36 miles east of Salt Lake City, Park City is a small town (population barely 8,000) filled with big-city sophistication. Olympians are as common here as are actor/writer/waiters in L.A., yet residents still mingle at the post office while picking up their mail. Main Street, a narrow pedestrian thoroughfare lined with restaurants, shops, and galleries, slopes through downtown. Less than half a mile to the west—and accessible by a ski lift from the town center—is Park City Mountain Resort. At the north end of town, Highway 224 winds toward the Canyons Resort and Utah Olympic Park. Deer Valley ski resort is just east of downtown, while Sundance, Robert Redford's lodge, film institute, and ski destination, is 53 miles south of the city center. On the other side of the mountain range (closer to Salt Lake City), Alta and Snowbird ski areas are also within driving distance.
WHEN TO GO
January sees the Sundance Film Festival blow into town, but it means big crowds and an increase in prices. Alpine-sport lovers relish the late winter and early spring, when the really great, deep, dry powder falls (and the locals are more tolerant of outsiders again). In summer, especially July and August, Park City is home to scores of art and music festivals, the rates at the hotels drop dramatically, and the weather is consistently 80 degrees.
HOW TO GET THERE
Salt Lake City International Airport is serviced by most major airlines and is located 36 miles to the west. Park City Shuttles runs between the two cities (888-658-2227; www.parkcityshuttle.com ), as do taxis. Every major car rental agency has a counter at the airport. Unless you're planning to do some serious backcountry exploration, almost any small car will do: The 2002 Olympics prompted Utah to put a clean, well-plowed highway system in place.
Another reason not to rent that blingin' SUVa free bus system serves the town and all the major resorts, and parking is often a hassle downtown.
Park City Visitor Information Center
1826 Olympic Parkway Boulevard
Tel: 435 658 9616