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You don’t have to hit the slopes to enjoy a weekend in a winter wonderland like Park City, Utah.

Patricia Doherty
January 27, 2018
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It’s that time of year when skiers long for snow and scan the weather reports hopefully as they make plans for a winter getaway. You’re the one who doesn’t ski, but you still want to hang with the crowd. We understand your FOMO, so this year, don’t just stay home wishing for a vacation on a tropical beach.

Join the skiers and snowboarders as they head for Park City, Utah — the largest ski resort in the United States. While they’re schussing down the slopes, you can find lots of great things to do.

You'll have the perfect excuse to relax at the hotel.

The ski-in/ski-out Grand Summit Hotel, a Rock Resort in Canyons Village will keep the snowboarders and skiers happy, just steps from the Orange Bubble Express heated gondola and the new Quicksilver Express. Watch your friends head for the slopes as you sip coffee in the Red Tail Grill, and then mosey on over to the lobby to relax in front of the fireplace.

Or plan a visit to the spa for the sauna, steamroom, or a massage, and then meet up with the skiers at the outdoor heated pool and hot tub at the end of the day.

The newly renovated hotel's one, two, and three bedroom suites are equipped with kitchens, fireplaces, and private balconies, so your group can easily decide on the ideal room arrangements.

There are plenty of other ways to play in the snow.

Surrounded by the glistening white stuff, you might get the urge to do more than enjoy the views. Try snowshoeing for a fun, easy, trek that will get you out among the snow-topped evergreens and graceful aspens. A tour guide will help with the details of getting into and out of the snowshoes, give you some tips, and keep you safely on the trails.

Cycle enthusiasts can rent a “fat bike” to ride through Park City’s snow-packed, groomed trails. To get started, join a fat bike tour, customized to your riding style and ability.

Be a kid again and glide down a snowy hill on a colorful inner tube. Memories of dragging your sled back up the hill will fade as you get towed to the top for your next ride down.

Dinner will become a main event.

At the base of the Red Pine Gondola, The Farm restaurant serves locally sourced, seasonal American dishes. Their small plates and charcuterie board are perfect for sharing, and the crispy roasted pork shank with warm cabbage slaw and potato dumplings is a local favorite.

In town, at chef John Murcko’s Firewood, nearly every dish is prepared over an open flame using specially selected woods to enhance the flavors. Friendly service, unique turn of the century industrial décor, and exceptional cuisine are its hallmarks. Tasty starters include smoked trout, beef tartare, and creamy baked gnocchi.

High West Distillery & Saloon in town is a lively, popular spot with tasty appetizers. It’s the only ski-in gastro distillery in the country, serving a full selection of wines, beers, and spirits, including their own small-batch whiskeys and vodka. Try their deviled eggs or shishito peppers to start. 

Red Tail Grill at the Grand Summit is a casual spot with views of the mountain from indoors and from its outdoor deck on Ski Beach. Open all day, it’s a nice stop for breakfast or late afternoon après-ski cocktails and appetizers.

There's lots of time for shopping.

Begin your day with a stop at Ritual Chocolate, where small batch bean-to-bar chocolate is hand crafted using traditional European methods. Order their luscious hot chocolate or a coffee, tea, or espresso along with a pastry. Peek into the production area to see their staff at work producing beautifully packaged bars of dark chocolate, each indicating the source of its beans.  

From Ritual Chocolate, take one of the free city buses to Main Street, where you’ll find unique shops, art galleries, and cafes. The Crosby Collection showcases Native American pottery, weavings, jewelry, and domestic turquoise. From Mountain Trails Gallery to Park City Fine Art, there are paintings, sculpture, and collectibles to please every taste.

Clothing stores include cozy winter apparel from Alpaca International, DiJore's custom leather boots, trendy women's fashion from local designers at Mary Jane's, and more. Atticus Coffee, Books, and Teahouse is the place to hang out for a while exploring their collection of new and used books, cards, and gifts while you sip a warm drink.

Learn about Park City’s history at The Park City Museum, an entertaining and educational display of artifacts, films, photos, and interactive exhibits telling the story of Park City from the early settlers, to the silver mining era, and through the transition to a winter sports mecca. Housed in the original 1885 City Hall, the museum has a 1926 fire truck, actual mining cage, and an early gondola among its displays.

You can take a tour — or just enjoy the view.

Visit Utah Olympic Park, originally built for the 2002 Winter Olympics. The park serves as a training center for athletes and a popular recreational and educational venue. Guided tours include stories of Olympic achievement and a shuttle bus ride to the top of the world’s highest Nordic ski jumps, with fabulous views.

The Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center is home to two museums, the Alf Engen Ski Museum and the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum. The Olympic Games Museum exhibits include medals, photographs, videos, and actual equipment, uniforms, and other artifacts that will bring back memories of those winter games.

At the Alf Engen Ski Museum, new interactive and virtual exhibits give guests a life-like ride as they travel, via quad chairlift, over Mt. Superior in Little Cottonwood Canyon. This will be your chance to experience an Olympic downhill course without even having to strap on a pair of skis.

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