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May 21, 2018
We love our warm sunny days in Tampa Bay, but sometimes we just need to escape the heat. That’s why I jumped at the chance when Visit Park City invited us to come experience the family fun destination. As a mommy of two kids, I love finding direct flights, and there are direct flights from Tampa International Airport to Salt Lake City, which is only 35 minutes from Park City.
A popular destination for Tampa Bay families who love to escape in the winter and during spring break, this charming mountain town is not only a fantastic ski destination, but is full of family offerings. It was also home to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and is currently home to the Sundance Film Festival.
We spent five nights in Park City and still didn’t have time to do it all. Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort combined make up the largest ski resort in the United States with 7,300 acres and over 348 trails offering adventures for every level of skier or snowboarder. Park City Mountain offers ski and snowboard lessons for children and adults, and Aloha Ski & Snowboard not only offers ski rentals at their numerous locations, they also rent out ski apparel. At the National Ability Center, those with orthopedic, spinal cord, neuromuscular, visual and hearing impairments, and cognitive and developmental disabilities can ski and try other snow activities. The center has specially designed equipment to ensure everyone in the family can enjoy the activities together. If you have a little one too young to ski, Park City Child Care offers care for children starting at 6 weeks of age.
When you’re tired of skiing, try a scenic horse-drawn sleigh ride, an adrenaline rush on Flying Eagle Zip line or the thrill of the Alpine Coaster in which you sit in a toboggan-style car that takes you whizzing down the mountain on nearly 4,000 feet of track. Snow tubing at Gorgoza Park, free S’mores at Cannon Village, and a free tour of Utah’s Olympic Park are all excellent ways to pass time.
Park City offers a variety of accommodations from snow-covered lodges and bed and breakfasts to more traditional hotels. Our lodgings at The Chateaux Deer Valley offered a kitchen, a family-size table, two cozy fireplaces, a murphy bed for the kids and a balcony from which we could watch the snow fall. The hotel staff even set up a child’s teepee with a lantern and a wolf stuffed animal for our kids to play with. Other amenities include the an Italian-inspired restaurant, grocery shopping service before arrival and a free on-demand shuttle to main street and the local ski lifts. Because it’s located mid-mountain, you can walk out the lobby door and be right at the ski lift.
Park City has an amazing food scene. One of our favorite spots was the High West Distillery & Saloon where we enjoyed handcrafted cocktails with our bison burger and Parmesan fries. At Chimayo, a popular dinner spot offering dishes from Southern Mexico to Southern Utah, we loved the lobster and corn chowder, as well as the Smoked Citrus and Serrano Branzino dish. For breakfast, I highly recommend venturing off Main Street to Five5eeds where I ate the best breakfast item I’ve ever had: a hotcake topped with mixed berries, lemon infused mascarpone, nuts, seeds and edible flowers. It was beautiful and delicious at the same time. And after a day of snow-tubing at Gorgoza Park, check out Billy Blanco’s for some casual fare for the whole family. The rocking themed diner has a delish sundae dessert; everyone’s going to go for multiple spoonfulls.
Park City’s free bus system offers stops at Historic Main Street, Kimball Junction, North of Main, Quarry Village, Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain and the Utah Olympic Park. There is also a Main Street Trolley Service which stops just about anywhere Main Street. If you need to go elsewhere, Uber and Lyft services are available.
Booking early is the best way to save on your Park City stay, especially when it comes to hotels and lodging. For example, The Chateaux Deer Valley runs specials in the summer from July to August offering up to 25 percent off for booking your winter and spring break trips early. If you plan to do at least 5 days of skiing, you can book what is called an EPIC Local pass to save money. For more information check out www.VisitParkCity.com