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Friday, July 17, 2015

Park City, Utah

Let me start by saying, I didn't "get" Park City at first.  I think it was one of those places that is so talked about and hyped up that you build this image in your mind.  When you hear someone mention Utah, you don't hear about the amazing hikes and great food, you hear about the Mormons, the Temple, and Park City. 

The first time I stepped onto Historic Main Street, I didn't get it.  Don't get me wrong, it was really cute, but I guess I had it so built up in my brain. 

 What is everyone so obsessed about, its a street?!

Well, I have officially been to Park City during Winter Spring Summer and Fall and it took me a few times, but now I get it. It is about 30 minutes from Salt Lake City and pretty much the opposite.  No homeless people, no religious overtaking, and much more touristy.  It has the ski town vacation culture through every inch of Main Street.  Let me show you some snapshots of what makes Park City so iconic. 

Park City has that small ski town vibe to a tee.  From its shops and restaurants, gorgeous resorts, and the kicker, Town Lift.  Yes, there is a ski lift that connects the skiing right to Historic Main Street.  You don't have to eat at the lodge, you can come down to Main Street in your ski boots and enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants.  There is also the historic Free Shuttle that travels up and down Main Street.  All the action is on this street so if you don't want to walk up the hill, hop on the shuttle.  Probably one of my favorite things about the PC culture is the colored houses.  The gorgeous colored houses of Park City dot the hillside along Main Street.  It's just so dang quaint.  There is also an art scene with adorable galleries and shops.  With Sundance in Utah, the film/art vibe spreads across the state.  Keep your eyes peeled for the Banksy tucked away on Main Street. 

On Summer weekends (Sunday) Main Street is shut down and "Park Silly" takes over.  A farmers market and gigantic festival takes over Park City for the day.  Live music, lots of food, vendors and fun.  Salt Lake City is a ghost town on Sundays as everything is closed for religious (and no ones around) reasons.  But join the crowds and enjoy summer at Park Silly. 

Park City has some great food.  While most of it is "high end" there are some great options and something for everyone.  My favorite dive/local spot is Collies Sports Bar.  No frills bar with an outdoor patio, and some amazing smoked wings.  I have also been to High West Distillery (higher end, delicious whisky), Purple Sage (Mid price range, really delicious) and Lespri's (Steak and sushi- really yummy).  There are so many restaurants in Park City and I have so many left to try.  

Obviously, this is why people come to Park City.  While the west is home to some great skiing, Park City is loved by many because its so darn easy to get to.  About 30 minutes from the airport, it is an easy ride to get to Park City for a ski vacation.  Direct flights to SLC from almost everywhere, and an easy drive to the mountains.  And Utah is known for its "best snow on Earth".  We didn't have the greatest winter last year so I am still pretty neutral on Utah Snow.  And Jackson Hole kind of has my heart....

Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort are right there if you are looking for convenience.  But you have plenty of options in the area... boy do you have options.

Where I have been:  Snowbird, Snow Basin, Brighton, Canyons, Solitude, 
Skiers only:  Alta, Deer Valley,
Yet to ski:  Park City Mountain Resort, Sundance, 
 Powder Mountain, Wolf Mountain and Beaver Mountain.  

Other Activities
Park City is much more than skiing and snowboarding.  Once the snow melts and the hillsides turn green, its time for some hiking, mountain biking, and trail running.  It is a lot cooler up here compared to the valley, so this is a great spot to escape the heat and play outside.  A free bus can cart you up the Mid Mountain Trail so you can bike down.  You can also pay to use the lift at certain ski resorts if you want to bike the trails.  There is some gorgeous hiking in the area, and Park City offers a summer long trail running series.  It is a town for the active sort of crowd.  And the downtown Park.  City Park in Park City is just a pretty perfect park.  There is something for everyone, and the park is full of happy people enjoying the day.  Free movies on the lawn from Sundance, and volleyball tournaments.  City Park is the Bees Knees. 

There are also amazing trail systems in this park.  The trail along the beautiful Poison Creek connects various parts of Park City.  It also provides a great spot for running, walking, and biking.  Park City was designed with pedestrians in mind. 

Olympic Park
Technically not historic downtown PC but its in the area and its worth the visit.  A ski musuem, zip lining, alpine coasters, activity coarse, there is so much fun to be had.  In the winter, you can watch athletes on the bobsled and skull track.  In the summer, you can watch skiiers practicing aerial tricks into the new pools.  Olympic Park is just another part of the PC culture.   Check out my Olympic Park post here 

Park City, I get you.  You are so fun, so cute, so quaint.  Park City if void of the religious culture of downtown which I really love.  Park City likes their booze, likes their fun, and attracts more of the transplants.  This historic street with quaint shops, and delicious restaurants.  And my favorite, the colored houses of Park City.  The adorable trolley, and the Town Lift.  The walking trails, and the cooler temperatures.  Park City, you make me want to leave the Valley!

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