Whether you’re a full-time or part-time resident of Park City, you know that living here is basically like being on a permanent vacation. You have world-class recreation to keep you relaxed and entertained year-round. And it’s easy to play tourist for a night and head to dinner and a show on Main Street.
Even if you have trips planned this summer, why not take a little vacation right here in Park City or near by? Before I give you a few of my favorite area itineraries, let me share a few staycation tips:
- Always ask about locals’ rates and specials for lodging, dining, and spa. Restaurants often do locals’ nights or two-for-ones and depending on availability, hotels may reduce rates right before the weekend you want to book.
- Play tourist. You may have avoided certain activities as a local due to their touristy rep, but this is the time to see your hometown through fresh eyes. Never been to the Utah Olympic Park? Go take a lap in a bobsled. Always whizzed by the McPolin Barn? Stop and learn about our homesteader history. This is also a great excuse to spring for that inaugural hot air balloon ride or indulge your children’s endless pleas to go zip lining.
- Disconnect. To really feel like you’re getting away from it all, leave the laptop at home and turn off work email notifications.
- Optional: take your pup and kids along for the fun. If you’re of the more-the-merrier mindset, many lodging options are pet-friendly and family-friendly. Ask when you book about kids’ activities and pet rates.
Now here are three Park City staycation ideas to get away from it all, minus the stressful air travel.
Park City Staycation 1: Living La Vida Local
You may call Park City home, but how often do you treat yourself to the town’s finest amenities? It’s time to experience this luxurious vacation destination as visitors do for once.
At the Canyons base area, the Waldorf Astoria is a Forbes Four-Star hotel with a world-class spa and a new poolside beer garden with Park City Brewery selections on tap, including one brewed just for the Waldorf. Take advantage of the locals’ discount: 50% off 80-minute facials on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Hotel Park City is another luxury lodging option a bit closer to Old Town—check for last-minute weekend deals before you book.
To really unwind, keep things simple. Dine at Powder restaurant inside the Waldorf or take a short stroll over to The Farm restaurant at the Canyons base area. If you’re staying at Hotel Park City, Ruth’s Chris Steak House is right at your fingertips. Or head to a new restaurant that you’ve yet to try like Firewood or Versante Hearth + Bar. Lobstah fan? Then you must get thee to Freshies for an epic Lobster Roll.
If you’ve never experienced Park City on horseback, this is a great time for a trail ride. You could also just opt for the #bestpooldayever. At the Waldorf Astoria, you can rent out a VIP poolside cabana, order tropical cocktails, or even take advantage of new poolside spa treatments.
Park City Staycation 2: Stein Eriksen Sabbatical
A weekend-long splurge at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley is well worth it. The rejuvenating effects of this impeccable experience will endure long after you check out.
The Stein Eriksen Lodge, of course. Until summer officially begins, you can score rates as low as $275 per night. And you may as well make it a long weekend—book two nights and get the third free.
You needn’t go far for world-class dining. Executive Chef Zane Holmquist has earned Stein Eriksen’s Glitretrind Restaurant a Forbes Four-Star rating. Pair the acclaimed food with something from the restaurant’s 10,000-plus bottle wine cellar.
A huge network of trails surrounds the Stein’s. Go unwind and explore what lies beneath all that powder in the winter by foot or by mountain bike. The Mid-Mountain Trail begins in Deer Valley and is practically lined with shimmying aspens and wildflowers. The Silver Lake Loop is my personal favorite hiking trail.
Park City Staycation 3: Weekend at Grand America
Sometimes in our alpine bubble, it’s easy to forget that we’re less than half hour’s drive from a city. Pull up the stakes without going far and hightail it on 80 West to Salt Lake for a weekend of cultural fun.
When the air is still a bit crisp in Park City, the Grand America Hotel is my go-to lodging choice in warmer temps of Salt Lake City. Currently, if you book a room for $279, you get a $100 credit toward fine dining, the spa, or a little something something from the Shops at the Grand. Grand America also offers children’s amenities and babysitting so mom and dad can have some alone time. Plus, you get a token to exchange for a kids’ gift upon check-in.
Little known fact: Salt Lake City has fantastic ethnic eats. A welcoming immigration policy means lots of international food options, from Vietnamese to Ethiopian. Eat all the hummus at Mazza, enjoy the best sushi at the stunning Takashi, or try Korean at Myung Ga. And don’t miss the all-you-can-eat Grand America Sunday Buffet with seven cooking stations.
Take advantage of all that the city has to offer with a trip to the recently remodeled and impressive Natural History Museum. If you feel like you get enough natural history living an outdoor-oriented lifestyle, get in touch with the right side of your brain at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Arts. Or explore the floral scents and sites of Red Butte Garden. And come night, catch a show at the State Room or Abravanel Hall.
With the money you save taking a staycation instead of a vacation with a pricey airline ticket, you can probably afford to take two weekend trips right in your own backyard. Not only will a Park City staycation give you the proper dose of relaxation, it will also give you renewed appreciation for our slice of Paradise in the Wasatch.