Wasatch Range attract mountain bikers and hikers between June and September.
Book Your Flight
Where to Stay
Things to Do
Where to Eat
Book Your Flight
If you want to head to this winter wonderland this year, don’t miss out on this killer deal. Park City Mountain Resorts are offering $300 Delta Airlines credit until April 2018! Click here for more information on how to book. A roundtrip flight ticket through Delta was only $125, so we practically booked both our flights for FREE!
Hotel Shuttles: Usually complimentary and convenient with resort reservations. Smaller resorts will require a phone call and a wait time of 15-20 minutes depending on the volume of traffic. The shuttles usually make their way to the three main mountains of Park City: Park City Mountain, Canyons Village, and Deer Valley. Additional stops include nearby markets.
Uber/Lyft: Probably your best bet if you are only staying for a few days. Surcharges can get pricey as there are limited drivers and road conditions aren’t always ideal. It is a safe way to maneuver to each location in minutes and the most common way of getting to and from Salt Lake City Airport.
Transit Bus: Park City boasts its efficient fare-free bus transit system. The system provides a convenient way to get around town without having to find parking. This is probably the cheapest option although you might find yourself freezing while waiting in the cold for the next bus.
Trolley on Main Street: A great photo opportunity and fun ride, the trolley operates from 10:00am – 11:00pm. You can catch a ride to the Old Town Transit Center to get convenient transportation to all other parts of the city.
Rent a Car: It is always an option to rent a car from Salt Lake City airport. If you prefer the freedom to drive around town as you please, renting is probably your best bet. Just be aware of finding parking on Main Street during events like Sundance. Although if you are from the Los Angeles area, Park City traffic is a breeze.
Where to Stay
As stated above, Park City Mountain Resorts are offering an amazing deal with Delta credit. To qualify for this offer, book a three night stay in Park City at any of the Mountain Resorts Managed Properties. See the list of participating properties here.
Located in the heart of Canyons Village, an extension of Park City Mountain Resort, Westgate Park City Resort & Spa is considered one of Park City’s top ski-in, ski-out resorts. Take the Cabriolet gondola to the front steps of this resort which provides a beautiful and modern rustic feel throughout. Take advantage of the resort’s fine dining at Edge Steakhouse or stay casual at Draft’s Burger Bar. Resort amenities include a fitness center, yoga studio, and Serenity spa.
Things to Do
If you’re an adventurist and wondering what to do in Park City, here are plenty of experiences that the city offers. With an abundance of epic adventures, you won’t be disappointed. Plus, the views are epic all around town.
Skiing & Snowboarding
Utah has the ‘Greatest Snow on Earth,’ according to ski enthusiasts from around the world. And since the Winter Olympic Games were held in Salt Lake City in 2002, Park City is no longer the best-kept secret in American skiing. There are three main ski resorts to consider: Park City Mountain Resort, Canyons Resort, and Deer Valley.
Deer Valley is considered to be the most pristine resort but also the most expensive. Note that Deer Valley is for skiers only, no snowboarding allowed. You’ll get a more casual feeling at the other two mountains, which are actually one and the same resort. You can even ski or snowboard between mountains if you have the time – see this trail map for details. We asked many locals who all preferred the Canyons, so we opted to check it out. In the midst of a blizzard and fresh powder, the mountain views, conditions, and ski trails did not disappoint.
The quickest way up and down the mountains without taking a ski lift and thrilling to drive. Some snowmobiles reach speeds of up to 150mph, a daring adventurist’s dream! Snowmobile tours are offered in increments of one-hour, two-hour, half day, or full day. I recommend at least 2 hours for enough time to drive to more scenic views. Check with the tour company for complimentary transportation as most snowmobile headquarters are located just outside Park City.
In the spirit of the Olympics, you can even feel like an Olympian and bobsled at the Utah Olympic Park. You can experience the thrill of ripping down the track at speeds over 70mph. Visitors can ride with professionals down the 1,335 meter track for an experience that will surely take your breath away. ‘The quickest way to spend $200 in 20-seconds,’ said a local Uber driver, ‘but a once-in-a-lifetime experience.’
Park City is full of culture and history, and there are plenty of museums around town if you’re a history buff. Park City Museum is located right off Main Street and provides an interactive display of events highlighting the city’s mining days and mountain heritage. The Utah Olympic Park brings back the excitement and wonder of the 2002 Winter Olympic events in this city: bobsled, skeleton, luge, and the Nordic combined events. The park features adventure courses, bobsled experiences, and even a drop tower. If you want to see the haunted side of the city beginning on Main Street, check out the Park City Ghost Tours in the evening hours.
You can even go dog sledding, snow shoeing, hiking, tubing, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. Trust me, you won’t be bored on these mountains with plenty of things to do for all ages.
Where to Eat
Edge Park City in Canyon Village
Visit this award-winning Park City steakhouse for fine dining after a long day of skiing. Located at the Westgate Park City Resort & Spa, you are in for an exquisite experience from the moment you open the front doors. For starters, the seasonal oysters topped with caviar are a must. The Hilltop Dream cocktail is really quite a dream with notes of lemon and lavender. Our ultimate favorite was the domestic Wagyu gold label ribeye cap, cooked to perfection. And of course, the first-class wait staff is impeccable.
Murdock’s in Canyon Village
Murdock’s is a quaint café located by the top of the Cabriolet gondolas. It is the perfect spot to take a break in between ski runs for a caffeine boost or a breakfast burrito fix. If you are one that prefers to stay warm at the bottom of the slopes, sit back and hang out at Murdock’s.
High West Distillery near Main Street
This bar is definitely keeping up with the recent modern trends, complete with a saloon bar. The distillery makes its own whiskey and also serves local favorites, a must try if you are a whiskey drinker. High West serves traditional American fare with a local Utah twist. Try their elk chili or chicken schnitzel! If you go on the weekends, be sure to get there early to skip the line.
No Name Saloon on Main Street
The first place locals mention when you ask them where to enjoy a few drinks is No Name Saloon on Main Street. This bar and grill has two levels and a balcony with decorations from Park City’s history hanging from the walls and ceilings, including a vintage motorcycle and snowmobile. Their drinks are strong and the music will bring you back to the ’80s. The burgers are all made of buffalo meat which is a tasty alternative to the traditional beef burger. If you want the local nightlife, this is the place to be.
The Cabin on Main Street
Most nights starting at 8pm, The Cabin features live music from cover bands to dance beats. Locals love this bar to play pool and ping pong, drink draft beer, and hang with tourists at the bottom of the mountain. Everyone is friendly and you’ll find yourself hanging out here for a great time.
Egyptian Theatre on Main Street
The Egyptian Theatre on Main Street hosts a variety of theatre, comedy, musical acts, special events, community functions and more. The Sundance Film Festival continues to use the theatre as one of its main staples during the festival season, since it is one of Park City’s oldest and most recognizable venues.
Trust me, after days on the slopes of Park City, you’re going to want a chance to relax and unwind. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be sore from head to toe and the experts at the Serenity Spa at Westgate Park City Resort & Spa know how to help. Its award-winning spa is tucked in the back of the lodge next to the skier’s lounge. After you choose from a variety of spa treatments, you can rejuvenate in this romantic hot tub until 8pm if you wish.
While Park City has become a tourist attraction since the 2002 Olympic games, the city still maintains its small city mountain vibe. The locals are friendly and the city is thriving. Park City continues to uphold its reputation of having the best snow for skiing and the Sundance Film Festival continues to bring in tourists year after year.
We had an amazing time in Park City. Special thanks to Jupiter Inn, Westgate Park City Resort & Spa, Rocky Mountain Adventure Company, Serenity Spa, and Edge Steakhouse. If you are planning a trip here soon and need recommendations, please feel free to ask.
Written by Priscilla Lam