Photo of the local ski lifts Park City UT
Summit Watch in Park City UT is the destination for my next adventure and I can not weight. Utah is one of a few states which I have never been to before. I feel so lucky to have the chance to go and enjoy the area. To be able to stay at a Marriott resort is just the icing on this amazing trip.
Day One Travel & Arrival
For me this journey begins with a 6-hour flight from Norfolk, Virginia. I was able to get a decent flight with Delta that had a modest stop in Atlanta. It is not inexpensive to fly to the area so while I am in the area, I will be renting a car and then traveling to another resort to stay while I am so close to many other great resorts.
The flight with short layover of 40 minute as a breeze. Next it was picking up my rental car and heading to the resort. On my way I would stop for some lunch since I had not eaten before the flight and skipped it, given the time it takes to travel from some gates to another area in ATL.
Salt Lake Airport (SLC) is an interesting airport. It is also large enough to have virtually every major rental car company present on site. Which makes the rates for rentals from the airport more competitive than in other areas. Which is a great benefit. Still rental car prices are higher than they used to be. Granted I was renting for a week with unlimited miles but I was glad I already saved on the resort by booking with TZort.
It pays to check around with the various rental car companies because rates varied by several hundred dollars between various providers for a week-long rental. At a few provides the cost for the car was more than the resort per day. I am not cheap, but that is just a waste of money.
I had some time to kill before my check in. So, when I got close to the resort, I looked for a cool place to spend some time, get some food, and a drink or two after the flights. I found the Highwest Saloon which is a part of the Highwest distillery. I like a good distillery tour and being able to have some local food and booze together on the same sight is a win.
I had some of the American Prairie Reserve and an entrée of Elk that was outstanding. The tour was a good one, and I had some of their offerings shipped home. No need to try to lug them through the airport or from resort to resort on my travels. They were moderately priced and had good notes.
After a quick tour and a nice lunch, I went to look around town some more before checking in.
I am in town during the summer. Now you may wonder why I would go to a ski resort during the summer, but you will be surprised all there is to do in the area. I chose to take a ride on the ski lift that is almost next to where I had lunch. These are open during the summer from 10AM-7PM with a Crescent Chairlift lift that is open until 8PM maybe there is a sunset in my future?
While on the mountain, I chose to try my hand at the Alpine Coaster. You can watch a video recorded by David Ellis here.
While the ride will not stop your heart the sense of speed at times is much higher on the ride, than what you get the sense of with that excellent video.
We will do much more exploring together over the next few days, but that ride is available much of the year. So even when snow is on the ground it may be an alternative to the slopes for someone.
Skiing here is a major draw since there are over 3,100-foot ski runs in the area and ski passes that offer a good value for long stays. You can choose passes for multiple resorts and set up your own ski season not only here but on both coasts, or even around the world at 34 partner resorts.
After a while on the mountain, it was time to go down and get checked in to the resort.
Here is the Marriott you have choices of a guest room, 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom villa. I had the 1-bedroom villa for 3 nights, so I was ready to check it out.
The villa provides a nice sized kitchen, bathroom, living room, and bedroom. The kitchen has a stove, full fridge, sink, dishwasher, and a great fireplace. It is hard to beat a room with a fireplace in the winter time. Those must be amazing after being outside in the cold all day, or for some romance. The size of the 1-bedroom is 950 sq ft and the 2 bedroom is a roomy 1200 sq ft. I think most families would be fine in the one bedroom with the sleeper sofa, but the 2-bedroom is a wonderful upgrade.
The unit also had a 1-person whirlpool which kind of makes sense if someone was relaxing trying to get their muscles calmed down after a big day of skiing. I think that some people will be sad it does not fit 2.
All the rooms are modern and well maintained.
I took my usual tour of the resort next. One of the first things I noticed is that they have some great pools. They even have an indoor-outdoor pool where you can swim from the inside to the outside. I have liked those since I saw them in a movie once, then first swam in a few at Myrtle Beach many years ago. I can remember being a kid and even enjoying swimming under a pool cover some distance, there is just something about swimming under or through things that seems fun.
The resort also has a nice fitness center, and an activity room complete with very nice ice hocky game, and large chess set. Going back through the main desk and reception area I was struck by how well designed it is, and the feeling that you get that this is an old-time ski lodge. Clever design work for such a modern resort.
In a way, the resort is a perfect fit for the town because park city is a town that is clearly a resort town, but also one with a rich history and past that people enjoy. It has a look that is truly American and one of a kind, but in the best way possible. Elements of old west meet modern, and historic homes and properties meet new owners and fans.
You can see more of park city on their website.
Day Two at Summit Watch
Summit Watch is really in a magic location. Not just Park City but its spot within the city. So close to everything and yet an escape from everything when you get back to your villa. Waking up in my room I felt like I was a million miles from home, not just a few thousand.
I slept well in the villa but now I was hungry and about ready to eat one of my shoes, so I was off to find a great breakfast here in Park City. I was told that The Bridge Café served a nice , so that is where I headed. I have found that most locals who share restaurants more often than not point you in the right direction.
Again I was hungry, so I ordered both Pancakes and an Omelet. With the omelet you can choose up to five ingredients and then you get home fries with the omelet. I chose 3 types of cheese, ham and sausage for my omelet and it was perfect. The pancakes were great, and I had them hold the almonds when they served them. After breakfast however, I needed to get moving or I ran the risk of falling asleep right in the restaurant because of a happy full stomach.
One great thing to do in the area during the summer is white water rafting or kayaking. Since I did not know the area well, I chose to go rafting. I chose one of 3 highly rated local rafting companies and booked a 2.5hr trip which was only $59, which seemed like a great deal for a big adventure. It was great fun. The water in the area moves fast, but it was not the most difficult rapids I have been in, so it was fun, and I could see older mature kids enjoying it as well. The guides seemed to have their act together and have a good sense of safety, which is so important in outdoor guides.
Here are a few reviews for the business I chose. You can see like me that people really enjoyed their trips.
Our family had a blast rafting with our Guides Oz and Mark (Squirrel). They were both VERY knowledgeable and great with the two 5-year-old kids that were in our group! This is a great white water rafting experience for the whole family!! Can not recommend this company enough!
Just finished the 2 1/2 rafting trip on Weber River which was so much fun as well as beautiful. We had the best guide, Scott who made the trip the best experience. Family of 4 ages 13, 23 and parents (ages not included). We all highly recommend using this company.
Had an excellent trip with Destination Sports! Safety brief was good, float was really not much work (thanks to our awesome guide Michelle!), and information along the way was educational. Would definitely recommend and would do this again upon our return to the area.
Just like those reviews I really enjoyed this on the trip. It is something that even moderately active people like me these days can really enjoy.
After my rafting trip, it was back to the resort for a warm jet tub moment and then a shower before a late lunch.
For lunch I went to Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery which I barely remembered seeing on “Dinners, Drive Ins, and Dives”. I was torn but settled on their chicken parmesan dinner. It was good and the “gravy” or tomato sauce here was very good and made the meal. I think if I get the chance to come again, I will try the meatball and spaghetti next time because it is one giant 10oz meatball and I like the idea of that.
After that great late lunch, I was off to the Park City Museum. I was impressed by the quality of this museum. Many town museums are nice but more of a small novelty that a real deep look at the history. Here I found compelling exhibits and a truly engaged staff that loved their town and community. This museum appears to be well funded, and it has seen some real investment in the exhibits, and a lot of work in the details.
After the museum, it was back to the resort. I felt a swim in the great indoor to outdoor pool coming on.
Day Three, spending some time in town
Often when traveling I focus much of my time on being active and going from one adventure to the next. Park City Utah is so unique that I wanted my adventure to just take shape while spending time in town.
Park City boasts many local galleries and artists. I like to paint some myself so I also enjoy checking out local galleries on my travels. I wanted to get to all the galleries on this list but I only managed to get to 5 locations. Each had their own artists, appeal, and approach to the art. It was an amazing way to spend the early morning and afternoon.
You got to get to know the city while experiencing some great art along the way.
Next I was finally able to pull myself away from the neat town and go to a state park just south of town a short way. Wasatch Mountain State Park offers over 23,000 acres of amazing mountain trails, woods, and scenery that is unmatched. I also went to eat at the Soldier Hollow Grill for lunch. The location is amazing, and the prices were very affordable.
If you are a golfer this is one location you may want to check out for a round.
I was ending my stay at this resort tonight but I was not yet done with Marriott or with Park City next I was head to the Mountainside Resort follow me for more information about a park city vacation.