With our 10-year anniversary coming up, we wanted to get away before our kids’ school started. My first choice was a cabin near Cedar City, but my wife wanted to try Park City since we had never stayed there on vacation before. We were able to find hotel availability even a week out, so we dropped the kids off with family and headed up the canyon for a fun Park City weekend getaway.
Interested in doing the same? Here’s our breakdown of where we stayed, what we did, where we ate, and what our costs were…
Lodging Options in Park City
We opted for the Hyatt Place at $114/night because we’d never stayed at a Hyatt before. First impressions, it was just like any other standard Marriott, and a little nicer touches than a Best Western or similar hotel. Interestingly, the Hyatt and Best Western cost almost the same. Our room included a standard King bed, sofa bed, TV, desk, chair, and walk-in shower. That price included breakfast which consisted of muffins, juice, cereal, and yogurt. The pool and hot tub were outside so they are open year round, so it was easier to social distance. There were no suite rooms available for $30-40 more a night. It was pretty empty Thursday, but the parking lot was full Friday night.
The resorts we looked at had suites with separate rooms and jacuzzi tubs but the nightly rate cost about what our entire stay cost at the Hyatt — and also had a $25 resort fee per day…
There were also a billion condos for rent anywhere from $75 to $150 a night. They all looked exactly the same; 1 bedroom, kitchen/dining/living area, and a restroom. No breakfast, and most pools/hot tubs were only open during the winter.
Total Lodging cost – $251 for two nights at the Hyatt place. That was probably the best all-around deal considering it included breakfast and a pool/hot tub.
Park City Weekend Getaway Activities
Park City Mountain Resort
I had never been to Park City Mountain Resort in the summer so this was pretty fun. It was a little pricey but we got our money’s worth with the lift ticket. The 3 main offerings at PCMR are:
- Alpine Coaster – $29 per person and $14 for a passenger 38-58” tall. This ride starts at the bottom and carries you up to the top of the run so you don’t need to purchase a lift ticket if you don’t want to. You get going pretty fast on the way down, but you’re attached to the track so it’s pretty much like a downhill roller coaster. They have hand brakes but they ask you not to use them on the way down so as to prevent traffic jams and ramming into someone at high speeds.
- Alpine Slide – $24 per person and $14 for a passenger 35-47” tall. We didn’t end up doing this one but it looked like fun. You sit on a sled that is not attached to the slide and you’re able to control your speed. There are 4 tracks side by side so it’s possible to have races. Looking back, I would have preferred to do that one since I’d already ridden an alpine coaster before. You do have to ride the lift up, so I’m not 100% sure if you have to purchase a lift ticket or not if you were just doing the slide. My guess is if you had the ticket for the slide, they will probably let you up that once.
- Lift Ticket – $27 per person for a full day pass and $23 for kids ages 5-12 (kids 4 and under are free). They also offer a bike hauler pass for $37 ($28 for kids) that includes your lift ticket and a ticket for your bike if you wanted to mountain bike down the mountain. We took the lift up in the morning and took a couple hours long hike down, stopping on the way to set up hammocks, nap, and have lunch and snacks. Pretty nice to only have to hike down the mountain instead of up in the middle of the day. We came back at 7PM and rode the lift up and down 2 more times in the shade. You can see the entire valley at the top and we saw a bunch of deer during the evening runs.
- Zip Line – Unknown cost. There is a zipline there but it wasn’t in operation and I couldn’t find any pricing for that on their website
Utah Olympic Park
We didn’t end up going to the Olympic Park because we wanted to go the PCMR instead but I figured I’d include the offerings and prices here as options:
- Jumpside Pass – this pass has the most options, which included tubing, 2 different ziplines, ropes course, and the alpine slide. That cost $65 for a 2-hour session
- Trackside Pass – I thought they also offered a cheaper pass that included bag jumps and some other smaller attractions, but I can’t find that on their website anymore…
- Bobsled – the Olympic Park offers bobsledding during the summer. It was $80 for a 1-hour session and they had limited slots available. That would be wild!
Historic Main Street
This was a highlight for Jessie. Historic main street in Park City is a fun little walking town, with shops, lounges, lights, bridges, archways, dining, art galleries, gelato shop and theater. We saw signs for an escape room as well. There is even a chair lift that you can ride down from Park City Mountain Resort right into downtown, but I think it might only run during the ski season, because it wasn’t working any of the times we were there on this trip.
There is ample streetside parking and parking garages, and during COVID, parking is free, at least while we were there. The city shuts down the street on Saturday and Sunday so more people can walk the streets. But that means parking gets tighter in the lots and garages. Park City does have a pretty good transit system with a fancy bus stop at Main Street, so that is an option as well. The lights are pretty cool at night, so I’d recommend going in the evening when the temperature is cooler.
Hiking/Biking Trails EVERYWHERE!
It seems like everything from Kimball Junction, to Park City, and back out to highway 40 is connected by a trail system. Some are paved and wide enough for a family of bikers to ride next to each other, and other trails were a path in the dirt, just wide enough to squeeze through the vegetation. It was awesome to just go a walk whenever, wherever. We stopped on a hillside and wound our way around a big stand of aspen trees one evening.
Saturday morning we just popped outside the hotel and crossed a bridge to a trail system that followed a creek bed and worked its way between a bunch of really nice backyards. It was fun to see all the setups different homes had and the size of the porches, fire pits, and swings set up. This is a really cool amenity of Park City. I wish there were more connecting trail systems everywhere else.
Total Activity Cost – Lift day pass and Alpine Coaster at Park City – $122 for 2 people
Dining on our Park City Weekend Getaway
The food situation was interesting. Everything is definitely more expensive in Park City. I was also expecting long wait times, being that we were there on the weekend. But with COVID going on, if you don’t mind sitting inside, there is virtually no wait, and the spacing is generous between guests, at least at the restaurants we visited.
Our first stop Thursday night was to Sushi Blue. All in all, it was ok, just really expensive. We bought 5 rolls and I really only loved 1 of them, the Snow Dance, which consisted of tuna, tempura shrimp, avocado, cucumbers, and mangos, wrapped in soy paper. The other 4 rolls weren’t to my preference, but Jessie thought they were ok, which is funny because she’s the sushi connoisseur, and I’m perfectly fine with sushi from Smith’s marketplace. They weren’t terrible by any means, but maybe I was expecting more in Park City? Those 5 rolls and a Blue Colada mocktail set us back $92, including tip…
501 on Main
We opted for historic downtown for Friday night dinner. Again, opting to eat inside offered no wait. 501 on Main was a nice little bar/restaurant, with reasonable wait times from ordering to actually receiving the food. I got the Rocky Mountain Bison Burger with a virgin mojito, and Jessie ordered the Bacon Lover’s BLT. Both were delicious and cooked perfectly. For dessert, we ordered Triple Berry Pie with ice cream. I highly recommend this place. Total cost with tip – $69
Davanza’s Pizza is a favorite of mine. We would stop here after snowboarding trips in high school and college. It’s tucked away on the back, off of mainstreet, in a little building with a very small outdoor seating porch. It’s almost a little too dark inside. The walls are lined with seemingly every type of beer can ever made and it’s pretty cool to see the old designs. If you can imagine what the pizza the Ninja Turtles eat taste like, this is it. The crust isn’t too thick, the cheese is the perfect consistency, and the pepperoni is awesome. A large pepperoni pizza cost $18, with tip. Again, highly recommended if you love pizza.
There is a Smiths in Kimball Junction and Fresh Market in Park City. We stopped in a few times to get some Powerade and ice cream. Prices were normal. $16 for a few trips for drinks and ice cream.
Total Food Cost – $195 for 2 nights of dinners, 1 day of lunch, and snacks (we brought jerky and snacks for Friday’s hike). This could be brought down considerably if we had opted for food chains like Zupas and similar restaurants, but it was our 10 year anniversary, so we wanted to splurge a little.
Our Park City weekend getaway was from Thursday – Saturday, which is what I would recommend, second only to midweek if you can take work off. There was virtually no one downtown on Thursday, Park City Mountain Resort had small crowds and little to no waits on Friday, but by Friday night/Saturday, downtown got pretty busy. We were able to find a parking spot, but I’m glad we were able to get dinner and walk around Friday night instead of Saturday. If you like the busy feeling of walking in a bustling downtown, Saturday/Sunday might be right for you, since they close the street down and only allow pedestrians and bikers.
All in all, it was a fun trip and I’m glad we got to go. Quick and easy to get to from Salt Lake or Utah Valley, and plenty of options for food and activities.
Total Vacation Cost – 2 nights of lodging, activities, and food for 2 people: $568
As you know, Postcards & Passports is all about family travel and this post was written by my son-in-law, LJ Heaton. I appreciate his Park City weekend getaway tips; he’s always up for a weekend nature escape. LJ’s also a great husband and father, an avid outdoorsman, and as quick-witted as they come! See more of his outdoor adventures at @outdoor_trekking_dude on Instagram. You might also like his tips for houseboating on Lake Powell.