When you visit a very popular vacation destination, you know to expect long lines, long waits, and crowds in every spot, but what if we could give you guidance on how to avoid all or most of the above during your Park City getaway? Our first clue is in the title at the top of this page, the insider’s guide to Park City, and as we at Park City Hotels take a few moments from your day, showing you Park City from OUR point of view, we also invite you to enjoy your life like the locals and escape to Utah from your home base of our luxurious and stylish sanctuaries. We can’t promise that you won’t have to wait in any long lines or that the wait times at our favorite restaurant will always be short, but we can promise that this comprehensive guide to the top local hot spots will give you a peek into a Park City that you may not have known existed!

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Day 1: The Joy of Park City

Today, as most days, starts with a delicious breakfast at one of our town’s best kept secrets, Wasatch Bagel & Grill. Located at 1300 Snow Creek Drive, even during its most crowded times, the people who will be “joining” you for breakfast will more than likely be our neighbors, friends, and local workers. Open from 7 AM until 10 PM every day, you can also return for sandwiches at lunch and burgers for dinner, but for today’s purposes, we want to talk about their breakfasts. Hearty enough to support a day of skiing, hiking, or any tourist things, guests can expect to enjoy meaty omelets, authentic huevos ranchero, and, of course, an extensive selection of bagels and toppings.

Bloods Lake

Now that you are sufficiently fortified for the day’s events, (or at least the morning) we are going to take this first day of travel to introduce you to the joyfully beautiful part of Park City and its serene and natural landscape with a visit to Bloods Lake. Located about 20 minutes outside of the Park City center, the road to Bloods Lake is one that we often recommend road trips be taken on, the scenic Guardsman Pass. The hike to Bloods Lake is an easy one, taking visitors through some of our most beautiful landscape, and when you reach its clear blue waters on a summer day, paradise will be revealed. No one is quite sure of how this oasis in the middle of the forest got its name. Perhaps it is linked to former Governor Henry Blood, who served in office from 1933-1941. We don’t know for sure, but we can promise that there is no resemblance of blood in or surrounding the lake, and that a summer morning spent here is best enjoyed with a raft that you can fold away and put in your backpack.

Park City SUP, 1375 Deer Valley Drive S

If you haven’t gotten your fill of the water on this first day of your summer getaway to Park City, it may be time to explore some stand up paddleboarding adventures with Park City SUP. Offering one-hour classes at Pebble Beach in Deer Valley, they also offer tours at Jordanelle Reservoir and half river trips on the Weber or Provo Rivers. Few tourists actually think about SUP as a vacation option, so whether you are taking a class or a tour, chances are the students or guests in your group live and work right here in their Park City hometown.

Dinner at Baan Thai Cuisine & Bar, 710 Main St. Suite 3-103

Once the sun has set and you are beginning to feel more than a little waterlogged, you may want nothing more than a good meal and to relax at home in your Park City Hotels haven of peace and serenity, and if you like Thai food or are willing to try it for the first time, Baan Thai Cuisine & Bar is one of our favorite hidden gems. Open every day from 1 PM until 9 PM and serving traditional Thai food created from locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, this low key restaurant may be one you feel the need to return to more than once during your stay.

Day 2: Seeking a Different Type of Souvenir

For most travelers the second best thing about Park City vacation, running closely behind eating, is souvenir shopping, but if you are an avid travelers, how many magnets, coffee mugs, or Christmas decorations do you really need? Today, we would like to explore different options for bringing home souvenirs, visiting shops where you can create your own, filling your vacation minutes with fun and excitement. Breakfast this morning is up to you, maybe preparing it yourself in the fully equipped kitchen or planning a visit Mochinut Donut Park City, located at 1241 Center Drive Suite L-150, where they serve a Japanese inspired mochi donut which is a cross between a rice cake and an American donut.

Red Flower Studios, 1755 Bonanza Drive Unit B

As you dip in and out of the shops and galleries that dot the landscape of Park City, you are sure to see many beautiful items that you can’t wait to take home, but if you really want a souvenir that will make your heart smile, why not make it yourself at Red Flower Studios? This is where we go when we just need a couple of hours to ourselves and want to set free our creative side, as the owner/artist offers classes in the art of glass. Make your own glass ornament, cup, bowl, vases or more under the wise tutelage of experienced artists, and in 24 hours, the piece you poured your blood, sweat, and tears into the making will be available for pickup.

Paint Fusion Park City, 6699 N Landmark Drive Suite M105,

Offering the opportunity to paint any of the 100 pieces of pottery the shop offers, using whatever color scheme you love, or to create pieces of art made from fused glass, Paint Fusion Park City may provide the perfect activity to enjoy on a rainy or stormy day, something that most travelers never think about doing. Instead of following the crowds to movie theaters or bowling alleys, you and your family can spend a day creating beauty and bringing joy to your hearts. We can just about guarantee that no one else will bring a piece of hand painted pottery home from vacation and as you step into the calming environment and out of the noise and confusion that surrounds you, you will feel the noises in your brain begin to quiet.

Kimball Art Center, 1251 Kearns Boulevard

The Kimball Art Center sells stunning works created by talented artists but it also offers a large selection of art classes, many of which will fit easily into your Park City vacation schedule. Offering over 300 classes every year, including ones that recur weekly and ones that accept drop in students, visitors can learn to paint with watercolors, how to draw figures, throw pottery, and so much more. Even offering children’s art classes for kids 3 and up, the Kimball Art Center can be where your greatest Utah souvenirs are created.

This Day Just Keeps Getting Better

Bringing the color of your artistic adventures to the dinner table, Tarahumara, located at 1300 Snow Creek Drive P, is where the locals go when they want some truly excellent Mexican food. All Mexican food is not created equal and this special spot offers curbside pick up if you are simply too tired to consider dining out. Offering an authentic taste of your South of the Border favorites, the vibe of Tarahumara is casual and laidback and the bill won’t bring you a bit of sticker shock which is not something we can often say about Park City restaurants. The name comes from a people who lived in Chihuahua, Mexico and the foods served mostly come from the northern part of the country. Their salsa bar features 20 types of salsas prepared fresh every day and we at Park City Hotels are doing our best to try every flavor.

Day 3: A Mixed Bag of Wonderful

Up until this point we have been trying to keep some sort of theme for each day, giving our guests, our favorite people, an idea of how they can fill their Park City getaway minutes while staying off the beaten path. We give you the opportunity to pick or choose, it isn’t necessary to strictly follow our guides, especially as their may be activities that just don’t appeal to you. But on the 3rd day of your Park City adventures, we want to give you an idea of some of the more unusual things you can explore. Breakfast today is left up to you; we figure that by now you have probably begun to get the rhythm of the mountains and know what interests you and where to go to get it, so let’s skip the meal portion and begin today’s local’s only escapades. Stay in one of our Park City downtown hotels for the ultimate convenience!

Rancho Luna Lobos, 4733 Browns Canyon Road in Peoa

Peoa was once a farmers’ community where produce was grown and sold to Park City Miners and the land is still fertile and lush. Located just 14 miles outside of Park City, Peoa is also home to one of the most unusual of our hidden gems, Rancho Luna Lobos, a place where lost and abandoned dogs are rescued and dog sledding is an everyday activity. Yes, you read that right, today we are going to explore dog sledding opportunities and the chance to ride mush on a dog sled is one experience you will never forget. The dogs are key to the success of this beautiful sanctuary, and although not every dog will get to pull a sled, there is a home for every dog that needs one, and we try to visit as often as we can, especially when there are puppies to meet!

Ski with a Champion

If you are here in the winter, you are probably going to spend at least one day on the slopes, so although that isn’t really an off the beaten path adventure, being able to ski with champion skiers is something different. There are six different Olympic Champions on staff at Deer Valley Ski Resort, and visitors can choose between half day and all-day ski experiences that are not ski lessons. Participants must be at least 7 years old, and if you are doing this for your kiddo, there is a release that must be signed, but since the maximum group size is six, why not consider going along for the ride? For more information, check out our skiing guide!

Midway Ice Castles, 2002 Olympic Drive in Midway

Located just about 25 minutes outside of Park City your winter visit may need to include a visit to the Midway Ice Castles, a popular attraction for locals, but they do let tourists visit as well! Started as a way to keep his kid’s occupied during the long winter months in Utah, there are castles, slides, tunnels, and caves all constructed from ice, Midway Ice Castles brings fairytales to life and is as magical for adults as it is for the children.

The Last Meal in Paradise

On your last night in the paradise we call Park City, it is time to enjoy a dinner and a show with a visit to Prime Steak House and Piano Bar. Located at 804 Main Street, guests can savor thick and juicy steaks as pianists accompany their gourmet experience, creating memorable moments that they won’t want to forget. If this is your last night in Park City, be sure to raise a toast to an experience that has been fulfilling, exciting, and unlike any you have ever experienced before.

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