3 Dreamy Days in Park City
We get it. You wish you had a week to spend sliding, sipping, and supping in this sunny, snowy, winter wonderland known as Park City. But for some of us—considering travel time, expense, and (sigh) other real-life obligations—three full days is about all we can expect to eke out of the typical ski holiday. So here they are: three 3-day itineraries—one for families, another for a girls-only ski trip or bro-cation, and an intimate third for couples—showcasing the best that our two world-class mountains and inimitable town have to offer. We’ve sussed out where you should stay, the best places to eat, where to find excellent après, and everything else you need to know about this alpine wonderland, both on and off the slopes. You’re welcome.
The heated outdoor pool and hot tubs, spitting-distance proximity to the lifts, and an on-site day care center are just a few reasons to stay at the newly renovated Grand Summit Hotel at Canyons Village (4000 Canyons Resort Dr, 435.615.8040). Post-renovation, the Grand Summit is now part of RockResorts, a property collection renowned for both service and respect for the environment.
Breakfast at Doc’s
Get your crew’s blood moving with a brief jaunt across the village to Murdock’s Café (located inside the Sundial Lodge). The big-enough-for-two breakfast burritos, fresh cinnamon rolls, and specialty hot chocolates—Bear Lake and Peanut Butter are our faves—draw in plenty of locals as well as guests from the surrounding lodges.
Orange Bubble liftoff
Skip the lines that tend to build up at the Red Pine Gondola and hop instead on the Orange Bubble Express (just a few steps from the Grand Summit’s mountainside entrance). For a generous tasting of Park City’s humongous 7,300 acres, have your clan ride the Orange Bubble all the way to the top, warm up on the Main Line run, and ski past the Red Pine Lodge onto the intermediate Chicane. Next, have a seat on the Timberline lift (near the base of Tombstone Express), which will take you to the base of Iron Mountain Express. Follow the signs there to the Quicksilver Gondola, the connection between two formerly separate resorts. Spend the rest of the morning exploring the King Con lift area’s long intermediate runs. When you’re ready for sustenance, return to Quicksilver, beeline down White Pine, and then grab a seat on the Dreamcatcher lift.
Lunch at 9,277’
Cloud Dine (at the top of the Dreamcatcher lift) is one of those rare eateries that delivers rich comfort food and fresh, more health-conscious dishes equally well. Traditionalists should dig into the Wagyu burger served with hand-cut fries, while those with lighter appetites might opt for the flatbread of the day or the ahi tuna salad. And don’t forget to leave room for a Cloud Dine doughnut, made fresh on the premises.
Afternoon at the beach
The après scene at Canyons Village is a sight to behold, particularly on sunny weekend days in March. Diversions include lounging on beach chairs and around the fire pits making up the Canyons Village ski beach, enjoying live music, roasting s’mores at the Umbrella Bar (Saturdays at 3 p.m.), and mingling with Park City Mountain Patrol’s cute rescue pups (Fridays at 4:30 p.m.).
Dinner, games, and dessert at Kimball Junction
Hop on Park City’s free citywide bus from the Grand Summit to Kimball Junction’s Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery (1456 Newpark Blvd, 435.647.0304, maxwellsece.com). There’s a sports bar–like vibe here (read: you can feel OK about your younger kids using their not-quite-inside voices). After dinner, walk around the corner to the sleek and modern Jupiter Bowl (1090 Center Dr, 435.658.2695) and knock down a few pins. (Note: Monday is service-industry workers night, which usually means waiting for one of the alley’s 12 lanes.) Afterward, stroll over to I Love Moo (1634 Uinta Way, 435.503.4922) for some dreamy homemade ice cream before boarding the bus and heading back to the Grand Summit.
Breakfast at Snow Park Lodge
Get your group on the city bus early to Deer Valley’s Snow Park Restaurant (2250 Deer Valley Dr S, 435.645.6520), where the breakfast options range from oatmeal and made-to-order eggs to the must-have cinnamon challah French toast served with banana butter and Vermont maple syrup.
Kids lessons or all together, now
Enroll your kiddos in Deer Valley Resort Ski School (435.645.6648, [email protected]), a.k.a. the ski school locals send their kids to. (Lessons are available for skiers as young as three.) Or pick up a Children’s Adventure Map at the ticket windows and spend the day following your little shredders to Quincy’s Cabin, Oompa Loompa Land, and over the whoop-de-dos through the trees. Challenge the bigger kids, meanwhile, to a race on the Bald Mountain NASTAR course.
Lunch with a view
Venture past the oft-crowded Silver Lake Lodge to Deer Valley’s westernmost Empire Lodge (located at the base of Ruby and Empire Express chairlifts). On the deck, you and your fam can watch all the action on the black-diamond Daly Bowl and Chutes while munching on killer grilled cheeses or Deer Valley turkey chili-cheese fries.
Après, two ways
If your kids still have some energy, have them ski some laps on Wild West off the Burns lift while you sip a Blueberry Mojito on the second-level deck at Snow Park Lodge’s EBS Lounge. Après exhaustion, head downstairs to Quincy’s Frozen Yogurt, a self-serve yogurt bar with dozens of toppings.
Nosh and skate
Come dinnertime, take the free trolley up Main Street to Wasatch Brew Pub (250 Main St, 435.649.0900), Utah’s first, and dig into the tater tots with bacon-jalapeño dipping sauce, nachos with sautéed sirloin tips, or loaded mac and cheese. The rich, honey-vanilla-flavored Brigham’s Brew root beer is like dessert in a glass. As for the adults, enjoy a taster or two of the many beers on tap before committing to a pint or tall glass. After dinner, head over to the Park City Mountain base to practice your hockey stop or salchow at the outdoor Resort Center Ice Rink (1415 Lowell Ave, 435.615.8165).
Breakfast at a locals’ fave
Fuel up with an egg, spinach, and artichoke panini or chorizo-and-egg burrito for a day of off-slope fun at Park City Bread & Bagel (1784 W Ute Blvd, 435.731.8177). While the kids have breakfast, sneak next door for a cup of small-batch-roasted joe at Park City Coffee Roaster (1764 Uinta Way, 435.647.9097).
Snowshoe the lowlands
The Swaner Preserve is a sweeping, 1,200-acre wetland located east of the Newpark Town Center at Kimball Junction. Call the EcoCenter (1258 Center Dr, 435.649.1767) to book a guided snowshoe tour (Saturdays, 8:30 to 10 a.m.), or simply stop in to rent snowshoes, grab a map, and get the gate code for the Wetland Discovery Trail. Once on it, be sure to keep an eye out for deer, squirrels, coyotes, hares, and elk. Afterwards, take a minute to wander through the EcoCenter to check out the winter exhibit or climb the four-story wildlife observation tower.
A taste of mining history
For lunch, make a beeline for the no-frills, packed-with-flavor Mexican fare at El Chubasco (1890 Bonanza Dr, 435.645.9114), which is known for its chiles rellenos, although you can’t go wrong with any of the burritos, either. After lunch, head up to Main Street for a trip back in time exploring the area’s mining heyday at the Park City Museum (528 Main St, 435.649.7457). Exhibits of interest include one of the Great Fire of 1898, the blaze that nearly leveled Park City, and another of Park City’s actual original territorial jail.
Dinner and tubing
Wondering if your kids will turn into a french fry if they eat yet another fried potato? Head to Vessel Kitchen (1784 Uinta Way, 435.200.8864), where the menu of hearty bowls, market plates (high-quality proteins paired with creative sides like sweet potato hash and Moroccan carrots), flatbread pizzas, and more will appeal to even the pickiest eaters. After dinner, end the day with fresh air and fun at Gorgoza Tubing Park (3863 Kilby Rd, 435.658.2648), which offers both shorter (slower) and longer (faster) lanes for little and big kids, respectively.
Alpine-inspired luxury in the center of it all—that’s the Hotel Park City (2001 Park Ave, 435.940.5001). Book one of the 1,500-square-foot, two-bedroom luxury cottages, which sleep up to eight adults, have two balconies—each with its own hot tub—six fireplaces, a full kitchen, and three full-size bathrooms.
Breakfast along the way
Round up the posse early and depart for Deer Valley, stopping just shy of the resort at the Deer Valley Grocery Café (1375 Deer Valley Dr, 435.615.2400) for a skillet-fired Dutch baby, avocado and beet toast, or an enormous, fuel-packed Southwestern breakfast wrap.
A day with the pros
Ladies: Get an insider’s perspective of Deer Valley Resort, technique tips, and line-cutting privileges by hiring an instructor for the day (Deer Valley Ski School, 435.645.6648, [email protected]) which, as you’ll soon learn, is as common as designer skiwear at Deer Valley. Guys can live out Olympic fantasies by booking Deer Valley’s Ski with a Champion Experience (435.649.5766) where they can spend a full or half day schussing around with the likes of Olympians Heidi Voelker, Kris “Fuzz” Feddersen, Shannon Bahrke, or others.
Internationally inspired lunch
Intense flavor with a healthy dose of comfort is the rule at Bald Mountain Pho (located mid-mountain at Silver Lake Lodge), where you can choose from beef or ginger mushroom broth, thinly sliced Wagyu beef or tofu, and shiitake mushrooms to go with your glass noodles, bean sprouts, lime, Thai basil, sliced chilies, and mint.
Après celebrity stalking
On clear days, the place to see and be seen at Deer Valley is the Ski Beach: rows of sun-facing lounge chairs set up outside Silver Lake Lodge. Grab a cold draft inside, stake your claim to a lounger, and keep an eye out for celebrities. Want something stronger than beer? Try Deer Valley’s winning entry in the 2017 Park City Cocktail Contest, the Spicy Watermelon Rosé Spritzer, available inside at the Royal Street Café.
Comfort fare and a brain teaser
The energy and scene inside Butcher’s Chop House & Bar (751 Main St, 435.647.0040) are both classic steak house. Start with cocktails and share an order of Monterey Bleu Cheese Chips at the bar, where communal tables encourage mingling. Migrate to the slightly quieter dining room for a juicy steak, daily fish special, or the ever-popular Chicken-Fried Chicken. After dinner, head around the corner for an hour of mine-themed brainteasers and collaborative problem solving at the Escape Room Park City (136 Heber Ave, 435.604.0556). Joke about who was the weakest link—and must therefore buy a round—over craft cocktails at the Eating Establishment (317 Main St, 435.649.8284), or choose from the 16 wines on tap at the Wine Dive (1251 Kearns Blvd, 435.649.0911).
Chase away any mental fuzziness left over from the previous night’s antics with an early-morning swim in the outdoor heated pool at the Hotel Park City and then enjoy a big breakfast on-site at Bandanna’s Grill. You’re going to need it to fuel a day of wall-to-wall skiing on Park City Mountain's Peak-to-Peak Guided Ski Experience (435.658.5530), a personalized tour of this mega resort led by a ski or snowboard instructor who’ll impart tips and analyze your technique along the way. (You can begin at either the Park City base or Canyons Village.)
Lunch, highbrow and low
The gals will love sitting on the deck or inside the Euro/rustic-chic Viking Yurt (435.615.9878), located at the five-way intersection on Homerun, munching on a prosciutto and cheese or portobello mushroom baguette. Take the dudes for a killer BBQ pulled pork sandwich and icy can of PBR at the outdoor Tombstone Grill (at the base of the eponymous lift).
Schuss into town
End the day by skiing into Old Town via either Quit’N Time or Creole for a wine-tasting sesh at Old Town Cellars (890 Main St, 435.649.3759). The guys may prefer an afternoon decompression with live music and an Old Town Toddy at The Cabin (825 Main St, 801.565.2337).
Open flames and a concert
Watch Chef John Murcko play with fire, literally, as he whips up everything from a grilled fennel Caesar salad and short ribs to seared Scottish salmon and herb-infused flan on his Infierno 154 Grill at Firewood on Main (306 Main St, 435.252.9900). Afterward, wander a few doors down Main Street—and back in time—to the Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theatre (328 Main St, 435.649.9371), which books classic yesteryear acts like The Drifters (Feb 1–4), Herman’s Hermits (March 15–18), and Mitch Ryder (April 13–14) all season long.
Breakfast at a Park City mainstay
For more than 40 years, breakfast has been a tradition at the space now occupied by Squatter’s (1900 Park Ave, 435.649.9868). It’s the perfect place to sample that famed bit of local gastronomy known as the Utah scone, Navajo fry bread strips served with local jam. Or for something more substantial, try the Greek or Mountain West omelet.
Clay pigeons and downward dogs
Head to Blue Sky Utah (27649 Old Lincoln Hwy, 435.252.0662), a luxury adventure ranch in Wanship, 16 miles east of Park City, which is also home to High West Distillery (435.649.8300). At Blue Sky, you can book a session at the Lars Magnuson-designed multistation clay-shooting course. Those in the mood for something a little more soothing might embark on a three-hour snowshoe and yoga excursion (Park City Yoga Adventures, 415.695.4502) to a cozy, woodstove-heated yurt.
Quaff and learn
The enormous copper still inside High West’s headquarters is a sight to behold. See it firsthand, while learning about the nuances of whiskey making, on a free distillery tour, held Wednesdays through Sundays on the hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Following your tour, mosey into the Refectory (the distillery’s on-site restaurant) for a libation and a braised tri-tip sandwich or Cobb salad.
Afternoon “me time”
The best thing about indulging in a massage, body polish, facial, or, hell, just sitting in the Jacuzzi or herb-infused steam room at Hotel Park City’s in-house spa (435.940.5080)? Your room is just steps away.
Dinner at a sports bar or the Silver Star
After your rubdown or soak, get revved up for the last night of your getaway. You and your bros can watch the game at Collie’s Sports Bar & Grill (738 Main St, 435.649.0888), where dozens of TVs adorn every vertical space. The menu there is always a cut above typical pub fare, but standouts include the Tycoon, a battered-cod sandwich served on a fresh ciabatta roll, and the Powderkeg burger, a never-frozen beef patty topped with bacon, Collie’s barbecue sauce, and crispy onion strings. Treat the girls to a night at the Silver Star Café (1825 Three Kings Dr, 435.655.3456), which hosts an intimate dinner with live acoustic accompaniment on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. To eat, you can’t go wrong with the osso bucco or vegetarian wild mushroom stroganoff.
Tucked into Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Village is a Bavarian getaway that’s the stuff of fairy tales, Goldener Hirsch Inn (7570 Royal St East, 435.649.7770). The romantic rooms here feature hand-painted, four-poster beds, wood-burning fireplaces, and private balconies. The inn’s lovely in-house restaurant is AAA-Four Diamond rated.
Glide into the past
Learn about Park City’s silver mining history while discovering the resort’s secret snow stashes on a complimentary mountain host tour. Tours, which meet at the base of the Carpenter lift (by Snow Park Lodge), leave at 9:30 a.m. (expert) and 10 a.m. (intermediate). For lunch, avoid the crowds at the main lodges and instead glide into the small and quieter Cushing’s Cabin (atop Flagstaff Mountain) for a bowl of Deer Valley’s famous turkey chili and a latte.
The secret to the Goldener Hirsch’s success—old-timey Euro charm—is also what makes it one of Deer Valley’s most popular, yet still intimate, venues for après-ski. Snag a table by the fireplace (if you’re lucky) and order a perfectly soft Bavarian pretzel, generous charcuterie platter, or—what they’re famous for—gooey cheese fondue.
Ride and dine
Soak in the alpenglow reflected off Deer Valley’s peaks as you glide around the snow-covered slopes in a sleigh pulled by a team of draft horses (866.783.5819, bouldermountainranch.com). Then ask your driver to drop you off at the No. 1 Zagat-rated Mariposa (7600 Royal St, 435.645.6715). Diver scallops, lemon-thyme gnocchi, and seared bison fillet are among the outstanding small plates there, all of which come in dinner-size portions upon request. For a nightcap, saunter over to Stein Eriksen Lodge (7700 Stein Way, 435.649.3700), which features live music at the Troll Hallen Lounge on select evenings.
Launch from Old Town
The Town Lift, connecting the historic district with Park City’s namesake resort, is one of this berg’s most defining features and a perfectly logical place to begin Day 2. After sailing over restored Victorian mining shacks and trophy homes alike, slide down to Bonanza Express for a fast trip to the Canyons Village side of Park City Mountain. Warm up your legs on your way to the Quicksilver Gondola via the intermediate Parleys Park to Prospector. For a mellower route, ski Homerun to Claimjumper. Ride Quicksilver to the angle station and then make your way slowly north across that side of the mountain. Snow Meadow, Bliss, and Déjà Vu under the Dreamscape lift are lovely intermediate runs in fresh snow. For a challenge, make your way to the black-diamond Fantasy Ridge, located off the experts-only Ninety-Nine 90 Express.
Lunching on high
The Lookout Cabin (located at the Orange Bubble Express’s angle station) offers some of the very best views of the Wasatch Mountains. If the sun is shining—and it does, on average, 229 days of the year in Park City—enjoy the scenery from the wide deck, all the while dining on shrimp scampi spätzle or a salmon and spinach salad.
After lunch, assuming you and your main squeeze still have some juice left in your legs, return to Quicksilver and ride it all the way back to the town side of the mountain. There, take Silverlode Express to the top and schuss down Homerun. Next, follow the signs to the McConkey’s/Pioneer lifts, ride McConkey’s up, and then make your way through the trees on the Black Forest run or take the long cruiser from Georgeanna to Tycoon. Follow the signs to the Town Base, park your skis near the base of the PayDay Lift, and head into Legends Bar & Grill for a Bloody Mary or silky chocolate martini.
Dinner and a show
Book a table on the more intimate second floor of Tupelo Park City (508 Main St, 435.615.7700). The stellar menu there is influenced by chef/owner Matt Alvarez’s Southern roots—listen for the twang if he happens to visit your table to say hi. The menu changes frequently, but lovely constants include the buttermilk biscuits, Maine crab fritters, and the lamb chops. Wrap up the day with a show at the Eccles Center (1750 Kearns Blvd, 435.655.3114). See the 2017–18 season line-up here.
Breakfast off Main
The next morning, have breakfast at an off-the-beaten-path, health-conscious eatery you’ll be glad you took the time to find: Good Karma Café (1782 Prospector Ave, 435.658.0958). We promise you won’t miss the butter in the decadent vegetarian eggs Benedict or the lard in the flavor-packed huevos rancheros.
Time to kick and glide
Take a skate-skiing lesson at the White Pine Touring Nordic Center (2001 Park Ave, 435.649.6249), a killer workout even for those in the best of shape. Practice your technique on the short loop (3K) around the Park City Golf Course, or see if you and your partner can make it out to the iconic Osguthorpe Barn on the 12K Farm Loop.
Lunch and a little TLC
You’ll likely find Main Street a bit quiet at midday, an ideal time for gallery hopping and lunching at Café Terigo (424 Main St, 435.645.9555). The Terigo chicken salad and roasted turkey sandwich have been on the menu for decades, for delicious reasons. End the afternoon on an indulgent note with a couple’s massage at the stately and super-luxe Montage Deer Valley (9100 Marsac Ave, 435.604.1400).
A Euro-inspired end note
Cuddling in a snowcat-pulled sleigh under the stars begins an evening at the Viking Yurt (435.615.9878), departing daily from Park City Mountain’s Town Base. The Norwegian-inspired meal menu includes lobster bisque, braised short ribs, marzipan, and much more. Bring your own wine or choose from the yurt’s ample list. And don’t leave without giving the shot ski a try, if you dare.
Avalanche Dog Meet & Greet