Powder hounds who appreciate luxury accommodations, gastro-centricity, adventurous thrill-rides, and five-star resort service will love Park City, Utah. From bobsledding down an Olympic track with a professional driver to a ski-in whiskey saloon — not to mention the best snow for your skiing and boarding needs — Indulgent TravelingMom gives you the low-down on the 8 best things to do in Park City.
8 best things to do in Park City
Ski and snowboard in champagne powder
Eat at Tupelo, Vessel Kitchen + Deer Valley’s Seafood Buffet
Bobsled at Olympic Park
Visit High West Distillery
Take the free trolley
Be fabulous in the Veuve Clicquot yurt
Stay at Black Bear Lodge
Read on for all of the details!
1. Ski and snowboard in champagne powder.
Having skied now in many destinations from east to west across North America, I can tell you with confidence that there ain’t no snow like Park City snow. With a base of 12 to 16 feet during a given season, hitting icy patches is rare. And the snow is so dry that you seemingly float through it.
Expert skiers and boarders will love the knee-deep “pow” that covers numerous trails in both the Deer Valley and Park City Mountain resorts. Head to Deer Valley (skiers only — no boarders allowed) for the ultimate in five-star service, no lines and the best on-mountain food imaginable. But if you want to say you conquered the United States’ biggest ski resort, take on Park City Mountain’s 330+ trails. There are heated chair lifts, and the groomed trails here are the best I’ve ever skied.
2. Eat at Tupelo, Vessel Kitchen + Deer Valley’s Seafood Buffet.
It’s not hard to find great eats in Park City, Utah. Even on the slopes at Deer Valley, for example, you can enjoy gastronomic delights such as braised rabbit. And since this is home to the world-famous Sundance Film Festival, it should really come as no surprise that the city caters to finer tastes.
My top three must-visit Park City restaurants are:
- Tupelo — one of the higher-end joints in town, it creates an interesting take on southern-style fare. A bit experimental at times, Tupelo is still comfort food at heart. The buttermilk biscuits with honey butter are like a warm hug in your mouth, while the whiskey-glazed pork cheeks take foodie foreplay to the next level. To satisfy your belly after a hard day’s “work” on the mountain, order the Rocky Mountain Elk Bolognese. The cocktails here are a masterclass in mixology.
- Vessel Kitchen — you’ll probably need a vehicle to get here easily, but if you can make it, you’ll be met with really fresh, damn good food. It’s also relatively inexpensive. My tuna grain bowl (with wild grains, Yellowfin tuna, charred broccoli and a spiced tahini miso drizzle) was hearty, flavourful and a different interpretation of today’s popular poke bowls. No matter what you order, be sure to add on a baguette; they call it “crack bread” for good reason.
- Deer Valley Seafood Buffet — even if you’re not staying in the Deer Valley resort area, if you’re a seafood lover, there is perhaps no better buffet on earth. I ate oysters with every round because (a) there were just so many and they seemed to be calling my name, and (b) they were among the biggest, best, juiciest oysters I’ve ever had. But carnivores won’t be disappointed either, and although the menu changes frequently, if the cilantro lime ribs are on offer — just OMG. Keep in mind that the buffet is only open seasonally Thursdays through Sundays.
3. Bobsled at Olympic Park.
You’ll ride up the mountain in the back of the bobsled truck just like Olympians do. Then, whoosh down Park City’s Olympic bobsled track from about turn four through turn 12, gaining speed at every curve until you can’t fathom going any faster. In less than a minute — but in what will be one of the most thrilling 48 seconds of your entire life — you’re through the finish line. Breathless. Exhilarated.
If you’re an adrenaline-junkie like me and have a spare $175 kicking around, this is an unforgettable experience. Note that riders must be at least 16 years old and 100+ lbs. to ride the Comet Bobsled.
4. Go snowmobiling.
If zooming through Utah’s glorious snow at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and doing off-the-trail donuts sounds appealing, this snowmobile adventure will be right up your alley.
Seeing the beautiful Wasatch mountain range while navigating some pretty daring corners on narrow trails — on what is a ranch in the warmer months — left me with a silly grin on my face for the rest of the day. (Just bring your own goggles and a balaclava for windier, colder days.)
5. Visit High West Distillery.
In what may be the world’s only ski-in whiskey bar, High West Distillery Saloon in downtown Park City is super cool. Literally. Because there’s an outdoor bar with lounge-style seating around fire pits if you’d rather not unsuit and head indoors for a bevvie.
Its house-made whiskey makes for a fabulous Old Fashioned, but the standout cocktail for me was the High Noon Punch — made with bourbon, absinthe, and Bouvét Rosé to name only a few ingredients.
TravelingMom Tip: Bring your passport with you everywhere in Park City, no matter how old you are. You won’t be admitted to any bar without it, and certainly won’t be served an alcoholic libation.
6. Take the free trolley.
Say it with me: FREE TRANSIT. Always. Park City’s free shuttle system is unlike anything I know of elsewhere. You can get from Deer Valley to Park City Mountain to downtown Park City to Olympic Park and back again — for free. Every day. ‘Nuf said.
7. Be fabulous in the Veuve Clicquot yurt.
Looking for a truly indulgent splurge while in Park City? While the kids are in lessons at Deer Valley Resort, take a grownups-only break behind the Montage hotel and look for the Veuve-branded yurt in its signature “yell-ange” colour (that’s yellow-orange — and I totally made it up).
Here, liquid gold champers drips endlessly into branded plastic flutes (for $32 a glass). I loved warming up next to a fire surrounded by gorgeous fur throws and pillows that are strewn about the yurt.
8. Stay at Black Bear Lodge.
For families who plan to ski at Deer Valley, and appreciate a lot of space, modern comfort, and great beds, Black Bear Lodge is a superb option for luxury condo accommodations in Park City. Each condo has a fully equipped kitchen and hot tub on the balcony that’s refilled and heated daily, plus you’re a one-minute stroll to the nearest equipment rental shop and only a minute more to a chair lift.
Heading to Park City in summer? One of our trusty TravelingMoms has the inside scoop on what makes summertime equally as fab. (And don’t say we didn’t warn you about all the fun you’re going to have.)