How to Make Park City Utah the Perfect Weekend Escape

Once a silver mining town, Park City, Utah has become a popular resort getaway. Even if you only have a weekend to spend, here’s how to make the most of it.

1. When To Go to Park City Utah

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Park City turns into a winter wonderland when the snow starts to fall, but December and January are holiday high seasons, especially during the Sundance Festival at the end of January. Try February to April for more reasonable hotel prices and fewer crowds. (This year’s ski season ends on April 17, 2022).

2. How to Get There

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One of the perks of Park City is its convenience. Book an early flight into Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to arrive by lunch. To maximize your weekend, book a late return flight and you’ll have two days on the slopes. The flight time from Los Angeles is under two hours (approximately five hours from New York).  From there, it’s just a 40-minute drive to Park City. 

Tip: If bringing your own skis or snowboard, Southwest allows two free check-in bags, including oversized luggage. 

3. What to Pack

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Although this trip to Park City, Utah may only be a weekend, freezing temps and ski gear mean bulky layers. To save space in your suitcase, wear your heaviest jacket and boots on the plane. Don’t forget these items: 

  • Thermal top and bottoms
  • Gloves
  • Beanie
  • Jeans
  • Sweaters 
  • Snow boots
  • Ski pants
  • Ski jacket
  • Ski Gloves
  • Wool socks
  • Face mask
  • Light down vest
  • Pajamas
  • Undergarments
  • Toiletries
  • Bathing suit/flip-flops for spa or hot tub
  • Skis/snowboard, goggles and helmet (if bringing own gear)

4. Book These Online to Save Time

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A weekend flies by. To make the most of your time, plan beforehand. You can buy lift tickets, reserve your rentals and make restaurant reservations online.  

  • Lift tickets: Park City Mountain is part of the Epic Pass system which grants access to multiple resorts across the country.
  • Ski/snowboard rentals: Reserve your gear in advance for 20% off the walk-in rate.  Pick-up is quick as there are eight Aloha outlets to choose from. 
  • Restaurant reservations: To avoid getting stuck out in the cold for popular dinner spots, make reservations on OpenTable or by calling the restaurant before you go. 

5. Where to Stay

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Most major hotel chains such as Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton serve Park City. However, these often book up months in advance for weekend dates, so reserve early. 

Ski-in/Ski-out: Walk right to the lifts by staying near the base of Park City Mountain or Canyons Village. Popular choices include:

  • Waldorf Astoria
  • Marriott Vacation Club Mountainside
  • Hyatt Centric
  • Silver Star Lodge
  • Grand Summit
  • Sundial Lodge 

For more affordable options, stay a few miles outside of the main hub. Hyatt Place, located in Kimball Junction, is next to a free city bus stop that takes you to the ski resorts and downtown. There’s also a ski rental shop inside the hotel.  

For a real splurge, the Lodge at Blue Sky provides an unparalleled luxury experience. Check out more lodging options here, including top picks in Deer Valley. Note that Deer Valley is a ski-only mountain. 

You can also find a cozy cabin or condo on Airbnb, which is often more economical and fun for families. 

6. How to Get Around

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Image Credit: Park City Chamber / Bureau.

Park City has an efficient public transit system that is free and easy to use. Keep the bus schedule and routes handy by downloading the Park City Transit app on your phone before you go.

The town is also small enough to Uber your way around, so a rental car isn’t necessary. 

7. Where to Eat Lunch

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If you take an early flight in, you can get to town in time to fuel up with a hearty lunch.   

Both locals and tourists love Harvest, located at the end of Park Avenue. You’ll find an eclectic menu of traditional brunch items, such as avocado toast, along with Asian fusion specials like laksa soup and Thai beef salad. 

If you’re looking for a beer to go along with your food, check out Flanagan’s on Main, a popular Irish pub. Grab a Guinness and a Shepherd’s Pie – the perfect comfort food on a cold day.  

After lunch, walk around Main Street before going back to your hotel for some rest before dinner. 

8. Where to Hit the Slopes

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In 2015, Park City Mountain combined with Canyons Village to form the largest mountain resort in the U.S., with over 7,300 acres of terrain. This means short lines and more time to hit the fresh pow. The trails are long and well-groomed, with magnificent views all the way down. If the expanse of the mountain seems overwhelming, download the PCM trail map to plan your runs ahead of time. Note that the lifts close before 4 p.m., so there is no night skiing.

Park City is also home to Deer Valley, which is a ski only resort. Both resorts are easily accessible by the City’s free bus system. 

9. Where to Apres-ski

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For an apres-ski cocktail, don’t miss the famous High West Distillery, located downtown on Park Avenue. Try the Whiskey Cider and visit the merch store for some sleek souvenir whiskey glasses.

10. Where to Dine

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Park City has a vibrant restaurant scene. For a special occasion, Riverhorse on Main is a must. Try the Durham Ranch Buffalo Short Rib.  

Handle is tucked away in a small shopping complex on Heber Avenue, a short walk from Main Street. It serves up contemporary American fare, craft cocktails and mouth-watering desserts.  

Other top-ranked spots include Ghidottis if you’re craving pasta and pizza, and Firewood on Main, which prides itself on “locally sourced seasonal food.”

11. Where to Drink

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This may be Utah, but Park City is no stranger to the saloon scene.

No Name Saloon, located on Main Street, has a neighborhood dive bar vibe with both an indoor bar and a rooftop patio. Arrive early to avoid standing in line.    about:blank

If a quiet night in is more your style, take a seat at your hotel’s bar, and you won’t need to worry about your ride home.  

12. Where to Shop

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Stroll along Main Street and its surrounding streets, where you’ll find art galleries and trendy boutiques with specialty home goods, cozy apparel and Western collectibles. 

If you’re really in the shopping mood, head to Outlets Park City, located in Kimball Junction. 

13. Where to Sightsee

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Utah Olympic Park celebrates Park City’s legacy in the 2002 Winter Olympics. It’s still used as a training site for aspiring Olympians. Take a guided tour to learn more about this piece of history. You can even book a bobsled ride! 

Salt Lake City is perfect for sightseeing so plan to add an extra day to your weekend escape if you can. There are so many fun things to do in Salt Lake City and it is a great way to explore Utah. Salt Lake City is a fun and vibrant city with plenty of activities to keep you busy. Surrounded by mountains, Salt Lake City Utah is a gem of a city in the western US. 

14. Where to Get Pampered

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If skiing has your muscles aching, use your last day to treat yourself to a massage at a luxury resort. It’s the ultimate R&R!about:blank

Book it!

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Even if a weekend is all you have, Park City provides the ideal winter getaway. The weather creates incredible skiing and boarding conditions for every level. Even if you don’t ski, you’ll find plenty of other activities to fill your stay, from shopping on Main to luxury spas at award-winning resorts. There’s only one thing left to do: Book your trip!

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