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The term “winter wonderland” was invented for places like Park City, Utah. The picturesque mountain town, located a short drive from Salt Lake City, is as perfect as they come for everyone from adventure lovers, snow bunnies, and serenity seekers, too. Though it’s small—clocking in with a population of about 8,000 people—it more than punches above its weight. Possibilities abound when it comes to things to do in Park City, with the snow-trimmed postcard city offering plenty of attractions to satisfy skiers, snowboarders, and non-skiers alike. Here’s everything you need to see, do, and eat on your next visit to Park City.
Things to Do in Park City in the Winter
There’s more to do in Park City than ski or snowboard. While in town, take a little time to visit Utah Olympic Park, which sits on the site of the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games. The destination is home to a museum for those interested in history. But, for those looking for an adrenaline rush, there’s also the winter bobsled experience. The experience allows guests to get on board and ride down an actual Olympic track. Don’t worry, a professional pilot will be there to guide you.
Visitors hoping to ski without the crowds can do so—if they’re willing to put in a bit more work. Inspired Summit Adventures will happily take skiers off the grid with a ski touring journey. Skiers will “earn their turns” by hiking up the hillside before getting to ride down in fresh powder all alone. If it sounds like a lot of hard work, that’s because it is. But it’s also worth every huff and puff to feel the true power of Mother Nature in winter.
To end the day the right way, head to Homestead Crater, a geothermal spring tucked inside a 55-foot tall rock cave. This “10,000 years in the making” crater bubbles with heated mineral waters, which make for the perfect all natural après-ski remedy. Though it’s located about a half-hour outside Park City, it’s well worth the drive to soak in the 90- to 96-degree water to soothe your tired muscles.
Your Guide to Hitting the Park City Slopes
You can’t visit Park City without spending at least a bit of time on the mountain. Park City Mountain has trails for every skill level, along with a robust lesson program that everyone from beginners learning the ropes to experts fine-tuning their game will love. To get on the mountain, skiers and riders can either pick up a day pass starting at $148/day. Those looking to ski next season should also consider purchasing an Epic Pass, which includes access to Park City Mountain.
The Best Places to Eat in Park City
During a stay in Park City, guests should begin their day with a visit to Five5eeds. The Australian coffee shop and cafe offers tasty breakfast and lunch options, including avocado toast, acai bowls, steel-cut oats, and a few other dishes to fuel the day’s adventure. But don’t leave without a latte—you’ll regret missing their top-notch espresso drinks.
For lunch, head right into the heart of downtown for a quick bite at Harvest. The shop has both indoor and heated outdoor dining where visitors with pets are welcome to dine. The shop serves up bites like Vietnamese banh mi salad, toasted BLTs, roasted sweet potato stacks, and warming soups.
Related: 9 Luxury Ski Resorts Worth Visiting for the Après-Ski Alone
Again, the mountain is packed with delicious places to eat. Make sure to take a skiing or snowboarding break to pop into Cloud Dine. The restaurant located at the top of the DreamCatcher and DreamScape chairlifts serves delicious cocoa and fresh doughnuts made daily. Take it outside and enjoy the mountain views as far as the eye can see.
There are almost too many excellent restaurants to choose from for dinner, But, for one not-to-miss option, make a reservation at Purple Sage. Located in the historic Rocky Mountain Bell telephone building on Maine Street, Purple Sage cooks up what it calls “American western cuisine.” That includes everything from blue cheese fondue (do not skip this), house-made ravioli, and meatloaf. It feels, tastes, and smells just like home.
Where to Stay in Park City
There’s a myriad of options for luxury travelers to lay their head at night in Park City. For those looking for classic high-end accommodations, check into the Waldorf Astoria Park City, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property. The hotel sits just five minutes from the downtown area and offers visitors everything they need for a relaxing stay. That includes ski valets and ski butlers who will help winter sports enthusiasts with everything from storing their gear to assisting them in putting on their boots.
Need to be closer to the mountain? It doesn’t get much closer than the Apex Residences. The private residence, located in Canyons Village, has ski-through access homes available for rent and are large enough to accommodate even the biggest families.
For a smaller but equally spectacular experience, book a stay at the Washington School House Hotel. The boutique hotel was originally built in 1889 and maintains plenty of its original charms, with a few modern amenities thrown in for good measure. The hotel comes with just 12 rooms, making it feel like you have the place all to yourself. The hotel even comes with a heated outdoor pool nestled into the hillside outside, marble bathrooms, and plenty of roaring fireplaces to help guests beat the chill.