Nestled in the Wasatch Mountain range, Deer Valley Resort consistently tops lists for its customer service. In skiing parlance, that translates to on-site ski valets to help you unload your gear, immaculately groomed slopes, and well-appointed lodges. (Stop for lunch at Royal Street Café at Silver Lake Lodge—it's far cry from the cafeteria-style dining you're used to mid-mountain.) What's nice about Deer Valley is there's a little something for everyone, making it a great mountain for families—there are easy cruisers like Bluebell and Lucky Jack, plus some solid steeps like Daly Bowl and Lady Morgan. Deer Valley is one of the last skiers-only holdouts, so like neighboring Alta, no snowboarders are permitted. Photos courtesy of Deer Valley Resort
The big news in Park City this year is that the town's namesake resort was purchased by Vail, which could be good or bad news depending on who you talk to. Vail already owned the formerly-named Canyons, Park City's northern sister, and the acquisition gave them the opportunity to install a brand-new, eight-person gondola connecting the two resorts from peak to peak and expanding the ski-able terrain to an (astonishing) combined 7,300 acres. Über-convenient for people staying near Main Street, you can actually access Park City from right downtown, making the entire town virtually ski-in, ski-out. A mountain this huge is guaranteed to have a wide range of terrain, but considering the unbelievable number of groomed runs, the sweet spot here is for intermediate skiers. Needless to say, it's also great for littles who've graduated from the magic carpet. Tip: If you're planning on multiple ski trips this year, consider investing in the Epic Pass, Vail Resorts' multi-mountain pass, which gives you unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Whistler-Blackcomb, and plenty more for a fixed price.
Snowmobiling at the Deer Valley Resort
2250 Deer Valley Dr. S., Deer Valley
Sure, snowmobiling is kind of an athletic cop-out—but if you’re going to do it while you’re in Park City, this is the place. Summit Meadows Adventures offers guided tours (for groups, or just you) in Browns Canyon where you can explore 7,000 acres with spectacular views of the the Wasatch Mountains. They also offer complimentary transportation from Park City (it’s just ten minutes from Main Street), plus helmets. Photos courtesy of Deer Valley Resort
1600 Park Ave., Park City
The experts at Jans can pretty much get you through any mountain adventure—in the winter, they focus on the three major ski groups: alpine, nordic, and backcountry. In the summer, book them for fly fishing—they make the sport fun for first-timers, and have access to locals-only spots where you’ll have the best chance of catching something.
Summer at Park City Resort
Park City Mountain, Park City
When the snow finally melts for the summer, Park City turns the base of their mountain (including the bottom-most runs) into a playspace for littles, with zip lines, a ropes course, a summer tubing track, rock climbing wall, mini-rollercoasters, and a temporary playground, plus ample areas to sit out in the sun and watch. It's also home base for gondola rides, mountain bike trails, and some great hiking.
Kimball Arts Festival
1401 Kearns Blvd, Park City
Every August, Utah’s longest continually operating festival heads to town, taking over blocks-long Main Street and checking the requisite food, art, and music boxes along with it. Over the course of three days, some 225 jury-selected artists across categories like drawing, photography, and woodworking head to town to show off their wares. For the artists, it’s the opportunity to go home with a “Best in Show” award, and for the visitors, it marks the chance to discover and take home works from up-and-coming artists from across the country. (Proceeds from the festival allow the Kimball Arts Center to provide free year-round exhibitions, tours, and gallery talks for its patrons.) Local food trucks like Bruges Waffle Bus and Black’s Sliders decamp throughout the festival blocks, and there’s a rotating roster of live music acts.
565 N. Main St., Heber City
This local bowling alley, with its original ball returns and pin machines, is a bit of a time-warp—and it’s awesome. The same family has run Holiday Lanes since 1964, and they’re known for their classic malt, which they make using hand-mixing machines from the 60's. We recommend the burgers and fries, too, which are almost as much of a draw as the bowling.
White Pine Nordic Center
1541 Thaynes Canyon Dr., Park City
You can log some serious miles on your Fitbit with Park City’s extensive network of scenic cross country trails set among the Uinta Mountains. (About 50 miles of which are totally groomed.) They also offer moonlight snowshoeing tours through Deer Valley Resort's Empire Pass for those who want a glimpse of alpine life after hours. White Pine can set you up with rentals for just about any excursion.
The Après Lounge
9100 Marsac Ave., Park City
Tucked between the base of Ruby and Empire Express lifts at the edge of the Montage, the bright yellow façade makes it awfully hard to miss this spot. Ski shop Gorsuch outfitted the interiors of the Veuve-stocked yurt with faux fur throws, antler chandeliers, and buffalo-plaid overstuffed chairs. They’re only open for a few hours mid-day, making it the perfect stop if you’re calling it a day early or looking for a spot to hang out before après is in full swing.
Park City Institute
1750 Kearns Boulevard, Park City
Located in the heart of Park City on Main Street, this cultural hub brings big-name acts to the alpine village. In the summer, the Big Stars, Bright Nights series, held in Deer Valley’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater at the base of the resort, is a huge crowd-pleaser. (Past seasons included Willie Nelson, Esperanza Spalding, and Mike Posner.) Throughout the year, the performing arts center hosts a varied roster from the likes of Alan Cumming, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, for a series of performances and intimate-yet-engaging talks.
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