As summertime temps top 100°F in the Salt Lake Valley, locals look to escape the hot weather. Nearby Park City, where daytime temperatures average 11°F cooler than Salt Lake, is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. Despite its winter popularity, summers in Park City are spectacular and full of activities, concerts, festivals, farmer’s markets and much more.
Make a weekend of your visit and take advantage of affordable summer rates at area hotels. The Hyatt Escala Lodge at Canyons is offering a mountain biking package, that’s available through October 31, which includes a king bed or two queen bed room with two adult mountain bike rentals for just $179 a night. The rooms at Escala are luxurious and include amazing amenities: pool, hot tubs, sauna, fitness facilities and free s’mores at the fire pit every evening. If you want to indulge, book a spacious one-bedroom suite with a gorgeous full kitchen, flat screen TVs with DVD players, comfortable beds, large master bathroom with jetted tub and balconies or patios. Plus, it’s a quick walk to the Canyons gondola and the summer concert amphitheater.
Reach beautiful, uncrowded hiking and mountain biking trails via the Canyons gondola. Beginning in August, ride the gondola to access the new Gravity Bike Park and pedal boating, both located mid-mountain. After your hike or bike ride, enjoy lunch at Red Pine Lodge, which is open daily from 11:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. through October 2 and offers patio dining with an eclectic, yummy menu.
Park City’s singletrack mountain biking is hard to beat, and a favorite intermediate option is the Mid-Mountain Trail, an International Mountain Biking Association Epic Ride. Begin this scenic ride at Canyons or Deer Valley, which winds through aspens and evergreens with a few minor climbs and offers plenty of blazingly fast singletrack. Enjoy the rush of going a bit too fast, and feel your heart pound on this intense trail. Looking for something easier? Try the Red Pine Loop at Canyons or the McHenry’s Practice Loops at Deer Valley if you’re a beginner.
As the sun sets, grab a blanket and check out Canyons free summer concert series every Saturday night from now to September 3. All shows take place at their new large amphitheater beginning at 6:00 p.m. Get details at thecanyons.com.
Deer Valley is also hosting a slew of weekend concerts this summer with performances by big names like Little Big Town, Idina Menzel, Melissa Etheridge, Utah Symphony and many more. Pack a picnic and dance the night away at Deer Valley’s amazing outdoor amphitheater. For ticket information and exact dates, visit deervalley.com.
Main Street Madness
Historic Main Street is the hub for most of Park City’s summer activities, like Savor the Summit, the Park Silly Market, Park City Food and Wine Classic and the Gallery Stroll. Take it all in on a scenic chairlift ride on Main Street’s Town Lift that takes you directly to Park City Mountain Resort and offers picturesque views of town.
Savor the Summit
Though Savor the Summit (savorthesummit.com) is over this year, plan now to attend next June. A “Grand Table” is set from the top to bottom of Main Street and Park City restaurants offer a fixed-price menu for the evening. Prices range from $40–$150 per person and you simply make reservations with the restaurant you choose. You’ll be wowed by the amazing food, talented live bands and great service. We ate at Wasatch Brew Pub and enjoyed the beer pairings with each course, along with a delicious menu that included crisp salad, flown-in fish and melty chocolate molten cake. Wasatch Brew Pub (wasatchbeers.com) is located at the top of Main Street, and their patio is the perfect spot to enjoy a cold glass of their seasonal Summer Twilight Kolsch on any warm night.
High West Distillery
For inventive dining near historic Main Street, High West Distillery’s (highwest.com) western-themed cuisine can’t be beat. Delicious dishes like the mouthwatering Pan Seared Utah Trout and a variety of game meats will tantalize your tastebuds…and leave you eager for more. Sample three of High West’s famous Whiskeys with the everchanging Cheese Plate and Whiskey Pairing. For a unique, refreshing cocktail, order their signature Vodka Lemonade, made with High West vodka, homemade lemonade, pomegranate juice and fresh mint. Bet you can’t stop at one! The homemade lemonade is also available sans alcohol.
Park Silly Market
Shop, eat and enjoy a lazy day at the Park Silly Sunday Market (parksillysundaymarket.com), which occurs every summer Sunday from 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. through September 25. Main Street gets taken over by local craft vendors, artists, farmer’s market produce booths, delicious food stalls and live bands to keep you entertained. There are also plenty of kid activities and a beer garden/Bloody Mary bar for mom and dad.
Park City Gallery Stroll
Experience Park City’s art scene at the Gallery Stroll on the last Friday of every month from 6:00–9:00 p.m. on Main Street. This free event features monthly artist showcases and light refreshments at many local galleries. Upcoming dates are August 26, September 30 and October 28.
Park City Food and Wine Classic
This annual Classic (parkcityfoodandwineclassic.com) spans four days every July and hosts exciting alcohol-related seminars like Shabu, Sushi and Sake, Easy Entertaining and Secrets of Food and Wine Pairing. For outdoor recreation enthusiasts, mountain biking seminars are offered, which include a Merrel bike jersey and chef-prepared gourmet lunch.
We embarked on the inaugural adventurous singletrack bike ride with St. Regis Executive Chef, Chip McMullin, who challenged us on tough trails with striking views and rewarded us with a delicious lunch paired with Robert Sinskey wines by the St. Regis waterfall. Mark your calendar for this exciting event next year! In the evenings during the Classic, relax and enjoy the Park City Main Street Stroll or Toast of Park City Grand Tasting at Canyons. These social events feature unlimited wine and alcohol samples in a keepsake glass served with bites from local restaurants. You’re guaranteed to find a new favorite wine here! The Stroll is a favorite because you get to wander through various Main Street shops to try different products, which breaks up the crowd and makes for a fun, festive atmosphere. Buy tickets early as these events regularly sell out. Want a free ticket next year? Sign up online to volunteer and you’ll get one to the Stroll or Grand Tasting.
Whatever you do on your Park City trip, enjoy the break from the sweltering temps and regular life. You’ll quickly find out why people come for the winters, but stay for the summers.