It’s true when they say visitors come for the winter, but stay for the summer. At least, it’s true in Park City, Utah. Often thought of as a winter destination, this old mining town in Utah has much more to offer than riding the slopes. In the summer months, Park City repurposes their mountainous terrain with hiking, biking, live music, water sports, and more – offering you and your girlfriends an excursion that’s worth getting away from the hustle and bustle of the East Coast.
There is no denying that pleasing an entire group of can be a daunting task. Not many places have options for all kinds of visitors, yet Park City finds a way. Take it from someone who would rather shop online than trek up a mountain – it’s truly a location made for both a wild Bachelorette Party and a summer spent cross-training, and I want to go back.
From the thrill-junkie to the foodie to the live music feen, Park City has more than 400 miles of mountain-exploring, Olympic water adventures, incredible scenic dining, deluxe mountainside accommodations, boutique shopping, free summer concerts, and year-round special events (hello, Sundance). They’re also a super dog-friendly city, so bring your pup along!
The best part of your entire trip, however, will – hands down – be the food (and drinks). One might not envision Utah as the place to go for award-winning flavors, but it was recently rated #4 among “The Best Food Cities in the U.S.” by Condé Nast Traveler. Their diverse range of establishments includes everything from cozy bistros and family-friendly fare to fine-dining and dive bars. You can enjoy hand-crafted whiskey, wine-pairings, and locally-sourced ingredients from the farm down the street all within a mile’s walk. Refreshingly, there are barely any chain restaurants in the area, and the chefs excel at culinary craftsmanship with even the simplest, most familiar foods.
In Park City, the positive peer pressure to enjoy nature’s most precious gifts is simply a way of life and one worth visiting for yourself. Find out how to make the most of your travels by checking out our favorites guide on where to stay, what to eat, places to see, and things to do (you’ll thank us later).
The Most Accommodating: Where to Stay
Resorts West welcomes you with a private concierge who meets all guests at their property for personalized check-ins and property tours. A large majority of Resorts West properties are ski-in/ski-out mountain homes with daily housekeeping and complimentary shuttle services. At nearly 8,000 feet in elevation, Resorts West mountainside homes often feature luxury amenities like projector-screen theaters, pool tables, outdoor fire pits, fitness centers, elevators, swimming pools, and even massage rooms.
Deer Valley Resort offers affordable options and summer lodging packages with inspiring views. The complex ranges from condos to private homes, hotels, and lodges of all sizes. Altitudes at Deer Valley Resorts range from 6,000 feet to almost 10,000 feet above sea level. Getting around the grand mountainside shouldn’t be an issue, however, as all of Deer Valley Resort managed lodging properties provide complimentary in-town transportation and on-call shuttle service for their guests. In fact, there is also a city-wide, free bus system that runs year-round.
A Town With Taste: Where to Eat & Drink
Breakfast/Brunch: Deer Valley Grocery Cafe, Tupelo
Lunch: Windy Ridge Bakery and Restaurant, Silver Star Cafe, Legends Bar & Grill
Snack: Ritual Chocolate, Java Cow Coffee & Ice Cream
Dinner: Handle, The Nelson Cottage by High West Distillery, Sushi Blue Grill & Sake House
Bars and Nightlife: Downstairs, No Name Saloon & Grill, O.P. Rockwell, Cicero’s, Spur, Oh Shucks
Summer Adventures: Places to See & Things to Do
Exercise: Hiking Trails, Mountain Biking, Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Golf, Horseback Riding
Adventure: Utah Olympic Park Water Slide, Extreme Tubing, Zip lines, Alpine Coasters, Hot Air Balloon Rides, Ghost Tours, Scenic Chairlift Rides
The Arts: Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater Free Summer Concert Series, Sundance Film Festival, Egyptian Theatre, Food and Wine Classic, Kimball Arts Festival
Educational: Park City Museum, Bill White Farms
Shopping: Historic Main Street, Park Silly Sunday Market
- Tupelo – “I went for the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar.” We did, too. The artisanal chefs at Tupelo invite you to try their globally-inspired dishes, including their exquisite brunch and cocktail menus, which change frequently. Don’t miss your opportunity to check out this week’s trend and to ask the chef about it yourself!
- Ritual Chocolate – Take a step by step tour of the quaint chocolate factory to find out the differences between mass-produced cocoa and their in-house creations, sold in specialty food stores around the country. Afterwards, let the shop owners offer you a chocolate tasting so you know which bar is your favorite before you grab some for the road!
- Handle – If you’re looking for the perfect happy hour location, look no further than Handle, where even the wait staff looks delicious. This restaurant features fancy American cuisine that will leave your taste buds utterly confused with pleasure. Some bites to try: buffalo cauliflower, kale salad, tots with dijonnaise, weeks berries of paradise, and caramel pudding.
- The Nelson Cottage – Delivered with precision, the whiskey-pairing and best-steak-I’ve-ever-had steals the show every time I reminisce about Park City. An intimate setting, the Nelson Cottage is an offshoot restaurant of High West Distillery, a local and nationally known Whiskey distributer. The owner and chef make an amazing team offering private weekend dinners to those who seek something one-of-a-kind.
- Mountain Biking – Equally a mental and physical sport, mountain biking for all levels is available along with tour guides and trainers prior to heading up the mountain. This activity is much different than your average neighborhood stroll down the street and is definitely for the adventurous souls of the world. However, with the proper guidance (and attitude), it’s sure to give you a work out you’ll never forget.
- Olympic Water Slide – Ready, set, scream! If you love steep water slides, the ‘Slip N Sour’ Utah Olympic Park water slide is a must-do. At the Spence Eccles Olympic Freestyle Pool, you can enjoy mini water ramps and extreme tubing along with live music and summer tailgate games. Summer passes and individual tickets are both available.
- Outdoor Amphitheater – Home to Park City’s Summer Concert Series and numerous music festivals, Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater offers a music scene with a little bit for everyone – the venue features artists ranging from Mike Posner to the B52s and the Utah Symphony. With lawn seating and a beautiful city backdrop surrounding the stage, music-goers can bring their own picnic and beverages into the venue.
- Bill White Farms – Bill White takes “Dirt to Dish” to a new level. Located on a historic property, the land recreates a micro-farm with around 150 laying hens, 20 turkeys, three bee hives, multiple greenhouses, and a ton of agriculture. Bill White’s Farm offers all day tours teaching individuals where their food comes from as well as hosts small events, such as education for schools and specialty group dinners. Bill White owns various restaurants and a retail bakery within the community and utilizes his own fresh farm produce and made-from-scratch desserts. “We’re trying to be a closed system,” Bill said. “We also get composite from all of the restaurants and use it to mend the soil. This helps to lighten the carbon footprint.”
- Park Silly Sunday Market – If you’re someone who enjoys the local farmer’s market, this is even better. Conveniently located downtown, the Sunday market has perfect out-of-the-ordinary gifts for friends and family – hand-crafted jewelry, specialty foods, jams and home-made spices, artwork, clothing, unique decor, and more. While you shop, make sure to also enjoy the live entertainment and alcohol, just another added perk.
Plan Your Vacation Early at VisitParkCity.com