Park City Travel Guide 2021

2021 Park City Vacation Guide

Park City is a charming resort community tucked into Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. Its three world-class ski resorts draw in visitors from around the world.  The alpine trails that surround the town offer adventure for both summer exploration and winter excursions.

Park City is known for many fabulous winter snowy things – the 2002 Winter Olympics, three world-class ski resorts, and the Sundance Film Fest.  For those in the know, summer is an ideal time to visit Park City for family-friendly fun around every corner.  The cool breezes make any outdoor activity more pleasant and the scenery is breathtaking.

Park City Utah
Park City Utah – photo by flickr zaffi

While at Park City Mountain Resort, look for the Mountain Hosts in the Resort Plaza during the ski season.  These friendly folks wear bright blue Park City Mountain Resort jackets and name tags with their home town listed.  The Mountain Hosts can direct you to where you need to go and the best ways to get there. We met fellow Floridian Peter during a recent visit.  His friendly advice led us right where we needed to go which saved us precious vacation time.  These Mountain Hosts are there to help make your vacation as fun and easy as possible.  Seek them out and you might even make a friend.

No matter what the season, we always stop by the Park City Visitor’s Center at Kimball Junction to pick up an events calendar and learn about new restaurants, Olympic training schedules, and current cultural programs.  Maps to snowshoe trails in the winter and bike trails in the summer with up-to-date tips on trail conditions help us determine which routes are best to explore.  The “art pianos for all” display was a hit with the kids.  This program pairs local artists with donated pianos. The artists decorate the pianos which are then placed throughout Park City and Summit County.  We played a few tunes on the piano while the teens surfed the free wifi.  Be sure to grab a snack or some hot tea at the onsite café.

Finally, while driving through town remember to tune your car radio to KPCW 91.9 for local news, weather, events, music, and more.  Hearing the voice of the Park City community will have you feeling like a local in no time.  You might even be giving advice to others during your stay!

Apres-Ski / Nightlife

Park City has some of the best nightlife in any ski town. Here’s the lowdown on Utah’s liquor laws, including the “private club membership” you’ll need for most of these places. Laws that went into effect in May 2003 make it quite simple to get a drink.

Immediate slopeside apres-ski centers are Deer Valley’s The Lounge, where the deck in spring gets packed and live entertainment performs on the weekends; Legends Bar & Bistro and The Brew House, both in the Legacy Lodge at Park City Mountain Resort base; and The Forum at The Canyons.

According to locals, O’Shucks is the place to be on Main Street for the younger folks (skiers and boarders). Harry Os, halfway down Main, is a giant warehouse of a bar, complete with six pool tables, a big-screen TV showing the game and a boisterous younger crowd who need to be carded to get in. It is the place on Saturday nights. The No Name Saloon, next door, is your basic bar with a shuffleboard table, loud juke music, and louder conversation.

Mother Urban’s, named after a famous bordello madam, is a cellar version of a knotty-pine mining shack that sells 101 beers and features live jazz Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Also try the Wasatch Brew Pub at the top of Main Street, where you can watch the brewing process even as you reap its yeasty rewards. The Spur on Main Street offers a comfortable, no-smoking setting with live music. Adolph’s, with piano music, has been recommended for quieter evenings in the newer section of town.

When the Egyptian Theater performs plays, as it often does during the winter, it makes a nice evening’s entertainment. The Eccles Center, which opened in 1998, houses two live stages and is a year-round focal point for the performing arts in Park City. For weekly arts and entertainment events, call 647-9747 or 655-3114.

Park City Activities

Park City offers some rare sports treats: ski jumping, luge, and bobsled at the Utah Olympic Park (658-4200). The park hosted the 2002 Olympic competition in those events. You can fly off the end of a ramp just like the Olympians. You’ll be on much smaller ramps, but it feels like the 120-meter jump, let us assure you.You can take jumping lessons (required rental helmets included), or ride on the Olympic luge/bobsled track in a neophyte-friendly luge “ice rocket” or as a passenger in a four-person bobsled. (They supply the driver and brakeman.) Schedules are different each day, and not every activity is offered every day, so call for specifics and prices. Definitely call in advance for a spot in the bobsled. The 48-second ride of your life, wild and rugged. You won’t be disappointed. The park is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. It’s worth a tour even if you don’t participate in the sports, particularly with the recent opening of its museum celebrating Utah’s ski history, from the first jumping competitions to XIX Olympic Winter Games.

Experienced skiers can ski to six different resorts via backcountry routes on the all-day Interconnect Adventure Tour (534-1907; reservations required). Mountain guides lead three to 12 skiers and some traversing and walking are necessary, so you need to be a confident skier and in good physical condition. The six-area tour (Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort, Solitude, Brighton, Alta and Snowbird) costs $175 (05/06 price), including return transportation and lunch.

Many companies offer sleigh rides, snowmobile tours, and hot-air balloon trips. To reserve any or all of these activities and more, call one central number at ABC Reservations Central, (800) 820-2223 or (435) 649-2223. Most adventures provide a free shuttle service.

Gorgoza Park, a tubing park owned by Park City Mountain Resort, is about five minutes out of town off of I-80. You’ll find family fun on eight lanes of tubing and mini-snowmobile rides. The resort also has sleigh rides and snowmobile tours for family activities. Park City has a local skateboard park, complete with lights for night skating.

Stop by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ Family History Center at 531 Main Street in Salt Lake City. Computers are available for genealogy checks here at the Mormon center for anyone free of charge. The excellent Park City Museum on Main Street details local history. Admission is by donation. The museum is open every day at varying times.

Park City’s calendar has some unusual events. Park City Mountain Resort kicks off the season with a women’s professional snowboard slopestyle competition. The resort also hosts the World Superpipe Championships. Deer Valley hosts the Sprint Grand National World Cup event the last weekend of January. The competition includes moguls, dual mogul and aerials. Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival is in late January, showcasing new films from around the world. Lots of celebrity sightings guaranteed.

The 30,000-square-foot Papillon the Spa, at the Westgate Park City Resort & Spa (655-2266) at The Canyons, has 17 treatment rooms:13 massage and facial, two wet rooms, a couples room and treatment suit, private men’s and women’s locker facilities with relaxation lounges, saunas, steam rooms and showers and a coed hot tub with cascading waterfall. Services include massages, body and facial treatments emphasizing native desert and mountain botanicals. Full salon services, fitness facility, exercise studio and yoga studio are available.

Visit Align Spa (647-9300), a full-service day spa on the lobby level of Shadow Ridge Hotel and Conference Center for massages, facials and body treatments.

Park City Shopping

Park City has two popular shopping areas: Historic Main Street in downtown Park City and a factory outlet center on the edge of town. The outlets include Eddie Bauer, Brooks Brothers, Gap, Nike and Polo, among many others. Jump on a free shuttle or take a cab for $6 round trip per person. Park City’s free shuttle bus system now operates in town and out to Kimball Junction/Factory Outlet Mall and The Canyons Resort. Take an hour or two and walk Main Street to find museums, art galleries and fine and funky shops. A must-see is Silver Junction Mercantile with every nook and cranny crammed full of old stuff, from rusty license plates and political buttons to Elvis and Beatles memorabilia. Nativo offers high-end young clothing and avant-garde jewelry. The Park City Clothing Company in the Main Street Mall sells vintage Pendleton clothing at vintage prices. Don’t miss Changing Hands, a consignment shop way off the beaten track in the back of Galleria Mall. Great high-fashion ski clothes during the season and higher-end labels for the rest of the inventory. Hard to find, but well worth it. If you are traveling with your pet or had to leave him at home, stop at the Love Your Pet Bakery to bring home a treat.

You can’t go to Deer Valley without shopping at Deer Valley Signatures Stores, where you’ll find a variety of Deer Valley logo items and exclusive merchandise, including apparel, blankets, accessories and glassware, as well as specialty Signature food items from Deer Valley’s kitchens including that fabulous turkey chili. There are three locations, open daily: Snow Park Lodge, Silver Lake Village and at 625 Main St. in downtown Park City.

Park City Restaurants

Park City’s restaurants get better every year—and more expensive. Pick up one of the two free dining-guide magazines to get menus, but be aware that not all the restaurants are listed. Main Street is where you’ll find many of the best restaurants in town: The top four are Grappa, Chimayo, Zoom and Riverhorse.

If you can pay the freight, the Northern Italian menu, wine list and ambiance are outstanding at chef Bill White’s Grappa (645-0636; $$$–$$$$). It’s in a 100-year-old building; try and get a table by the fireplace. Many locals recommend Chimayo (649-6222; $$$–$$$$; right), also owned by chef Bill White, for its inventive Southwestern cuisine (don’t miss the dark chocolate flan). Zoom Roadhouse Grill (649-9108; $$$) is housed in the old train depot. Owned by Robert Redford, whose Sundance Film Festival transforms the town each January, it serves “plain folks food.” Finally, the Riverhorse Cafe (649-3536; $$$–$$$$) is a can’t-miss choice for anyone who enjoys contemporary American continental food in a low-key, elegant atmosphere. Every year since 1995, it’s received the DiRoNa Award for excellence in dining.

Cisero’s Ristorante (649-5044, $$$) is known for its fresh pasta and after-dinner live bands. The muted colors of Cafe Terigo (645-9555; $$$) are relaxing and everything on the contemporary Italian menu sounds delectable so it’s hard to make a choice. Grub Steak (649-8060; $$-$$$) gets high marks for steak and seafood and has a large salad bar.

Asian restaurants are popular, with Bangkok Thai (649-8424; $$$) the choice for Thai and Taste of Saigon (647-0688; $$) for Vietnamese food. Park City also has four Chinese restaurants. China Panda (649-5593; $$) is the spot for your Chinese fix. Many Park City restaurants offer excellent take-out. Moo Goo Gai Pan and mixed vegetable dishes from Szechwan (649-0957; $$) are recommended. Take a free shuttle into town for pick up or have food delivered for an additional 20 percent of the total.

The hot spot is Lower Main. Wahso (615-0300; $$$–$$$$), again owned by the ubiquitous Bill White, is where to go for classy Asian food. The dining here is elegant and reminiscent of Shanghai in the 1930s.

Off Main Street, one restaurant that vies for best-in-town honors is Adolph’s (649-7177; $$$) next to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team office on Kearns Boulevard. The Swiss chef-owner prepares European-inspired cuisine. Hidden on Park Avenue, Chez Betty (649-8181; $$$) in the Copperbottom Inn serves excellent American/French cuisine in a formal setting.

Head to Nacho Mama’s (645-8226; $-$$) for tasty Southwestern/Mexican food and margaritas that go down far too smoothly and Baja Cantina (649-2252; $-$$) at the Resort Plaza for a festive atmosphere, huge burritos and Tex-Mex made with fresh ingredients. The lowest-priced Mexican restaurant is El Chubasco (645-9114; $-$$), in Prospector Square, where you’ll get real Mexican food with quick service but no atmosphere.

The Eating Establishment (649-8284; $) is a locals’ cheap-eats favorite for meals any time of day, as is Main St. Pizza and Noodle (645-8878; $).

For breakfast, The Eating Establishment ($) on Main Street is the leader for hearty-meal fans. The menu includes some trendy selections, such as smoked salmon Eggs Benedict. Off Main Cafe and Bakery ($) do omelets and pancakes in the Prospector Square area. For a lighter breakfast, try Einstein Brothers Bagel Bakery ($) in the same neighborhood for a variety of bagels and spreads, as well as great coffee, or Wasatch Bagels ($) on Kearns Boulevard next to Dan’s Grocery Store. For funky local ambiance and a cheap breakfast special ($3.89 for egg, ham, and cheese on a bagel), hit The Main Street Deli ($). The Morning Ray Cafe ($) or Mountain Air ($) are the places to share a java with the locals.

You’ll also find some fabulous dining at and around Deer Valley Resort.

Dining Legend: $$$$–Entrees $30+; $$$–$20–$30; $$–$10–$20; $–less than $10

Summers in Park City

Chairlifts
just because the skis are put away doesn’t mean the chairlifts are closed.  Hop aboard the PayDay, Crescent, and Town lifts and be transported to some of the best hiking and mountain biking trails in the country.  With over 70 miles to explore, the terrain varies, just like in the winter, which makes it super easy to tackle whatever challenge you wish for the day.  Searching for wildlife on the trails is just one perk of the adventure.

Alpine Slide and Coaster
Go solo on the alpine slide and race your family down one of the world’s longest rides or buddy up and soar on Utah’s longest alpine coaster.  Either ride has me laughing and feeling ten years younger with every turn.  Better than a facelift and cheaper, too!

Mini-golf
the whole family is on a level playing field on these kid-friendly greens.  More often than not, the youngest comes out as the winner.  Can a green jacket from Augusta be in their future?

Summer adventures in the plaza
there’s something for everyone in the old-fashioned carnival zone.  The youngest kids enjoy the Little Miners Park with a mini-train, colorful airplane ride, and merry-go-round while the older kids burn off energy climbing the boulders and ropes course in the Adventure Zone.

Delicious food
the Legends Bar and Grill Nachos are this Snowmamas favorite!  Take one bite and you’ll understand. Crunchy, cheesy, yummy. The kids prefer the made-to-order Crescent burgers, fries, and homemade shakes but trust me; the nachos are the way to go!

Summer activities run from late May through mid-October.  Summer season passes are available as well as pay as you go options.  The memories you’ll make are priceless.

Kids Activities in Park City

Park City is an exciting place to vacation – snow activities, restaurants, shopping, exploring & lounging, all at your fingertips. But, let’s be honest – most of these activities aren’t exactly easy (or always fun), with toddlers & young kids in tow.

Not to worry! If you’re looking for toddler activities in Park City, there are plenty of fun-filled options to keep everyone happy & entertained.

  • Alpine Coaster (Must be 3+ years old)
  • Dog Sledding
  • Flying Eagle Zip Line (Must be 42+ inches)
  • Gorgoza Park: Lift-served Tubing, Fort Frosty, Mini Snowmobiles, & Learn to Ski Zone
  • Jupiter Bowl: Bumper Bowling
  • Monkey Mountain: Indoor Playland
  • Sleigh rides
  • Ski School
  • Snowshoeing
  • Park City Library: Storytime
  • Park City Museum: Storytime

Après Ski in Park City

Après skiing can easily be defined as any social activity that takes place once the skis, or snowboards, come off.  Fortunately, Park City Mountain Resort offers plenty of après events ideally suited for even the youngest skier or shredder.  Hop aboard the two-person Alpine Coaster for a leisurely ride to the top of the track.  Then, use the hand brake to go as fast or as slow as you wish down the mountain.  It’s a lovely view no matter how fast you go!  Additional fees apply.

Want a bird’s eye view of the resort? Then take a ride on the Flying Eagle Zip Line!  This two-person ride is a great way to keep the adrenaline pumping as you soar over the slopes below.  Ticket prices include two consecutive rides and can be purchased in combination with a ride on the Alpine Coaster. Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride!  Choose a leisurely 25-30 minute sleigh ride up to the Snowed Inn Lodge with or without dinner.  Reservations are required for either package.  The western-style buffet dinner serves up something the whole family will love.  A musician serenades diners throughout the meal.

Tubing, snowmobiling, and “Fort Frosty” a pint-sized playground for children eight and younger can be found at Gorgoza Park.  A short drive from the resort, this winter playground is an ideal way to spend family time together.  Take a break in the Warming Yurt or grab a tasty treat at the Café Yurt.  Craving some kids-only fun? Venture to the second floor of the Legacy Lodge every Saturday from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.  Designed just for kids, this après party offers a variety of activities.  Previous events have included face painters, a balloon artist, and a caricaturist.  All kids’ après party events are free! Complimentary cookies will also be provided.  Please see the events calendar for event details each Saturday through March 15, 2014.  No reservations are necessary.

This Kids après event is part of the Park City Mountain Resort’s 50th-anniversary celebrations.  Special Golden Anniversary parties continue through the season, giving guests an opportunity to help the resort celebrate no matter what time of year they are visiting.  Please visit the events calendar for an up-to-date listing of what’s happening.

Park City Other Attractions

Park City Skate Park
Park City’s Skate Park features a street course, beginner bowl/half pipe as well as deep bowls. The park is open to boarders and in-line skaters, (no bikes allowed) and offers a variety of options for both beginner and expert and the best part… ADMISSION IS FREE!

Park City Historical Society and Museum
Silver! … That cry might not have caused the stir that the gold rush did but it created scores of Western towns. Park City is one of them.In 1868 United States soldiers sent to watch over the reclusive Mormons found silver in the mountains above Park City.

Chenéz
“Eating is like making love,” says Chef Alain Sailhac senior dean of culinary studies at The French Culinary Institute. “In France, we put our whole bodies and minds into experiencing good food and wine and savor both with the company!” Visit Chenez restaurant in Park City Utah for a classic French dining experience on Main Street.

Ski Butlers Park City Ski Rentals
You’ll love the convenience of the preferred Park City ski rental delivery service! Let our Park City ski rental expert technicians custom fit all of your snowboard and ski rental needs in the comfort of your own living room. We’ll bring all the sizes you need – including extra boots to ensure that perfect fit. We also bring ski accessories so you’re ready to hit the slopes first thing in the morning. Why stand in a rental line? We offer the best ski rental equipment at the same or lower prices than many of the local Park City ski rental shops and The Canyons ski rental shops!

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