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September 3, 2019
Changes in Altitudes: A Summer MOMcation in Park City, Utah
(but, families should TOTALLY go too!)
You probably won’t find the word ‘MOMcation’ in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, but believe us when we say it holds as equal importance to one of our favorite words: vacation.
Vacation: a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation
Being a parent is hard. It’s the toughest, yet most beautiful job we’ll ever undertake in our lives. Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, working parent, work-from home parent, part-time working parent, you likely will come to a point where you simply just need a break. Enter the vacation. Or, as Anna De Jesus, creator of the family travel blog TheGreatEscapePlan.com, and I like to call it: the MOMcation.
Anna and I both work. We each have two little kids and amazing husbands who graciously took over for a few days so we could fly off to the other side of the country to escape the Florida heat and humidity and simply unwind. (YAY for Delta’s one-way flights from TPA! One less thing to worry about and it gave us a few hours to work en route—because fully escaping work can be hard to do!)
So…you went to a ski resort…in the summertime?
When Visit Park City first introduced the idea of hosting us for a summer weekend getaway, I’m not gonna lie. My first thought was, “What’s there to do in the summertime at a ski resort?”
Turns out—A LOT.
So much so that I am already planning on bringing my entire family back for a longer visit.
We already live at one of the top destinations in the world, so why not get out of our beloved state and experience a whole new world of outdoor activities that won’t leave you sweating? (We still love you dearly, Florida, but sometimes your heat can be oppressive.)
Park City is absolutely beautiful in the summer with temps in the 70s and 80s. The mountains normally covered in snow are green and beautifully decorated with wildflowers. And yes, it felt like the hills were alive just like in the Sound of Music!
We flew out of Tampa International Airport on a one-way ticket with Delta early in the morning, which put us in Salt Lake City, Utah, by early mid-morning. Canyon Transportation took us on a half-hour drive to The Deer Valley Resort where we stayed.
We stayed at the Powder Run at Deer Valley. The rental condos feature two master suites, a loft with additional beds (perfect for kids), full kitchen, half bath, dining room and living room. It’s perfect for families. In fact, you can easily fit two families in one condo—something to consider if you like to travel with other families.
Learn more: www.deervalley.com
There are so many awesome things to do for all ages! The resort even has a Summer Adventure Camp for infants to teenagers in case you want to plan some day trips without the kids.
Our first Mom playdate was with the Fox School of Wines Mines & Wines Tour. Park City has a long history of mining, as we discovered when we hopped on our luxury tour bus. Kirsten Fox, headmistress and executive sommelier, fills your head with amazing stories of local people and places as she creatively finds ways to connect each place with a delicious wine from around the world. At our first stop, the First National Bank, Fox paired the story of prosperity with the prosperity of rose wine that has gained in popularity in recent years.
There were six stops, sips and small bites in total. We ended the tour where we started, at the Brass Tag Restaurant in the Lodges of Deer Valley, which prepped a beautiful charcuterie board for us to nibble on as we heard the story about the inspiration behind the Brass Tag. Miners each had their own brass tag with a number which they would hang up at the entrance of the mine before going in and then take home with them at the end of the day. If a tag remained at the end of the day, it was a good indication that the miner was missing.
It was an awesome three-hour tour full of learning and fun!
Learn more: foxschoolofwine.com
The next day, we woke up early for a hike up to 8,500 feet where we did yoga on a mountain.
We met with the owner of Park City Yoga Adventures and began our hike up the mountain, which was covered in beautiful wildflowers. We walked through fields of buckwheat, wild sage and beautiful Aspen Trees.
Once we reached her cabin on the mountain, we hiked up a small hill to a landing where we took a yoga class under the big, beautiful sky. It was breathtaking, and these two busy mommas were able to truly relax. This was a truly spectacular experience. As we hiked back down the mountain, we even saw a moose!
We highly recommend this as an outing if you go! There are other yoga adventures too, like silks yoga in the trees, and paddle board yoga in a crater with beautiful Caribbean blue water!
Learn more: www.parkcityyogaadventures.com
We live here in Florida and yet, it took a trip to Utah for us to finally give stand-up paddleboarding a go. We are officially addicted.
We met our instructor and owner of Park City SUP, Trent Hickman, at Pebble Beach at Deer Valley. He was a patient instructor and we quickly picked up the skills we needed to navigate around the reservoir of melted snow, which is used to make snow during the ski season.
They also offer SUP Yoga and One-Wheel Tours where you can ride around the course on a Onewheel that looks a lot like a skateboard on one wheel.
Learn more: www.parkcitysup.com
Park City is well known for hosting the Sundance Film Festival and we’d say the Kimball Arts Festival is just as glamorous! After all, Smithsonian has named it as one of the “can’t miss summer festivals” in the country.
We walked up Main Street, which is already dotted with beautiful art galleries, and took in all the creativity from artists around the world. We even made a few purchases and met with artists we can’t wait to meet up with again at the Gasparilla Arts Festival here in Tampa! The Festival also features an awesome kids’ area that definitely made us miss the kids.
Our last night in Park City was magical. Imagine getting to enjoy an outdoor concert underneath the beautiful sky with the mountains as a back drop. Did I mention the amazing Kristin Chenoweth was performing? Chenowith was part of a concert series at The Deer Valley Music Festival which occurs each summer in July and August in Park City.
We even enjoyed a gourmet picnic basket and sipped on the locally produced Old Town Cellars wine—it was delicious!
This was one of the coolest and most relaxing things we did during our visit. The view was a sight to behold, with green mountains and tons of trails for those who love mountain bikes. In the summer, you can load your bike on the lift and take a ride to the top to start the trails.
Park City has an amazing food scene. Many of the restaurants take pride in their fresh ingredients and sustainable food sources. Here are some of the spots we enjoyed and recommend you check out.
Deer Valley Grocery & Cafe
Provisions by Riverhorse
High West Distillery & Saloon
The public transportation in Park City is so easy to navigate. It’s clean, and best of all—it’s FREE!
We had an amazing Moms Getaway in Park City. From the summer activities, to the food, art and beautiful weather, it helped us recharge, and we came back to Tampa refreshed and ready for the back to school fun.
Originally published in the September 2019 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine. Our visit was paid for by Visit Park City, but our opinions are 100% honest and our own!