by Kasey Caminiti | October 25, 2019 11:30 am
Utah is home to some of the greatest skiing in the country. With its clusters of top ski resorts bookended by city life, it is ideal getaway material for powder season and beyond. On any trip out, you’ll likely combine elements of both city and ski culture–fly into Salt Lake City and drive the 30 mile scenic stretch to Park City, passing through some of the region’s most iconic ski areas and lodges along the way. This is your comprehensive guide to navigating it all, experiencing the best of Salt Lake City and Park City and all of the essential slopes in between.
Where to Stay:
Located just steps from the town’s ski lift, Washington School House Hotel in Park City is an exquisite expression of boutique hospitality, fresh off of a multi-million dollar renovation within the storied walls of its 1800s landmark schoolhouse. Here, ski culture meets the charm of this intimate space, offering custom full-service ski fittings and a heated ski closet, with a ski valet service available to run gear to and from lifts. After your time on the slopes, enjoy daily après along with Pastry Chef Callie Mundy’s inventive s’mores. With just 12 rooms, a stay at Washington School House Hotel is a hot commodity if you’re looking for a quiet, luxurious respite for your ski getaway. Be sure to indulge in a private dinner on property at least once (Executive Chef Ryan Frye’s locally-inspired fare is not to be missed).
Salt Lake City
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City is a favorite amongst Salt Lake City locals and visitors alike, so bookmark this one for your trip’s dose of metropolis. The awe-inspiring historic building houses 225 eclectic guest rooms along with New American hotspot Bambara and 35-seat bar and lounge The Vault. Top ski resorts are between 15 and 25 minutes away by car; the hotel offers ski storage and a daily après to guests.
For a chic stay in the heart of the action, Snowpine Lodge is the ultimate resort experience (and a photogenic one at that). Made up of breathtaking views, beautifully designed and decorated spaces, immediate access to the local ski lifts, and rich history (the property sits on the site of the oldest building in the area), this is the benchmark for luxury hospitality in Alta. When not skiing, spend your evenings at Swen’s Restaurant or The Gulch Pub on site.
Where to Ski:
Alta Ski Area
Since opening in 1938, Alta Ski Area in the Wasatch Mountain Range has become an iconic destination for Utah skiing. Expect serious powder days, great on-mountain food and drink for breaks and après, and unforgettable panoramic views.
With over 1200 skiable acres across a vast canyon, Solitude is an ideal place to be alone with just your thoughts and your skis (though it’s just as enjoyable with company). Ski as much as you can on the resort’s 80 runs, and save some time to explore the village’s dining, shopping, spa, and more.
Perched atop Big Cottonwood Canyon and known for its high-speed quads, Brighton is a perfectly manicured dreamscape. And with 220 fully illuminated acres, it also happens to have the most night skiing terrain in the state. This is an ideal resort for families day and night (kids 10 and under ski for free).
A Park City favorite, Deer Valley offers one of the highest staff-to-skier ratios around–they’ve got service down to a science. Enjoy over 2,000 acres of slopes and incredibly easy access from town.
Where to Eat and Drink:
High West Saloon, the country’s only ski-in gastro-distillery, offers some of the best food and drink in town (if you have time, take a trip out to their distillery and tasting room in Wanship). For a classic fine dining experience, try Riverhorse on Main, perched high above the town’s main drag. Take a quick drive to Deer Valley and while you’re there, check out The Brass Tag for elevated fare from an open kitchen’s brick oven. For the best burger in Park City, pay a visit to Montage Deer Valley’s Burgers & Bourbon.
Salt Lake City
There’s no shortage of great cocktails in Salt Lake City; check out Good Grammar for inventive drinks and artisan bar food, or Bar-X for Prohibition-era vibes and a possible Ty Burrell sighting (he owns the place). Outside of Kimpton Hotel Monaco’s offerings, you’ll want to check out the city’s top restaurants such as Eva, an intimate Mediterranean bistro and New American favorites Pallet and The Copper Onion.
Salt Lake City and Park City are just as enjoyable in the off-season. For the adventurous, book a UTV or ATV tour (guided or non) of Wasatch Mountain State Park with Wasatch Excursions; snowmobile tours are also offered during the winter (a great option for those who wish to experience the great outdoors outside of skiing or snowboarding). In Park City, a long leisurely walk down Main Street to explore the local businesses is a must, along with hiking, fly fishing the Provo River or a nearby stream (great for rafting or tubing in the summertime), a Champagne hot air balloon ride over the breathtaking local landscape, and much more.
Salt Lake City’s all-season highlights lie in its arts and culture scenes. Be sure to check out the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, The Leonardo Museum (science and art), Natural History Museum of Utah, and Pioneer Memorial Museum. During your visit, check the Vivint Smart Home Arena events calendar and catch a concert or a Utah Jazz game. And of course, you’ll never run out of national parks to explore.
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