Park City, Utah

Posted on September 9, 2016

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When my husband asked if iI wanted to join him for a weekend away as he was speaking at a conference, I did a quick google of Park City: Sundance film festival, mountains, ski resort, near Salt Lake City.  I hadn’t been to Utah before, so why not.

As I’d be spending some time on my own I wanted to stay somewhere nice. I found the Washington School House. I’ve stayed at a lot of places and they seem to have perfected almost everything about the hotel experience. It only has around 12 rooms, so it’s cosy and the staff remember your names. There are two lounges, one with a large fireplace and long dining table to one side – ideal for caching up on a few emails. Go up to the top floor to find a swimming pool and jacuzzi nestled into the side of the mountain, complete with a fire pit, made from the 2002 Winter Olympic torch. This place is so cool that at the end of the day in winter, you choose the ‘Quittin’ Time run’ which brings you to the back door. Well, 50m away. It’s not cheap – surprise surprise – but everything is included: an excellent breakfast menu, all drinks (yes, booze too), and homemade afternoon snacks (ask for peanut butter cookies, best I’ve had). Enough gushing about the hotel. It was nice. I am sure there are a bunch of other nice places too (but really, stay the WSH if you can).

Park City itself is a charming town nestled in the mountains just over half an hour from Salt Lake City. Given that it was home to the winter olympics I thought it may be a little sparse of activity in summer. I was wrong. More than half the chairlifts are open, giving access to some beautiful hikes. They have also converted some of the winter activities for summer – we went back to our childhoods on the alpine slide.

Main Street has some lovely shops and restaurants, more high end than I was expecting. Lunch on the terrace at Terigo was a delight.

And everyone is so friendly. When I bought my chair lift pass ($24) the man gave me a map wth some good hiking advice. Taking into account timings and ability he suggested a route that took me through a birch forest, giving me the best chance possible to see some wildlife. And wildlife I saw. Admittedly it saw me first, and I honestly don’t know who was more stunned – the moose or me. It took off, jumping through the trees cautiously keeping an eye on me as I carried on my way (after desperately trying, and failing, to take photos of this adventure).

A friend recommended heading to the St. Regis in Deer Valley for sundowners, where a funicular takes you to a terrace in the hills with spectacular views. Afterwards we ate at Zoom, Robert Redford’s restaurant in the town, we weren’t disappointed.

We didn’t get time to visit the Olympic village which is a shame as I wanted to witness the summer ski jump into a pool!

I was also advised to visit Alta and Snowbird in Big Cottonwood Canyon but we didn’t have time. Apparently at Snowbird, you can ride a tram up to the top of the mountain to get a great view.

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