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Park City Utah has become one of the top winter destinations in the country. It’s no surprise, with its world-class ski resorts (and epic Utah powder), bustling downtown district, variety of restaurants and cuisines, and even Olympic venues. There are endless things to do regardless of the season. And it’s just a short distance from Salt Lake City International Airport, so it’s easy to get to — first-time visitors, you’re sure to be in for a treat.
If you’ve been planning a trip to Park City, or are looking for a new destination to check out, you’re in the right place. Everything you need to know about your first trip to Park City is in this article, from how to get around, where to stay, where to eat, the best things to do in Park City UT – and even daytrips to help you explore more of Utah.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Essential Park City Travel Tips: What to Know Before you Go
- 2 10 Things to do in Park City
- 3 3 Day Trips from Park City
Essential Park City Travel Tips: What to Know Before you Go
Getting Around Park City
Park City is a small town and is just 35 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport. If you’re worried about the hassles of driving and finding parking around town, perhaps skip the car rental (that is, unless you’re planning on taking a day trip from Park City). Many of the hotels around downtown as well as those located around Deer Valley offer free shuttle service from the airport, and from there it’s simple to get around.
It’s very easy to take the bus around town — the buses in Park City are free, clean, and very convenient. And if you’re staying in the downtown area or around Deer Valley, it’s super easy to catch a bus to and from the bustling Main Street area. Make sure you visit the city transit website for bus schedules and maps, or they even have a mobile app you can download.
When all else fails, you can always turn to Uber or Lyft, both of which are available in Park City. This is a great option for those who want to avoid going around in circles looking for parking, as well as having to look at street signs and directions.
Where to Eat in Park City
The beautiful thing about Park City is the variety of restaurants and cuisines on offer, whether you’re interested in five-star restaurants, or you’re looking for a casual, budget-friendly spot to chow down. No matter what kind of cuisine you’re drawn to, there’s no doubt you’ll find something to your liking. Over the past several years, a number of award-winning restaurants have opened up in Park City, alongside high-end breweries, wineries, and distilleries. And if you’re looking for something on the more casual side, head over to Main Street for your pick of delicious brunch and coffee shops.
Here are some of our favorites:
- High West Distillery & Saloon — this spot celebrates the American West’s long history of brewing spirits. With a Western-inspired menu serving dishes including High Country Pot Pie and Caribou Sausage Rolls, head here for a hearty meal paired with a whiskey, bourbon, or a spirit you fancy.
- Five5eeds — nothing beats a good breakfast. The Australian café serves up classic healthy breakfasts such as grain bowls and avocado toast. This is a go-to spot for many locals who want to fill up without feeling greasy and sluggish afterward.
- El Chubasco — perfect for lovers of Mexican food. With over 20 house-made varieties of salsa, and a loaded menu of burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and more, you’ll be filled to your heart’s content.
- Handle — an upscale restaurant by Chef Briar Handly, utilizing local and regional ingredients to make dishes like buffalo cauliflower and smoked trout sausage.
Where to Stay in Park City
The best thing about Park City is that everything is so close together — just a short walk, bus ride, or drive. If you’re staying slopeside at one of the resorts, you’re still close to downtown, and vice versa! There are also options that will suit any budget, from high-end resorts to budget accommodation.
Here are some of our picks:
- Luxury ($$$) – The Chateaux Deer Valley – 3 minutes from the closest ski lift and with sophisticated rooms featuring stone fireplaces, whirlpool tubs and flat-screen TVs, plus minifridges, microwaves, coffeemakers and free Wi-Fi. Alpine luxury at it’s finest.
- Mid-Range ($$) – Hyatt Centric Park City – Relaxed rooms offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and gas fireplaces, as well as kitchenettes with microwaves and coffeemakers; and resort facilities include a restaurant/bar, a convenience store and hot tubs.
- Budget ($) – Park City Peaks Hotel – a relaxed, modern hotel in a stone and brick building, the room feature flat-screen TVs, minifridges, coffeemakers and free Wi-Fi.
10 Things to do in Park City
Deer Valley Resort
Deer Valley Resort is arguably the most well-known resorts in Park City. The slopes are epic during the wintertime and draw huge crowds, however, they are also great during the summer! Ski down a black diamond run during the winter months or join one of the snowshoeing tours (if you prefer not to ski!), and head back during the summer to hike or horseback ride around the Park City mountains. The resort also plays host to a number of summer concerts during the warmer months.
Utah Olympic Park
The Utah Olympic Park was home to the Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games in 2002 and is now focused on engaging the public in outdoor sports. Try out the ropes course and ziplines, unleash your inner stuntman on the airbag jump or extreme tubing hill, or go for gold on the bobsled run!
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, drop by the popular Alpine Coaster and take a sled ride down hundreds of yards of concrete track. Or, take a step up and try the elevated Alpine Coaster. May as well take advantage of the mountains, right?
Park City Museum
Park City Utah actually wasn’t always known as a ski town — it was actually first a mining town! Head over to the Park City Museum to learn about the fascinating history of the town, where you can explore a replica mine, delve into the history of mining, and even ride an antique ski subway.
Park Silly Sunday Market
In the warmer months from June to September, head over to Park Citys Main Street every Sunday for the Park Silly Sunday Market. You’ll see everyone from foodies, crafters, and musicians out and about getting involved in the community. Nothing beats the atmosphere of one of the Sunday Markets.
Utah Outdoor Adventures
(That aren’t winter activities!) Depending on how daring you are, choose from hiking, rafting, tubing, paddle boarding, or kayaking out of the nearby reservoirs and rapids. There is a huge selection of aquatic adventure companies, so you’ll be sure to find something to your liking. After all, the summers in Park City are beautiful so you should take advantage of it if you’re there in the warmer months!
You can’t take a trip to Park City without dropping by the downtown area of Main Street. The bustling strip is home to clothing boutiques, eateries, art galleries (such as the Kimball Arts Center, the focal point for the yearly Kimball Arts Festival), ski resorts, and yes, you may even spot a celebrity on a romantic vacation or family getaway. And in summer it is the central But really, if you’re not staying along Park City Main Street, make sure you at least drop by the area once.
If you don’t already know, the world-famous Sundance Film Festival is held in Park City each year. The Egyptian Theatre plays host to many musical events, theatrical debuts, and films, but guess what — it was the host of the very first Sundance Film Festival, which held in Park City each year. Fun fact: it was designed with the assistance of a trained Egyptologist after discovering King Tut’s tomb.
No trip is complete without some shopping. And nothing beats a good outlet. Rack up some serious savings at the popular Tanger Outlets, where you can find many a bargain without compromising on style.
Woodward Park City
This newly opened resort is a haven for outdoor activities has snowboarding and skiing available, as well as biking trails and skate parks. It also has a 52,000-square-foot indoor training facility with a concrete skate park, trampolines, foam pits, and more! The best part is, there’s a chairlift that will take you straight up to the mountain top so you can tube straight down the bottom.
3 Day Trips from Park City
Mirror Lake Byway
One of Utah’s most scenic mountain roads, beginning in the town of Kamas (around 15 miles from Park City). The scenic byways goes through the Uinta Mountains, past several lakes and streams, over Bald Mountain Pass, and ends in Evanston Wyoming. There are plenty of hiking trails along the byway, and you can often see wildlife from the road and trails. Truly one of the most stunning day trips from Park City you can take.
Near Park City and just west of Heber City in Midway you can find the Homestead Crater, a geothermal hot spring tucked inside a 55-foot cave. While here you can take a self-guided tour to learn about the formation of the cave and hot spring, and go for a swim. Be sure to visit their website for opening times and reservations.
Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway
Another drive with beautiful mountain scenery, this backcountry road connects Park City to Brighton or to Midway. This road can be steep, so it’s recommended for the warmer months during summer, early fall and spring only. You will go past fields of wildflowers with lush mountain foliage in the background, and in the fall, the aspen trees turn breathtaking shades of orange, yellow, and red.
Park City offers so many things to do and see regardless of the season, so you’ll want to come back for more throughout the year. Once you take your first trip, we guarantee you’ll be soon planning more ways to explore Park City and know that there is so much more besides skiing on offer!
We hope this guide has been helpful in trip planning for your Park City vacation, and if you know of anyone else that needs a little bit of inspiration or assistance in planning their outdoor escape to Park City, please be sure to share on social media: Facebook, Flipboard, Twitter or grab one of the images from below for Pinterest. And remember – sharing is charing (and we thank you in advance!)
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