Park City, Utah Travel Guide
Park City Summary
- Beautiful views of the rugged, snow-capped Wasatch Mountains
- 3 skiing areas offer a range of terrain and difficulty
- Lively nightlife
- Easy access to the mountains
- Lots of history around Main Street
- Fun in the summertime too, with numerous golf courses, lots of hiking trails, and a theme park
- Home to the Sundance Film Festival
- Expensive area
- Shorter skiing season than nearby Salt Lake City
What It's Like
About 30 miles east of Salt Lake City, Park City is Utah's version of Aspen (if slightly more laid-back). The city first attracted hoards during the silver boom in the mid-1800s, but the 1960s turned the small mining town into a popular ski destination. Considered one of the best places in the world to ski, Park City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Park City's main attraction is its slopes. The powder is always fresh, and skiiers and snowboarders flock to the mountains during the winter. There are actually three distinct ski resorts in Park City, with distinct reputations: Park City Mountain (party central), Deer Valley (posh), and The Canyons (family-friendly).
Celebrities also flock to Park City during the winter -- some for the slopes, but many for the Sundance Film Festival in January. Unlike at some other film festivals, access to screenings is not limited to just the rich and the famous (but perhaps to the patient early risers, as tickets get bought up very quickly after going on sale).
But the winter isn't the only fun season in Park City. The melting of the snow means it's time for golfing, hiking, and mountain biking. Summer also means weekly farmers' markets, and free outdoor concerts and films. And the rocking nightlife is a year-round affair. Known as the "sin city" of Utah, Park City has numerous hot spots -- everything from upscale lounges to dive bars -- around town and along Main Street, which is also lined with high-end restaurants, boutiques, and historic Victorian buildings.
Where To Stay
Park City Mountain, near Main Street, is the party spot in Park City. Deer Valley is the ultra-luxe option in Park City. Sidewalks are heated, restaurants are tres chic, and ski valets are free. But snowboarders may want to stay elsewhere, because snowboarding is prohibited on the mountain. The Canyons is home to the largest mountain in the area, and is a more laid-back, family-friendly option.