Weekend Getaway: Park City
Written by Alexa Owen • Aug 24, 2016
If you’ve been considering a getaway to Park City, the time to go is now.
We say that with a hint of urgency and a dose of wide-eyed excitement, because Park City Mountain Resort has taken off in the past two years – even more so than after hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics. In 2014, Vail Corporations purchased Park City; shortly after, Park City Mountain Resort merged with The Canyons to offer the most in-bounds terrain of any ski resort in the U.S. You could spend weeks exploring what this mountain has to offer – but a weekend will do. Quality over quantity.
Distinctly separate from the suburban sprawl outskirts you’ll pass on the drive from Salt Lake City to Park City, the resort and historic downtown area offer visitors quaint western charm reminiscent of the town’s beginnings as an 1800s mining outfit. Colorful Victorian style buildings line Main Street, and bustling bars remind visitors that you can still have a stiff drink and wild time in modern day Utah.
Park City is easily accessible by car and by air: you can roll out of your New England bed in the morning and be skiing PC by afternoon. The resort itself continues to modernize with instalments of high speed lifts, so you’ll get plenty of laps in on the short runs. The downtown area has a storybook feel: bright colors, cozy coffee nooks, casual fine dining digs and mountain chic shops. If you want to dip into a place that truly has that “far away” from the real world feel, Park City is the place.
The historic downtown area centers around Main Street, where you’ll find all the main dining and shopping. There is less slopeside accommodation here than at other major resorts, but downtown hotels are within short walking distance of the Town Lift, which provides direct access from downtown to mid-mountain. Favorite restaurants, like the ones listed in this guide, book up early, so make reservations. When you hit the slopes, you’ll find plenty of expert terrain up high, while intermediates will enjoy the groomers on skier’s left of the mountain. If you want to explore The Canyons (or even Deer Valley), we recommend staying at least the week!
Local tip: Sundance Film Festival is at the end of January, so avoid this weekend if you’re not into a scene – but come join if you want to party, or ski the powder everyone at the party is missing! – Breanna T.
Getting There: Fly to Drive
Salt Lake City International Airport is a mere 40 minutes drive from Park City Mountain Resort. Because this airport is a major hub of the Rocky Mountains, hundreds of direct flights arrive each day: book a 6 a.m. departure from New York, and you’ll arrive in SLC by 11a.m. Book ahead for ground transportation to Park City; Utah’s All Resort Express offers door-to-door black car service.
Most Park City hotels are not within walking distance of the resort and downtown; it’s worth it to splurge on prime location to be close to the slopes and restaurants for a short stay.
You’ve likely heard about the strange liquor laws in Utah; we won’t outline them here, but know that the strongest beers are in the bottles, and mixologists get creative with their cocktails.
Arrive: Salt Lake City to Park City
Fly into Salt Lake City International Airport. If booking at the Main & Sky Hotel (details below), you’ll have complimentary transport waiting for you on arrival. If you’re not so stoked about lugging ski gear through the airport, consider renting a kit for the weekend; they’ll deliver right to your hotel room.
Stay: Downtown luxury at Main & Sky
The 5-star Main & Sky boasts a prime location at the base of the resort, with ski-in/ski-out access and a 3 block walk to downtown shopping, bars and restaurants. Guests indulge in spacious, light-filled rooms, rustic modern décor, organic café, spa and wellness center, and a super friendly staff. The Zen-chic ambiance is ideal for a couples’ getaway.
Dine: Contemporary Western at Riverhorse on Main
Step into the Park City beat with dinner at Riverhorse on Main. A two block walk from Main & Sky, this consistently popular spot serves up eclectic American fare. High ceilings and an interior palette of birch and earthy grey tones make for a spacious bistro ambiance. Reservations are a must, as are the hand-cut buffalo tartare and the macadamia nut crusted Alaskan halibut. Vegetarians, you’ll find soups and salads sourced from local farms, as well as finely crafted pastas.
Out Late: Shots with the locals at No Name Saloon
Save the swanky clubs for Saturday and drop into No Name Saloon. One small step up from a total dive bar, the No Name has a rockin’ atmosphere frequented by loyal locals. Christmas lights hang from the ceiling and totally random vintage memorabilia deck out the walls. Choose from the extensive beer and whiskey selections, but be warned: the Saloon’s slogan is “helping people forget their names since 1903.”
Eat: eggs benny at the Double E
For a full service breakfast, head to the Eating Establishment (a.k.a. the “Double E”) on Main Street – they serve up a mean huevos rancheros. Comfortable seating and cozy fireplaces add to the laid-back Park City vibe of this local hot spot. If you’re looking for coffee and a quick bite, stop by Java Cow, which boasts decadent pastries and breakfast crepes.
Ski: Town Lift to powder fields
Walk 5 minutes from Main & Sky to the Town Lift, which unloads mid-mountain. From there, intermediates can make their way across the resort to the King Con Express area, which offers various (albeit short) blue and double blue runs. On a powder day, advanced skiers will find plenty of fresh lines off McConkey’s Express; if the lift line is long, switch to the slower but far less crowded Pioneer Lift, which will get you to Blueslip Bowl.
Lunch: mountain casual at Legends Bar & Grill
Cruise to the base of the mountain for lunch at Legends Bar & Grill. Located at the bottom of the Payday Lift, Legends offers a casual atmosphere with pub fare like steak sandwiches and hearty salads. Pair with one of the Wasatch craft beers on tap. Our favorite is the polygamy porter – it’s like dessert in a glass.
Spa: afternoon detox at Sugati
Sip crystal infused water before a deep soak in the Japanese Ofuro tubs at Sugati Spa. The state-of-the-art spa, located inside Main & Sky, operates on the principles of Eastern healing traditions like Ayurveda and holistic yoga. Guests can unwind with a private yoga instructor or sit quietly in the zero gravity meditation room. The spa menu includes traditional Ayurvedic treatments, body work, and sound healing therapy by skilled energy workers.
Après: craft whiskey at High West Distillery
Pull on your best boots and mosey over to High West Distillery and Saloon, where you’ll find an eclectic mix of skiers fresh off the slopes and party-goers getting an early start to the night. This PC mainstay is famous for its status as the world’s only ski-in gastro distillery; while the whiskey is not distilled in a larger building on the outskirts of the city, the buzzing showroom draws a great crowd. Try one of their signature mixed drinks, like the Dead Man’s Boots: a mix of rye, ginger beer, and tequila.
Dine: Italian bites at Café Terigo
Duck into Café Terigo at 424 Main for French and Italian inspired dishes. The menu features classic dishes with local twists, like the grilled lamb chops with basil pesto and baby green beans. Pasta lovers, everything is made in house; the housemade fettuccine with basil cream sauce, green beans, and bacon is divine. Reservations are highly recommended.
Party: late night beats at Downstairs
You’ll find favorite DJs spinning at Downstairs; live music acts also perform. The atmosphere reads hip lounge/Euro club/mountain town basement, with a healthy dose of locals dropping in for late night dance parties. The crowd is largely 20- and 30-somethings, but like most venues in Park City, you’ll find that everyone is welcome to let loose and have a good time.
Ski: adventure to The Canyons
A $50 million investment two years ago in the Quicksilver gondola connected Park City Mountain Resort with The Canyons, and the ride alone is worth some Sunday morning thrills. But ask any local, and they’ll likely say The Canyons is the best place to ski – especially when you need to ditch the crowds. Stick to the north facing aspects off the Dreamcatcher lift for the best snow and most laps before noon.
Lunch: pizza parlor throwback
Lunch like a local at Davanza’s, the favorite gourmet pizza spot in town. Since 1979, these guys have served up classic Italian comfort food that rivals any restaurant in Boston’s North End. Housemade dough and marinara sauce base pizza creations like the Spicy Luau and Mucker Supreme. Like all the best pizza spots, you can also craft your own. The salads and sandwhiches are simple and hearty.
Shop: boutiques on Main
Leave some time to meander around Main Street before heading back to Salt Lake City. For contemporary western wear, drop into Burns Cowboy Shop, whose been outfitting the wild west since 1876. You’ll find unique and earth-inspired home décor and classy, handmade gifts at Root’d. Women can find eclectic jewelry and accessories at Olive & Tweed.
Extra Time: Olympic Park
Got a night flight? Take some time to wander through the Utah Olympic Park. Guided tours are offered daily; check the website for most updated hours.
Ready to book? We can help you find the best deals here.