How to Pack a Week into a Weekend in Park City

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Discoveries Featured USA Adventure Winter

Park City, Utah finds itself on the top of many “best towns” lists and not just because of its proximity to two Olympic-quality ski resorts — Park City Mountain and Deer Valley.

Located a mere 35 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport, Park City is also one of the most accessible ski towns. Combine easy access with some of the greatest snow on Earth and you have the perfect winter ski destination. You could spend your entire time here on the slopes, but Park City offers far more than epic snow sports. If you visit in late January, you can even rub elbows with celebrities at the world’s largest independent film festival, the Sundance Film Festival. There's a lot to do in this small Utah town, so here's how to pack a week into a weekend.

Friday

Credit: Johnny Adolphson/Shutterstock

Drop your bags and head to Olympic Park, a 400-acre venue built for the 2002 Winter Games that houses bobsled tracks, Nordic ski jumps, a 2002 Winter Games museum, an extreme zipline, and a series of aerial rope courses. Take a guided bus tour and ride to the top of the world’s highest Nordic ski jumps, plus see one of the fastest sliding tracks. Once your one-hour tour ends, experience the thrill of a lifetime on a Winter Bobsled Experience. A professional pilot will guide three passengers along the track the athletes used in 2002 and still train on today (you must be at least 16 and weigh 100 pounds to ride). Once you catch your breath, wander over to the Alf Engen Ski Museum and learn all about the history of skiing, Utah’s famous snow, Olympic sports, and more. If you’re up for one more thrill, take flight on the ski jump simulator.

By now, you’ve probably worked up an appetite. You’ll find some of the Rockies’ best dining in this charming mountain town. Savor a delicious, gooey cheese fondue, perfectly mixed cocktails, and stunning mountain views at the Troll Hallen Lounge in the Stein Eriksen Lodge. For dinner, head to Riverhorse on Main, where you’ll enjoy award-winning, seasonal cuisine and live music at one of Park City’s oldest and most distinguished restaurants. After dinner, join the lively crowd at 350 Main’s bar or at its sister establishment next door, The Spur Bar, where you can listen to live music starting at 10 p.m.

Saturday

Credit: David A. Litman/Shutterstock

Fuel up with a big breakfast and locally roasted coffee at Harvest Park City because you’re going to need it! Click or strap your boots onto your snow-sliding stick of choice and embark on your own personal adventure at Park City Mountain. Now part of Vail Resorts, this ski resort features 348 trails spread across 7,300 acres to explore and test your skills on some of the world’s best snow. If your quest for adventure doesn’t involve zipping down steep slopes crammed into tight boots, check out the Mountain Coaster for an alpine toboggan ride. If you’re interested in learning about Park City’s rich mining and skiing history, sign up for a free tour for intermediate-level skiers and a guide will show you hidden relics and historic mining buildings scattered around the resort.

If adventuring on a ski mountain isn’t your style, you have some other options for getting out and enjoying this beautiful area. You can explore a 60,000-acre private ranch on snowmobile with Thousand Peaks Snowmobiling. They offer two, three, and four-hour tours of varying difficulty through a stunning, backcountry setting. For a tamer experience, Deer Valley Resort offers guided private and shared snowmobile two-hour tours on groomed trails with Summit Meadows Adventures. Kids aged 4 to 12 will love a chance to zoom around the mini snowmobile track at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, another venue used during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Kids and adults will also love snow tubing along the 1,200-foot sliding lanes at Soldier Hollow. For fun and fitness, try cross-country skiing on Soldier Hollow’s premier winter trails.

If you find yourself in downtown Park City during lunchtime, be sure to swing into High West Distillery & Saloon, a historic, award-winning whiskey distillery that serves Western fare such as elk chili and Niman Ranch meats. High West began distilling whiskey at this location in 2007 and has since expanded to another, larger facility where you can take a tour, sample the goods, and dine on tasty, casual cuisine.

No trip to a scenic mountain town is complete without a sleigh ride, and Snowed Inn Sleigh Company has you covered. Your horse-drawn sleigh will take you up to the lodge and its roaring fires, where you can stay and enjoy a Western-themed dinner and live music. If you decide to skip dinner here, you have plenty of other options. For an exquisite fine-dining experience, Powder in the Waldorf Astoria is an excellent option. They offer a seasonal menu with locally sourced ingredients, including honey from their on-site beehives. For a more casual evening, check out Boneyard Saloon & Kitchen or its sister restaurant, Wine Dive, which is located in a revamped lumberyard. Here you’ll find craft beer, wine, wood-fired pizza, and more. If you still have some energy left, the No Name Saloon is a lively spot housed in one of Park City’s most iconic buildings. Built in 1905, it resembles the famous Alamo in Texas, so you can’t miss it as you stroll along picturesque Main Street.

Sunday

Deer Valley Resort
Credit: David A. Litman/ Shutterstock

If you didn’t get your fill of slope time on Saturday, Deer Valley Resort offers an elevated resort experience for skiers only (sorry snowboarders, you’ll need to stick with Park City Mountain). You’ll find 103 trails across 2,000 acres and an award-winning ski school at Deer Valley. You can spend Sunday exploring this upscale ski resort or continue finding the steeps on Park City Mountain.

For non-skiers and riders, snowshoeing is a pleasant, easy way to experience Utah’s pristine mountain trails. All Seasons Adventures offers a variety of guided snowshoeing tours, plus you can book stargazer evening tours or après ski tours that include a stop to make s’mores. For a little more excitement, you can take in the gorgeous winter landscape with Luna Lobos Dog Sledding. After touring the kennel and playing with the dogs, you’ll head out for a ride through the wilderness and even help the musher handle the dogs.

If a tantalizing Sunday jazz brunch followed by a five-star spa treatment sounds better than layering on all that snow gear and enduring the frosty outdoors, the Stein Eriksen Lodge is the place to go. Nibble your way through the extravagant spread at the four-star Glitretind Restaurant, which features a carving station, salad, shrimp, crab, salmon, fresh fruit, and pastries along with traditional breakfast items. Then book a 50, 80 or 110-minute massage at Alpine Serenity, with options such as CBD, Himalayan salt stone, anti-inflammatory, and more.

As you can see, you can find plenty to do in Park City beyond experiencing the fantastic skiing and riding. Accommodations range from upscale luxury ski-in/ski-out resorts to condos and vacation rental homes. The downtown area is condensed, so you’re within walking distance to a plethora of shops and restaurants, plus you can ski right into town!

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