Nestled in the Wasatch Mountains, you'll find a former mining town that has shed its rough-hewn past and turned on the charm: Park City, Utah. Famous for its ski resorts and winter sports activities, today’s Park City offers so much more. It is home to some of the best art galleries in the country, world-class shopping, spas, movies, and saloons. And let’s not forget the attraction for foodies! As we turn the calendar to a new year and a new decade, put Park City on your travel radar. When you arrive, here are the six must-visit spots.
Main Street — aka Old Town — is the crown jewel of the mountain town. Lined with historic buildings from the silver mining boom, the area is filled with adventure and history. From hip coffee shops to art galleries, boutiques, cafes, and swanky restaurants, there's something unique for everyone. Browse the local bookstores on Main Street. Grab an ice cream cone at Java Cow. The kids will love the cow souvenirs that come with frozen treats. Movie buffs can check out the historic Egyptian Theatre. The iconic theater is also home to the Sundance Film Festival. If you visit in January, you might even spot a celebrity or two. The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Main Street comes alive with bars and pubs offering live entertainment. If you get weary of walking, hop on the Historic Main Street Trolley for a free ride around the area. If you’re looking for a more adventurous ride, head north for 10 minutes and check out All Season Adventures dog sledding!
Adventure awaits at Woodward Park City, the area’s newest action sports facility and ski resort, which opened Dec. 14, 2019. Even better? It's open year-round with ski and snowboard terrain parks, outdoor skate parks, and mountain bike trails. Inside, you'll find trampolines, a 10,000-square foot skate park, and foam pits. “This is the first time we’ve been able to dream everything from the ground up, on the hill and on-site,” said Tucker Norred, Woodward Park City’s senior marketing manager. “You can take an adult-specific ski or board beginner lesson. We have yoga classes and ‘adult swim’ — adults-only time at the indoor skatepark.”
City Park is the perfect outdoor spot for families to have a picnic lunch or family outing. The park is centrally located and includes volleyball, tennis and basketball courts. There is also a state-of-the-art skateboard park and a fenced-in playground for the kids. Planning a family reunion? You can reserve the South End pavilion for large gatherings or parties. During the winter months, the park is a favorite place for building snow forts.
History buffs will love exploring the award-winning Park City Museum. Visitors can learn about the city's rich mining history and what life was like in the town more than 100 years ago. There are more than ten self-guided exhibits. You'll also learn more about the rise of ski tourism in Park City.
Hailed as the perfect activity for nonskiers, the Kimball Art Center features free exhibits by local and national artists. Kimball also offers over 300 classes, workshops, and art camps. Classes are available for all ages in painting, photography, stained glass, pottery, and more. The Park City Kimball Arts Festival held the first weekend in August, is among the top-ranked art festivals in the country.
A trip to Park City wouldn’t be complete without checking out Utah Olympic Park just outside Park City. The park hosted the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and the venues have remained. (Salt Lake City was chosen to host the Winter Olympic Games again, likely in 2030.) The site is now home to annual world-class events, including skiing, speedskating, snowboarding, and luge. Don't ski? Take a comet bobsled ride. It's guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping as you speed down a track with 15 turns and 103 feet of a vertical drop! During the winter, the track is kept at an icy -14 degrees Fahrenheit, and riders can pile in three at a time with a professional driver. If you visit during the summer months, the sleds are equipped with wheels to send you racing down the track at 70 mph.
Looking for a more secluded place? Listed as the top ski resort in the United States, Deer Valley Resort is the heart and soul of Park City. Deer Valley and the nearby Alta ski area are among the three areas nationwide that ban snowboarding. Alta is known for its scenery, diverse terrain, and the amount of annual snowfall.
Whether you’ve come to Park City to ski, explore the latest movies, dine or shop, you've found your paradise in the mountains.
Olivia Macdonald loves the outdoors, especially when she's in motion in it — whether hiking trails, running 5Ks, skiing or cycling on a mountain bike or road bike.