In this series, Katie Goldstein from Travelingpanties and Smartypanties is breaking down the best honeymoon destinations, one at a time, to help you narrow down the dizzying array of options so you can choose the one that reflects your interests, budget and style. Up today? Park City.
Park City, Utah
Park City, Utah
Most visitors reach Park City, Utah, through Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), which is only about a 35-minute drive from Park City.
Parking in Park City’s Main Street area isn’t easy, so we recommend parking outside of town and riding the city’s free bus. Most hotels also offer shuttles to many popular area attractions.
About Park City
Park City is one of the country’s most sophisticated ski towns, even with its notorious laid-back Western atmosphere, it exudes plenty of class. Although Park City is famous for its fantastic skiing and winter sports (cue snowdrifts and snowbunnies), it’s so much more than that. Park City is a low-key city, recently voted as the “best town in America” by Outdoor Magazine. To accommodate its cosmopolitan clientele, there are plenty of luxury resorts, opulent spas and fine-dining establishments. And of course, every January the Sundance Film Festival comes to town, bringing the best and brightest in the film industry. During its non-peak seasons (spring, summer and early fall), Park City offers an endless array of activities for a fraction of the cost. The local saying goes: You come to Park City for the winters and stay for the summers. Whatever you’re looking for and whenever you choose to visit, Park City will be bustling and there will be something to tickle your fancy.
When to go
The best time to visit Park City depends on what you’re hoping to experience. If you’re looking for the best skiing, December through March is the prime time to visit. If you’re hoping to rub elbows with the stars, then a visit during the Sundance Film Festival is a must. However, price-conscious couples may wish to avoid visiting during the film festival since hotel rates skyrocket. But if you can afford to visit during that time, it is a great time to ski since most visitors partake in the Sundance Film Festival, leaving the slopes far less crowded than usual.
If you’re looking to enjoy the great outdoors during the summer or fall in Park City, you’re in luck! The city really comes alive during this time of year. Added bonus? Rates at premier luxury hotels drop considerably during this time (we’re talking a tenth of the cost of peak-season rates), and there is a seemingly endless array of outdoor activities and music festivals in which to partake.
Where to stay
Park City is bursting with luxury hotel options perfect for honeymooners. Here are our top picks:
The Waldorf Astoria Park City embodies urban sophistication set amid spectacular natural scenery. From the moment you step into the hotel, you’ll understand what makes it so iconic. The hotel’s decor marries contemporary style with warm and extravagant lodge-inspired touches like in-room fireplaces and marble bathrooms. Rooms are appointed with state-of-the-art electronics and Ferragamo toiletries and residences boast Viking kitchen appliances. There is an outdoor pool and hot tub year round, which offers magnificent mountain views and poolside service in the summer so you can kick back and relax. And don’t miss the hotel’s famous Champagne ice bar during winter months — it’s a sight to be seen! The renowned Waldorf Astoria Spa is one of the city’s most famous. We recommend the signature hydrotherapy facial — a truly one-of-a-kind treatment that will leave your skin refreshed and renewed. The hotel is conveniently located in Canyons Resort (one of three alpine ski resorts located in Park City and the largest ski and snowboard resort in Utah) with easy access to skiing.
Prepare for classic Park City luxury at the Stein Eriksen Lodge, a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond hotel. The lobby boasts an impressive three-story fireplace that begs you to come snuggle with a cup of cocoa. The grounds are expertly manicured and absolutely stunning: Sidewalks are heated in the winter and the property is covered in flowers during the warmer months — don’t be surprised if you see a hummingbird whiz by. Guestrooms boast luxury amenities like wood-burning fireplaces and outdoor hot tubs on suite verandas. This will undoubtedly be the classiest lodge you’ve ever seen. Plus, with a world-class spa and two of the hottest restaurants in town, it’s no surprise that this place is a star-studded hangout. The spa is a must no matter when you come. We recommend the Mountain Romance Treatment Package, which includes a 20-minute soak with your honey, a 50-minute massage and then time together afterwards in a couples’ relaxation room where a surprise awaits. The hotel is nestled in Deer Valley and provides easy ski-in/ski-out access to its slopes.
Be sure to let them know that you’re honeymooners — we don’t want to spoil the surprise, but think along the lines of rose petals and plenty of Champagne.
What to do
Besides skiing and stalking celebrities in between movie screenings at Sundance, Park City is filled with plenty of things to do all year round. With enough recreational activities to keep you happy for weeks, plenty of slope-side shops, luxury spas and culture, Park City has something to keep everyone happy!
For outdoorsy types
- Skiing is of course the main attraction in Park City and with good reason. There are three main ski areas in Park City, each which is impressive in its own right. Deer Valley has great all-around skiing and is the pinnacle of service, Park City Mountain Resort has some of the best powder and freestyle riding in the world and Canyons Resort has progressive skiing and some killer, steep terrain.
- Couples looking to enjoy some together time in the great outdoors during the warmer months are also in luck! Experience every outdoorsy activity you can dream of — surrounded by a stunning landscape. The Mountain Trails Foundation maintains hundreds of miles of trails around Park City for visitors to conveniently hike or bike along. Pick the perfect trail for your next hike or biking trip by checking out their interactive trail map.
For film buffs
- Sundance Film Festival descends on Park City every January to celebrate independent filmmakers. Sundance brings with it the glitterati, their entourages, the paparazzi and thousands of film fans. This is a must for those looking to see films that will thrill and inspire, as well as the actors who star in them.
- But summer isn’t the only time to catch a cutting-edge flick. The Canyons Resort Summer Film Series, which runs from July through September, offers a selection of Sundance Selection films outside under the stars.
For adrenaline junkies
To get your thrills, a visit to Park City Mountain Resort is a great time. Here you’ll have a chance to experience many exciting activities like zip lining, an alpine coaster and of course, the famous Alpine Slide, one of the longest slides in the world at over 3,000 feet.
For the longest and most exhilarating zip line in Utah, be sure to visit Canyons Resort.
Visitors can also check out Utah Olympic Park where they can experience the ride of a lifetime on the Comet Bobsled, driven by a professional pilot. Bobsleds reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour in the summer and nearly 80 miles per hour in the winter. The Park is also home of the steepest zip line in the world — a must for true adventurers.
For hopeless romantics
- See the city like never before — from a hot air balloon! Taking a hot air balloon at sunrise is guaranteed to be one of the most memorable experiences of your trip — just don’t forget your coffee since most tours meet at 6 a.m. or earlier. Check out Park City Balloon Adventures.
- Enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride at Deer Valley or Canyons Resort.
- Enjoy some well-deserved spa time together after a day on the slopes at premier luxury spas like the Waldorf Astoria Spa and The Spa at Stein Eriksen Lodge. (See recommendations above.)
- Park City, Utah, is famous for its hip, yet laid-back style that epitomizes the chic Sundance vibe. To hit the slopes in style, be sure to take a walk along Main Street. Here you’ll find local art galleries, gourmet food stores and stylish boutiques. Be sure to stop into Cake Boutique to pick up some cool threads — prices are surprisingly affordable!
- Flight Boutique is another great store with plenty of options that won’t break the bank.
For history buffs
- A walk through Park City’s Old Town district on its historic Main Street is a must. If you’re looking to gain some insight into Park City’s interesting history, be sure to check out the Park City Museum, which is open year round.
- Park City has a surprisingly exciting music scene. Be sure to catch a concert at Deer Valley in the summer because their gourmet picnic baskets alone are worth the visit.
- Check out this website to find out where you can find live music.
If you’re looking for a great night out, be sure to check out the No Name Saloon, where they’ve been helping people forget their names since 1903!
Where to eat
- For some incredible, hearty, haute cuisine at one of the finest hotels in town, check out Glitretind at the Stein Eriksen Lodge, a celebrity favorite. Be sure to save room for dessert! Their Baked Alaska and Goat Cheesecake desserts are worth loosening your belt.
- If you’re looking for romance, Fireside Dining offers culinary favorites from the European Alps in Deer Valley. Enjoy an indulgent four-course meal served from stone fireplaces. This meal is a true event that will last the entire evening. Horse-drawn sleigh rides are also available for hire throughout the evening. Couples can even take a snowshoe break! (Only open during winter)
- The High West Distillery is a must for whiskey aficionados. It feels like an old-time saloon but serves up inventive cocktails and trendy cuisine. Sample their spirits and get an education in whiskey from their knowledgeable staff. This establishment is the only ski-in distillery in the world!
- Legends Grill is a great place to grab a bite for lunch at Park City Mountain Resort. Be sure to try their Tuna Nachos.
- Royal Street Cafe is one of the best restaurants in town. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu, but you won’t soon forget the crab tower and D.V.B.L.T. (Deer Valley B.L.T.) And don’t forget to take a couple of their homemade cookies to go!
- Red Tail Grill serves up caliente Mexican cuisine at Canyons Resort. Be sure to try their jalapeño margarita and their killer guacamole.
- Talisker on Main is a fantastic restaurant serving up solid cuisine in a cute atmosphere.
What to watch out for
Don’t ski on terrain that you’re not ready for. Park City offers many exciting slopes — just make sure you choose one that is appropriate for your skill level.