Park City, Utah — No better place to escape smoky California wildfires in December than this sleepy Silver Mining town that is better known for hosting the Sundance Film Festival in January, and for great skiing, of course.
Like all great mountain towns, folks go there for the Winter but stay there for the Summer.
When visiting Park City to ski or for the film festival (Here’s The 2018 Lineup Of Films For Sundance), the best advice I can offer is for you to actually Take. My. Advice. I have been skiing Park City for 25+ years, and I have got it down, Brothers and Sisters.
Flights to Salt Lake City (SLC) – Delta Airlines has the best flight schedules b/c SLC is its hub. Schedules are important, especially, when the time comes to Depart. You don’t want to leave Park City at the crack of Dawn. Delta will have the best departure schedule, preferably after 1 PM, so you can chill-lax one more morning before leaving filled with regret that you didn’t buy a condo in Park City 20 years ago!
Transportation to Park City from SLC Airport – Forget Shuttle Services. Go Uber or Lyft . Much less expensive. Just as reliable. You do not need a car, especially if it’s wintry conditions. Repeat: You do not need a car.
Hotel – Ya gotta stay at The Lodge at the Mountain if you are a Skier. Or, even if you are not. Located at the base of the Park City slopes, the rooms are great. Ski rental shops are right there as are the free shuttles to Main Street, Deer Valley, or the Canyons.
(Great Tip: Stop at the shop by the skating rink to buy some Milk or Cream for your in-room Coffee Maker. Otherwise, it’s nasty creamer for you.)
The Lodge at the Mountain also provides complimentary shuttle service to Deer Valley or The Canyons with really friendly drivers. Ask for Andrew, a Park City local with all the great tips on where to go, to eat, etc.
The most welcome surprise is the Fitness Center which includes a heated indoor pool, a hot tub, and a downstairs locker room with a sauna, steam room and showers. Great place to end the day after skiing and before apres-skiing elsewhere.
Skiing: Park City is great. In 2002, Salt Lake City was the Host City for the Winter Olympics , and Park City hosted the outdoor sporting events. The runs are fun and challenging no matter your level of proficiency. There is a fun run for you. The US Ski Team also makes its home in PC, and for good reason: Park City is a great place to ski (or snowboard).
Rental Shops are right there at the Lodge at the Mountain, and they offer discounts for guests, so take advantage and rent there. Much less expensive than renting skis at Deer Valley for the day.
This trip, I rented skis from Jackson’s Base Camp and received a 30% discount because I was a guest of The Lodge. Best of all, the beautiful 20somethings working at Jackson’s not only put on your boots for you, but they also take them off for you at the end of the day which feels like a gift from Heaven. Jackson’s also has an old, large in-store dog who likes to be petted, which is charming.
Also, the lift ticket office and access to the slopes are right there. It could not be more convenient. Someone has thought of everything. Trust me.
Park City and The Canyons also share a Ski Pass Lift Ticket, so take advantage and ski both slopes with an Epic Pass. There’s a really cool Gondola ride awaiting you at The Canyons. Make time for lunch at the Red Pine Lodge on top of the mountain.
Deer Valley is more beautiful and scenic. I’ve decided it’s because of the plethora of Evergreens which make its slopes just more Forest-y. Deer Valley is also more expensive, so prepare yourself. The good news: Deer Valley is totally worth it.
My favorite spot at DV is, not surprisingly, The Beach, located on the backside of the mountain. There are deck chairs set out on the snow by the Lodge where you can relax, have a drink, and definitely take a siesta.
Breakfast: Hop on the City Shuttle to Main Street and hit The Eating Establishment when it opens at 8 AM. Great ambience with fireplaces, skylights and friendly servers make for a great start to the day. Try the 2-Egg Breakfast, the Bennie, or the Biscuits & Gravy.
All were hits with my brothers and myself. (Our sister Paula owns The Hot Biscuit, the best spot for a country breakfast in our hometown of Hodgenville, KY, so we know good Biscuits & Gravy!)
Dinner: Ya gotta make the High West Saloon your first stop.
Locals love this converted house/auto garage into a hip distillery/restaurant and so will You. The trick is to show up, prepare to wait for a table, have a bourbon outside by the fire pit, and order correctly by eating light.
Skiers! I’m talking to you here.
The best thing on High West’s menu begins with its completely soulful Bread Basket which comes with a Compound Butter made with Whiskey and Honey. So so good and filling.
So, you’ve got a bourbon or an Old Fashioned. Order the Cheese Board. Relax. Enjoy. Nibble. Converse. Then, move on to the Beet Salad which is so completely light, bright and refreshingly citrus-y. Trust me, by now, you will be done. So, stop.
Okay, you’ve spent the day skiing. You’ve enjoyed a hot tub or a sauna or a steam. You’ve had some great bourbon and a great dinner. Now, prepare to be dead tired. It must be the altitude.
Walk it off on Main Street. Window shop (or shop) at Lululemon or Roots (Where I Got My Blue Beret in 2002) Then, drop in on a bar of your choice for a nightcap before heading back to the Lodge for another welcome soak in the hot tub. There’s also several venues with live music, so check ’em out.
Get a great night’s sleep and wake up early so you can do it all over again and again. Enjoy! I must warn you, though. Forty-eight hours in Park City won’t be enough time for you as you’ll want to stay all Winter.
I know that I surely do (and just might).
N E X T U P:
New Year’s Resolutions:
- Ski More.
- Surf More.
- Watch Less TV.