Park City is a special place I know extremely well.
I’ve been visiting for 25 years, and have some of my best childhood memories there. It’s where I learned to ski proficiently, and every time I touch down at SLC airport and drive up through the twisting mountains to our family home I feel a twinge of nostalgia.
Some background: my parents used to take us there for winter school breaks, since it’s a quick 1.5 hour flight from LA. Skiing quickly became the one family activity we could all do together no matter our individual skill levels. My little brother Henry was a fearless skier from age 3, and he became really good – FAST. At 15 he was offered a spot on the Park City ski team. After a few years flying back and forth from LA, missing Fridays at school, and renting hotels and condos so Henry could train and compete, my parents finally gave in and bought a house there and we made it a second home. My parents eventually made it their primary residence. Henry went on to leave high school and ski competitively all over the world, and although he ultimately gave it up to go to college, we have him to thank for making it such an important place for us.
Park City is truly as beautiful and fun in both summer and winter. Whether you’re skiing in knee-deep powder or sipping rosé on a boat on the lake in July, there’s something for everyone and I’ve compiled everything you need to know below.
Style-wise, something I like about Park City is that it feels relaxed, chill and approachable – unlike Aspen, which is more of a jet-setter’s town with a little more pressure to dress up. In Park City, jeans, a sweater and a great pair of boots is the norm, and you rarely see women in more than that unless it’s during Sundance Film Festival. Despite being so casual, there are fantastic restaurants, so you get the best of both worlds.
The Lodge at Blue Sky – this Auberge property is brand new and everyone is talking about it. It’s built in a stone and wood-heavy, rustic modern design (reminds me of Amangiri) and the restaurant is supposed to be incredible. Being 25 minutes from Park City Mountain Resort, its a little further out from the Park City center and Main Street, but feels surrounded by nature. I’d love to do a staycation here.
Montage Deer Valley – a Park City staple very close to our home, so we are regulars! Rooms are pricy (and the spa even pricier), but the ambiance in the lobby with all the high ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces, library bookshelves and multiple bars is always cozy and fun. The hotel has panoramic balcony views, a nice pool area, and the Veuve Clicquot yurt which is a happy hour MUST in the winter. They also do 4pm s’mores outside daily, which I recommend even if you’re not staying here. We frequent the multiple restaurants as well as the basement bowling alley (great for kids). Right on the Deer Valley slopes.
Stein Erikson – If you want classic Swiss ski chalet vibes, this is for you. I’ll admit it’s not my favorite style-wise (the Montage feels a little more updated whilst keeping the mountain feel) but it’s right on the Deer Valley slopes and the Glitretind restaurant is a classic, old-school ski-in lunch spot.
St. Regis – St. Regis is known for their “funicular,” a clear sort of elevator-gondola on a slanted uphill track that takes you from the bottom level up to the top rooms, restaurant and bar. The hotel is famous for the rooftop bar – perhaps the only one in Park City – and offers insane sky high mountain views and great food and drinks.
Air BnB/VRBO homes – a popular choice is to rent a cabin or lodge in Deer Valley/Park City and many of my friends do this who prefer not to pay a premium for the hotel experience. If you’re looking to stay in town close to Main Street and all it’s restaurants, especially with a group of friends, this is a great option – you can always visit the hotels for meals or drinks!
*** Note: I’m giving you the best of the best hotel options, so these are all on the pricier side. There are tons of budget-friendlier options (Hilton, Sheraton) but they’re a bit run-of-the-mill, meaning I can’t say they have spectacular restaurants or notable style. I’d prefer renting a cute, budget-friendly Air BnB with some character in town than staying at one of those.
Riverhorse – Considered the best restaurant in Park City, and I can’t disagree. Go for dinner and order the halibut – it’s their most revered dish. Even the table bread is insane (it has a pesto-butter).
Shabu – Our favorite “Asian Fusion” spot. It’s literally in a basement and the decor is sort of funky-strange, but it’s cozy, always packed and smells delicious in there. We make a point to go every trip. Order the caramelized black cod, the Hachimitsu Roll, and the Costa Roll.
Grappa – Best classic Italian spot nestled into a reworked two-story house at the top of Main Street. Wine pairings, excellent pastas, and OMG the Horseradish Crusted Salmon…
Chimayo – New Mexico, Southwestern-inspired menu and more funky decor (realizing Park City has a lot of “funky” decor lol). This place feels unique – your drinks will come in silver goblets that must have been sold off the Game of Thrones set after filming ended. We always get the ceviche, tortilla soup, enchiladas and churros for dessert.
Yuki Yama – another excellent sushi spot. Little to no decor – it’s very bare bones – but has an excellent sushi menu. For hot dishes and a dinner experience, I like Shabu better, but if you want a full sushi meal this is great. Also good for lunch.
Handle – American menu in a dimly lit, cool space. Not my fave kind of food TBH, but if fried chicken vibes are your jam, you’ll love it. People really do love this place and it’s always busy. Craft cocktails, the kind that arrive in a chic rocks glass with creative garnishes.
Harvest – Main Street desperately needed a healthy brunch and lunch option with some veggie bowl and sandwich options since everything else is heavier and dinner-oriented, and this delivers!! So glad this is here for casual lunches and coffee – they have a full espresso bar and creative lattes. Very casual, order at the counter then sit.
Five Seeds – Not on Main Street and the location isn’t noteworthy (a little strip-mall esque), but easily the best brunch place IMO. Usually a wait. Breakfast sandwiches, avo toast, quiche, hot cake…
Hearth and Hill – Brand new. Also not on Main Street and the location also not noteworthy (it’s in Kimball Junction, near the movie theater and some other stores) but excellent for lunch.
High West – Famous distillery on Main Street – a must, especially if you like whiskey, which I don’t, but can appreciate how classic and western this place is. They don’t take resis so be prepared to wait, or peruse Main Street after you put your name down. The best time to show up is around 3 or 4pm, I always see people in ski boots! They have a full food menu too; I love the parmesan fries.
No Name Saloon – The most famous bar on Main Street, more western vibes. As you can likely figure these bars are not really my style (lol) but it’s fun and very classic Park City. Usually has a line out the door at night during peak season.
St. Regis bar – Much more my preference! Bougie, incredible mountain views, great place to mingle.
Montage Bar (and Veuve Clicquot yurt) – Cozy, library vibes and epic Veuve yurt. See notes in hotel section above.
Dolly’s Bookstore – The sweetest book store that’s been a Park City staple since 1972. It’s attached to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Shop. I always stop in here for a “Rocky Road” or ice cream and eat it while perusing the books.
CAKE Boutique – Easily the chicest boutique for an excellent curation of brands (think Rag & Bone, Isabel Marant, ALC). There’s a beauty section attached to it with full range of NARS, RMS, and skincare like Supergoop and Barbara Sturm.
Flight Boutique – A more low-key boutique with a super cute selection of brands you’ve never heard of (in a good way) making it a true boutique with pieces you won’t find online elsewhere.
Gorsuch – The bougiest ski wear shop that carries all the best brands like Perfect Moment, Bogner and Moncler. It also has a beautiful home section.
DO: WINTER SPECIFIC
Ski Deer Valley Resort or Park City Resort – I prefer DV as it’s convenient from our house and has excellent lodges and food, but both are great and obviously if you’re boarding you’ll go to Park City.
Ice Castles – unique and IG-worthy place with giant literal manmade “ice castles.” Buy tickets in advance.
Tubing at Woodward Park– so fun! Go with a group – connect your tubes and fly down the hill, it’s actually quite steep!
Dog Sledding at Lunas Limbos – never actually done this but it looks fun and memorable.
Snowmobile tours – I’ve done this growing up and Christophe goes quite often now with friends.
Snow Shoeing – I’ll be honest, this sounds like a lot of work (a great workout at least) but people love it!
DO: SUMMER SPECIFIC
Hike Deer Valley or Park City Resort
Summer Concert Series – If you’re traveling in the summer, make sure to check the concert schedule! Deer Valley puts on an impressive list of performers for outdoors concerts (think Ben Harper, Gavin McGraw, Thievery Corporation). Super fun summer activity.
Mountain Biking – A favorite of Christophe’s (I tried it once and let’s just say used every ice pack after in the house)
ATV Rentals – adventurous guys in your group will appreciate this. Fully guided tours for the afternoon – rent from Tracked Out Adventures
Lake Jordanelle Boat Rentals – water ski and wakeboard, or just hang out!
Walk Main Street– have lunch, window shop, grab a coffee
Drive to Sundance Resort – This is a REALLY good rec. Sundance is about a 40 minute drive from Park City, and we’ve gone in both summer and winter to eat at their restaurants (Foundry Grill, more casual, and the Tree Room, more fancy). It’s a whole experience – you park and walk over little running water creek bridges to the resort’s General Store, which has a coffee bar and fresh pastries and baked sourdough bread. The Tree Room is special for dinner and food is excellent. You can explore the grounds too.
Waldorf Astoria Spa – hidden gem spa that’s way less $$$ than the Montage but has excellent massages + hydra facials, nails
Tubing – See above, also a great option for kids that aren’t skiing or boarding.
Park City Alpine Slide – kid heaven for those who meet the height requirement. It’s a massive slide (one of the longest slides in the world) and you strap into a little chair that flies down it. Two can fit to a chair so kids can ride with an adult. Honestly fun for adults too!
LMK if you have any questions, I’m happy to help!