3 Ways to Get Your Snow on in Park City, Utah
No matter who you are, there’s so much more than skiing and snowboarding at this world-class resort. Here’s how to make the most of your winter break.
Ice-skate under the open sky at the base of Park City Mountain Resort, where you’ll find the city’s only outdoor skating rink, conveniently located next to local shops. Just outside the Park City Ice Arena, a great indoor skating option, you’ll discover one of the best sledding hills in town. Head inside for hot cocoa between runs.
Off the slopes:
Since the state hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 2002, Utah Olympic Park has been a state-of-the-art training facility for professional athletes. Take a guided tour of the complex ($12 for adults and $7 for youths and seniors; offered daily), and don’t miss the two museums (free entry), which have fun interactive exhibits — including a simulated Nordic ski jump.
Squatters Roadhouse Grill offers quality casual dining — think loaded nachos and burgers — and a killer menu of draft beers. (Be sure to order a growler if you’re feeling loose.) Splurge on the scones, a local version of Navajo fry bread, served with housemade berry jam.
Grab a hearty precooked meal, like enchiladas or stew, from Deer Valley Grocery Café and pop it in the oven at home, or book a table for Fireside Dining at Empire Canyon Lodge, where you can enjoy food cooked over the lodge’s fireplaces — from raclette to roasted meat and fondue for dessert. When you call to make a reservation, add on a pre- or postmeal sleigh ride.
Skis on the Run will deliver reserved gear or fit you for ski and snowboard rentals in the comfort of your home away from home. (Call day of if need be — they’re fast.) Packages that include skis, boots, and poles start at $35 per day.
For Die-Hard Shredders
Advanced skiers will love Park City Powder Cats, which guides small groups through backcountry terrain, from steep lines to deep bowls, all on the privately owned Thousand Peaks Ranch. Its 40,000-plus acres — with peaks of nearly 11,000 feet — makes it larger than Aspen, Vail, and Killington combined.
Off the slopes:
Get lost in the crowd or make some new friends at Park City Live, one of the city’s best live-music venues that hosts touring bands and DJs. Dig deep and shell out more money — anywhere from $500 to $1,500, depending on the show — for VIP table service, which, in addition to providing a private cabana or booth upstairs, lets you skip lines at the door and bar.
A big bowl of noodle soup packed with vegetables and lean meat is the perfect way to warm up and recharge without getting weighed down by more run-of-the-mill ski fare. At Bald Mountain Pho at Silver Lake Lodge, begin with rich beef or ginger-mushroom broth as a base, then build a pho bowl with myriad toppings.
Coming from Park City, ski into High West Distillery, which offers killer gastropub fare, music, and housemade whiskey. Or if you want to tuck in early so you can hit the slopes first thing, pick up a bottle to go.
Park City Mountain skiers with an Epic Pass ($929; valid at any of Vail’s eleven North American resorts, plus four non-Vail properties nationally) can skip the ticket window. Park City Mountain also offers a discount for prepurchased tickets.
Compete for bragging rights from the seat of your bobsled at Utah Olympic Park, where a professional pilot will guide you as you race with — or, if you want, against — your better half, whipping around curves and hitting up to 70 miles per hour. Reservations necessary during peak season ($175).
Off the slopes:
Kimball Art Center features rotating exhibits from local and world-famous international artists, as well as a selection of one-day and multiday classes. Throw some pottery together. Learn to sketch. Or just take in the exhibits.
If you go toward the end of lunch service, around 2 p.m., the family-run ski-in Silver Star Cafe will feel like your own romantic cabin. Don’t miss the hearth-fired pizzas.
The cocktails at The St. Regis Deer Valley include a nightly champagne sabering. Afterward, head next door to J&G Grill, a restaurant from acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, which features “modern mountain” cuisine, including truffle pizza and miso yuzu-glazed grouper (both recently among the seasonally changing offerings). Go for the tasting menu if you have time. A short but windy drive up the mountain is The Mariposa in Silver Lake Lodge at Deer Valley. Its upscale New American cuisine — particularly the seared bison with foie gras — and cozy crackling fireplace in the main dining room are hard to beat.
If you book any 60-minute service at Spa Montage Deer Valley — including a couple’s massage — you’ll get access to the entire 35,000-square-foot facility (minus the outdoor pool), which includes an indoor lap pool, steam rooms, and redwood saunas.
About the author: Bari Nan Rothchild is a writer writer and editor whose work has appeared in Real Simple, Woman’s Day, Redbook, Coastal Living, Babble, and More. She is an avid skier, eager traveler, appreciator of other people’s cooking, and a performing arts and culture addict. She lives in Park City, Utah, with her husband, their two sons, and two Bichon Frise dogs — among controlled chaos.