Beat the Heat in Park City This Summer
After a year of COVID isolation and canceled plans, we’re looking to travel again on safe, local getaways. As summertime temps top 100°F in the Salt Lake Valley, locals are looking to escape hot weather. Nearby Park City, where daytime temperatures average 11°F cooler than Salt Lake, make it the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.
Despite its winter popularity, summers in Park City are spectacular and full of activities, concerts, festivals, and farmer’s markets. The COVID-19 era makes some events feel less bustling, but Park City is still the perfect escape from Salt Lake City’s heat.
Where to Stay
Take advantage of affordable spring and summer rates at Park City hotels for your staycation. I love staying next to Canyons Village for easy access to hiking trails and dining at the award-winning Westgate Park City Resort & Spa. Its WestgateCARES program promotes COVID-safe precautions like mask wearing and social distancing so you can feel confident and safe while traveling.
My favorite feature at Westgate are the multiple swimming pools for year-round swimming and lounging. There are two indoor pools (including an adults-only relaxation pool), two spa tubs, and a heated indoor/outdoor pool that lets you vacillate between sun and shade. Grab a casual lunch just upstairs from the pool at Drafts Sports Bar & Grill (order the tatchos AKA tater tot nachos). Then shop for groceries or drinks to stock your fridge at The Marketplace.
Dine indoors at socially distanced tables, or opt for under-the-stars seating in an Alpenglobe. These climate-controlled globes deliver a romantic dining experience for couples seeking private dining with a view. We didn’t get a chance to try this option, but it was one of the best meals my mom or I ate during all of 2020.
Of all he desserts we tried, the chocolate soufflé’s was an easy favorite, but its gelato is a great option if you’re looking for a lighter treat.
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.
If hiking is more your speed, explore around Canyons Resort, or take the scenic gondola ride to access even more trails. One of our favorite hikes is called Daly Canyon and is at the top of historic Main Street. There you’ll find historic mining landmarks, wildflowers, and a flowing creek. On the Park City side of the mountain, hike/run Jenni’s Trail. You’ll climb along epic single track trails and through wildflowers that typically bloom in July.
Paddleboarding is available at many reservoirs near town, but if you’re looking for an easier option or one friendly to beginners, go paddle boarding at Deer Valley’s Pebble Beach. Bring your own paddleboard, or rent one right on the shore, and follow your experience with lunch at the Deer Valley Grocery Cafe.
After a long pause due to COVID-19, the Deer Valley Music Festival is returning in 2021 for twilight shoes in its outdoor amphitheater. The Utah Symphony, Kool & The Gang, Kristin Chenoweth, The Temptations, and many big names are already on the list. Pack a picnic and dance the night away at Deer Valley’s amazing outdoor amphitheater. The new Park City Song Summit is slated for September 8-12 and will feature incredible, intimate unplugged music with songwriters and fans.
Main Street Madness
Historic Main Street is the hub for most of Park City’s summer activities, like the Park Silly Market plus outdoor dining and drinking. Take it all in on a scenic chairlift ride on Main Street’s Town Lift that brings you to the top of Park City Mountain Resort and offers picturesque views of town.
High West Distillery
For inventive dining near historic Main Street, High West Distillery’s 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. But we’re also fans of every appetizer on the menu.
For a unique, refreshing cocktail, order High West’s 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, held every summer Sunday from 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. June 6 – Sept 26. Main Street gets taken over by local craft vendors, artists, farmer’s market produce booths, delicious food stalls, and live bands. There are also kid activities and a beer garden/Bloody Mary bar for mom and dad. This year’s experience will likely differ from previous years with masks and social distancing as protective public health measures.
Park City Wine Festival
Mark your calendar for the return of the Park City Wine Festival this fall (September 30-October 3, 2021). The Grand Tasting is October 1-2 at Park City’s Canyons Village. And it’s a wonderful time to sample bites and wine from vendors and acclaimed wineries. Buy tickets early as these events regularly sell out.
Park City Ghost Tours
Want to get spooked? Make a reservation for a Park City Ghost Tour. You’ll join an experienced guide for a walk through historic Park City. They’ll share local lore and show you a few haunted landmarks. The ghost stories you will hear have been collected over 12 years and are as creepy as it gets.
Whatever you do on your Park City trip, escape the sweltering temps and take a trip to Utah’s best mountain town. You’ll find out why people come for the winter, but stay for the summer.