Utah boasts The Greatest Snow on Earth®. And the city at the heart of it all? Park City. Home of the 2002 Winter Olympics, its powdery snow attracts visitors from all over the world to its rugged slopes. From skiing to entertainment, film, good eats, and more, the town is packed with fun activities. Here are three unique things to do in Park City, Utah.
Unique Things to do in Park City, Utah
Just 35 short minutes from the Salt Lake International Airport, Park City is a snow-lovers paradise. A former mining town that’s rich in history is now a top vacation destination. With skiing, great hotels, outstanding cuisine, shopping, entertainment, and the like, Park City has something to offer everyone. Here are three unique things to do in Park City, Utah.
Park City Skiing is the best (seriously, it really is!)
Snow. That’s what it’s all about here. The largest ski and snowboard resort in the U.S. is Park City Mountain. With 7300 acres, 41 lifts, 330+ trails, six terrain parks, a half-pipe, and a mini pipe, there’s something for everyone’s tastes and abilities. And that’s just one resort. There are ten resorts in the general area to explore if Park City Mountain doesn’t tickle your fancy.
The Sundance Film Festival is high art film at its best!
Founded in 1981 by legendary actor and director, Robert Redford, Sundance is the largest independent film festival in the U.S. Held over a ten-day span every January, the event fields multiple venues each equipped with the very latest in sound and visual technology.
Featuring films of every genre, tickets are just $20 for a single screening. Tickets go on sale in mid-December, and there are several other package deals available as well. Film buffs will enjoy the Q & A after each show with the actors and director. The festival is also a great place to catch a glimpse of your favorite celebrities in and around Main Street.
Plan to pay double or triple normal winter rates for a room though. Might be a good time to use those hotel points you’ve been saving? Park City has many different cuisines to savor, but do make your dinner reservations ahead. Way ahead. Also, parking is almost non-existent during the festival, so take advantage of the free shuttle. The bright side? Sometimes the ski resorts aren’t as crowded during this week. So there’s that.
Relax at night in the High West Distillery and Saloon
The only legal distillery in Utah since 1870, the High West Distillery and Saloon is housed in a historic livery stable and garage. It is the only ski-in/ski-out gastro-distillery in the world. Located in Old Town Park City, next to the Town Lift and the Quittin’ Time ski run, the distillery is a favorite après ski spot.
High West’s menu blends robust flavors in its signature style—Western Mountain Cuisine. Try the short rib and bison burger with a side of country ham and corn pimento mac ‘n cheese. Your server will have suggestions for a whiskey pairing. Try not to have a ski-in/stumble-out experience.
More Fun Things to do in Park City, UT
- Explore the Peruvian Tunnel. The only tunnel of its kind in North America, its 600-foot long moving walkway ferries skiers through the mountain to the slopes below. Located at Snowbird resort. More info here.
- The Viking Yurt. An elegant 4-course European style dinner. This will set you back a tidy sum, but where else can you ride in a sleigh pulled by a snowcat to the top of a mountain for dinner? More info here.
- Check out the Rossignol High Performance Test Center. Located just minutes from Park City at Deer Valley Resort. The knowledgeable staff will match your ability with the latest in ski technology. You get to try them out for free! More info here.
- Ice Fishing. Give your body a rest from all the skiing and do some ice fishing. Local outfitters bring a warm tent, gear, snacks, and hot chocolate. You do the rest. More info here. https://utahicefishing.com
- The Last Friday Gallery Stroll. Stroll 19 of Park City’s art galleries. A free event, enjoy chatting with artists and hors d’oeuvres. Learn more here.
- Ski the Historic Mining Tour. Scattered through the mountains are remnants of Park City’s rich mining history. Explore some of these old buildings on skis. More info on this free tour here.
Visiting Park City—Final Thoughts
Park City continues to be a top destination for lovers of winter sports and fine living. Snowshoeing, sleigh rides, cross country skiing, great film, ice skating, and cocktails all await you on your next trip to this mountain paradise.
M.R. Smith is a freelance writer living in the Rocky Mountain West. With a Master’s degree in professional writing, M.R. is also a teacher, author, and poet.
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