Check out my ultimate Park City travel guide to plan your next winter weekend getaway to the mountains! I’ve included my thoughts on the resort, where to stay, where to eat and what activities to pack into a three day trip!
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About Park City
Park City is an old mining town full of rich history and what many call “The Greatest Snow on Earth”. The snow really was amazing while we were there, even for 40 degree temperatures!
In 2002, Park City hosted four events for the Winter Olympics. Throughout the town, you will find lots of Olympic history and you can even go and visit the actual area where a lot of the events were held!
Park City is also the largest ski and snowboard resort in the United States, with over 340 trails, two villages, 8 terrain parks and much more! For more family friendly skiing, stick to the Park City Mountain Village side of the resort. For the more daring skiers, check out the Canyons Village side!
The actual town of Park City has a fairly large downtown area along with other shops and amenities – they even have an outlet mall! When we pulled into town, I was quite surprised at the size and amount of people. If you’re looking for great skiing with a vibrant food and shopping scene, then Park City is the place for you! Read on if you want to see more tips from my Park City travel guide.
Getting to Park City
Park City, Utah is located just 35 minutes outside of Salt Lake City where most out of state visitors will fly into. If you’re heading to the resort from Colorado, Park City is about a 6 hour drive from Montrose, CO and about an 8 hour drive from Denver.
I’d recommend flying to Salt Lake City and then heading to Park City from there if you live in Denver to make the weekend worthwhile! There are shuttles, buses and taxis that will drive you from the airport and then once you arrive, Park City has a free bus system if you want to skip the rental car!
Where to Stay
We booked a VRBO property at the Carriage House which was about an 8 minute drive from Park City Mountain Village. This was a nice, budget friendly option for us but if we were to do it over again, I think we would have stayed MUCH closer to the mountain.
If you can swing it, I’d recommend staying on or near the mountain. If you don’t, you will either be fighting for a parking spot at the resort all morning or waiting in long lines for the free shuttle – talk about wasting some serious ski time! Park City is a large ski area but unfortunately, it gets very congested towards the base area, especially for first chair.
Here are a few options for VRBO lodging near the mountain. Pricing will of course depend on the time of year that you are going and your length of stay!
- VRBO Property – Two minute walk from the lift!
- The Lodge at Mountain Village – Ski – in/ski – out condos
- Snowcrest Condos – Can walk to the resort and downtown area
What to Bring
You’ll want to be prepared with a variety of clothes and gear depending on what activities you will be doing! Here are a few of the items we took to Park City:
- Comfortable and warm walking shoes – You’ll be doing some walking downtown at night I imagine, so be sure to bring comfortable and warm shoes! I wore these Sorel boots almost the entire trip.
- Lots of Snacks – Bring little packets of peanut butter, granola bars, or portable fruits to keep your energy up while skiing! Or, you can make my homemade cherry almond granola bars which have less sugar and tons of good ingredients.
- Hand Warmers – if it’s cold out, you won’t regret this one! I stick them in my pockets if we are walking around at night so I don’t get too cold.
Where to Eat
Park City is known for its vibrant foodie scene with loads of unique and delicious restaurants! There are so many to pick from but here are some of the places we ate, along with a few top recommendations from locals:
- The Market at Park City – This grocery store is close to the mountain. If you are staying in a VRBO and want to cook your own breakfast, this is a great place to stock up on some items!
- Murdock’s – Located in Canyons Village, this is a nice stop if you’re looking for gigantic breakfast burritos and coffee to fuel you up before you hit the slopes! We ate here twice and the breakfast burritos are delicious.
- Atticus – We heard this is a yummy breakfast option but never made it here! Located downtown.
- The Grocery Girls Delivery Service – You can order your groceries before you arrive to Park City and these girls will put everything in your condo before you check in!
- Freshies Lobster Co. – This was located across from our VRBO and was the perfect place to stop and grab lunch! This place is a local favorite and is definitely worth a visit. I’d recommend the Lobster Grilled Cheese.
- The Pig Pen Saloon – This is located at the base of Park City Mountain Village near the Crescent Express Lift and children’s area. They serve burgers, sandwiches and yummy beef stew!
- 501 on Main Street – Perfect spot to grab lunch downtown!
- The Farm – This is located in Canyons Village. We never made it to this restaurant but heard great things about it! They offer locally sourced foods and were named as one of Utah’s top 25 restaurants.
- The Viking Yurt – This is located on the mountain and provides a unique dining experience with breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks! They serve traditional Scandinavian dishes along with normal menu items as well. Grab a glass of “gluvin” (hot mulled wine) and sit on the patio to enjoy the views!
- Wasatch Brewery – Located in Old Town, this is a perfect spot to grab a beer and some delicious food after a long day of skiing! Wasatch Brewery was the first brewery in Utah and one of the first craft breweries in the US! Breweries are hard to come by in Utah due to the strict liquor laws, so be sure to check this one out.
- Squatters – This is another delicious brewpub that is a bit quieter if you’re not into the loud and crowded downtown scene. It still gets busy around dinner time so make sure to make a reservation! I had the Miso Salmon here and it was amazing. They also serve Wasatch brews as well. I’d recommend getting a flight so that you can try a few.
- Crystal Park Cantina – We didn’t make it here but heard great reviews of this place! If you are in the mood for Mexican food and a margarita, head downtown and check it out!
Tips for Making the Most of Skiing in Park City
Using this Park City travel guide that I have put together for you may be the difference between an enjoyable Park City trip and a frustrating one. Let me explain.
Park City is the largest ski resort in the United States with pretty amazing skiing. Due to this, the resort is very popular and is, quite frankly, extremely busy and congested in my opinion. My best advice is to plan out your skiing ahead of time and exactly how you will get to the mountain each day. It will save you lots of headaches and frustration so you can spend more time focusing on why you came – to ski!
Below are some of my tips from visiting Park City during a busy time of year:
Stay on or close to the mountain if you can afford it
Like I said above, parking is a nightmare and shuttle lines can become annoyingly long during busy times. You’ll be on the mountain much faster if you can either walk or ski-in/ski-out!
Make sure to get to the mountain early
If you can’t afford to stay close to the mountain, make sure to get to the mountain early! By 9am, all parking is gone in the Park City Mountain Village area and you will waste a lot of time driving around to find a place to park and shuttle into the resort. I’d recommend getting a spot by 8am to guarantee parking near the mountain.
Park on the Canyons Village side and work your way over to the Park City Mountain Village side
We actually had to do this every day that we skied. Canyons Village has more expert terrain and is therefore a bit less busy. We always found parking here. You’ll need to take the Cabriolet Lift from the parking lot to get to the base area of Canyons Village and then work your way over to the other side of the mountain if you’d like to ski the Park City Mountain Village side. You’ll have to take multiple lifts, and it takes about 30 minutes to an hour to get over to the other side depending on how long the lift lines are, but you’ll get to see a TON of the ski area!
Accept the fact that lift lines will be long and beginner/intermediate runs will be crowded
Skiing on Sunday was much less busy, especially towards the end of the day but be prepared for long lines, busy restaurants and crowded runs!
Review the free shuttle route before you get to Park City
This will help you with getting downtown or to the mountain if you must use the town shuttle. The routes can be a little confusing but after you ride the bus once, you’ll have it figured out in no time!
I say all of these things not to be negative or scare you off, but to help you make your time in Park City more enjoyable! I wish we would have been more prepared for our trip as we would have saved ourselves a lot of wasted time researching bus routes, parking lots and such.
If skiing isn’t your thing, or you’d like to do a mix of activities, there are tons of other areas to explore in Park City! Here are a few fun activities to do while visiting:
- The Olympic Museum and Training Park – There is a free museum where a lot of the 2002 Winter Olympics events took place so be sure to check it out. They even have a bobsled simulator!
- Ice Skating – There are multiple rinks where you can skate. One is outdoors at the base of the ski mountain and another is an indoor rink where some of the Olympic speed skating events took place!
- Shopping – Downtown has tons of shops like Patagonia, North Face, Lululemon and plenty of boutique shops as well.
- Snowshoeing/Nordic Skiing – If you’re not into skiing, head out and get some exercise snowshoeing or Nordic skiing
- Spa Day – There are multiple spas where you can kick back and relax after a long day of activities. There are many to choose from at the resorts near the mountain or head to Align Spa for a more budget friendly option.
- The Viking Yurt Dinner – Take a snowcat or sleigh ride up the mountain for an authentic Scandinavian dinner in the Viking Yurt! You’ll be served a 5 course meal with traditional Scandinavian flair. This is also a great area to view the city lights at night.
Park City is the perfect destination if you are looking for great skiing, shopping and a vibrant and lively downtown scene all in one. The snow on the mountain was pretty amazing, even in 40 degree temperatures. But beware that the runs are crowded, the lift lines can be long and downtown can get a bit congested. We are happy that we took the time to visit and definitely enjoyed ourselves! But we’d much prefer the virtually non-existent lift lines at ski resorts in Colorado like Telluride and Steamboat Springs. My suggestion is, if you have the Epic Pass, give Park City a try. The skiing is top notch and the amenities and dining options in the town are unbeatable!
If you have any questions about traveling to Park City, please feel free to contact me or comment below! Have you been to Park City? I’d love to hear what tips you have for a long weekend trip!