20 Best Things to Do in Park City, Utah, According to Locals


From booking the hottest hotel in town to exploring the world's only ski-in gastrodistillery, these are some of the best things to do in Park City.

By Brad Japhe  |  Published on December 28, 2023

View of snowy mountains from a chairlift in Park City
Photo: Tessa Desjardins/Travel + Leisure

When people ponder Park City, they most likely conjure up images of world-class skiing. Or, celebrities in designer winter wear hobnobbing on snowy sidewalks, cordoned off from the prying eyes of paparazzi and the general public. It’s a well-earned reputation, as this was the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics, and it continues to be the annual home of Sundance — the largest independent film festival in the United States. 

But there’s a lot more going on in this idyllic mountain town that doesn’t receive international attention. For starters, Park City is a worthwhile destination for all seasons. Saddled 7,000 feet high within the corrugated peaks of the Wasatch Range, it provides access to some of the best spring hiking, summer mountain biking, and fall leaf peeping you’ll find anywhere in the American West. Indeed, shoulder season here is perhaps its best-kept secret.

Regardless of when you arrive, however, you’ll be greeted by a warm and welcoming community, one that’s way more cosmopolitan than its small population of under 10,000 might suggest. The streets of downtown are studded with a diverse array of dining options ranging from rustic, farm-raised fare to polished, Michelin-caliber omakase. You can grab a drink from the world’s only ski-in gastrodistllery. Or, simply admire the soaring scenery while cozied up by a fire in the foyer of a five-star luxury hotel.

This particular part of Utah is more than a thousand miles from the nearest ocean. Park City is your own personal oyster, nonetheless. Take a pluck with some expert advice. We’ve queried a handful of locals to reveal their favorite things to do in town. It wasn’t easy, but we’ve whittled down that guidance to no less than 20 recommendations. And with the completion of massive new additions to nearby Salt Lake City International Airport, it’s never been easier to access this part of the world.

Ski Deer Valley Resort with a champion.

People skiing down a mountain in Park City

Tessa Desjardins/Travel + Leisure

Park City is home to two world-class resorts. In addition to its eponymous mountain, there’s also Deer Valley, with it’s 2,000 acres of skiable terrain. Here, you can strap on your boots and take some turns alongside an actual Olympic athlete. The experience doesn’t come cheap, though. A full day with one of the six local legends will set you back $2,800.

Pack the ultimate picnic.

As co-founder of Tupelo — one of Park City’s top farm-to-table dining concepts — Maggie Alvarez knows a thing or two about sourcing great grub. But she doesn’t only want to be inside to enjoy it. On especially beautiful days, she likes to take her food into an alpine setting to set up the ideal mountain picnic. And there are plenty of places across town to grab the sort of on-the-go fare she needs for the job.

“We like to do daytime dates, so we will grab an amazing sandwich at Chop Shop or Big Dipper, and then take it with us for a hike,” she says. “We have been exploring the trails at Wasatch Mountain State Park a lot this summer; they’re easy to access and [offer a] high scenic reward, especially if you don’t have a ton of time.”

Go blow some glass.

Two men are working hard to create a unique art piece of molten glass

joshuaraineyphotography/Getty Images

Renowned bartender Xania V. Woodman mixes up an array of creative cocktails at not one, but two locations across town — Sip & Stir and Handle. When she’s not busy behind the bar, she likes to get behind the torch at Red Flower Studios. “They offer glass-blowing [sessions] for individuals and groups that let you take home a truly unique souvenir: your own mouth-blown bauble or ornament,” says Woodman. “And let me tell you, the sheer sense of accomplishment that comes from going from zero to hero with a new skill is such a high.”

Toast to your artsy accomplishment with a pint of local craft beer.

“It doesn't hurt that you can then celebrate your sweet victory with a sour beer next door at Offset Bier,” adds Woodman. The popular hangout also specializes in dark lagers and hoppy IPAs. Menus change with the season, but the house ale, DOPO, is a perennial standby on draft. 


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Partake in inclusive winter sports.

A group of friends with mobility issues skiing

Fly View Productions/Getty Images

For people with disabilities, skiing remains a daunting task at many resorts across the country. Thankfully, that’s not the case in Park City, which is home to the National Ability Center (NAC). It’s a nonprofit organization that provides adaptive recreation and outdoor adventures to individuals with disabilities, and it just opened a new, state-of-the-art facility focusing on inclusive winter sport access for visitors with cognitive, physical, and developmental disabilities.

Have dinner in a yurt on top of a mountain.

Ever wanted to enjoy chef-driven cuisine in an opulent tent, 10,000 feet above sea level? The Viking Yurt offers an unforgettable evening just for you and your loved ones. The experience begins promptly at 5:45 p.m. with a 25-minute sleigh ride up to the pinnacle of Park City. You’re welcomed into the yurt with a mug of glogg as you settle in for a 3.5-hour dining adventure. Dinners start at $280 per person, including tax and gratuity, and must be reserved in advance.

Take a shot from the world's longest shot ski.

Exterior of High West Distillery

Visit Park City

If you’re hankering for something a bit stronger, High West has you covered. The huge saloon with its own stillhouse — and a pronounced Old West vibe — opened along Main Street back in 2007. As its whiskey became increasingly fashionable across the country, the brand moved most of its production to a distillery up the road in Wanship, which is now open to the public for tours. But this original location remains home to a boisterous bar and restaurant. Every October, it hosts the World’s Longest Shot Ski event. To set the most recent record, the bar lined up 528 skis, end to end, serving 1,340 people a communal shot of spirit.

Discover the area's (haunted) history.

A group of people on a Ghost Tour in Park City

Courtesy of Park City Ghost Tours

If it’s a different sort of spirit you’re seeking, check out Park City Ghost Tours, which heads out every night starting at 7 p.m. in the winter and 8 p.m. in the summer. “As a mining camp-cum-boomtown that nearly became a ghost town, Park City takes its history seriously,” says Woodman. “The Park City Museum delivers with not only a high-quality Main Street exhibition that can take multiple visits to soak in (don’t miss the basement jail), but also organized hikes to historic places, lectures, and local cemetery tours.”

Refuel at the best new restaurants in town.

“The newest hot spot on Main Street is Pine Cone Ridge,” according to Woodman. “It has an inviting bar, an adventurous craft cocktail menu, and a bar menu with prices that are somewhat gentler than the dining room. You'll find me there, taking up space at the bar, enjoying a dry Manhattan paired alongside crab cakes Louis.”

Escape from Main Sreet.

A man figuring out a puzzle in Park City Escape Room

Courtesy of Escape Room Park City

Located along the lower section of Main Street, Escape Room Park City offers four original experiences, including a Mine Trap with a distinctively Western feel. They can be booked for up to 10 players, starting at $39 per person. It’s a great afternoon out for families.

Sip some local vino.

Bar at Old Town Cellars

Dan Campbell Photography

Old Town Cellars operates a bar and lounge featuring sommelier-led wine tastings. You can enjoy a bespoke assortment of pours tailored to your exacting specifications. Or, you can let it ride with a dealer’s choice of offerings. It can include wines that are expertly blended right here in town. Whatever enters your glass, you’ll walk away with a wider sense of knowledge for the art of oenology.

Spice things up with some sensational shakshuka.

Shakshuka from FiveSeeds

Courtesy of FiveSeeds

“When the brunch occasion arises, I don't mess around — I go straight to Five5eeds and let a sizzling cast-iron pan of spicy shakshuka bring me back to life,” says Woodman. “The Australian owners ensure the coffee is proper, as is the ... savory Waffle and Chook, when available. Alas, you can't make reservations, but they are kind enough to include the current waitlist on their homepage.”

Peruse lots of boutiques.

Park City, Utah, USA Town View Over Main Street

Sean Pavone/Getty Images

If you like to shop local, you’re in luck. There’s no shortage of independently owned establishments in downtown Park City. Even within a short stroll, you’ll find something to suit all tastes, according to Alvarez. “I’m loving Minnows right now for the most adorable kids clothing,” she says. “I’m also a big fan of JW Bennet for custom hats that instantly elevate any outfit. And Park City Gardens for the plant-obsessed.”

Explore a setting specializing in social aid.

A drink sitting on a menu at Alpine Social Club

Courtesy of Alpine Social Club

“I book corporate and private events for Alpine Social Club, but when I'm not there for work, I still like to hang out in the modern, subterranean lounge and enjoy classic and original cocktails made with their portfolio of spirits,” says Woodman. “The espresso martini is one of the best in town, and I personally adore the Penicillin, made with the Sergent's single-malt whiskey.”

Book a stay at a luxury hotel.

Interior of the Apres lounge at the Pendry Park City

Christian Horan Photography

When it comes to five-star accommodations, Park City provides a range of options. The St. Regis, the Montage, and the Pendry are all excellent options for those who want to stay as close to the mountain as possible. Each offer multiple dining options, robust spa services, and heated pools. During the shoulder season, it’s not unusual to get into any of these properties for around $350 per night. When ski season starts, expect those rates to double.

Bake some babka.

Sweet Homemade Chocolate Babka Bread

bhofack2/Getty Images

Utah and Slovakia might not seem like the most obvious of geographic partnerships, but thanks to one intrepid expat, the connection is a decidedly delicious one. Bake With Lenka is a two-hour hands-on cooking experience, in which guests arrive at the namesake chef’s home and learn how to perfect making the Eastern European pastry. Bookings start at $115 per person and are hosted year-round.

Rent an e-bike and roll through town.

Biking Park City is a great way to take in the sights while also appreciating the fresh mountain air. It can be challenging terrain, however, for those who don’t have experience tackling the ups and downs of alpine cycling, especially at high elevations. E-bikes are a fun and fairly affordable workaround. You can rent yours from Pedego, starting at $85 for a half day. Get a good bit of exercise without feeling floored. 

Enjoy a scenic drive outside of town.

Aerial View of Salt Lake City Suburb Sunset

Shunyu Fan/Getty Images

If you’re arriving in summertime or early fall, consider a quick getaway up Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway. Though the road requires just under seven miles of driving up windy pavement, you’ll take in a ton of views along the way. Aspens, evergreens, and billowing fields filled with wildflowers will surround you in every direction. And those vistas only become increasingly expansive as you summit the 9,717-foot crest of the Wasatch Range.

Feed your sense of adventure on the alpine coaster.

A man riding the alpine coast

Courtesy of Park City Mountain

The Park City Mountain Coaster is the longest of its kind in all of Utah. Visit outside of the winter months and you can whiz down its mile-long track at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. Tickets to the top start at $30 per ride, but the views are priceless.

Admire all the art.

A group of women looking at art in a gallery

Visit Park City

Park City boasts an unexpectedly large art scene for a town of its size. In fact, there are more than 20 galleries lining the streets, encompassing all mediums from bronze sculptures to black-and-white nature photography. The distinctive look and feel of each venue is on full display during the final Friday of each month, when the Park City Gallery Association offers its three-hour-long gallery stroll. It's free and open to the public.