Park City is probably best known for its wintry offerings: the Sundance Film Festival, which takes place every January, world-class ski resorts like Deer Valley and Park City Mountain, and the Utah Olympic Park, where professional bobsledders and luge riders hone their skills before the next Winter Games. But there’s another side to the 150-year-old mining town—the warm-weather version—that’s just as exciting, and well worth a summer trip. With a population of just over 8,000 and an Old-West sense of solitude, Park City is the quintessential idea of what a mountain town should be—as rich in culture and activity as it once was, a century ago, in silver.
Catch a concert at Deer Valley’s Snow Park Amphitheater
Since 1985, music lovers visiting Park City have flocked to this outdoor amphitheater—setting up chairs and picnic blankets at the base of one of the resort’s ski runs—to watch big-name acts and performances by the Utah Symphony. With the mountains rising behind this 5,000-seat venue, and the stately St. Regis hotel looking down from its nearby perch, there’s no better way to soak in a summer night. Bring your own food and booze, or pre-order gourmet picnic bags from the venue, ready for pick-up when you arrive.
Find peace at the DeJoria Center
Horse meditation. Yes, it’s a thing. Located in Kamas, 16 miles from Park City in the Uinta foothills, the DeJoria Center is a luxury event space that offers a range of outdoorsy excursions on its 1,100-acre ranch—from snowshoeing to mountain biking to black-powder hunting. The unique and sometimes challenging “equine meditation” experience, which involves guided exercises aimed at opening an emotional connection between participants and horses, is more powerful than it sounds.
Wade into Blue Ribbon fly fishing
Local guide company All Seasons Adventures is your best bet for getting onto the Provo River, which holds a coveted Blue Ribbon designation, meaning that the fishing is some of the best in the country. Meant for any level of angler, the company’s trips provide gear, guidance, and (if you’re lucky) a cold beer on the banks after you’ve fished your fill.
Romp around Historic Main Street
Running every Sunday for 14 weeks in 2019, from June through September, the Park Silly Sunday Market on Park City’s Historic Main Street brings the whole town out for a massive open-air market featuring art, music, and produce stands. You won’t find a better way to get a glimpse of the local color, and you might be surprised by some of the stories you hear as you mingle with townies and business owners who have called Park City home for decades.
Sip your way through history on a Mines & Wines Tour
Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale—more than one, actually—on this three-hour tour of six historic Park City locations, each touching on the area’s rich (and sometimes scandalous) mining history, including the Daly West Mine, Ontario Mine, and old Miner’s Hospital in the center of town. Led by Kirsten Fox, headmistress and executive sommelier of Fox’s School of Wine, the tour offers a wine tasting at each stop, drawing interpretive connections between the vintages and the history of the Utah mining industry.
Raise a glass at Utah’s oldest distillery
High West Distillery was the first Utah spirit-maker to be licensed after Prohibition. Unsurprisingly—after so long without a local booze to call their own—locals are deeply in love with this alpine outpost, perched high in the Wasatch-Uinta Mountains above town. Tours and tastings are offered, with expert distillers offering tales of the company’s founding and an up-close look at the production room’s 1,600-gallon copper still.