Park City in Utah is an adventure lover’s playground, with an almost endless list of fun activities and adventures on offer. It is also a beautiful, tranquil city that has been named as one of the top 20 prettiest towns in the United States. Oh, and its home to a little film festival you might have heard of – the Sundance Film Festival.
Not convinced that you should add Park City to your travel list? Here are our favorite reasons why you should swing by and soak up all it has to offer.
#1: Accessible, yet challenging skiing.
Let’s get the big one out of the way first. Park City is home to the United States Ski Team, and (more surprisingly) the Australian Freestyle Ski Team’s training center. Undoubtedly, the facilities and courses on offer at the two major ski resorts, Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain, are pretty impressive. They even hosted a number of the skiing and snowboarding events at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Nonetheless, the resorts are also very accessible to novice snow sport enthusiasts. There are many easy green trails, and ski schools that are focused on getting beginners upright in no time!
#2: Check out indie films
It’s the other big-ticket item – every year, almost 50,000 indie film enthusiasts and connoisseurs descend on the city for Sundance, the largest independent film festival in the United States. Not bad for a city that has a permanent population of just over 7,000!
The festival is held in January each year and showcases independent films from the United States and abroad. It includes both short and feature length films across genres including drama, horror, comedy, documentary and more. The festival has been integral in the launch of many successful careers, being the launching pad for directors such as Quentin Tarantino and movie franchises such as Saw. Of course, not all the films are Oscar-worthy – but the luck of the draw is what makes it fun!
#3: Explore the network of awesome bike trails (or hike them).
In 2011, the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) awarded Park City Gold-Level center status, meaning it is amongst the best places to mountain bike in the country. This is no doubt thanks to the impressive network of trails – over 450 miles of them, in fact, and their suitability to riders of all ages and abilities. We love the views along the Wasatch Crest Trail.
If you’d prefer to explore on two feet rather than two wheels, there is an equally impressive network of hiking trails that range from short (such as the Farm Trail of Highway 224) to the difficult (but truly stunning) Fantasy Ridge Trail.
#4: Shop ‘til you drop
For those on the lookout for some retail therapy, you’ll love what is on offer in Park City. Many great adventure brands are headquartered in the city, meaning it is the perfect place to pick up some discounted threads at their factory outlet stores. The biggest outlet shopping centre is Tanger Outlets, which features great brands including Mammut, Tommy Hilfiger and Adidas.
For a different shopping experience, Park City also offers some great farmer’s market selling local produce in a friendly and rustic environment. The Park City Mountain Farmer’s Market is one of the best, and offers fresh produce as well as delicious preserves and jams, and various other items.
#5: Adventure activities galore
Although it is snowing, skiing, hiking and mountain biking that gets most of the press in Park City, there are dozens more adventures just waiting to be had. From flying through the snowlined trees on a zipline to exploring the beautiful scenery on the back of a horse, there are so many more options for visitors to raise their heartrate while in Park City!
In the colder months, don’t despair if you’re not a skier. Within Park City you’ll find plenty of other fun winter activities, including dog-sledding, snow shoeing and ice-skating.
#6: Great restaurants and bars
Park City bats well above its weight when it comes to the amazing restaurants to population ratio. If you’re watching your wallet or just in the mood for something simple and stress free, we love El Chubasco for delicious, no frills Mexican. However, if you’re trying to impress, Riverhouse on Main offers a delectable menu just off of historic Main Street.
There’s also an impressive nightlife that again defies Park City’s humble size. You’ll love grabbing a pint amongst the locals and visitors at friendly The Cabin, or take a tour of the High West Distillery in Wanship.
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