Utah is a paradise for lovers of the outdoors. With its spectacular alpine setting and reliable abundance of powder snow, Deer Valley has repeatedly been voted the best ski area in North America. Located just outside Park City, it is a convenient 45-minute drive from the excellent air connections at Salt Lake City. It’s no wonder that the region has hosted the Winter Olympics. Adding to its appeal is the glamorous annual Sundance Film Festival (January 23-February 2, 2020).
Summer draws families to Utah’s sensational national parks, including Arches, Canyonlands, Zion and Bryce Canyon, each of which has jaw-dropping natural rock formations. Some find Bryce to be even more breathtaking than the Grand Canyon in neighboring Arizona.
Nowadays, Utah will also appeal to urbanites. Salt Lake City has become the industrial banking center of the United States, hosts a substantial arts scene and has, to the surprise of many, become a gay-friendly metropolis.
Park City Museum
I have seen more than my share of small local museums unjustifiably touted as “musts,” but the Park City Museum is definitely worth a visit. Set on Main Street and marked by an old fire tower, this institution brings the history of the town to life. The transformation from mining center to world-class ski resort is wonderfully documented with photographs and displays.
In Park City, we like romantic restaurants such as Glitretind Restaurant in the Stein Eriksen Lodge, Powder in the Waldorf Astoria and, for Italian, Grappa. For locally sourced small plates in a lively atmosphere, try Handle. And the hillside Silver Star Café serves Mediterranean-inflected dishes on a patio with panoramic views of a golf course or the Silver Star Lift.
The dramatic topography around Park City that makes it so well-suited to skiing also makes it ideal for hiking. In spite of its popularity, we quite enjoyed the in-and-out Bloods Lake trail, which passes through groves of aspens and conifers, as well as steep mountain meadows ablaze with crimson, purple and golden wildflowers. It’s possible to circumnavigate the small lake on a path shaded by pine forest.