Park City is one of my favorite towns to visit hands down. I’ve been riding and skiing here for more than 20 years.
The food scene, the people, the mountains, fly fishing, easily some of the best snow and the best gravel riding in the world, the Wasatch are simply incredible. The same goes for the Valley: Salt Lake City is absolutely one of my favorite cities in the country, has only gotten better over the years (besides suffering from the same sprawl as Denver), and it’s actually one of the few cities I would ever consider living in due to its proximity to some of the best snow and mountains on earth and a vibrant social scene.
I remember interviewing for a job with Backcountry.com, writing some form of early commerce content I think it was, two decades ago, and I always wondered how my life would have been different had I moved out to Utah instead of staying in Colorado. But winter and summer, I have to make it out to Park City at least once a year.
As you’re making plans for the winter’s ski season, I highly recommend putting the Westgate Park City Resort & Spa at the foot of The Canyons on your list. Nestled in this exclusive base area, the Westgate Park City offers a gateway to fun, dining, shopping, apres, and outdoor adventure in a unique way even by Park City standards. Westgate Park City also boast “Utah’s Largest Pool” among its two indoor pools, including an adult-only relaxation pool, two spa tubs and a heated indoor/outdoor pool, among other amenities.
Park City is consistently recognized a must-visit destination year round. From delectable dining and stunning vistas to seasonal activities and unique history: I always recommend a visit to the Park City Museum on Main Street. For me as a fan of the town and the region and the history of the mountains, I was blown away by the work they do at the museum and the unique western heritage of Park City.
I feel the same way about the Olympic Training Center down the road. It is truly a world-class facility, one of a kind really in the U.S., with an exquisite winter sports museum and viewing and activity options that will blow your mind. Riding the bobsled course will change your outlook on Olympic sport; it’s incredible. And the people there are first class; many of the workers at the Center are current and former Olympians.
The Alpenglobes Patio on the backside of the hotel adjacent to the EDGE Steakhouse is a romantic and highly Instagramable place to grab a drink, especially as the sun begins to set. Westgate Park City Resort’s award-winning Edge Steakhouse and its staff delivers a cutting-edge culinary experience that takes the traditional steakhouse to new heights with exceptional creations, cocktails, and a thoughtful, inspired wine list. With a world-class culinary team led by award-winning Chef Wayne E. Christian, who we got to know over the course of four days, the menu delivers a unique blend of traditional steakhouse favorites with an array of specialty appetizers, creative entrees and innovative side dishes.
Also in the resort, Best of State award-winning Drafts Burger Bar is an elegant-yet-comfortable gastropub featuring spectacular mountainside views of the Canyons — now part of Park City Resort and accessible with your Epic pass. People were raving over the breakfast at Drafts, and we had a brunch spread one day that was to die for. There’s also a convenient coffee shop in the front lobby of the hotel with plenty of seating and an outdoor patio under a giant waterfall. Westgage even has a little on-site market in addition to the two restaurants on property which is open to the public but you can also charge stuff to your room which is always nice.
If you haven’t been up here, Canyons Village is a family style, guest-centric village that was rather off the radar just a few years ago, and now plays host to a variety of events and provides access to the Orange Bubble Express—the country’s first bubbled and temp controlled chairlift.
For off-site imbibing and dining, you have many options, not the least of which is High West Distillery, now with its famed downtown location where I’ve eaten many times, and its event venue and distillery located just a few minutes outside of town at Blue Sky Ranch — an truly incredible, state of the art, interpretive entertainment venue. The history of distilling in Utah will shock you. High West began with humble roots, opening a small, 250-gallon still and Saloon in an historic livery stable and garage. What was once a small operation in downtown Park City has grown to be an internationally recognized, award-winning brand.
For my money, the slopeside access and as well as the spa make this a no-brainer in and of itself. It’s super kid friendly, has a nice workout room, ski storage, and a complimentary shuttle service. Once you figure out how the elevators and room-numbering system works, you’re good to go.
I had one of the best spa days of my life here in fact. The well-appointed locker rooms and waiting areas are resplendent, featuring a private soaking tub just for spa guests, lots of treatment rooms so you’re never waiting too long, and an adjacent yoga room where I had an amazing Vinyasa Flow class where I patiently practiced continuous breath-linked movements with a focus on maintaining awareness, building strength, flexibility and stamina in a vigorous practice, followed by an exploration of absorption and rebirth in savasana. The award-winning Serenity Spa at Westgate Park City Resort & Spa is consistently rated as one of the top spas in Park City.
I was there in the summer so I also rented a sweet downhill mountain bike from Aloha sports, conveniently right on plaza level in the back of the resort, where you can also rent the skis of your dreams during the winter.
Even though I travel and lot and have stayed all over Park City and the other incredible Utah resorts, I would take my family back to the Westgate, use my Epic pass, and crush pow right out the back door without a second thought any time.
–Author Aaron Bible is an award-winning travel and outdoors writer with more than 30 years experience covering the outdoor lifestyle business. Follow him @DefinitelyWild for more adventures, gear reviews, and travel trends and advice.