Best Things To Do in Park City
Once a silver mining town, Park City is now a premier winter sports destination. Home to two major ski resorts, Deer Valley and Park City, as well as an athlete training facility at Utah Olympic Park, the city fills up from November to March with powder hounds and cinephiles (it hosts the acclaimed Sundance Film Festival every January). Year-round, Park City's free, ski-friendly transportation system makes it easy to explore both downtown and resort attractions, including Historic Main Street. What's more, if you've got little ones in tow who aren't ready to tackle the bunny hills, you can head to Gorgoza Park, which offers snow tubing and mini snowmobiles.
Updated June 19, 2017
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Park City sits in the valley between Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort. Once a silver mining town, it has seen booms and busts, as well as a devastating fire that destroyed a large portion of the town in the late 19th century. The Main Historic District preserves its western mining heritage with a charming mix of boutiques, galleries and restaurants. The Park City Museum, located about midway on Main Street, features exhibits detailing the history of the mining town turned ski mecca and is also home to the official visitor center. What's more, a free trolley runs the length of street if your feet need a break.
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Considered one of the top ski resorts in the country, Deer Valley boasts a bevy of lodging options, more than 20 chairlifts, 101 ski runs and more than 15 dining outlets from casual cafes to fine dining. Plus, it is home to amenities like Mountain Hosts, which offer four complimentary ski tours of the property each day, complimentary overnight ski storage and an on-site licensed childcare facility. The resort also offers one of the largest ski schools in the country, with more than 500 instructors.
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Utah Olympic Park was the home of several events during the 2002 Winter Olympics, and is still an official training site for current and future Olympic athletes. Admission to the park and several of the park's attractions are free, including the Alf Engen Ski Museum, the Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum, the Discovery Zone obstacles course, the Mountain Challenge course and several hiking trails. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, visitors can ride with a professional driver on the signature Comet Bobsled to feel the same g-force and blazing speed that Olympic competitors enjoy. Other activities – all priced individually – include three levels of climbing and ropes tours, a zip line and a one-hour guided tour that visits the world's highest Nordic ski jumps.
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This scenic, 14-mile drive into the Wasatch Mountain Range runs up to a summit area between Big Cottonwood Canyon and the Park City Mountain Resort, and is a popular area for viewing wildlife, wildflowers and fall foliage. The road connects Park City to Brighton or Midway, Utah, and is paved most of the way, except for a short gravel section in the middle.
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The High West Distillery & Saloon is the only ski-in gastro saloon and distillery in the world. Located at the foot of the Quittin' Time ski run and next to the town lift in Historic Park City, the saloon serves Western-inspired pub grub like bourbon-braised short ribs accompanied by the craft whiskeys and spirits from the High West Distillery, located 16 miles northeast in Wanship, Utah. Complimentary tours of both the saloon and distillery are available.
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The Kimball Art Center, located just a few blocks off Main Street, features exhibits by regional and national artists, and offers more than 300 classes in painting, drawing, photography, stained glass, pottery and other visual arts. The annual Kimball Arts Festival in August is one of the largest events of the year, bringing in more than 225 jury-selected artists from around the country.
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The Park City Mountain Resort, which merged with the Canyons Resort in 2015, is the largest ski area in the United States, boasting more than 7,300 acres. The resort features 41 lifts, eight terrain parks, 14 bowls, six half-pipes, one super pipe and more than 300 trails, as well as several ski-in, ski-out accommodation choices, ranging from hotels and lodges to private homes and condominiums. A licensed day care center, a ski and snowboard school and an array of dining choices from casual ski-in restaurants to fine dining are just a few of the amenities, and the Quicksilver gondola allows guests to traverse the mountain with ease. What's more, Mountain Concierge service is available to answer traveler questions, book tours or make dining reservations.
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Whether you're visiting Park City during the summer, or just need a break from the slopes in the winter, consider taking a few spins on the Alpine Coaster or the Alpine Slide (the latter of which is only available in the summer). Located at Park City Mountain, the Alpine Slide is one of the longest in the world, featuring a 3,000-foot luge-like track. Meanwhile, the coaster (also at Park City Mountain) sits on an elevated track full of loops, curves and turns that take riders through the city's bucolic mountain scenery.
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Gorgoza Park is one of the most popular family attractions in Park City, especially for visitors with young children. The park features seven lighted tubing lanes, a Fort Frosty playground for children younger than 6, mini-snowmobiles and a small hill for little tubers. Individual ride tickets, as well as two-hour and four-hour passes are offered; Fort Frosty is free with a valid tubing ticket.
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