The silver-mining settlement of Park City, Utah, almost became a ghost town when the mines closed, but its reinvention as a ski mecca has made it a gold mine for winter visitors. Located just 35 minutes from the Salt Lake City International Airport, Park City makes flying in for a long weekend easy. You can hit the highlights in three days without a rental car thanks to a free in-town transportation system. Sound overwhelming? Follow this guide to maximize your time and fun in this booming mountain town.
Day 1: Explore Historic Main Street
Spend your first day exploring the town before heading to the slopes. Start by wandering along Historic Main Street, a shopping hotspot since the 1880s that’s now home to 70 retails shops, 20 art galleries, and world-class restaurants housed in restored Victorian buildings.
Kick off your morning with a caffeine fix at Atticus Coffee on Main Street. If you’re craving a heartier start to your day, head to Harvest Park City for gourmet breakfast served all day. Try the Acai Bowl topped with fresh fruit and homemade muesli or the Smashed Avocado Toast.
Spend the rest of the morning walking past colorful, historic storefronts along Main Street, popping in boutiques like Flight and Cake for fashion items, ski shops for any gear you forgot, and an impressive array of art galleries. Take the free trolley that runs continuously along Main whenever you want a break from walking.
Before you get hangry, stop for a quick slice or sub at Davanza’s, a Park City favorite for over 30 years. Then walk back to Main Street, continuing up to the Park City Museum. Step inside and be transported back to the mining heyday. Explore three floors of exhibits that cover the settlers’ arrival, the mining boom, and Park City’s transformation into a ski town.
Once you’ve had your fill of history, dine like the miners did at a local saloon. High West Distillery and Saloon, Utah’s first post-Prohibition distillery, is housed in an old livery stable and makes award-winning bourbons, ryes, and vodka along with delicious mountain cuisine. On a cold night, pair your meal with a whiskey tasting or hot toddy to take the chill off.
Day 2: Snowboard or Ski Park City Mountain Resort
Wake up early and catch the first chair at the United States’ largest ski area, Park City Mountain. Open to skiers and snowboarders, the resort boasts 7,300 skiable acres spread over 41 lifts. Start your day with killer views on a ride up the Town Lift, which provides access to the resort from Historic Main Street. From here, ski or ride your way to Jupiter Bowl for some fresh powder turns.
Need more caffeine before getting rowdy on the slopes? Ski down to the Park City Mountain base for a craft coffee at Campos Coffee or a basic cup o’ joe at Bumps N Grinds. Then hop on the Payday Express Six-Pack to access terrain for all skill levels and the resort’s largest terrain parks.
When your legs start to feel the burn, pause for a lunch break at Miners Camp, found at the base of the Quicksilver gondola connecting Park City and Canyons mountains. The sprawling outdoor deck or indoor bar are ideal places to post up with a Utah craft beer, and the modern menu features Mediterranean kabobs and ski day classics like chili and hamburgers.
Ski the rest of your day away, then take the Quit ‘N Time run all the way back to town for a little après at Park City’s most popular bar, No Name Saloon. Take a seat at the bar amidst antiques adorning the walls, or head upstairs and sip a cocktail on the heated outdoor deck.
After a drink or two, walk or take the bus back to Park City Mountain for an unforgettable western dining experience with Snowed Inn Sleigh Company. Ride up to dinner in a horse-drawn sleigh under a starry night sky while staying cozy under a heap of blankets. Then head inside the rustic Snowed Inn for a multi-course feast set to live music.
Day 3: Ski and Eat at Deer Valley Resort
If you shred on two sticks, not one, spend your last day in Park City at award-winning, skiers-only resort, Deer Valley Resort. Repeatedly ranked as one of the world’s best ski resorts, Deer Valley boasts some of Utah’s best groomers and more challenging trees runs, outstanding service, and wow-worthy cuisine.
A great place for beginners, Deer Valley has long groomed runs spread across its six mountains: Little Baldy Peak, Bald Eagle, Bald, Flagstaff, Empire and Lady Morgan. And if you’re an expert, Deer Valley’s tops too. Incredible advanced terrain can be found in the Centennial Trees and Daly Chutes.
For a delicious mid-mountain lunch head to the centrally located Silver Lake Lodge for quick or sit-down ski dining experiences. Warm up with a cup of Deer Valley’s famous homemade turkey chili or a hearty bowl of Vietnamese pho soup. Save room for a giant, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie before getting back on the slopes.
Take run after run all afternoon then toast to the end of your ski weekend on Stein Eriksen Lodge’s slopeside deck. Take in the colorful sunset and mountain views. After a weekend in Park City, you’ll find that the easy airport access, incredible cuisine, and huge ski resorts make it one of the best places in the country for a quick ski getaway.
Originally written by RootsRated Media for Utah Office of Tourism.