By Jason Gordon
More often than not, whenever you hear the name “Park City,” images of a celebrity-filled, snow-capped mountain retreat tends to come to mind. Such conjuring is indeed factual, but it only tells one singular aspect of this popular destination in Utah.
Park City is one of the most idyllic and pristine ski resort towns in the U.S., so it makes sense that the Sundance Film Festival takes place there every January. Celebrities and cinephiles from all over the world converge in Park City annually to not only screen independent films which are in competition, but also to ski and experience winter in all of its glory. Park City is quite bustling during the film festival, but what many people don’t realize is that when the snow melts and the crowds leave, Park City becomes very quiet and serene.
Visiting Park City, which sits 7,000 feet above sea level, during the spring and summer affords you the opportunity to experience this “city in the sky” in a way few do. Since there are exponentially less crowds, you can easily tour the city center by foot or ride an e-bike to its neighborhoods, farmers markets, and natural surroundings. Additionally, you should take a “Mines & Wines” tour with Kirsten Fox, of Fox School of Wines, to explore Park City in a truly unique way. Fox’s tour provides information on Park City’s mining history, while also offering you a sample of wines she’s paired with local fare based on each historic location visited on the tour.
The culinary scene in Park City is one of the most popular in the U.S., and it definitely will be to your advantage to experience more of its gastronomic offerings. The elegant Riverhorse on Main serves up classic American fare with thoughtful attention to ingredients and flavors. When dining here, you should experience the ever-popular Macadamia Nut Crusted Alaskan Halibut accompanied by tender-stem broccoli, herb-whipped potatoes, and mango sauce.
Also, a meal at the casual Royal Street Café, at the Deer Valley resort, cannot be missed! After you have made your scenic ascent to the restaurant via ski lift, you can enjoy some decadent delights, including the delicious Dungeness Crab Tower appetizer, Maple Bacon BBQ Bison Burger, and the house macaroni and cheese — made with raclette cheese!
And if you’re a beef lover, you will thoroughly enjoy Handle’s “The Baller,” a flavorful 25 oz. rib-eye steak with duck fat-fried potatoes topped with a caramelized onion cream.
Park City has a host of five-star hotels and resorts that are indulgent beyond measure. From The Montage to The St. Regis to the Stein Eriksen Lodge, you won’t go wrong with any luxury property in Park City. However, there is one hotel that is distinct from them all — the Washington School House Hotel, a hidden gem that is a destination experience onto itself. This former schoolhouse has been transformed into a luxury 12-room hotel. The staff is so attentive, they teeter on clairvoyant.
Bottom line: Even though Park City draws a very elite crowd during the winter, please don’t overlook it during the other seasons when its weather and scenic views are just as sublime.