72 hours in Park City, Utah

This month, ML headed to Park City, Utah, to discover what’s behind that saying, “I came to Park City for the winters, but I stayed for the summers.” During our long weekend, we rode chairlifts and gondolas to the top of aspen-covered mountains, enjoyed an outdoor performance by a symphony orchestra, browsed art made by some of the West’s most talented artisans, took afternoon naps by the pool, and ate … and ate … until we could eat no more. A special thanks to our wonderful new friends at the Park City Chamber and Visitors Bureau for helping us plan 72 hours of fun we won’t soon forget.

Where we went:

Photo via Ski Utah

Photo courtesy Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau

We saw the sights at Park City’s three year-round resorts — Deer Valley ResortCanyons Resort and Park City Mountain Resort — which are located within minutes of each other, and are all an easy 40-minute drive to Salt Lake City.

Where we stayed:

Photo via Montage Deer Valley

“Wow!” That’s the word that popped out of our mouths as we came ’round a bend in the road and saw our hotel, Montage Deer Valley (sister property to Montage Laguna Beach, Beverly Hills, Los Cabos, and now Kapalua Bay), standing before us. Perched near the top of Empire Pass at Deer Valley Resort, it offers ski-in/ski-out access and a whole lotta luxury in its 154 guest rooms and 60-plus suites and residences. Our room looked just like this (and yes, that really is the view):

Photo via Montage Deer Valley

One of our favorite amenities — along with the evening s’mores and handmade chocolates placed on our pillows before bed  — was Montage’s furry mascots, two Bernese mountain dogs named Monty and Jonas, who make appearances in the lobby each day. Here’s handsome Monty:

What we did:

We could have spent hours at the Park City Museum, which brims with fun and educational exhibits, from the refurbished Kimball Stagecoach to an amazing two-story-tall scaled model of the late-19th-century Mega Mine to the original territorial jail in the basement.

Photo via parkcityhistory.org

You may remember our feature on the historical Washington School House Hotel from our January/February 2013 issue. We couldn’t resist another look, so we stopped by for a quick tour. This little hotel has it all: the perfect location just steps from Main Street and the Quittin’ Time ski run, delicious breakfasts, a rooftop pool, and the best hotel décor we’ve encountered in quite some time.

Photo via Washington School House Hotel

One of the highlights of our visit was the Utah Symphony’s outdoor concert at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater at Deer Valley. The resort hosts concerts several times a week during the summer; we enjoyed “Bond and Beyond,” which featured music from 50 years of James Bond films — and Broadway belter and Tony Award-winner Debbie Gravite — as well as a hilarious “cellphone concerto.” As the musicians performed, nature put on a show of its own as the evening sky turned gorgeous shades of orange and purple on its way to dusk.

Photo courtesy Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau

It just so happened that our visit coincided with the annual Park City Kimball Arts Festival, an event that draws thousands of visitors to the town’s colorful Main Street. We browsed booths showcasing everything from handcarved wood furnishings and travel photography to handmade jewelry and colorful tableware, snacking on roasted cinnamon-sugar almonds as we strolled.

Photo courtesy Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau

When it was time to kick back and cool off, we hopped on a chair lift and took in the views of Deer Valley Resort…

Photo courtesy Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau

And had a little snooze beside the oh-so-elegant indoor pool back at Montage Deer Valley.

Photo via Montage Deer Valley

But wait! Did I mention we shopped? And shopped. And came up with quite a wish list, including…

Pretty embroidered feather pillows at home-décor boutique Root’d:

Amazing, vibrant (and, remarkably, unretouched) nature photography by Fatali (like “Mystic Mirror,” pictured here):

A handmade rocking chair by Erickson Woodworking, on display at the Park City Kimball Arts Festival:

Oh, and a designer residence at Montage Deer Valley:

What we ate:

It may be a small town, but Park City has more than 100 restaurants, and we worked hard to try as many of them as we could in 72 hours. A few highlights…

Lunch on the perfect patio at Park City staple Cafe Terigo (we recommend the delicious salmon salad garnished with crispy little onion rings):

Photo via Historic Park City Utah

Lobster beignets at Talisker on Main (be sure to order a side of their truffled tater tots and a honey-butter-and-fleur-de-sel glazed biscuit, too):

Photo via Talisker on Main

And hamachi sashimi and the roasted beet salad at Wahso Asian Grill. The toughest decision of the night: whether we wanted to dine outside on the terrace overlooking Main Street or in a cozy curtained booth in the gorgeous dining room (we picked the terrace):

Photo via parkcityrestaurants.com

Did we miss any of your favorites? Post a comment below and let us know how you’d spend 72 hours in Park City.

Categories: Mountain Travel