Each year, hundreds of inches of snow douse Deer Valley and Park City, making the area paradise for winter recreation. Locals live by the “play hard, relax hard” motto. We all know that, after a good day of charging through powder, dinner tastes divine.
This is the best way to vacation here, too. A perfect Deer Valley weekend itinerary intermixes mountain recreation with the area’s best opportunities for off-piste entertainment. When you and your family pack your bags for a getaway to Deer Valley and Park City, bring along your sense of adventure for recreation both on and off the mountain!
A Vacation for Your Palette
Chimayo composes gourmet food with a creative, southwestern flare on Park City’s Main Street. Each of Chimayo’s dishes has an element of surprise, an ingredient or two that pops with flavor. From your wine pairing to dessert, your palette will experience a vacation of its own. Must-try dishes include the Sugar Cane Skewer of Elk, the Asado Beet Salad, the Mustard Seed Encrusted Salmon, and the Mexican Chocolate Fondue. Abundantly popular because of this feisty food, reservations are always mandatory. A three-course meal and drinks run roughly $100 per person, and every penny is worth it.
Dig into History on the Park City Ghost Tour
One thing will be clear when you visit Main Street in Park City’s Old Town: this place has history. Park City was a mining town for almost 100 years before skiing became popular! With this deep, rich history comes a little bit of mystery. Dig into it on the Park City Ghost Tour, a one-hour walk through Old Town, to meet some of the characters that may still call this place home. The tour is only mildly scary—less so than a haunted house—and perfect for kids!
Downhill Skiing Done Right
Deer Valley’s lifts open at 9 am, and you’ll want to arrive then. With its massive acreage and variable terrain, excellent snow conditions are always available. But there is something sweet about taking the first run down a still-deserted ski slope under the morning sun. And if it snowed overnight, slicing through untracked powder is a downhill ride you won’t forget. Though Deer Valley’s tallest summits—Bald, Flagstaff, and Empire Mountains—are all easily accessible from the Montage Deer Valley, ride the Ruby Express lift up Flagstaff Mountain first. This portion of the resort contains the most popular runs, so get out there while the getting is good and empty. The ski school is open to kids, and private lessons may be arranged for both children and adults.
The Stein Eriksen Ski Buffet in Slippers
The Stein Eriksen Lodge, which perches just above Deer Valley’s Viking lift, hosts a decadent ski-in, ski-out lunch buffet. The dining room is upscale homey, and you’re made to feel as if the space is yours. While you dine, staff dries and warms your outerwear and ski boots at one of the fireplaces! In a pair of comfy slippers, you’ll pad around the buffet with other slipper-clad skiers. Warm up first with espresso or soup, then move onto one of the dozens of salad and appetizer choices, including shrimp, mussels, smoked meats, and fruit. The main-course food is different every day, and possibilities include fish, veal, elk, bison, beef, as well as vegetarian options. You could survive on Stein Eriksen’s dessert alone, so save room for the tortes, crème brulee, pies, mousse, and cakes. The buffet runs in the range of $35 per adult and $20 per child.
Go Local at the Morning Ray
Want to see how locals get their grub on before hitting the slopes? Then stop by the Morning Ray on Park City’s upper Main Street for quality coffee and breakfast. For about $15 per person, you’ll get more than enough wholesome food to set you up for a day of success. Of note in this café, which is decorated with hundreds of skis and ski paraphernalia, are its omelets and waffles. Make certain your meal comes with the Morning Ray’s famous home fries. You will not be disappointed by their herbed, sautéed goodness.
Cross-Country Ski for Scenery
White Pine Touring is Park City’s longstanding purveyor of Nordic sports gear, lessons, groomed tracks, and tours. With a shop full of ex- or almost-Olympians who possess unending enthusiasm and knowledge for their sport, this is the place to learn how to cross-country ski. If you have not cross-country skied before, take a one-hour classic lesson to learn the basics on how to start, stop, and keep moving with skinny skis underfoot. Once you get the hang of it, venture out with one of the guides on a two-to-three hour tour. You’ll glide along Park City’s groomed tracks while enjoying views into the area’s ski resorts as well as the rest of the Wasatch Mountains.
An Afternoon Pick-Me-Up at Atticus Coffee, Books, and Teahouse
Before you hit the road home, visit Atticus, which is tucked into lower Main Street. They offer coffee, tea, and light food that’ll help you bounce back from a morning afoot. Sit down in a comfy chair with a sandwich or wrap, a warm drink, and the Park Record, the town’s newspaper. Or join in the conversation among a friendly mix of both locals and visitors. If you have to say goodbye to Park City, this is the way to do it.