Park City, Utah: Exploring the Historic District

Kristie Lin/Staff

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Coming from a family of skiing and snowboarding fanatics, I spent nearly every single winter break growing up in the snow. Specifically, I spent winter breaks at the various mountains of North and South Lake Tahoe. This past year, however, we decided to try something new. A few days after Christmas, my family was off to Park City, Utah, to experience the infamous Park City Mountain Resort, or PCMR the largest ski resort in the United States.

Park City is a suburban area, home to Utah Olympic Park and surrounded by vast snow-covered meadows and mountains. While we primarily went for the slopes, we found ourselves wandering Main Street, the heart of the Historic District, and fell in love with the town. Full of colorful buildings and old-town architecture, Main Street is quaint and timelessly charming.

Kristie Lin/Staff

Transportation

A huge plus about Park City during the holiday season is the free public transportation! No matter where you stay in Park City, you’re sure to be near one of the abundant bus stops in the city. There are several bus routes and nearly all of them run through the Historic District. Buses are clean and the wait times are usually short. The best part? It’s completely free.

Food

Main Street is home to a variety of restaurants. Butcher’s Chop House and Bar is a traditional American diner-style restaurant with steaks, chops and seafood. Its food isn’t even the best part — the view of the beautiful snow-covered mountain makes it well worth the visit. Located at the base of one of the various mountains of PCMR, you get a front and center view of the Town Lift — the only ski lift that goes up to PCMR from Park City. If you’re craving Thai food, Baan Thai is a neat spot sandwiched between rows of brightly colored buildings. Their sizable portions, rich flavors and spacious seating make for a comfortable and tasty meal. For all the sushi lovers, Yuki Yama is one of the most infamous sushi restaurants in all of Park City. Its Wagyu beef is served with a sizzling block of Himalayan sea salt for you to cook at the table, and its specialty rolls are fresh and delicious — not to mention the friendly staff and service. Their location is small, however, so be sure to make dinner reservations early or drop in only for lunch.

Kristie Lin/Staff

Afternoon pick-me-ups

Java Cow Café and Bakery is a combination of a bakery, café and ice cream parlor. One-half of the store sells breakfast items and the other side is small and ice creamery-like, complete with a few diner booths and a life-sized cow figure on top of a black and white checkered floor. The walls are covered with action figure posters and images of professional skiers and snowboarders who call Park City home. It offers a host of flavors, but be sure to check out its special Purple Cow flavor — a creamy blueberry ice cream with dark and white chocolate chips. Atticus Coffee and Teahouse is a small, quirky café and bookstore. Try out the Edgar Almond latte, Climbers High Chai Latte or one of their other creative specialty tea lattes — you can even add 20 mg of CBD to any drink for $4! If you’re looking for a solid pick-me-up, Stoked Roasters is a simple but quality coffee spot located inside one of the various art galleries on Main Street. Here, you can enjoy a Moroccan Mint hot chocolate or a creamy latte as you take in the beautiful artwork on couches and large bean bag chairs.

Kristie Lin/Staff

Art and shopping

Main Street is full of many, many art galleries. As you walk up and down the street, nearly every other store will be an art gallery of some form. They often feature local and bear-themed paintings. If you enjoy museums or art galleries, this town is perfect for hours of browsing. There are also a few slightly hidden art pieces and paintings around the town — including a Banksy exhibit. Intermingled with the restaurants and art galleries are various clothing stores, including Burton, Patagonia, Free People, Lululemon, The North Face and many more. Whether you find yourself in need of snow boots, leggings or even a new snowboard, there are plenty of options for you to explore. The diversity of stores is perfect for an easy Sunday shopping spree, or an evening walk after dinner.

While much of my time was spent snowboarding in the mountains of Park City, my family fell more and more in love with the Historic District every time we went there. Be it shopping for a pair of warm gloves, new boots for the snowstorm or just picking up some ice cream during a walk after dinner, the town’s soft twinkling street lights amidst the gently falling snow made for a spectacular winter holiday. 

Contact Kristie Lin at [email protected].