Park City Travel Guide
Get Your Bearings in Park CityWhere to Stay
Park City is a bustling ski town on Utah’s Wasatch Back. Settled by miners in the 1860s, this historic town retains the charm of that era, with petite wooden buildings standing shoulder-to-shoulder along its sloping Main Street. Today, greatly gentrified, this downtown district now houses finely restored small-scale hotels and B&Bs. However, if it's spacious rooms and modern style you’re looking for, you’ll find plenty of luxurious options at Park City’s three ski resorts: Park City Mountain Resort, The Canyons and Deer Valley.
Avoid: Booking a hotel too far outside of town; residing near the heart of Park City will greatly add to your trip.
Take It or Leave It: Park City has very few budget lodging options; if you'd like to keep your hotel bill reasonable, consider staying in Heber City, Kimball Junction or Jeremy Ranch.
What to Eat
For a landlocked town of fewer than 8,000 residents, Park City has an outstanding culinary scene. In fact, it would have an outstanding culinary scene for a town many times its size. Owing to the lofty median income of the town’s population and its steady stream of guests, Park City’s restaurant collection contains everything from fine Italian dining to Asian grills, local breweries and even breakfast joints.
Caution: Meals don't come cheap in Park City; if you must stick to a budget, consider driving five minutes north to dine in Kimball Junction.
Be Sure to Sample: If visiting Park City in winter, be sure to make reservations for an evening at The Viking Yurt, Park City's ultimate romantic dinner establishment.
Things to See
Park City is famous in all seasons for its great outdoors. During winter, its three ski resorts—Park City Mountain Resort, The Canyons and Deer Valley—are the lifeblood of the town. World-famous and large-scale, these resorts include vast amounts of terrain, thousands and thousands of hotel beds, and widely acclaimed restaurants. In the summer, deep snow melts away to reveal a vast network of amazing mountain biking and hiking trails. In town, Park City’s Main Street holds dozens of local galleries and boutiques.
Hot Tips: The Sundance Film Festival takes place in Park City every year in January; if you want to avoid a gridlock, plan your trip well outside of the festival dates.
Places to Party
As with its restaurants and hotels, Park City holds an impressive collection of nightlife venues. In fact, these venues—and the events they host—are often so good that they attract people from the much larger city of Salt Lake. Those in the mood to do a casual bar crawl need only to visit Main Street, along which many bars and pubs stand open for business on all nights of the week. If you’re looking for some local brews, head to the Wasatch Brew Pub; if you want to enjoy a wooden dance floor, check out The Sidecar.
Hot Tips: Good news for partygoers! Park City has a town-wide, free bus system that runs with fairly generous hours throughout the year. No need to drive or hire a cab.
Where to Shop
Park City has an outstanding collection of locally-owned boutiques and galleries. To check out the town’s densest collection of these, head to Main Street and stroll up and down its length. Those looking for larger shops should drive north to Kimball Junction, where the open landscape allows for more expansive structures. While in Kimball Junction, check out the Tanger Outlet Center—one of the best places in Utah for good deals on famous brands.
Best Local Souvenir: Visit the Utah Olympic Park and Park City Museum to get a hold of souvenirs commemorating Park City's rich ski history.
About Park City
With chameleon-like facility, Park City shifts from relaxed hamlet to cosmopolitan resort. The town first gained fame with the 19th-century silver rush, which also brought it a measure of infamy, thanks to the many saloons and brothels that cropped up in the wake of wealth. When the silver market became depressed in the early 20th century, Park City's fortunes relaxed, and it wasn't until the advent of skiing (in the late '40s) that the economy took an upswing again. Nowadays, skiing fuels the town's prosperity, and its upscale ambiance gains support from fashionable boutiques and restaurants, as well as the presence of the Sundance Film Festival. Park City's vibrant Main Street serves as the epicenter for nightlife and daytime fun, excepting activities at the many ski resorts. Aside from wintertime pursuits, warm weather fashions an appeal all its own, offering hiking, horseback riding, fly fishing, and mountain biking in the Wasatch Mountains. The city is very much a destination for all seasons, stylish enough for celebrity, unassuming enough for sport. And through it all, the area's steadfast natural beauty adds to everything a scenic appeal.