Choose your own adventure in Park City, Utah
With more than 116 trails, Park City has long been a premiere destination for winter sports enthusiasts all over the world. The snow is so powdery, you can blow it away with a kiss. The airport is only 35 minutes from the slopes, so you can be on your skis within hours of landing. And it’s home to dozens of Olympic athletes, including new gold medal snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg and silver medal skier Devin Logan.
But even if you aren’t an adrenaline junkie, there’s plenty to enjoy in this picturesque mountain town. From a surprising number of art galleries, as well as shopping and one of the best whiskey distilleries around, you won’t be bored.
Where to stay
There are three resorts to choose from: Park City Mountain Resort, Canyons and Deer Valley Resort. If you want to experience the city as well as the slopes, PCMR is the way to go. The vibe is relaxed and rustic, and you’ll be extremely well cared for. The Park City Marriott has all the amenities you’ll need at a reasonable rate. Styled like a luxe alpine cabin, there’s a business center with free computer use and every night, you can grab a Snuggie and head over to the fire pit for s’mores.
If you’re heading to Park City strictly to ski or snowboard, check into Canyons resort, one of the largest ski and snowboarding resorts in North America. There are 19 chairlifts and a whole range of terrain on the grounds, not to mention breathtaking views.
If uber luxury is what you want, you’ll feel right at home at Deer Valley Resort — and with condominiums to rent, you’ll actually feel like you live there. The St. Regis Hotel sits regally among the mountains and is a skier’s paradise: There is no snowboarding allowed.
If you’re in search of outdoor adventure
The powder-filled bowls (the city’s slogan is “the greatest snow on Earth”) and terrain for skiers of every level, combined with easy accessibility, make Park City one of the best places for serious skiers and snowboarders. Fifty-two percent of the terrain is intermediate level; 31 percent is advanced. And when you’ve had enough skiing and snowboarding, the zipline at Canyons resort will keep your heart racing.
Set aside a couple hours to tour Utah Olympic Park to see where the pros train. The guide will take you to the top of the ski jumps and often, you’ll get an up-close look at the skeleton racers.
If skiing and snowboarding aren’t your thing
On Main Street, mixed in with the ski gear stores, are local clothing boutiques and art galleries that keep their doors open late to cater to those who spend all day on the slopes. The last Friday of every month, the town hosts a Park City Gallery Stroll, where customers can meander into the local art galleries for wine and conversation with local artists and store owners.
If you want to try something outdoorsy without risking breaking your neck, try snowshoeing. Snowshoeing across the mountains is meditative, and you’ll get the same Instagram-worthy views as your more adventurous counterparts.
Where to eat
Utah may be a landlocked state but seafood is really popular, offered in almost all local restaurants and even burger joints. While you’ll be hard up to find sushi, Thai or Indian food, pubs are in abundance.
The can’t miss restaurant of the city is High West Distillery & Saloon, located right off Main Street. The trendy interior with mason jar lighting and dark wood still bares the bones of the 1870s farm house it once was. Sip on the Double Rye or Campfire whiskey, or the vodka lemonade, one of the most popular drinks year-round. To eat, don’t miss the black coffee and bourbon-glazed cod, chicken pot pie and Krispy Kreme doughnuts with vanilla ice cream.
For an upscale meal, the Deer Valley Resort’s seafood buffet sets the mood and will leave you satisfied. Fresh oysters, glazed scallops and crab legs are just a few of the myriad options available in this grand ballroom.
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence