Travel + Leisure is exploring America one three-day weekend at a time. Here’s what to do during a short trip to Park City, Utah.
As Utah's best-known ski town, Park City boasts a small-community feel and is the perfect base for big-time adventure. Whether you visit in summer or winter, the historic mining town offers attractions for everyone, from top-notch dining options to even bobsledding. That means you don't have to be a skier or boarder to vacation in Park City. Of course, if you live for fresh powder, you'll find plenty of that, too. If you've been itching for a weekend full of bobsledding, après ski bars, and mountain biking, we've got you covered.
Compared to other mountain destinations, Park City rules when it comes to access. Fly into Salt Lake International Airport and take a shuttle (or rent a car) a short 45-minute drive up the hill. Check into the boutique Washington School House Hotel in downtown Park City before heading outside to inhale all that fresh air. A stroll down Main Street provides a good orientation to the town's history and architecture with plenty of time to check out the shops and art galleries.
Head to Riverhorse on Main for on-point salads, expertly prepared steaks, and consistently good service. If you want to go out afterward, the 100-year-old No Name Saloon is a lot like your local dive bar, but with antler chandeliers, a fireplace, and better people-watching.
Wake up early to hit the slopes. Park City is now home to America's biggest ski area, Park City Mountain Resort, with 7,300 skiable acres and 41 chair lifts. Powder hounds will love Jupiter Bowl while intermediates should head to the King Con Express to lap the blues. Try Cloud Dine for an on-mountain lunch or opt for salads and wraps at the Silver Star Café at the base.
A short 5 minutes from town, the skiers-only Deer Valley also boasts loads of well-groomed ski trails. If you happen to be in Park City from December to March, don't miss a sleigh ride to the Viking Yurt on Park City Mountain where you'll be treated to a six-course meal at 8,700 feet.
In the summer, Deer Valley has 70 miles of mountain bike trails accessible by three different chair lifts. And whatever the season, finish a day of adventuring at High West Distillery & Saloon (the country's only ski-in, ski-out distillery) where you can take a tour, eat hearty plates like pretzels with whipped beer cheese, and sample award-winning whiskey like the Campfire: a smoky blend of Scotch, bourbon, and rye.
Grab tea, Salt Lake City coffee from Millcreek, and baked goods at the indie bookstore Atticus Tea. If you've had enough of skiing or biking, opt for a different adventure at the Utah Olympic Park. This vestige of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games boasts a museum that's good for all ages, but the real star is the Comet Bobsled: a ride that takes thrill-seekers on 18 hairpin turns on the official Olympic sliding track. Although it's not for the faint of heart, this adrenaline-pumping experience operates in both summer and winter.
Leave your Olympic dreams behind and return to Park City to sample the Mexican fare at El Chubasco, a casual, order-at-the-counter cantina perfect for lunch. See what's happening in town for the afternoon or check out the Homestead Crater, a geothermal spring hidden within a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock about 30 minutes from Park City. Guests can swim in the 95-degree water, snorkel, or even take a paddle-board yoga class. Alternatively, if you're looking to splurge, go to the celeb-worthy St. Regis Deer Valley Remède Spa for an afternoon of pampering (the hot poultice massage is heavenly).
For dinner, check out one of Park City's newer restaurants creating a buzz, Handle. Located at the bottom of Main Street, Handle serves up memorable trout sausage, fried chicken, and an amazing caramel pudding for dessert. Check the calendar and finish off the evening with a show at Park City's iconic Egyptian Theatre, one of the Sundance Film Festival's most recognizable venues.
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