As an avid snowboarder traveling in from the east coast, there’s nothing quite like looking out the window of the airplane and seeing the snow covered mountains surrounding beautiful Salt Lake City. Typically when I fly into other large cities that are even remotely close to a ski resort, I usually dread the two plus hour drive to the mountains. That’s not the case with Park City — it’s an almost-too-good-to-be-true quick and easy 30 minute drive east on Interstate 80.
Westgate Park City Resort and Spa Is the Perfect Base For a Utah Ski Trip
Park City is one of the most visitor friendly ski resorts in all of the United States (and yes, I’ve been to quite a few). At the Westgate Park City Resort & Spa, it’s easy to have the time of your life whether you’re a skier, a snowboarder, or none of the above.
The Westgate Park City Resort & Spa
Home isn’t generally something I want my vacation getaway to feel like, but Westgate Park City made me reconsider that mindset. Upon walking into my one bedroom hotel room, I was immediately greeted by an inviting, warm, and cozy atmosphere with a fireplace — a necessity for me after a long day on the slopes.
This resort has a variety of dining experiences, a giant swimming pool that flows from the indoors to outside, multiple hot tubs, fire pits, and an arcade (once you discover the arcade, it’s not easy to leave). It’s also home to the top-notch Serenity Spa. This luxurious hotel has all these amenities, plus breathtaking views of Canyons Village. The ski-in, ski-out option alone makes this place all worth your while. As someone who likes to take many breaks from snowboarding throughout the day, this place is well worth it.
After spending a full day on the mountain, I waddled my way into the Serenity Spa at Westgate and immediately felt relaxed. I was greeted by the wonderful staff who couldn’t help but laugh as I still had all my ski gear on. They instantly made me feel welcomed and at ease. After I selected the type of service from the mile-long spa menu, they got to work making me feel like I was on cloud nine.
The spa itself feels intimate. I highly recommend going with the 90-minute Swedish massage, but there are options for whatever aches or needs you may have. The full-service mountain retreat day spa has salon services, massages, facial and body treatments, and more. After, bee-line to the hot tub in the spa to complete the experience.
Exploring Park City
The main reason visitors come to Park City in the winter from all over the world is to ride the dual mountains. Which, yes, Park City is by far one of the most stand-out resorts in the country. However, even when you’re not on your board or skis, you’ll never run out of things to do.
On Main Street in downtown, you’ll find everything from art galleries, to small family-owned businesses, to the high-end storefronts selling ski gear and more (think Cotopaxi, North Woods USA, Pine, Roots, and, my personal favorite, Sock City).
Off of Main Street, both Canyons Village and Park City have plenty of their own shops if you’re wanting to take a quick stroll post-skiing.
Home to the Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games in 2002, Olympic Park is now an adventure spot for outdoor sports and activities. Here, you can complete a ropes course, zipline, go tubing, or go for gold on the bobsled run. After, check out the Alf Engen Ski Museum. It’s named after Alf Engen, a legendary skier who developed the technique for powder skiing right here in Utah. The museum contains more than 300 items from the Engen family, as well as ski-related exhibits. Olympic Park is open year-round, however the activities vary depending on season. Even if your main goal in Park City is to hit the slopes, this historic location ties together what makes this ski destination so unique.
Olympic Park: 3419 Olympic Pkwy, Park City, UT 84098
Where to eat and drink in Park City
Park City has sky high standards when it comes to the food and drink scene with a wide range of options. If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of great joints to just grab a quick meal like O’Shucks Bar & Grill Main Street or Davanza’s Pizza. However, if you’re looking to splurge on a fancy meal then you’re in for a treat.
Riverhorse on Main
This mountain-casual destination serves eclectic American cuisine, and is located in the heart of Main Street. The restaurant was hopping when I arrived, but it didn’t lose its chill atmosphere with a modern vibe. The menu features everything from buffalo tartare, wild game, and wagyu, to oysters, lobster, trout, and king crab legs. Well-made cocktails and an impressive wine list complete the meal. It’s little more on the pricey side, but worth every penny.
Riverhorse on Main: 540 Main St, Park City, UT 84060
This contemporary Mexican restaurant features chef Seguro’s long-time family recipes on the menu. It’s hard to go wrong with the house-made guacamole and chips, nacho grande appetizer, and the mouth watering tacos. Keep room for the flan dessert — this creamy orange blossom custard with fresh berries and quinoa crumble was not something to pass up.
Located at the corner of 4th and Main Street, Alpine Distilling (and its bar, Park City Social Aid & Pleasure Club) is known for its award-winning spirits and the cocktails made with them that capture the true spirit of life in Park City. It’s the only locally owned and operated distillery in town, and the distillery makes whiskey, gin, and liqueurs. My drink of choice was an espresso martini — the absolute best I’ve ever had. If you’re looking for a quick drink before or after dinner, this is one of those spots you don’t want to pass up, and you can take a bottle back with you if you find a favorite.
Alpine Distilling: 364 Main St, Park City, UT 84060
Drafts Burger Bar
Don’t let the name of this place fool you. Drafts is more than your average burger bar. This elegant-yet-comfortable gastropub features more than 50 beers from around the world, and has classic upscale pub food. The picturesque handspun milkshakes will win you over with just one look. As freezing as I was after being on the mountain all afternoon, I couldn’t turn down a milkshake called “I WANT ALL THE PUPPIES.” Drafts is conveniently located just steps away from the slopes and connected to Westgate Park City. The speedy service will have you in and out so you can get back to the slopes.
Drafts Burger Bar: 3000 Canyons Resort Dr, Park City, UT 84098
Getting to Park City
This winter oasis is an easy 45 minute drive from the newly remodeled Salt Lake City airport. There’s something magical about taking in the alpine views as you make your way to the mountains. Don’t plan to drive or rent a car? There are plenty of shuttles to take you to and from the airport and around town.