Thanks to three separate mountains -- Canyons Resort, Deer Valley, and Park City Mountain Resort -- Park City skiers have a total of 9,326 (!!) skiable acres on which to
possibly crack open their heads play. That's kind of nuts. And while Salt Lake City hosted events in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, the region is more than just a gold medal legacy, with varied terrain suitable for all levels of downhill/ Nordic skiers, a solid array of non-skiing activities (anyone up for a movie?), and a pedestrian-friendly downtown loaded with restos, bars, and shops.
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When to go: The Park City season usually begins in late-November/ early-December and runs through mid-April. Obviously, the Sundance Film Festival (January 16-26) draws the celeb-set to celebrate the year's best indie flicks. Embrace or avoid at your own discretion, but know what the locals do: the slopes are usually empty when everyone's in the theater.
How to get around: Once you get to town, take advantage of Park City’s free bus system; it's fueled by biodiesel and transports more than two million passengers annually. Free and good for the environment.
Three runs not to miss:
1. Jupiter Bowl at Park City Mountain Resort gives you that skiing-out-of-bounds feeling in a wide-open bowl, but it’s all patrolled territory inside the resort boundaries.
2. Daly Chutes at Deer Valley has some great “steep and deep” chutes that never disappoint, even when there hasn’t been a storm in a while.
3. Since it doesn't see as much traffic as other parts of the mountain, Boa at Canyons Resort is a long, winding blue, and a bit of a well-kept secret. Well it was 'til now, anyway.
Dining: In terms of must-visits, start with the Fireside Dining at Empire Canyon Lodge -- progressive meals, five stone fireplaces, you get the idea. Craving fondue? Sorry, dumb question. Get your melted cheese fix on at the Goldener Hirsch Inn Restaurant. If you want to enjoy a midday break surrounded by serious views, do you best snowplow into the front of Canyons at the Lookout Inn. Or if you're in town, Talisker on Main regularly snags local dining awards for its farm-to-table cuisine. Finally, if you need to stay kosher and/or just love Hebrew Nationals, Bistro at Canyons is a true kosher restaurant -- a rare find at a ski resort.
Local brews: We've already mentioned Wasatch Brew Pub, located at the top of historic Main Street, and their Polygamy Porter. On Park Avenue, grab a seat at Squatters Brew Pub and enjoy one of nine beers on draft, including Provo Girl Pilsner and Captain Bastard’s Oatmeal Stout. At Red Rock Brewery in Park City Junction, roll with the session-style Steamer and Organic Zwickel Bier, or dip into their “artist palette” of Belgian experiments.
Après: A favorite for those skiing PCMR is Legends Bar & Grill, well-loved for its chicken nachos. At Deer Valley, the Royal Street Café is the spot to kick off your boots and grab a beer while watching the late-afternoon skiers yard sale. At Canyons, park yourself at the Ski Beach at Red Tail Grill. Just do it. Or, if you'd rather drink in town, the High West Distillery and Saloon, Utah’s first legal distillery since the 1870s (when the Mormons dropped the hammer on booze-making), sits smack at the end of Park City's Quittin’ Time ski run.
Nightlife: If you can tear yourself away from après (and that could be tough if you’re perched at High West), Park City rocks a sweet nightlife scene. Casual hangouts include three brewpubs, a few intimate wine bars, and a Main Street worthy of an evening bar-hop. For the cocktail set, the swanky Haven is new this season and replaces Sky Blue at the Sky Lodge, while Lindzee O’Michaels Mixologists continues to pour tasty tipples in the heart of town. Want live tunes? Make your way to The Downstairs and Park City Live. At the end of the night, though, you've gotta stop by the No Name Saloon for one last pint.
Other than skiing/ boarding?
Bobsledding: Channel your inner Jamaican and zip down the Comet Bobsled Ride on the official track used during the Winter Olympics. FYI: You won’t be allowed to drive. Sorry.
Dogsledding: Glide through the snow-covered meadows of the Wasatch and Uinta Mountain Ranges in a dogsled pulled by a team of friendly, excitable Huskies.
Cross-country: White Pine Touringhas a 20-plus km cross-country ski center in the heart of Park City, where you can the enjoy the stunning mountain views while skating around one of three groomed loops (3k, 5k and 10k+).
Where to stay: If you’re hitting all three resorts, plan to bunk down in Park City -- it's the most central base. The Newpark Resort maintains both guest rooms and luxury suites equipped with kitchens, private balconies, and hot tubs. If you're downtown, the boutique Washington School House is your move; built in 1889 out of quarried limestone, it was once (you guessed it) a school, but now features 12 rooms, a ski lounge, and a heated pool.
1. Fireside Dining At Empire Canyon Lodge9200 Marsac Avenue, Park City
2. Goldener Hirsch Restaurant7570 Royal St, Park City
3. Lookout Cabin4000 Canyons Resort Dr, Park City
4. Talisker on Main515 Main Street, Park City
5. Bistro at Canyons2669 Canyons Resort Drive, Park City
6. Legends Bar & Grill1345 Lowell Ave., Park City
7. Royal Street Cafe7600 Royal Street, Park City
8. Red Tail Grill4000 Canyons Resort Dr, Park City
9. High West Distillery and Saloon703 Park Ave., Park City
10. Haven Cocktail Bar201 Heber Ave, Park City
11. The Sky Lodge201 Heber Avenue, Park City
12. Lindzee O' Michaels825 Main St., Park City
13. The Downstairs in Park City625 Main St, Park City
14. No Name Saloon & Grill447 Main Street, Park City
15. Utah Olympic Park3419 Olympic Parkway, Park City
16. White Pine Touring1541 Thaynes Canyon Dr, Park City
17. Newpark Hotel & Resort1456 Newpark Blvd, Park City
18. Washington School House Hotel543 Park Avenue, Park City
19. Chateaux Deer Valley Resort7815 Royal Street East, Park City
20. Lodge at the Mountain Village1415 Lowell Ave, Park City
21. Sundial Lodge4000 Canyons Resort Dr, Park City
22. Wasatch Brew Pub250 Main St., Park City
23. Squatters Pub Brewery1900 Park Ave, Park City
24. Red Rock Restaurant & Brewing Co.1640 Redstone Center Dr, Park City
The four-course meals at this place are cooked up and served from the five stone fireplaces in the dining area. There's also a full bar here, with a fine selection of wine and beer.
Are you in the Austrian Alps or Utah? You'll be doing a double-take once you set eyes on the many antlers and alpenhorns decorating this charming, Austrian-style luxury hotel. The food is decidedly more fusion, however, representing an upscale mix of contemporary Alpine cuisine, seasonal American, and a touch of French.
Landlocked Utah isn't well-known for its sushi. Neither is a ski hut. And yet, this secluded cabin overlooking Wasatch Range, which features standard Rocky Mountain fare like grilled fish and meats, was the surprise winner of Salt Lake City Weekly’s “Best of Utah - Best Sushi Roll" for their crab and avocado stuffed ahi tuna roll.
The décor—glittering chandeliers, black and white tiling, marble accents—might scream big city fancy, but the food is decidedly more rustic Rocky Mountain, featuring dishes like elk carpaccio, Utah trout, and lamb loin. Even better, Talisker on Main grows its own heirloom vegetables and organic herbs on their rooftop garden.
L'chaim! The Bistro at Canyons is the first and only glatt kosher restaurant at any ski resort in North America. Don't be fooled though, the menu features mountain staples like steaks, burgers, and fries, as well as gourmand specialties like tuna tetaki and smoked cauliflower soup.
Bacon-wrapped meatloaf, the infamous 8oz Kobe beef Legends burger, and a variety of local craft brews are what make this place legen... well, definitely memorable. Just steps from the bottom of the Payday chairlift, it's the perfect place for a quick bite before continuing to shred the gnar.
Korean Bulgogi, English Fish and Chips, American Maple Bacon BBQ Bison Burger -- the grub here spans the globe, and has picked up multiple awards on the way.
The caliente, Southwest-inspired menu here will heat up the most frozen skier, with dishes like Adobo Chicken, Shrimp a la Diabla, Chile Relleno and Spicy Mahi Mahi.
Giddy on up to this saloon, which also happens to be Utah’s first distillery since the 1870s. Soak up the dozens of small batch ryes, whiskeys, and vodkas with delicious Western-inspired grub at the onsite restaurant.
Elevate your aprés ski at this cocktail bar: mixology has never been more at home on the ski slopes.
Forget kitschy mountain chalets full of antlers and furs; the über-luxurious, 33-suite Sky Lodge brings modern minimalism to this former mining town with an expansive concrete fireplace, glass elevator, and sleek furniture. Don't miss the heated deck's 10-person hot tub.
Foosball, live music, and a divey, biker-y feel make this bar -- which claims to have Park City's largest selection of world-class beer -- a local favorite. Another claim to fame: they say they're the originators of Ping Pong in Park City.
A bit of NYC comes to Park City in the form of a bar/club that offers VIP passes, roped off nooks for bottle service, and barely-clad lady promoters.
This watering hole kicks it old-school with its copper-top bar, eclectic snowshoe collection, and bicycle, wagon, and motorcycle décor. Soak up the booze with one of the eight burgers on offer.
This is the place to be if you hold a special torch (get it?) for the Olympics. Built as a competition venue for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, you can indulge your Olympic fantasies in this nearly 400-acre park that now serves as a competition and training ground. Watch athletes in training, visit the Alf Engen Ski History Museum and the 2002 Eccles Winter Olympic Museum, or race down the track in a bobsled yourself.
Outdoor enthusiasts in the Park City area can head to White Pine Touring for mountain biking, hiking, climbing, and snowshoeing excursions, as well as year-round yurt lodging.
This luxurious resort bills itself as super earth-conscious, citing the eco-friendly building design and freshly-filled hot tubs.
Originally built as a school in 1889 (as its name suggests), the Washington School House is now a fancy boutique hotel comprising only 12 rooms. Be sure to book early and get your foot in the door!
Chateaux Deer Valley is a condominium/ resort located in Silver Lake Village. Curl up in front of a crackling fire with your lady -- every room in this cozy luxury hotel has one!
Don’t waste a second of that bluebird day thanks to this hotel’s ski-in/ ski-out hotel rooms, studios, and one-to-four-bedroom condos, which are located right at the base of Park City Mountain Resort.
You might not even make it to the slopes once you've discovered the Sundial Lodge's rooftop hot tub, heated outdoor pool, and boutique health club.
In 1986, Wasatch became Park City's first brewery since Prohibition, and stays true to its legacy with brews like the Polygamy Porter, 1st Amendment Lager, and Evolution Amber Ale.
Squatters has been a Park City staple since 1986, and acts as a role model to the local brewing community by using only local ingredients and environmentally friendly products, continuously trying to shrink its carbon footprint. Oh, and it makes 12 awesome brews, so that doesn't hurt either.
Open since 1994, Red Rock's beers have earned more than 100 regional and national awards. Its restaurant has been named "Brew Pub of the Year" by Brewpub Magazine and "Large Brewpub of the Year" by the Great American Beer Festival, so factor that into your boozy considerations.