Once considered playgrounds exclusively for snow lovers, ski towns are now—thanks to comfortably cool temps, ample recreation and events, and zero bugs—almost as popular during the summer as they are when the snow flies. Park City, Utah, is no exception.
Golf, road and mountain biking, hiking, gallery hopping, outdoor concerts, and annual celebrations catering to everyone from oenophiles to classic car buffs are just a sampling of what you’ll find to do here in the summer months, all set against a backdrop of craggy peaks, green foothills, and the town’s inimitable historic character. And Park City's just a 40-minute drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport, itself a mere three hours and change from Houston via direct flight.
Following are our picks for four groups of summer visitors: families, couples, ladies only, and just the guys.
- You’ll achieve hero status with your kids after their first dip in the huge outdoor heated pool at the Grand Summit Hotel at Canyons Village, where other bonuses include luxe suites with kitchenettes and an on-site Children’s Center, all of which is set to reopen this month following a $15 million renovation.
- Ride an inner tube down the same jumps Nordic skiers use to launch themselves through the air at the Utah Olympic Park’s Extreme Tubing.
- Pedal the Rail Trail or Deer Valley Resort's Holy Roller, a new beginner mountain bike trail; rent bikes for the whole family at JANS Mountain Outfitters.
- Let your kids get their hands dirty at Paint Fusion Park City or the Kimball Art Center's ceramics studio, Kimball Clay.
- Kick off your shoes and dance on the lawn at Deer Valley Resort’s free and very family-friendly Wednesday-night concert series.
- Stop for an afternoon treat at Peace, Love & Little Donuts, where kids can design their own donut or indulge in our fave, the Dirty Worm. The wood-fired pizzas, salads and pastas on the menu at Vinto (vinto.com) are kid-approved, but the hip décor and thoughtful wine list are a nice perk for parents. Or try the tasty, healthy fast-casual fare at the locally owned Vessel Kitchen.
Mark Your Calendar
- Swaner Eco Center hosts a variety of kid-specific events throughout the summer months, including birdwatching, rock-climbing and crafting.
- Sophisticated luxury, impeccable service, and just-what-the-doctor-ordered serenity is what couples find at the Washington School House Hotel, a meticulously restored 1880s-era building, formerly a school, tucked into Old Town Park City.
- Explore Deer Valley's hiking-only trails; try the 4-mile-loop trail, which will take you from its Silver Lake Village base to Ontario Canyon and back. Take the St. Regis Hotel funicular cable from Deer Valley's Snow Park Lodge base to the 14,000-square-foot Remede Spa for a couples’ massage. Cast your line along the nearby Blue Ribbon Provo River with a half- or full-day fly-fishing excursion. Enjoy a panoramic view of Park City and the entire Wasatch Mountain Range with a sunrise hot air balloon ride, complete with a champagne toast.
- Sip a blueberry mojito on the deck at Royal Street Café (at Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Lodge) while waiting for your maple-bacon bison burger or grilled tuna tacos. Sample Asian-inspired brunch dishes and cocktails while watching the action on Main Street below at Wahso. For an elegant dinner, reserve a table on one of the tiered patios at Grappa, known for its stellar wine list and award-winning cuisine.
Mark Your Calendar
- The annual Food & Wine Classic (July 6–9) is a four-day celebration of local and national chefs, incredible wine, and Park City’s laundry list of summer recreation offerings.
Just the Ladies
- You and your girlfriends may never go home after one look at the sweeping pool and patio area at the Waldorf Astoria. Modern, stylish guest rooms and the in-house Powder Restaurant are the icing on the cake.
- Ride the Red Pine Gondola from Park City Mountain Resort's Canyons Village up to the Meadow for a hike along the moderate, 1.5-mile, scenic Tombstone trail.
- Peruse the dozens of galleries and chic boutiques lining Park City’s historic Main Street from top to bottom. Ride bikes down the paved path from the Prospector area to the Kimball Junction/Redstone/Newpark area to check out the shops—Splendor Beauty Emporium, JOLI, and Wasatch & Wool are among our favorites.
- Take in a performance by the likes of Melissa Etheridge (July 27) with the Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series at Deer Valley’s Snow Park Lodge Amphitheater.
- For lunch, be sure to hit Park City’s favorite outdoor patio at Café Terigo. Start the evening with craft cocktails in the chic second-level bar at Tupelo, then ask to be seated in the dining area for chef/owner Matt Harris’s inimitable locally sourced, globally inspired cuisine, with a Southern twist, of course. End the evening with a nightcap in the Eating Establishment’s (435-649-8284) newly renovated bar area, where you might spot part-owner and Modern Family star Ty Burrell.
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- For the annual Kimball Arts Festival (August 4–6), Main Street shuts down traffic and welcomes more than 200 visual artists from across the country.
- Try the Hotel Park City, located putting-distance from the Park City Golf Course, where the in-house restaurant is a Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
- Be sure to book 18 holes seven days in advance of your desired tee-time at the city-owned Park City Golf Club or at other nearby links, which include the Lake and Mountain courses at Wasatch Mountain State Park and Mountain Dell.
- Rent mountain bikes from Deer Valley's Silver Lake Village and ride one of Park City’s all-time epic routes: the Mid Mountain Trail from Deer Valley through Park City Mountain Resort, all the way to Canyons Village.
- Book a time slot at the Escape Room, where you’ll have to work as a group to solve an interactive brain-teaser, with lots of laughs along the way.
- Watch the game on 25 big screens or sit out on the patio to check out the action on Main Street at Collie’s Sports Bar and Grill. Have a drink and the house-made potato chips with blue cheese in the always-happening bar at Butcher’s Chop House, then head to the dining room for the filet Oscar or chicken-fried chicken. End your evening with a nightcap and live tunes at The Spur Bar and Grill.
Mark Your Calendar
- Dozens of old-timey and brand-new cars hit Park City’s main drag at the end of August during the Classic Car Show.