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 Park City. 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
- #1View all Photos#1 in Park City0.1 miles to city centerMuseums, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND0.1 miles to city centerMuseums, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
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 Historic Park City area 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.
Recent visitors loved the variety of shops, galleries, restaurants and bars in Historic Park City, noting there's something for every taste from souvenir joints to ski boutiques. Many recommended a visit to the museum to get a feel for the town's mining history, while others complimented the free transit and the convenience afforded by bedding down in this area. Families enjoyed the historical statues along the street and the availability of clean public restrooms.
- #2View all Photos#2 in Park City1.2 miles to city centerSkiing, SportsTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPEND1.2 miles to city centerSkiing, SportsTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPEND
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.
Recent visitors called Deer Valley "the Cadillac of ski resorts," praising the skiing, the outstanding service and the gourmet cuisine. However, many also noted that its reputation as a resort for the upper echelon of skiers makes it pricey. Powder hounds complimented the variety of well-groomed trails (especially the Ruins of Pompeii and Tycoon runs) and short chairlift lines, as well as the superb hotels and lodges with ski-in/ski-out access. Since Deer Valley limits the number of skiers per day, many recommend purchasing tickets in advance, especially on holidays. Deer Valley also prohibits snowboarders from its slopes, a welcome relief many skiers appreciated.
- #3View all Photos#3 in Park City5.6 miles to city centerRecreation, Sports, Tours, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND5.6 miles to city centerRecreation, Sports, Tours, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
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.
Most reviewers call this former Olympic site a "must-see," even for nonskiers, and said that the free museums were a great way to learn about Utah's ski industry and the 2002 Olympic Games. Those visitors who took the daring Comet Bobsled ride (which takes passengers down the 2002 Olympic track) said it was a truly unique experience and well worth the price.
- #4View all Photos#4 in Park City1.6 miles to city centerHiking, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND1.6 miles to city centerHiking, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
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.
Recent visitors said this scenic drive is worth the trip, if only for the amazing views from Guardsman Pass (several recommended bringing your camera and stopping along the way for a short hike). Many noted that the drive, which typically takes an hour one-way, is particularly beautiful in the fall when the trees are ablaze.
- #5View all Photos#5 in Park City0.1 miles to city centerEntertainment and Nightlife, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND0.1 miles to city centerEntertainment and Nightlife, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
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.
Recent visitors – both skiers and nonskiers – love this distillery and saloon. Both the food and the whiskeys garnered praise, as did the friendly staff. Many reviewers recommended arriving early in the day before the après-ski crowd congregates here (High West does not take reservations).
- #6View all Photos#6 in Park City1.1 miles to city centerMuseums, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND1.1 miles to city centerMuseums, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
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.
Recent visitors called the art center a local gem and a nice activity for nonskiers. Those who visited with children praised the variety of classes for kids and the Lego exhibit in the gallery.
- #7View all Photos#7 in Park City0.6 miles to city centerRecreation, Skiing, SportsTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPEND0.6 miles to city centerRecreation, Skiing, SportsTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPEND
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.
Recent visitors praised the sheer number and variety of ski runs here, and many prefer the Park City runs to those at the Canyons, although most agree that the pricing for lift tickets, accommodations and dining is pricey. Some reviewers found the layout of the runs confusing, and bemoaned the poor Wi-Fi access, however, many agreed that the free transportation around the resort was convenient and easy to use. Families particularly appreciated the ski school and said a few lessons made all the difference in their ski experience. Some recent guests warned that the lower slopes can be particularly crowded on weekends and holidays.
- #8View all Photos#8 in Park City0.6 miles to city centerRecreationTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND0.6 miles to city centerRecreationTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
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.
Recent riders said the coaster and the slide are a must-do activity for the entire family, from kids to grandparents. Many visitors rode them repeatedly and recommended purchasing a combo pass, although some found both the individual ride tickets and the passes expensive. Reviewers also advised arriving early in the day to avoid long lines and noted that the coaster sometimes closes during heavy snowfalls.
- #9View all Photos#9 in Park City4.1 miles to city centerRecreation, SkiingTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPEND4.1 miles to city centerRecreation, SkiingTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPEND
Once the base area of the Canyons Resort (which merged with the Park City Mountain Resort in 2015), Canyons Village offers slope-side accommodations, several dining options and access to the Orange Bubble Express, the first "bubbled," heated chairlift in the country.
Recent skiers were delighted to find the Canyons and Park City slopes connected, allowing them to do runs on both parts of the mountain. Many commented on the spectacular views from the Quicksilver gondola that connects the resorts, and the heated Orange Bubble lift from the base area. However, some mentioned that those with a fear of heights should steer clear of the gondola. Advanced skiers preferred the Canyons runs, and many commented on the excellent service and dining choices. Some visitors recommended purchasing the Epic season pass and said it was a good value compared to individual lift tickets. Other reviewers liked the convenience of ski-in, ski-out accommodations and praised the friendly ski school instructors and the variety of ski lessons for all ages and levels.
- #10View all Photos#10 in Park City8.8 miles to city centerRecreationTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND8.8 miles to city centerRecreationTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
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.
Families that visited said Gorgoza Park provided a nice break from the slopes and offered a fun way to entertain young kids for a few hours. Most recommended purchasing the two-hour or four-hour tubing passes and also said it was a good après-ski activity since the park is open until 8 p.m. Some reviewers found it costly – about $100 for a family of four for two hours – but most found it worth the money.
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