Local + Travel
TRAVEL DESTINATION: PARK CITY
Article and Photography by: Liz McKinley
When you think of Park City, Utah, winter-time may come to mind. With world-class skiing, breathtaking vistas, and snow-capped mountains, how can one not? As for summertime, it is a treat, and the simple 35-minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport is a breeze.
At 7000 feet, Park City is a mecca for outdoor adventure and sports-driven enthusiasts, no rest for the weary here! Dawn arrives early, and people are ready to pack it in; there is so much to do! Nestled in the Wasatch Mountain Range, the area offers three mountain resorts: The Canyons, Park City Mountain, and Deer Valley. Each resort offers miles of endless trails for hiking and mountain biking. If you prefer road biking, there are plenty of hills and trails to get you pumping. There are more than 40 miles of non-motorized multi-use pathways spanning the entire area for walkers and bikers, keeping it safe for everyone. Electric bicycles or e-bikes are also very popular, and the city’s Summit Bike Share system offers e-bikes to their users, offering a great transit option for residents and tourists to explore the city. Pickleball is popular here, and die-hard golfers have no shortage of excellent courses. The nearby Jordanelle River offers nearly every type of water sport, and the Provo River is perfect for fly fishing and rafting. Stop into neighboring Kamas and Oakley to experience a Rodeo.
Park City is home to Utah Olympic Park, which hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics and is now predominantly a training facility for skiers. During the summer, one can enjoy the Alpine Slide to Zip Lining, and you can’t miss the Flying Aces All-Stars Freestyle Shows scheduled throughout the season. Foodies and shopaholics rejoice! The area is brimming with eateries, and the Tanger Outlets may get you a brand-name bargain.
In the heart of Park City is the charming Historic Main Street, lined with buildings built during a 19th-century silver mining boom, now used for some of the area’s finest shops, restaurants, cafes, and nightlife. While there, be sure to check out the Park City Museum. On Sundays, Main Street is bustling during Park Silly Sunday Market, offering handcrafted items, food stands, beer, and live music. If you are more into the arts, the community thrives with films, performing arts, and a town full of art galleries. Live music and entertainment are playing at local cafes and at the mountain resorts.
Park City is home to the Sundance Film Festival in the Winter; this festival is the experience of a lifetime, so make sure to plan ahead to get your ticket! Speaking of Sundance, the stunning resort where the festival originated is a lovely 45-minute drive away from Park City. In 1969, Robert Redford bought the land to develop a little and preserve a great deal to be mainly used for conservation and artistic experimentation. Today, Sundance offers an atmosphere steeped in cultural heritage inspired by the Ute tribes that first inhabited the canyon. Visitors flock there for it’s abundance of natural beauty and all of the outdoor recreation it has to offer.
Before you leave, don’t forget to pamper yourself with a spa retreat at one of the many wonderful spas offered in the area. One of the most luxurious spas around is at another nearby resort, The Lodge at Blue Sky. Voted the #1 resort in Utah, it’s a quick 30-minute drive to the upscale, contemporary mountain retreat set on 3,500 private acres of fields, streams, and peaks. Organic architecture with understated elegance makes this a divine way to spend your day(s) with outdoor adventures and opportunities to learn about the artisanal whiskey-making at the on-site High West Whiskey distillery, hands-on horsemanship at the 30,000-square-foot indoor equestrian center and up-close animal encounters at the Saving Gracie Equine Healing Foundation.
Regardless of what you love to do, Park City has all there is to offer. There is no doubt when your vacation ends, you will feel recharged, refreshed, and rejuvenated.