Mid-May Park City Pleasures
April 6, 2007 10:51 AM   Subscribe

ParkCityFilter: I'm headed to a junket in Park City the third week in May and would love some insider tips on what to do and bring and eat and wear.

The only two things I know about the place are Sundance and skiing, and neither of those will be happening in May. So I'm looking for any and all recommendations on bars, eateries, hiking, live music, mountain biking, and any and all other flavorful things. According to the hotel website, I'll be lodging at a place in something called Deer Valley, which I think means taking a shuttle to downtown PC, but I'm keen on seeing and doing as much as possible over the weekend.

Many thanks for any and all ideas.
posted by foxy_hedgehog to Travel & Transportation around Park City, UT (12 answers total)
O'Shucks! Its a bar on Main St. It sort of sucks. No really, the best things there are good in that kind-of-shitty but I'm on vacation way.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:03 AM on April 6, 2007

How about the Alpine Slide? How could you resist that?
posted by Sassyfras at 11:08 AM on April 6, 2007

Bring your wallet. Park City is notoriously expen^h^h^h^h overpriced. Especially Deer Valley. Salt Lake City is within 30 minutes from PC and the restaurants are equally good.

Check out utahmountainbiking.com for your mountain biking (and hiking) trails. You'll find that PC has tons of trails-mostly beginner(read: flat) stuff. World class mountain biking is within 30 minutes of every direction.

Can't really help you with the restaurants-sorry! If you have a car, make the trip to SLC to visit the Red Iguana for ungodly Mexican Food-The Red Iguana seems to pop up on every Utah-related ask.mefi post.
posted by neilkod at 11:12 AM on April 6, 2007

Rent a car and drive to Moab. :) That's what I'd do, anyway. It's beautiful in mid-May.
posted by salvia at 12:08 PM on April 6, 2007

Best answer: How long will you be there for? Will you have a car?

Park City itself is very touristy, but in a quaint sort of way. It's less expensive during the off-season (non-ski season), but it's still not cheap. But there are plenty of cute little places to eat. And Neilkod is right - Salt Lake City is close enough to drive to for dinner, etc. Plus, the drive is beautiful. Drinking/getting drunk is a lot easier in Park City than in SLC, though, as SLC's liquor laws are kinda screwy. But there are plenty of ski bum types who hang out in Park City year round to make the town fun.

You're right - Deer Valley is a little ways outside of Park City, but only about a 5-10 minute drive. If you have a car, you'll be fine. I assume there are shuttles, as well. Check with your hotel.

As far as things to do, it's acutally a rather happening area. While Salvia is right, Moab is beautiful, it's a really long drive. Within a day's trip from Park City you can:

1. Visit SLC. There are some nice shops in the city. I would also recommend that you hit up the Mormon touristy stuff (Temple Square, the Brigham Young House, etc.) It's all free (if you can handle some prosletyzing), and it's really interesting (historically and culturally).

2. Go hiking! The mountains around Park City are beautiful! You can probably hike in the area around your hotel, or take the gondola up the hill at Snowbird (probably about a half hour drive away) and hike down. Just be prepared as far as clothing, weather, etc. A couple people die from exposure every year in the Wasatch range when they set out for an afternoon hike and weren't prepared for bad weather.

3. You could rent a car and drive to Sundance (the actual resort owned by Robert Redford). It's about an hour or so (maybe more - it's been awhile). It's beautiful, very isolated, and they have a nice restaurant and spa.

4. There are still plenty of Winter Olympics 2002 remnants around. Just outside of Park City is the bobsled/luge/skijump park, which is fun to see. You can even bobsled down (the sleds have wheels, obviously) for a price (I didn't do this, but my friends did and said it was really fun if you're into that kind of thing). Ask at your hotel to see what other Olympic-themed sites are around.
posted by elquien at 12:20 PM on April 6, 2007

Chowhound has good restaurant advice for PC and SLC.

It will still be a little cool in the evenings in May in the mountains.

I really enjoyed watching the women's downhill ski jump team practice at the olympic ski site. Also, there were freestyle skiiers practicing--those guys that do amazing flips and then land in a swimming pool.

There is a walmart in Park City. Do what you wish with that information. There is also a McDonald's.

Tell us what kind of experience you want--fun touristy stuff, the seedy underbelly of Utah, quirky underground art tour, etc.
posted by mecran01 at 1:12 PM on April 6, 2007

In my experience, the proselytizing at temple square is relatively low key, especially outside the organized tours. Don't let that drive you off--the temple itself is pretty amazing, and the view from the top of the church office building overlooking the great salt lake and west mountains is cool.

You could also drive out and see the world's largest strip mine--Bingham Copper Mine. If you drive 35 miles south of SLC to point of the mountain, there is an active hangliding/paragliding community at point of the mountain.
posted by mecran01 at 1:15 PM on April 6, 2007

Off the top of my head:

Like others have said, the hiking and mountain biking will be great.

If you like sushi, I highly recommend The Flying Sumo, just off Main St.

There are a lot of small art galleries with western-themed art, e.g. wildlife photography, adobe pottery, bronze sculptures of cowboys. Not my favorite, but always fun to see.

Park City Ski Resort has the alpine slide and zip line if you're in to that kind of thing.

If you're in to fishing, fly fishing on the Provo River is world class and a lot of fun. If you're into bait/boat fishing, Strawberry Reservoir is nearby.

If you want live music there is usually an interesting assortment of national acts playing at Harry O's and Club Suede.
posted by Grundlebug at 1:41 PM on April 6, 2007

additional info:

If you want to fish there are a number of guide companies in town.

Deer Valley, the ski resort, has some the most expensive dining in Utah. I can't comment on the quality though.
posted by Grundlebug at 1:43 PM on April 6, 2007

Let's see, in town:

Last summer Mountain Town Stages had a bunch of gigs listed up in Park City.

The Canyons also had Saturday night music events, which were great. Looks like those don't start until July this year, but if they've got the Cabriolet open air gondola that goes up from the Parking Lot to the village running, half the fun for me was riding up and down that thing. Maybe I'm just easily entertained, though.

I've really enjoyed a Mexican place called El Chubasco.

Suede is probably the best Park City music club. I've seen James McMurtry there and they seem to regularly have some good acts.

The Alpine Slide is fun, too!

You could rent a car and drive to Sundance (the actual resort owned by Robert Redford). .

I totally recommend that. It will take you through Provo Canyon, which is beautiful in the spring, and there's some nice little hikes near Sundance, like Stewart Falls. And if the Alpine loop is open, it starts just above Sundance, past Aspen Grove, and it's one of the best scenic drives in Northern Utah. Or go farther down Provo Canyon, visit Bridal Veil Falls, maybe even hike a bit along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

If you do go down through Heber, stop at Granny's Drive Inn on main for small town main-drag milkshake mania. Or visit the old (and pricey) Homestead Resort.

It will still be a little cool in the evenings in May in the mountains.

This is definitely true. I stayed up there last summer one night and I swear it dropped into the 30s. Definitely bring a good jacket.
posted by weston at 3:19 PM on April 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Oh, this is just grand. Thanks to all.

I won't have a car, and while the resort has a shuttle to downtown PC and the ski lifts, getting anywhere else is going to be hard. So anything downtownish would be great- munching and sipping (mostly budget- good bakeries and cafe recs and a decent bar or three much appreicated) and misc. seeing and strolling well-suited for a relatively strictly budgeted visitor.

Thanks again, for these and for anything/everything else.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 4:07 PM on April 6, 2007

I'm a local.

On Main Street in Park City there's a sushi place called The Flying Sumo. It gets about 3.5 stars of 5 on my sushi index. Not bad, not terribly special. Some of the better edamame I've ever had though.

Salt Lake isn't a long drive, and really, there's more to do there. Also, less "overpriced."

If you do go to Salt Lake, The Gateway Mall is pretty nice, with a much better sushi place called The Happy Sumo. No, they're not related.

Sometimes the Clark Planetarium at Gateway has good shows. Anyway, the lobby has one of those big kinetic sculptures with marbles and gears, and it's fun to watch.

The Olympic Plaza is also at Gateway. Cool fountains, and when the coolness wears off, there's a Barnes and Noble less than a stone's throw away. And a StarBucks.

And of course Temple Square if you're into that. Some folks aren't and that's ok.
posted by SlyBevel at 4:46 PM on April 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

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