Park City is the town of every powder addict’s dreams. I moved out to Park City 11 years ago, fueled by Mack Dawg movies and a lust for the backcountry. When I lived in New York, my brothers and I would drive to the mountains in Vermont, spending every dime we had on lift tickets and cheap hotel rooms packed four to six people deep. I came out to Park City, Utah on a whim with my brother-in-law and fell in love with it. It has everything you could ever want in a ski town: the Greatest Snow on Earth, food, skiing, jobs, and a great community. Now that I consider myself a local, I have insight into some of the best things to do, both on the mountain and around town.
Park City Mountain Resort is so big and diverse that there’s something for everyone. The Park City base is perfect to ski from your car and hit the Corner Store on the way down. Canyons Resort, which is part of Park City Mountain Resort, has the Ninety-Nine 90 lift with side-country access for those of you looking to dip your toes into the backcountry. Besides the great skiing, there are tons of fun family events like the annual Pond Skimming Competition and Spring Grüv concerts.
If you’re looking to get out of bounds, you need to sign up for a class. Avalanche danger is nothing to joke about, and you should never leave the boundaries of a ski resort without the right gear and proper training. The instructors at White Pine Touring are all awesome and super knowledgeable, and they have a partnership with Park City Powder Cats. Their avalanche courses are designed for everyone from the beginner backcountry user to aspiring guides and professionals. I did my AAIRE I and II with them and they were both experiences I will take with me for the rest of my life.
The Wasatch Brew Pub isn’t really a secret but it’s been one of my favorite spots in town for the past decade. The Jalapeno Cream Ale is my favorite beer from Wasatch. It’s light, spicy, and creamy. It’s very unique and most people can’t stomach it, but it’s perfect for the brave souls who like something a little different. Wasatch Brew Pub has tons of beers made in-house and in Salt Lake City that complement all the foods they offer in the restaurant like cheese curds or their famous Cubano.
Stephen MacKay is the owner and sommelier at Old Town Cellars and a really good friend. He had an awesome idea of becoming the first winery in Park City. Without embarking on the impossible feat of growing the grapes here, he blends wines and brands them with a ski town flare. The bottles are designed by an amazing couple at a Park City design firm called Highlo Designs. Old Town Cellars’ Main Street tasting room is a blend of Stephen’s love for wine and mountain life; the vibe is super casual and fun. They also have small bites from Beltex meats, bone broth, and ramen broth in the fridge up front. If you haven’t been to Old Town Cellars, you’re missing out.
Don’t leave Park City without a visit to Fletcher’s. You’ll be greeted by a warm, rustic-yet-contemporary atmosphere that’ll make you want to sip artfully crafted cocktails and enjoy an outstanding meal made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Fortunately, Fletcher’s has it all, boasting a long cocktail menu as well as fare that’s reminiscent of traditional American food but with an elevated, exotic twist. I highly recommend the peanut crusted salmon—although everything I’ve ever eaten here has been outstanding. Whatever meal you choose, make sure you finish it with the warm butter cake. You can thank me later.
I love to solve bouldering problems at The Mine Bouldering Gym. It’s such a fun little spot for climbing once the snow is gone or if the weather outside isn’t great. The Mine has 4,000 square feet of climbing walls so the whole family has something to enjoy. The floors are covered with pads that provide a soft landing and a perfect surface for flipping around with the kids. It’s great exercise and tons of fun!
The Egyptian Theater is a landmark on Park City’s Main Street, rich with history and home to a long list of live performances from comedy to music. As the name suggests, the theater is Egyptian-themed, lavishly adorned with colorful scarabs, hieroglyphics, intricate tile work, and more unique decor that originated in the 1920s. After a day on the slopes or exploring around town, mix it up and go see a show at this beautiful theater. Many of the shows are family-friendly, so a trip to the Egyptian Theater is an activity that the whole family can enjoy.
Have you ever tried powder surfing? It’s amazing! Trent Hickman is the owner and operator of Park City SUP and does way more than just rent paddle boards. He is an adventure junkie that loves to spread stoke. Trent takes groups out for tours on powder surfers. He rents out the pow surfers and the Verts to get you up the hill. Verts snowshoe-like contraptions with bear claw-shaped toes that pack down soft snow to make ascending easier. Trust me, you don’t want to try walking up a hill in powder without them!
After the snow melts, you can also do OneWheel tours with Trent around Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley. A OneWheel is a motorized skateboard with one very sturdy wheel. They look a little funny if you’re not used to seeing them around, and buying your own can get pricey, but you can rent them from Trent until you’re ready to take the plunge. They are indestructible balls of fun that you can ride anywhere on the mountain or in town!
John Perry is a Park City local hailing from New York City. He is the creative director at Creminelli Fine Meats, a father of two, and an avid splitboarder, cyclist, runner, and traveler. Follow John on Instagram here.