Park City in Utah is known for its links to the 19th-century mining industry. It is also known for the stunning mountainous landscape surrounding the city, which is the perfect natural playground for outdoor activities. Regardless of whether you are interested in history, want to spend time outdoors, enjoy visiting landmarks, or want to have some fun, you will find a vast array of activities and attractions to enjoy in Park City. To help you plan your vacation in this location, here are the 20 best things to do in Park City, UT, for first-timers.
20. Drink Hot Chocolate and Play Board Games at The Stein
Many of the activities in Park City involve being outdoors in the snow. If you want to get out of the cold and enjoy an indoor activity, then A Passion and a Passport recommends going to The Stein, which is a hotel at Deer Valley. You can drink hot chocolate to warm up while playing board games in front of a fire.
19. Get a Massage at a Spa
After spending a day enjoying outdoor activities in the snow, there is no better way to unwind than getting a massage at a spa. One of the best places to get a massage in Park City is at Montage at Deer Valley Spa, which also offers a hot tub and pool. It is also possible to order platters of food to enjoy while you relax.
18. Take the Kids to Gorgoza Park
Many of the bigger ski resorts are a little daunting for younger children. If you are visiting Park City with your children, then a good option is Gorgoza Park, as this has many child-friendly activities to enjoy and it is one of the most popular family attractions in the area. There are mini-snowmobiles, a small hill for mini tubers, a Fort Frosty themed playground, and seven lighted tubing lanes. Visitors can buy either two or four-hour passes that give them access to everything in the park during that set period. Alternatively, visitors can buy tickets for the individual elements of the park.
17. Try Horseback Riding at Boulder Mountain Ranch
Animal lovers might enjoy spending a couple of hours with the horses at Boulder Mountain Ranch, which offers various horseback riding excursions in the local area. These vary in length and take you to different areas of the countryside surrounding Park City. It is a chance to combine exploring the area and sightseeing with spending time with the animals. The tours begin at the Deer Valley Stables within the Deer Valley Ski Resort. An experienced professional leads the horseback tours as you head through the gorgeous pine and aspen groves near the Wasatch Mountains. The stables also offer horse-drawn sleigh rides.
16. Sample Spirits at the High West Distillery & Saloon
The High West Distillery & Saloon is an unusual venue as it is the only ski-in gastro distillery and saloon in the world. It sits next to the Historic Park City’s town lift and at the foot of the Quittin’ Time ski run. The distillery makes various spirits, including whiskeys, and you can sample the spirits in the saloon while enjoying a meal from their menu of gourmet pub grub. It is possible to enjoy a tour of both the distillery and the saloon during your visit.
15. See the Exhibits at Kimball Art Center
You will find the Kimball Art Center just off Main Street in Park City. The exhibits include the work of both regional and national artists. It also holds classes in various art forms, including drawing, painting, pottery, stained glass, photography, and various other visual arts. If you are visiting Park City in August, then do not miss the Kimball Arts Festival, as this is one of Park City’s biggest annual events.
14. Go on a History and Food Tour
If hitting the slopes is not your thing, then an alternative activity that you may enjoy is taking a history and food tour. A tour guide will take you around the historic parts of the city and give you information about the city’s history. Along the way, you can stop off at some fantastic eateries to sample the local food.
13. Play a Round of Golf at Canyon Golf
Golf enthusiasts will also have the chance to play a round of golf while they are visiting Park City. One of the newer attractions in Park City is Canyon Golf, which is an 18-hole golf course within Canyon Village. The golf course is not the only thing to enjoy at Canyon Village. There are upscale hotels, fine dining restaurants, and boutique shops. Visitors can also enjoy a range of activities, including skiing, snowshoeing, biking, and hiking.
12. Enjoy a Meal at Fletcher’s
There are many outstanding restaurants where you can enjoy a meal in Park City, but one of the most popular venues amongst the locals is Fletcher’s. It has a warm, welcoming, and casual atmosphere while offering a refined dining experience. Chef Scott Boberek is at the helm of this restaurant, and he carefully selects the ingredients he uses to produce the best dishes possible. For example, he will only use organic chickens and beef from grass-fed cows. There are dishes to suit all tastes and appetites on the menu. Some of the other restaurants you should try during your stay include Grub Steak, Tupelo, and Jafflz.
11. Hike or Drive the Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway
The Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway is a 14-mile road that takes you to the Wasatch Mountain Range. At the end of the road, you will reach the summit, which is between the Park City Mountain Resort and the Big Cottonwood Canyon. You can drive or hike this famous Utah road, which has many spectacular views along the way.
10. Go White Water Rafting on Weber River
While most people head straight for the slopes, they are not the only setting where you can enjoy some outdoor fun. Another activity you might like to try while you are in the area is white water rafting. The best setting to enjoy this activity is on Weber River, and there are several companies that offer white water rafting excursions.
9. See a Performance at The Egyptian Theater
To see a performance during your trip to Park City, the best venue is The Egyptian Theater. It is along Main Street, and it was constructed between 1922 and 1926 using Egypt as the inspiration of the architectural design. Originally, the theater was constructed for vaudeville acts, and it was then used as a movie house. Not only does the theater host comedy acts and films, but it is also used for special events. If you plan to watch a show, then it is best to check the performance schedule before your trip and book your tickets prior to embarking on your vacation.
8. Peruse the Stalls at Park Silly Sunday Market
If you are in Park City over the weekend, then make sure you do not miss the Park Silly Sunday Market. It is an open-air market where local farmers sell their produce, and chefs sell cooked meals. However, it differs from other markets as there is also a lot of entertainment to enjoy, including street artists, musicians, and other performers. There are also stalls run by non-profit organizations and sustainable issues groups.
7. Have a Go at Snowmobiling
Although skiing is probably the most popular activity on the snowy peaks in this area, there are lots of other ways that you can enjoy the slopes. One option is to try snowmobiling, and there are several companies in the area that offer snowmobiling tours. It is a fun way to explore the area and see the natural beauty of the area.
6. Visit Park City Museum
One of the top indoor activities in Park City is the Park City Museum, which you will find on Main Street. It is the best place to find out about local history. The museum is dedicated to preserving the local history and heritage, and it does this by displaying interesting artifacts and interactive exhibits. There is an entire section of the museum devoted to the city’s mining history, and other sections include Muckers & Millionaires, The Great Fire of 1898, and The Dungeon: Park City’s Territorial Jail. The museum also offers tours of historic local attractions, and it runs various educational programs throughout the year.
5. Explore the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter
For nature lovers, a fantastic place to spend the day is Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter. It is a nature preserve in the Snyderville Basin that covers 1,200-acres. Within the nature preserve, there are ten miles of hiking trails, a 10,000-square-foot education facility, and the 107-acre Farm at Swaner. In the center, there are various exhibits to educate visitors about the local eco-system and wildlife.
4. Ride the Alpine Coaster at the Park City Mountain Resort
Vacation Idea recommends taking a ride on the Alpine Coaster at Park City Mountain Resort. It is a gravity-driven roller coaster on raised tracks that can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. It covers a mile of bends and loops that will get the adrenaline flowing. Riders can control the speed of the car using the breaks, so it is possible to slow down and enjoy the alpine views. Park City Mountain Resort is the largest ski area in the United States, so there are plenty more activities to enjoy other than just riding on the Alpine Coaster. There is a ski and snowboard school, several accommodation options, 300 trails, eight terrain parks, one superpipe, six half pipes, and much more.
3. Try New Activities at Utah Olympic Park
One of the most popular attractions in Park City is the Utah Olympic Park, which hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. Although it is still an official training ground for various winter sports, it is now predominantly a tourist attraction. Admission and many of the attractions are free, although there are some activities for which you must pay a fee. Some of the free attractions include the Discovery Zone obstacles course, the hiking trails, the Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Games Museum, and the Alf Engren Ski Museum. The paid activities include a zip line, climbing and rope tours, a tour of the world’s highest Nordic ski jump, and a ride in the Comet Bobsled with a professional driver.
2. Ski at the Deer Valley Resort
Many people who visit Park City do so to enjoy the outdoor activities, and one of the best places to do this is at Deer Valley Resort. It is a resort that you will need to visit more than once to enjoy everything the resort has to offer. There are 101 ski runs, 20 chairlifts, and 15 dining outlets, ranging from casual eateries to fine dining restaurants. It has one of the biggest skiing schools in the United States, and there are ski tours of the resort available daily. Fans of skiing may choose to stay at the resort rather than to find accommodation elsewhere in the city, as it has luxurious hotels and lodges.
1. Explore Main Street in Historic Park City
According to US News, the best thing to do in Park City, UT, for first-timers is to explore the Historic Park City area. It is the original part of the city that was once a mining town, and the main street has the original 19th-century buildings. Along Main Street, there are shops, restaurants, galleries, and some of the city’s museums. If you want to get from one end of the street to the other quickly, there is a free trolley service. It is likely that you will spend a lot of the time you are not on the slopes on Main Street.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn