While the snow may be melting in Park City, Utah, winter is fast approaching in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s got me thinking about a recent ski trip to the USA, where we spent a week exploring the charming Old West mining town, Park City.
Park City is home to America’s largest ski resort. You may also know it as the host of the revered Sundance Film Festival. Whether you’re an adventure lover, the outdoor type or just looking to get away and relax, the area has a whole lot to offer.
Where to stay
The Canyons provides an affordable alternative to accommodation in Park City itself. We stayed at Silverado Lodge, a cosy and well-equipped resort with both hotel rooms and apartment style lodging – we opted for an apartment.
Travelling with a group, it was great having access to a kitchen and laundry facilities in our own apartment. The lodge had a relaxed vibe and offered a free shuttle to both Main Street and the base of Canyon Mountain, although Canyons Village is easily accessible by foot.
Canyons Village is family friendly and has a warm and inviting atmosphere. Surrounding the village courtyard, there are fire pits, ski hire and shops, and the village has a handy grocery store and a number of nice, casual restaurants.
Looking for something a bit more upmarket? You can’t go past any one of the fabulous hotels in Deer Valley, such as Stein Erikson Lodge and the St. Regis. Alternatively, check out Airbnb for some great accommodation options.
Where to eat
For a healthy, nourishing breakfast fuel up at Deer Valley Grocery Café. Sumptuous breakfast options include avocado and beetroot toast served on housemade wild rice harvest bread, a fluffy lemon ricotta Dutch pancake and an option that’s sure to fill you up, the skiers’ breakfast – skillet-baked Heber Valley juustoleipä cheese, Creminelli prosciutto, and apple fig chutney served with a baguette. Each day they prepare fresh salads using local ingredients and freshly baked breads and pastries. There’s also a selection of gourmet grocery items for sale if you’d prefer something to go.
A couple of other good breakfast options include the Bridge Café and Grill and Main Street Deli.
The restaurant at the Goldener Hirsch Inn has a warm alpine feel; you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to Bavaria.
Executive chef Ryan Burnham’s menu is a collection of enticing, rich dishes, including their popular cheese fondue. After a day hitting the slopes – yes please! Other options include a Pork Tomahawk Chop with apple and hazelnut (pictured at right).
I might be biased, but good coffee is hard to come by in the US, which is why I was excited when I heard that the Aussie Campos Coffee had opened their first café outside of Australia at the Park City base area.
For a spectacular combination of fine dining and adventure, the Viking Yurt offers a winter experience like no other. You’re taken on a scenic sleigh ride to the yurt, located 1800ft. up Park City Mountain, where you are met with a six-course meal accompanied by an intimate piano performance – sounds fabulous, doesn’t it?
I didn’t get to Fireside Dining but it sounds wonderful. And it must be, because it was completely booked out weeks before we arrived. With what looks to be a very enchanting interior you’ll feel ensconced in the warm and inviting atmosphere while you enjoy cheese, raclette, roasted legs of lamb and all your alpine favourites cooked over the open hearth fireplaces.
Where to drink
Due to the large Mormon population in Utah, laws surrounding the purchase and consumption of alcohol are quite restrictive. There was an air of mischievousness anytime you ordered a drink ☺ Nevertheless, there are still many places open for some late-night fun.
You can’t go past the No Name Saloon, Park City’s oldest bar, for a fun night out. Go for dinner, stay for the lively atmosphere and drink in to the night.
This fun bar is decorated floor to celling with interesting objects including old petrol bowsers, an old ski mobile and other curios.
I’m not sure that you’ll find a ski-in, ski-out distiller anywhere else in the world, so the High West distillery is a must. Can’t decide? The ‘High West 101’ flight offers the chance to try four of their finest. High West also offers daily tours.
The terrace café at the St. Regis offers spectacular views of Deer Valley as well as the Deer Hollow run and, is a great place to stop for a cocktail or two. If you’re not skiing in and out, the hotel is accessible via the hotel’s own funicular railway, an experience in itself. Pop in between runs or retire for après-ski, and enjoy the warming fire garden as the snowflakes fall.
Where to play
Park City offers a variety of terrain for any skill level. At 7,300 acres, Park City Resort became the largest ski resort in the USA when the Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort were connected in 2015. In total, you’ll be met with 300+ trails and nearly 40 lifts across the mountains to explore.
We visited late December and, during our time in Park City, we found that the runs were well-groomed and layered with plenty of lush snow. We enjoyed the long runs and found that both Park City and Deer Valley offered beautiful scenery. I particularly enjoyed skiing through The Colony, a collection of luxury homes with exclusive ski and snowboard access to the Canyons – oh how the other half live!
We were met with short lift lines (especially compared with certain times in the season here in Australia) and lots of snow, given how early it was in the season. Whether you start at Park City or The Canyons base areas, each is easily accessible, skiing from one to the other. The High Meadow chair at Canyons offers beginners access to some easy going green runs, while advanced skiers will enjoy riding the Super Condor, connecting them to some great trails including single and double blacks. The guided ski tour at Park City is especially worthwhile, offering guests the opportunity to discover the old mining town that is steeped in history.
Other snow-related activities include tubing (but be prepared to wait in line), sleigh rides, snowmobile and snow-shoe tours.
For the vertically challenged, like me, there are plenty of other things to see and do in the area. Relax and unwind at the spa or hit the shops – Main Street is a lovely shopping precinct. Just a short bus trip away, there’s also an outlet mall. Public transport in the area is free. Alternatively, visit Utah Olympic Park and explore the museum; you may even catch a glimpse of some athletes in training.
Located just 35 minutes drive from Salt Lake City, Park City is an easily accessible mountain resort that provides endless activities for everyone and endless memories to treasure. From swishing down the slopes to indulging in sumptuous food, wine and cocktails, it’s not hard to see why Park City is a favourite year-round.
Photos with the Food Wine Travel watermark were taken by Alise Salins. Other photos were supplied by Vail Resorts and Deer Valley, used with their permission. This is NOT a sponsored post. However the 3 accommodation links are affiliate links. Food Wine Travel gets a small commission on bookings made through these but it doesn’t cost you any extra.