For years, the U.S. ski team has called the old mining town of Park City, Utah home—but now (thanks to a huge investment from Vail Resorts linking two major Utah mountains), the area is becoming a hotspot for skiers of all levels. In fact, Park City is now the largest resort in the United States. Plus, with surrounding resorts like the luxe Deer Valley; the Sundance Film Festival downtown; and 360-degree mountain views, this Utah getaway offers far more than just downhill skiing.
Headed out west? Allow us to be your guide. (Then check out the healthy travel guide to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.)
If you're vacationing in the mountains, you might as well make sure you're really there by choosing one of Park City's many ski in/ski out properties. Whether you pick The Sundial Lodge (pictured above, left), nestled in the hub of Canyons Village; the luxe Montage Deer Valley mansion with unrivaled ski-in, ski-out access; or the Stein Eriksen Lodge (pictured above, right), which has a wellness studio and was named the best ski resort hotel in the world, you'll be guaranteed easy access and killer views at every moment of your trip.
Stay In Shape
Winter sport lovers will want to take advantage of the obvious: Utah's snow. Skiers: Head to the plush, ski-only (no snowboards allowed!) Deer Valley Resort (pictured above)—you'll be blown away by the service and the conditions. (Deer Valley was one of the first to offer "ski valet", carrying your gear from your car to the slopes, and small but noticeable amenities like tissues at the lift lines.) Don't worry if you're not a pro, either: 27 percent of Deer Valley's runs are classified as 'beginner.' (Before you go, prep your body for skiing with these exercises.)
Nearby Park City also offers 7,300 of skiable terrain (snowboarders welcome, too), plus tons of new updates like the Quicksilver Gondola, which now connects once separate Park City and Canyons. Need a mid-morning break? Grab some grub and watch the action from afar for a bit from the deck of the new Miners Camp Restaurant.
Downhill not your thing? Stop by All Seasons Adventures and get your cardio in by snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or fat biking the Wasatch Mountains with a guide. All Seasons even offers moonlight dinners and star-gazing tours.
Fuel Your Trip
Don't miss The Farm Restaurant (pictured above, right)—Park City Mountain's farm-to-table option (fun fact: It was named one of Utah's 25 Best Restaurants in 2015). If you're at Deer Valley, dine on the deck at Deer Valley Grocery-Café (pictured above, left), where you can take in lakeside views, enjoy salads made with fresh, local ingredients, and head off with seasonal takeaway items, like Deer Valley granola and specialty soups that put delivery to shame.
Off the mountains, Fairweather Natural Foods' owner Jen Rattray has created an eatery locals love. Featuring the only organic juice bar in town, gluten-free foods, organic baked goods, and a slew of vitamins and minerals, the fit-minded flock to this Park City staple for salads, smoothies, and fair trade coffee.
High West Distillery and Saloon prides itself on being the world's first (and only!) ski-in distillery and gastro-saloon. It's the best of both worlds: The charm of downtown Park City fittingly situated right at the bottom of "Quittin' Time" ski run. Après by sipping on cocktails with names like "Ol' Smokey" and "Gidy-Up Jupiter" and splurge on whiskey-infused western mountain cuisine (think: pretzel and beer cheese, and trout salad). Bring the kids if you want, too—the "Lil Buckaroos" menu is just for children. For a more upscale downtown dinner, head to Riverhorse on Main, one of the oldest and most awarded culinary destinations on Park City's Main Street.
If dairy's your splurge, Deer Valley is proud of its award-winning cheese (pictured above) made from local milk. Look for them at select local markets (including Deer Valley Grocery Café) or stop by Deer Valley Resort's Fireside Dining, where you can feast on Swiss raclette cheese warmed by a roaring fire. Take a break between courses for a horse-drawn sleigh ride around the property.
Sore muscles craving rest will find refuge at the St. Regis Deer Valley. It's ski in/ski out—or you can access the main hotel by a Swiss-made funicular, free of charge. Spend your money instead at the Remède Spa—14,000 feet of pure mountainside relaxation. Fight the altitude with oxygen inhalation therapy or try the Hot Poultice Massage, which combines oils and herbs in a therapy aimed directly at soreness and fatigue. (P.S. We've got 10 Ways to Make Your Ski Trip Healthier.) Ski over to the other end of Deer Valley's multiple peaks to the 35,000-square-foot Spa Montage at the Montage Deer Valley Resort for a soak in the fireside copper tubs of the Serenity Suite or a traditional yoga Thai stretch to release those tight ski muscles.
Visiting for Sundance?
If you're heading to Park City during the annual Sundance Film Festival (next year's festival kicks off on January 24), you'll be experiencing the city on steroids as upwards of 50,000 attendees roll in for the largest independent film festival in the U.S. If you don't want to shell out for a pass, use the festival's app to score last-minute standby tickets for $20 to see all of the most talked-about films (and plenty of A-list celebs).
While many brands and sponsors (including YouTube, Lyft, and Grey Goose) host temporary pop-up spaces on Main Street for the two weeks of the festival, one you'll definitely want to hit is the Stella Artois lounge, Café Artois, which hosts star-studded cast parties and panels (this past year the brand hosted dedicated events in partnership with Women in Film to spotlight female-led stories) that you can enjoy while sipping on a hot toddy or a cold beer.