Everyone knows Park City as a world-class ski destination, but in the summer the city comes alive with festivals and is a mecca for outdoor activities. Summer lasts longer too, with good weather well into October and easy access from the Salt Lake City International airport. Best of all, hotel rack rates are drastically less than what you’d pay in the winter—at some resorts you may save up to 80%.
1. Get outdoors
From the affordable public Park City Golf Club with mountain views to hiking and biking, fishing and adventure parks, Park City has many ways to enjoy the great outdoors. The main venues are Utah Olympic Park where you can watch Olympic hopefuls training or enjoy activities including the comet bobsled ride and alpine slide—and don’t miss the Flying Ace All Star Freestyle Show on Sunday, where athletes zoom down ski ramps and land in the pool. Canyons Resort, Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort each offer many miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking, and if you just want to take in the view, consider a ride on one of the gondolas or chair lifts. Canyons and Park City Resorts also offer even more activities including ziplines, an alpine coaster, fishing, and horseback riding.
2. Be entertained
After a long day of skiing, you would be forgiven for hunkering down by the fire and calling it a day. But in the summer there are plenty of festivals to tempt you away from the fire pit. Festivals include the Park City Kimball Arts Festival in early August with 220 artists exhibiting and Utah artisan food tasting, and the ongoing Deer Valley Music Festival featuring Utah Symphony pops-style outdoor concerts through August 10th. Other music festivals running through the end of August include the Saturday Summer Concerts Series at Canyons Resort and the Big Stars Bright Nights Concert Series at Deer Valley, presented by the Park City Performing Arts Foundation. Guest artists performing at these concerts range from Mandy Patinkin to the Indigo Girls to Lyle Lovett. If you’re planning for next year, consider Savor the Summit, Park City’s largest outdoor dinner party that takes place on Main Street, or Park City Food and Wine Classic with tastings and classes, also on Main Street and at various resorts, showcasing the best of Park City restaurants.
3. Have a drink
Yes, you can drink in Utah! Park City was once a lively silver mining town and even the Mormons drank before prohibition. The city has plenty of bars, a brewery and more. Check out High West Distillery, a whisky distillery, saloon, and restaurant where you can learn about Utah’s distilling history and enjoy excellent food. There’s also the Wasatch Brew Pub and Brewery, known for beers with cheeky names such as Polygamy porter and Evolution amber ale. Every Sunday through late September head to Main Street for Park Silly Sunday Market, with local arts and crafts, activities for the kids, food vendors, and a beer garden with live entertainment that runs all day.
4. Watch a flick
Park City is famous for being the home of Sundance Institute, but the winter film festival isn’t the only time to catch a great film. The Canyons Resort Summer Film Series running July through September offers a selection of Sundance Film Festival Official Selection films, beginning at dusk. This year’s program includes Muscle Shoals, Little Miss Sunshine, and The Summit.
5. Strike silver
Park City was a silver mining town that reinvented itself as a modern ski resort in the 1960‘s. But the character of the old town is still very well preserved. Head to the excellent and very interactive Park City Museum to watch videos of old timers talking about the town, or enjoy the museum’s hosted historic walking tour, great for architecture and history buffs. There’s a ghost tour too, where you’ll learn about the mining history of the town and it’s colorful settlers. To enjoy a bit of Park City history and the glamour of Sundance, consider a stay at the Washington School House Hotel just one block from Main Street. It’s a luxury inn that was originally a schoolhouse built in 1889, then a veterans’ hall. Today it has a contemporary style, with modern art, alpine touches, and gracious hospitality making it a favorite among celebrity guests.