Situated close to several world-renowned ski resorts, the beautiful Utah mountain town of Park City has plenty more going for it than snowy pistes, including tons of unique attractions.
Far more than a mere jumping-off point for skiing adventures, the city has grown into a vibrant town in its own right, heaving with great things to see and do. Whether it’s museums, music, theatre, or discovering the area’s natural attractions beyond its famous ski slopes, there’s something for everyone. If you’re planning a trip to Utah and would like to check out Park City during your stay, we’ve picked 12 of the most unique things you’ll find here.
Visit a museum
In a city indelibly linked with skiing culture, it would be remiss not to have a venue that chronicles and commemorates this long-standing relationship. Step forward the Alf Engen Ski Museum, named after the eponymous Norwegian-American skier who set multiple world records during the 1930s and helped establish numerous ski areas in the region. The museum is packed full of state-of-the-art interactive and virtual exhibits that let you step into the past, present and future of winter sports. Highlights include a virtual-reality ski theatre, a Ski Hall of Fame, and a fabulous collection of trophies, medals, photos and clothing
3419 Olympic Parkway / Mon-Sun 9am-6pm
Another popular attraction, the Park City Museum on vibrant Main Street is dedicated to preserving, protecting, and promoting the rich and diverse history and heritage of the city. Through a wide range of interactive exhibits and displays, visitors can try their hand at activities pertinent to the area and its cultural, social and industrial heritage, including exploring a mine replica, learning how silver is made, delving into the history of radical labour unions, and riding an antique ski subway.
528 Main Street / Mon-Sun 10am-5pm
Go hiking in scenic surroundings
Spread over six mountains, Deer Valley Resort is best known as one of America’s finest skiing destinations. But while the vast majority come here to hit the slopes, there’s plenty else to see and do, with nearly 70 miles of hiking trails that can be traversed either by foot, bike or even horseback. Summertime, when the skiing activity winds down, is particularly popular, with the chance to try water sports such as paddleboarding and kayaking at the resort’s Pebble Beach, before towelling off, grabbing a picnic basket, and watching one of Deer Valley’s summer concerts as the sun sets.
2250 Deer Valley Drive South / Mon-Sun 9am-4pm
Take a stroll along bustling Main Street
If celebrity spotting is your thing, then you’ll often find rich pickings in Main Street, which attracts the great and the good with its offering of upscale boutiques, renowned art galleries, trendy dining spots, and two acclaimed ski resorts. But even if you have zero interest in the protagonists of today’s cultural zeitgeist , then a leisurely amble down this bustling avenue is still a must-do. In a nutshell, it represents the heart and soul of the city – and you’ll quickly discover why.
Embark on a fishing adventure
It’s a far cry from the high-octane thrills found on the nearby snowy slopes, but for a more tranquil outdoor experience, then a fishing expedition certainly fits the bill. Visitors to Park City can join a private fly fishing tour on the nearby Weber River, where they can learn how to catch fish with casting lessons and discover fascinating fish-feeding habits courtesy of your expert guide. Options for full or half-day trips are both available, with all equipment, plus snacks and drinks, included in the price.
Explore an Olympic Park
You may have missed your chance to become an Olympian, but a visit to an Olympic Park offers the chance to live those unfulfilled dreams. After playing host to the iconic Salt Lake City Winter Games back in 2002, the Utah Olympic Park became etched into the event’s long and illustrious history, with its legacy still burning brightly today. At the park, visitors can try their hand at a host of adrenaline-fuelled Olympic-themed activities, such as ziplines, airbag jumps, extreme tubing and a bobsled run. There might not be any medals at the end of it, but the fun is in the pretending.
419 Olympic Parkway / Mon-Sun 9am-6pm
Take a whisky distillery tour
It’s a little-known fact that Utah boasts a rich whisky-making heritage – and at its heart is High West Distillery. Nestled at the base of the Quittin’ Time ski run, the facility lays claim to being the only ski-in gastro-distillery in the world. The venue has actually been manufacturing distilled spirits since way back in 1870, and in more recent times has offered regular tours and tasting sessions to those keen to discover more about whisky and its production processes. Guests can join educational tours of the facility before visiting the tasting room for the part that everyone really came for.
703 Park Avenue
Attend a world-renowned film festival
Every year in late January, Park City bows down at the alter of the silver screen by playing host to Sundance, one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals. As well as screenings of the hottest new movies – and lesser-known flicks – from across the world taking place at venues throughout the city, there are also panel events, lectures and after-parties where regular film fans have the chance to rub shoulders with bone fide Hollywood bigwig.
Venues across Park City / January each year
Hurtle down a mountain aboard an Alpine coaster
Adrenaline-fuelled thrill-seekers might just have met their match on Utah’s largest mountain coaster. The Alpine Coaster and Slide propels you down a narrow elevated track that winds along more than a mile of loops, curves and hair-pin bends at speeds of up to a hair-raising 30mph, all set against a backdrop of stunning mountainous scenery – although we can’t guarantee that you’ll have your eyes open to taker it all in.
The Lodge at the Mountain Village, 1345 Lowell Avenue / Mon-Sun 11am-6pm
Admire the city from above
Park City and its surroundings are a sight to behold from almost every angle, but for a truly unique vantage point there’s nothing quite a hot air balloon ride. There are a number of companies offering year-round balloon adventures that let you soar high above the city and wider region. Beginning at sunrise, you’ll ascend thousands of feet into the sky as you gaze out over Kamas Valley, with the Wasatch Mountains forming a rugged skyline to the west and the streets of Park City gradually getting smaller and smaller, culminating with reaching the top where quiet contemplation awaits.
Discover the urban art scene by bike
Depending on your point of view, street art is either an unwelcome eye-sore or lends a city a pleasing visual flourish. In Park City, those who enjoy this rebellious form of counter-cultural creativity can discover its most colourful manifestations by joining an urban art and history e-bike tour. In the company of a friendly and knowledgeable guide, you’ll traverse the city by e-bike, riding past historical buildings and other notable places of interest, stopping off to admire works of street art and to learn about the fascinating history of the city.
Take in some live theatre
It’s fair to say that few theatres can boast as impressive a back-story as the Egyptian Theatre. Designed with the assistance of a trained Egyptologist after the discovery of legendary pharaoh Tutankhamun’s (aka King Tut) tomb, it is positively steeped in history and remains at the epicentre of Park City’s rich cultural life. Visitors to the city keen to take in a live show during their stay can do so thanks to the venue hosting a regular programme of musical events, theatrical debuts and movie screenings.
328 Main Street / Mon-Fri 9am-6pm Sat-Sun 11am-6pm