Park City Classy Warm-Weather Weekend
I have taken one ski lesson in my life. I was just shy of my fortieth birthday. It did not go well. Six-year-olds raced past me on the bunny hill. Overwhelmed by fantasies of flying into an embankment and meeting a spectacular end, I sat down in the snow and scooted back to flat land. It’s a hard thing for a born-and-raised Utahan to admit, but skiing just isn’t my thing. In fact, when it comes to spending time in Park City — Utah’s snow sports mecca — I prefer the sunny, urbane side of mountain life. Happily, here’s plenty of fun to be had for those who are looking to experience the “city” side of Park City, sans snow.
There are many ways to build a magical weekend in Park City. Three days can easily include art galleries, spa time, boutique browsing, food, and live entertainment. And, of course, the mountains make the place, so hiking boots are recommended for your pack list, but you don’t have to spend the entire time — or any time — in outdoor-gear mode. There’s plenty to do, and the itinerary can be as laid-back or active as you like.
Find the accompanying article here.
- On the Way
- An Artful Afternoon
- Friday Night
From Salt Lake City International Airport, it's about 40 minutes to your mountain getaway in Park City, Utah. A morning arrival leaves time to shop the Tanger Outlets in bustling Kimball Junction just of I-80 en route to Park City. Lunch options abound in Kimball Junction, Iron Horse area and Historic Main Street. Indeed, the dining is a main attraction in Park City. Check out the visual arts scene at Julie Nester Gallery and Kimball Art Center and save time for the small-batch chocolate at Ritual. (Read: Mountain Lifestyle Calling.) If the Friday of your stay happens to be the last one of the month, head to Main Street for the monthly Park City Gallery stroll. For dinner and drinks, High West Saloon is a must for your weekend agenda, so may as well hit it first. (Read: The Hills Are Alive With the Scent of Whiskey.) Wrap-up the day one with a show at the classic Egyptian Theatre and/or drinks and live music at O.P. Rockwell Cocktail Lounge and Music Hall.
Browse options at visitparkcity.com
Assuming SLC International is your launch point, aim to arrive on a Friday morning. Rent a car and enjoy the winding ascent of Parley’s Canyon for about 30 minutes on I-80 eastbound. If needed, grab a coffee in Salt Lake on the way. (Read: More than Coffee: The Caffeinators of Salt Lake.) Oh, and summertime means no worries about snow tires, chains or canyon blizzard closures. If you are early, consider stopping to shop in the bustling Kimball Junction on your way into town, just off Exit 145.
Take in two of Park City’s most compelling visual art venues: Julie Nester Gallery and Kimball Art Center. Both feature generous, open spaces for viewing art from around the globe. Gallery owner Julie Nester has over 25 years of experience helping buyers start and build contemporary art collections. Kimball Art Center has been producing exhibitions, education, and community events — including the annual Park City Kimball Arts Festival held on Main Street each August — for the better part of 50 years.
If the Friday of your stay happens to be the last one of the month, head to Main Street for the monthly Park City Gallery Stroll. Wander in an out of 19 participating galleries, enjoying refreshments and taking in the latest exhibitions. I recommend going early during the 6:00–9:00 p.m. timeframe, as that leaves plenty of time to explore the art and enjoy dinner at one of Main Street’s many restaurants.
- Spa Day
- Hit the Rail Trail
- St. Regis Bound
Waking up in the mountains is an exceptional treat. Rise a bit early, take in the crisp morning air, and head out for a relaxed breakfast. There are many ways to get out and enjoy Park City, from a leisurely ride up one of the resort's lifts (with the option to get off the lift to hike around or back down the mountain) to grabbing a rental bike and heading out on the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail. However hard you push yourself, your biggest reward of the trip begins now, with a spa day. Cap your evening within the luxury of St. Regis or if the timing is right, at an outdoor summer concert on Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater.
Taking a spa day in Park City is a memorable indulgence, and there are many places offering sanctuary with signature body treatments, fitness classes, and gorgeous facilities. Montage happens to be a favorite, thanks to a happy day spent there in a yoga class with friends. Tucked away from just about everything, it is an ideal place for self-care and shutting out the world for a while. And, there are also many other local day-spa options anchoring a full menu of spa, massage and salon services.
Access the Rail Trail on Bonanza Drive, behind the Park City Plaza shopping. Throw on a pair of running or trail shoes and get moving, or visit a nearby bike shop and rent a mountain bike for the day. I’ve found the folks at Park City Bike Demos particularly helpful with rentals and trail ideas, and you can find expert opinions all over town. The Rail Trail goes on for 28 miles, but a quick back-and-forth along the Park City stretch will get your blood pumping.
Hop over to the St. Regis, where you can ride the funicular up to the Mountain Terrace and watch the sun go down. Get there by 6:30 to experience the traditional St. Regis champagne sabering ritual, kicking off Saturday night with a glass of bubbly. I recommend staying nearby for the remainder of the evening, dining at J&G Grille or checking out the original mural at the St. Regis Lounge
- Stein Eriksen Lodge
- Shop Historic Main Street
- Heritage and Park Silly
Get ready to say goodbye to the Deer Valley area, and expect to feel a little remorse about that. Your morning farewell will be a fond one, hiking or biking among aspens and evergreens along one of many trails. (See: Summer and Fall at Deer Valley.) Follow your (optional) morning adventure with a classic brunch at Glitretind Restaurant in Stein Eriksen Lodge. Add a full and proper afternoon spent browsing and shopping Historic Main Street, which on summer Sundays is partially closed to vehicle traffic to accommodate the eclectic Park Silly Sunday Market. An evening flight out could mean one more late lunch or dinner at one of the town's acclaimed restaurants.
Check off another visit to luxury hotel property from your list, this time indulging in a first-of-its-kind stunning Sunday brunch at Stein Eriksen's Glitretind Restaurant. Make a reservation and come hungry, because you'll encounter traditional breakfast choices, a carving station, hot entrées, seafood, fresh fruit, fresh crêpes, omelets and pastries baked in-house.
It's summer, so petunias flow over the hanging flower baskets and umbrellas shade diners over lunch al fresco. My favorite Main Street standards include checking out the latest trends at chic shops like Mary Jane’s and Cake Boutique, looking at new art at Gallery Mar, and finding a good summer read at Dolly’s Bookstore. Wrap up your adventure with a visit to the spot where street artist Banksy left his mark during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
Most Sundays throughout the summer, Main Street overflows with an ecofriendly and community-driven open air market and street festival. Live music creates a soundtrack for exploring regional arts and crafts, local food and eclectic products you're unlikely to find anywhere else. Oh, and Park City's renowned shopping scene is open for business right alongside the market. For a dash of the past, learn about the town’s Wild West mining days at the Park City Museum.