The Top Things to See and Do in Park City, Utah

Nestled in the eastern Wasatch Mountains, Park City is one of Utah’s prime tourism destinations. While it is primarily known as a winter recreation hotspot, Park City also attracts a healthy stream of visitors during the warm-weather months, when its natural attractions and resorts double as great places to hike and explore the outdoors. Park City is a relatively small town, with a permanent population of about 8,000 people. Yet, it is easily reachable from just about anywhere in the world, as Salt Lake City International Airport is located about 35 miles away.

The town offers visitors a plethora of fantastic activities, and here are 10 suggestions to help get your trip-planning started:

10. Mingle with the Stars at the Sundance Film Festival

Every year in January, the world-famous Sundance Film Festival takes over Park City for a couple of weeks. This festival launched the careers of many famous filmmakers, including Quentin Tarantino, whose 1992 hit Reservoir Dogs first began to make waves after a Sundance screening.

If you’re a movie buff, or if you want to spend some time celeb-watching, check out the schedule for the upcoming Sundance Film Festival and plan your visit accordingly. It usually starts in mid-January, and extends into the first days of February.

Photo by: Sundance Film Festival Facebook

9. Opt for Some Indoor Entertainment

Because Park City is primarily a winter destination and so many of its popular attractions are outdoor-focused, visitors often like to take a break with some indoor recreation. The city is filled with tons of  indoor options if you’re looking for a respite from the cold.

Bowling, escape rooms, libraries, immersive art exhibitions, bars, restaurants, wineries…there’s something for everyone in Park City. You can even go ice skating in Park City’s indoor arena if you want to keep your activity level up without being outside in the cold.

8. Enjoy Nearby State Parks

If you’d like to expand your outdoor recreation options beyond the immediate vicinity of Park City, there are a pair of State Parks in the nearby area that are well worth a look. Head northeast to Peoa, which is less than 15 miles from Park City, to experience the beauty of Rockport State Park. Alternately, you can head south down Highway 189 to Midway, where the stunning vistas of Wasatch Mountain State Park await you.

7. Shop Till You Drop

Like any town that caters to tourists, Park City has plenty of shopping for visitors to enjoy. For the best and most authentic experience, spend some time exploring the unique boutiques owned and operated by independent local vendors. There is a dense concentration of such shops in the historic city center, and many familiar chain retailers also maintain locations in and around the downtown area.

Park City is extra-fun if you’re a fan of the Old West. The city is home to numerous cowboy-themed shops, where you can buy authentic cowboy boots, hats, gear, and memorabilia.

6. Ski into the High West Distillery & Saloon

The High West Distillery & Saloon is a unique Park City treasure, and it lays claim to being the lone ski-in gastro saloon in the world. Here, you can enjoy a tempting combination of western-influenced restaurant fare, which puts a distinctive spin on classic American dishes. Then, you can cap off your meal with a sampling of the venue’s craft spirits, which are sourced from the location’s companion distillery just outside the town limits. There literally isn’t another place like it on the planet!

Photo by: High West Distillery Facebook

5. Go for a Scenic Drive

Locals and travel pundits often say that Utah’s most scenic drives and bike rides can be enjoyed within a few miles of Park City. There are four in particular that stand out: Nearby Guardsman Pass makes for an leisurely, enjoyable, and lovely drive. Provo Canyon has its own officially designated scenic driving route, which begins just 20 miles outside of Park City. The Alpine Scenic Loop covers 27 miles through Utah’s stunning Wasatch Mountains. It’s widely considered the most beautiful drive in the state, and is particularly pleasant during the autumn months. Lastly, head 16 miles east of Park City to the SR-150 Scenic Byway, which is where you’ll find Mirror Lake Highway. Breathtaking lakes, alpine scenery, and mystical forests are waiting to greet you, but be sure your car is gassed up and you have all the supplies you need before you hit the road, as there aren’t any retail services along the way.

Photo by: Utah.com

4. Check out the Kimball Art Center

Park City has a thriving arts and culture scene, and the Kimball Art Center is one of its main hubs. Situated just a few blocks away from Main Street, the center houses an interesting and eclectic collection of artworks by both local and internationally renowned creators. Art aficionados can also sign up for a wide selection of classes, as the Kimball Art Center offers over 300 instructional opportunities in media including photography, painting, drawing, pottery, and stained glass arts, among others.

Photo by: Kimball Art Center Facebook

3. Amble Into the Past in the Park City Main Historic District

Before it became an elite ski destination, Park City was a boom-and-bust silver mining town. It has a long and interesting history, which is on full display in the city’s main historic district. For a crash course, head to the Park City Museum on Main Street for an overview of Park City’s unique history, and to learn more about major events in its past like the devastating 19th century fire that leveled a large section of the town.

Johnny Adolphson / Shutterstock.com

2. Visit Utah Olympic Park

Utah’s largest urban area, Salt Lake City, played host to the Winter Olympics in 2002. Several events were held in Park City, and the town’s Utah Olympic Park served as a training facility for athletes during the Games. Today, it is still used to help America’s Olympic hopefuls push their limits in preparation for the world’s most intense winter athletics competitions.

The park itself, and many of its most popular attractions, can be enjoyed free of charge. This is a fantastic place to spend the day with your family, as there are many sports-themed rides and games for kids of all ages to enjoy.

Photo by: Utah Olympic Park Facebook

1. Hit the Slopes

Park City enjoys a reputation as one of the very best winter outdoor recreation destinations in the entire United States. The city and the surrounding area boast some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country, with Deer Valley Resort leading the way for skiing. The readers of SKI Magazine recently ranked Deer Valley Resort as the top ski resort in North America for five straight years.

There are also plenty of other options, with crowds and lineups that aren’t as thick. Remember, too, that Deer Valley Resort is a ski-only venue, so if you’re into snowboarding, you may want to check out an alternative like Park City Mountain, the largest ski resort in the U.S., which has hundreds of trails and a great collection of natural and artificial half-pipes.

Photo by: Deer Valley Resort Facebook

5 Amazing Outdoor Dining Experiences

From ancient outdoor feasts to modern backyard family barbeques, outdoor eating has long been the favoured dining experience of many people. In fact, in warm climates and during summer months, restaurant and bar patios are cluttered with guests looking to escape the indoors and enjoy their meals in the open air. While the popularity of outdoor dining has sparked a number of world-acclaimed al fresco restaurants, it has also sparked unique dining events that offer experiences unlike anything seen in even the most highly-ranked dining establishments. From pop-up events shrouded in secrecy to extensively planned giant outdoor dinner parties, here are 5 of the world’s most amazing outdoor dining experiences.

5. Outstanding in the Field

A tribute to farmers and the gifts of the land, Outstanding in the Field is a mobile feast that travels coast to coast in North America (and has now been abroad also) and sets up long outdoor dinner tables in the fields of participating farms and vineyards.  This enormous culinary banquet was established in 1999, and for 16 years has invited locals to taste and celebrate the food yielded by each particular place, with the menu and décor inspired by the surroundings. The sparkling conversation and unique atmosphere of the event has made it a world-wide sensation, which to date, has set over 600 tables set in 9 countries for over 60,000 guests.

Photo by: Outstanding in the Field
Photo by: Outstanding in the Field

4. Savor the Summit

Park City, Utah sure knows how to hold a successful dinner party, with this annual “Grand Table” event including the participation of over 20 local restaurants and featuring a massive dinner table set up in the middle of a major roadway. The event is the city’s social highlight, with a continuous long table accommodating seating for up to 1500 guests set down the length of the city’s Main Street, all for the mass enjoyment of remarkable food, live music and unparalleled atmosphere.

Photo by: Savor the Summit
Photo by: Savor the Summit

3. Table for 1201

Created to spark conversation and raise awareness about the value of architecture, design and urbanism in the world community, Winnipeg’s Table for 1201 is a giant outdoor picnic at one extremely long table that requires guests to bring their own chairs and dress in white. Representatives from government, various institutions and arts organizations, as well as members of the general public are invited to join the conversation while dining on meals created by local chefs, at unique outdoor locations that are generally kept secret until the last possible moment. Since its inception the event has garnered wide public acclaim and extensive media coverage making it one of Winnipeg’s most notable summer events.

Photo by: JASON HALSTEAD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Photo by: JASON HALSTEAD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

2. Flames of the Forest

The only technical restaurant on this list, Australia’s Flames of the Forest is a dining experience so unique, everyone needs to know about it. In truly luxurious fashion, the restaurant’s 2 dining packages, The Aboriginal Dining Experience and the Rainforest Dining Experience, take place at two undisclosed rural locations, with guests transported between hotels and sites by staff. Both packages feature gourmet meals complimented by Australian wines and supported by a variety of live entertainment. The dream-like rainforest locations set with an abundance of fire, torches and candles contribute to what many have described as a truly one of a kind “experience of the senses.”

Photo by: Flames of the Forest
Photo by: Flames of the Forest

1. Diner en Blanc

Founded 25 years ago in Paris, the Diner en Blanc has become a widely sought-after worldwide phenomenon, with over 15,000 members in 17 participating cities (with a variety of spin-off events around the globe). Guests from all over attend an organized-pop up “chic picnic”, where they must dress in white from head to toe and bring along their own tables, chairs, utensils and food and drinks. The kicker of the event is that guests have no idea where it will be taking place until minutes before it starts, with the location communicated by host via social media. Wondering why people spend money to essentially have a fancy picnic with their friends and a gazillion other strangers? Organizers attribute the event’s success to the unique atmosphere and adventurous vibe that surrounds the event, along with the amazing sensation of participating in such an elaborate spectacle of good eats, sparkling conversation and general mass elegance.

Photo by: Diner en Blanc
Photo by: Diner en Blanc

The 15 Most Expensive Airbnb’s In America

Private accommodations site Airbnb all started as a way to provide budget-friendly accommodations to fellow travelers and offer a way to experience the world as a local -all while feeling right at home (in someone else’s home). These days just about any type of accommodation can be found on Airbnb, including entire mansion rentals which rival some of the swankiest hotel accommodations you can find. From countryside estates to pimped out luxury homes that have reportedly housed some note-worthy celebrities, America certainly has it’s fair share of luxury Airbnb’s…and they of course come with hefty price tags.  Let’s take a look at 15 of the most expensive Airbnb’s in America:

15. Spectacular Grand Mansion Sleeps 25

-Manchester, Vermont
Price per night: $2,500 USD

The Wilburton Inn in Manchester, Vermont is promoted as the ideal spot for weddings, corporate events and family reunions. The 1902 historic estate sleeps 25 guests in 10 bedrooms and also has ‘8+’ bathrooms, pool, tennis court and a sculpture garden…how fancy! The 30 acre estate also features other rental houses and can accommodate 125 guests for special events. The price tag might be $2,500 per night with a 2 night minimum but hey, there’s always a price for such elegance.

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb

14. Dream Weddings, Corporate Get Aways

-Gilford, New Hampshire
Price per night: $2,500 USD

Advertised as the perfect retreat for weddings and family reunions, this New Hampshire property is located just minutes from ski hills and lake Winnipesauke. The 5 bedroom, 6 bathroom home can accommodate up to 16 people with 10 beds and also has a hot tub, heated pool, basketball court and even a grass tennis court for non-stop family fun.

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb

13. Antietam Overlook Farm Scenic B&B

-Keedysville, Maryland
Price per night: $2,995 USD

While the price per night may seem high, this lovely farmstead B&B in Maryland is located right near Antietam National Battlefield making it a perfect rental for your reenactment troops. The 19th century-style property can also be rented for events like weddings and parties with space to accommodate up to 50 guests. Featuring 6 bedrooms suites with 6 bathrooms on 95 acres of beautiful Maryland country-side.

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb

12. 3 Bedroom Premium View Unit Solaris

-Vail, Colorado
Price per night: $3,000 USD

This next listing is particularly interesting for those foodies out there who have deep pockets. If you’ve ever wanted to attend the Taste of Vail Food and Wine Festival, but weren’t sure where to stay, consider this swanky rental unit which features 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, over 2,000 sq feet of space, spectacular village views and access to all the amenities if this luxury building including room service, pool, spa, valet, housekeeping and a private chef.

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb

11. Beautiful, Spacious Beach House

-Narrangansett, Rhode Island
Price per night: $3,255 USD

Rhode Island is a favorite summertime vacation destination with beautiful beaches and quaint towns along the beautiful east coast. Staying in this newly built Colonial Narrangansett beach house featuring 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, a third floor deck and ocean views. You can also sip the famous Narrangansett beer while actually being in Narrangansett…all for the not so low price of $3,255 per night.

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb

10. US Open Chambers Bay Mansion

-Tacoma, Washington
Price per night: $3,500 USD

Compared to some of the other luxury accommodations on this list, this 10 bedroom, 10 bathroom Tacoma, Washington mansion is almost a deal at $3,500 per night. The historic home was once owned by the famous Weyerhauser family and sleeps up to 20 guests. It also features 4 kitchens, 4 decks and a media room. The high price tag is due to the fact that the US Open will be in Chambers Bay in June so a 1 week stay is required then. But, they’re throwing in 3 bottles of Chateau St. Michelle wine and a $250 gift card to a local brew pub

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb

9. Executive Indianapolis Home

-Indianapolis, Indiana
Price per night: $3,900 USD

This next listing is somewhat puzzling; OK, we get that being only 6 miles from Lucas Oil Stadium is many football fan’s dream but other than that we don’t really see what’s so special about this “executive home”. The photos in the listing are nice enough and the description indicates the home has 2 fireplaces, a steam shower and flat screen televisions but a $3,900 per night price tag and 4 night minimum? Really?

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb

8. Royal Private Estate

-Santa Fe, New Mexico
Price per night: $4,250 USD

This impressive estate in Santa Fe sits on 14 acres and boasts some seriously spectacular mountain views. The home itself is equally impressive and seems like it could have been featured on MTV’s ‘Cribs’ with features like 3 master suites, a library, theater, gourmet kitchen, “museum quality art collection” and 10-car “auto court”. You know you’ve made it when you don’t just have a garage, but an auto court. It’s no surprise this mega mansion comes with a $4,250 per night price tag.

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb

7. Alaskan Experience on Luxury Yacht

-Juneau, Alaska
Price per night: $5,000 USD

This next luxury listing proves that not all homes (or accommodations) are stationary. Hop aboard this 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom private yacht and set a course for discovery as you explore the wilderness and waters of southeast Alaska. Your luxury yacht comes complete with Captain, crew and your very own private chef. Activities and itineraries are customized and tailor to the preferences of guests. If an Alaskan cruise ship is just too crowded for you (and you have deep pockets) this private option might be just for you.

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb

6. Sprawling Horse Country Estate

-Southern Pines, North Carolina
Price per night: $5,000 USD

When you’re booking an accommodation that costs $5,000 USD per night, you probably want to know what you’re getting. Unfortunately this listing is lacking in details…and photos, but we do know this North Carolina estate sits on 16 acres of farmland. While there are no photos of the inside of the home, the host does indicate there are 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, a pool, a pond and an indoor fitness room. Those that are curious about this rental will just have to contact the host for themselves.

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb

5. Hale Ohana

–Kahuku, Hawaii
Price per night: $5,520 USD

Hawaii is known for luxury accommodations in a picture perfect setting and this lavish rental home is no exception. Hale Ohana O Kekai (which means family house by the sea)  is located on the ocean with private beach access and is a 25 minute drive to historic Haleiwa Town on the island of Oahu. The one-acre property features 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, open air living space, 3 dining areas, infinity pool and a guest house. This slice of Hawaiian paradise has hosted such celebrities as Diana Ross and Bobby Brown -who could easily afford the $5,520 per night price tag and 4 night minimum.

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb

4. English Country Manor

–West Orange, New Jersey
Price per night: $8,000 USD

Located 14 miles from New York City is this elegant country manor –something you might not expect in New Jersey. The 5 bedroom, 7 bathroom home is located in the gated community of Llewellyn Park –the country’s first planned community, and is just down the street from Thomas Edison’s home. There’s also a televisions in each room, a fitness room, country kitchen and a pool table. Sure, there’s no denying this home is lovely…but $8,000 a night?

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb

3. Film Location

–Brooklyn, New York
Price per night: $8,000 USD

If you’re going to spend $8,000 a night to stay in New York, you’d probably expect to be in Manhattan rather than Brooklyn, but one look at the photos of this classic brownstone and you’ll see why the price tag. The 10,000 square foot home was built in 1887 and combines the vintage details and character with modern furnishings. Owned by interior designer Jessica Warren the home is being offered on Airbnb as a film location (hence the price tag). In addition to the 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms is a green room, hang out space and a kitchen that is “perfect for craft service”. All for the starting price of $8,000 for a 12 hr shoot.

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb

2. Abode at Red Cloud

–Park City, Utah
Price per night: $10,000 USD

If you’re planning on making a trip to next year’s Sundance Film Festival and have very deep pockets, check out the Abode at Red Cloud in Park City Utah. This mountain mansion features a spectacular great room with massive fireplace, 2 master suites, wine cellar, exercise room, steam room, screening room (for private film festival parties) and a ski room which provides direct access to the Red Cloud chair lifts via a heated walkway. While this place would probably be any skiers dream, the price tag of $10,000 USD per night put it comfortably out of reach for most. Oh, and did we mention there’s a 3 night minimum?

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb

1. Historical Mansion Garden District

–New Orleans, Louisiana
Price per night: $10,000 USD

This beautiful 4,000 square foot Greek revival style mansion is located in the Garden District of New Orleans. The Airbnb listing claims past guests have been A-list movie stars but doesn’t go as far as to mention any names. The house features 4 large guest rooms each with adjoining bathroom, a kitchen many chefs would be envious of, a pool and gardens. As you can see from the photo, the house is beautiful and decorated in a lavish style that suits the history of the mansion, but at a price tag of $10,000 per night plus cleaning and service fees, this luxury home is reserved for the rich and famous.

Photo by: Airbnb
Photo by: Airbnb