Travel: Altitude Rising

Park City, Utah is a one stop shop for an eventful fall getaway.

WAKE UP, GO UP: Before the city rises, take a morning hot air balloon ride for an aerial view of the city and mountains below. (Photo Courtesy of Visit Park City)

Now that beach-heavy summer jaunts are in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look ahead to temperate days and crispy nights. Besides fantastic fall weather, Park City, Utah boasts a dizzying amount of activities for fall adventure seekers. A scenic 35-minute drive from Salt Lake City Airport, the old mining town has become a mecca for outdoor recreation throughout the year. Humbly situated beneath the expansive Wasatch Mountain Range, Park City seems to have nailed the balance between rustic outdoor playground and high-end arts, culture and dining destination.

GET OUTSIDE

Mountain bikers enjoy one of the many scenic trails in and around Park City. (Photo Courtesy of Visit Park City)

Famously known as a stellar ski destination and home to the star-studded Sundance Film Festival, Park City draws international interest for its fresh powder and lively après ski and nightlife scene in the winter months.Its fall allure is less touted, but no less spectacular. In the short season, leaves change from lush green to vibrant reds and yellows. Take advantage of the changing landscape by opting for a charming mountain drive with photogenic scenery. Fourteen miles outside of Park City Guardsman Pass’ winding valley roads give way to the picturesque peaks of Cottonwood Canyon and offer access to a bevy of fantastic hiking trails. More sporty visitors may ditch the steering wheel for a set of handle bars and ride along Park City’s world class mountain bike trails.

EAT DRINK & BE MERRY

Before or after a long day in the great outdoors, head to Park City’s Main Street for a great selection of dining and nightlife options. Wake up with a cup of Joe from Atticus Coffee, Books & Teahouse (738 Main St.) and browse at the quirky gift shop while you wait. Deer Valley Grocery Cafe’s (1375 Deer Valley Dr.) famous turkey chili nourishes the soul. For dinner, try Tupelo (508 Main St.) where chef and owner Matthew Harris gives nod to Southern comfort foods with fresh seasonal ingredients. Take note that at 7,000 feet above sea level a little imbibing can go a long way. In terms of nightcaps, No Name Saloon & Grill (447 Main St.) is a local favorite. With its always bustling, year-round heated rooftop, the no-fuss watering hole is a town gem not to be missed.

REST YOUR HEAD

There is no shortage of lodges and resorts in Park City. Tried and true luxury accommodations at Deer Valley Resort include the Montage, the St. Regis and Stein Eriksen Lodge (from $325/ night). For a more boutique experience, stay in refurbished classrooms at the Washington School House Hotel built in1889 (from $365/night).

BE AN OLYMPIAN FOR A DAY: Visit the 2002 Utah Olympic park and enjoy one of the many activities offered like ziplining, bobsledding or touring the facilities. (Photo Courtesy of Visit Park City)

TASTE ALL THE WHISKEYS: High West Distillery  (703 Park Avenuehas made a name for itself nationally for its quality aged whiskey blends. Pop in for a flight of the robust distilled spirits.

STROLL DOWN MAIN: Peruse high-end art galleries, snack at lively restaurants and shop up and down Main Street.

This article appeared in the September 2018 issue of Washington Life Magazine.

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