Word of Mouth: Park City
Outdoor adventure, cultural immersion and world-class cuisine in the mountains of Utah
More than just a hub for the film industry when it plays host to the annual Sundance Film Festival, Utah's Park City offers charm and adventure year round. The surrounding Wasatch Mountains provide plenty of opportunity for outdoor excursions in all seasons, while world-class dining and entertainment can be found in the small historic town. And with a superb public transportation system, it's all easily accessible. Just 20 miles outside of Salt Lake City, Park City is a small mountain-town destination with the cultural capital to rival far larger urban dwellings.
Summit Meadows Adventure
Featuring winding mountainous turns and long straights for picking up speed, Summit Meadows Adventure's guided snowmobile tours are as exciting as the Beehive State gets. Each two-hour round-trip experience incorporates training, thrills and a miraculous summit experience with an unparalleled view of the mountains. Even if you've never driven a car—or even a riding lawnmower—the staff can prepare you for fun. They also offer all the over-apparel you need, except for goggles. Be warned, though: you may cross the path of a stray moose.
Take a stroll down Main Street and you're guaranteed to notice the restaurant Silver, housed in a brick building dating back to 1926. The menu of classic American dishes are born from seasonal and local ingredients. The delightful, creative fare—the Zabuton steak is a notable standout—is supported by a 3,000-bottle wine list and artisanal cocktails. The overall environment is modern but cozy, which complements the cooking perfectly. A must stop.
Deer Valley Resort
There are a number of notable ski resorts surrounding Park City: Canyons Resort, Deer Valley Resort and the Park City Mountain Resort are all close to downtown, and each has been ranked as a top ten US ski facility. While everyone tends to have their favorite mountain, we are quite fond of Deer Valley. The resort is surrounded by some of the area's best lodges, all with free transportation to the slopes. It boasts over 300 inches of fresh powder a year, which in turn is backed up by state-of-the-art snowmaking. There's even an app detailing the most curtain conditions and handy trail information. Altogether, it is 2,026 skiable acres and 101 trails. During the summer months, you can also go mountain biking or hiking, experience outdoor dining or even standup paddle boarding.
The Egyptian Theater
More than just a movie theater, Park City's famed Egyptian Theater (also known as the Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theatre) plays host to special events, theater and dance performances year round. Constructed in 1922, the theater has become synonymous with the Sundance Film Festival, but you can drop by for a flick any time. Classics air on their screen with great frequency.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten's J&G Grille delivers an outstanding, upscale experience with a view to match. Accessible via a funicular from the St. Regis, the restaurant is located atop a mountain and is surrounded by flaming rock gardens. The famous chef's menu is composed of local fish, locally sourced cheese and the highest quality meats, while the 7452 Bloody Mary—named after the restaurant's elevation—incorporates lava salt and a potent blend of spices.
Kimball Art Center
Free and open to the public year round, the Kimball Art Center brings top-tier global art exhibitions and programming to the resort town. Extending beyond exhibits and events, there's also a strong focus on education for artists of all ages. This non-profit center was transformed from the Kimball Brothers' Garage in 1976, thanks to the vision of brother Bill, an art collector. It also happens to be the home of Park City's one professional art supply shop, the Studio 6 Supply Store. With three galleries inside, there's always a wide swathe of work to appeal to various art explorers.
Lead image courtesy of Jason Cameron, snowmobile photo by David Graver, other images courtesy of brands