Summer is almost upon us and my recent twitter survey revealed that the majority of families are still trying to solidify their summer travel plans! I’m here to help. Why not take your next summer vacation at a destination you may not equate with summer fun? Plan a summer vacation in Park City, Utah.
I know it sounds a little ludicrous but I discovered last summer on our family vacation to Park City, Utah that many ski resorts capitalize on their outdoorsiness and high altitudes and morph into outdoor adventure parks in the summer months. It’s pretty genius if you think about it!
Based on our epic family vacation last summer to Park City, Utah, here are the top 8 reasons your next summer vacation should include a visit to a ski resort:
Special thanks to the Park City CVB, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Park City – Yarrow, and Deer Valley Resort for hosting us for this vist. Although our experience was sponsored all opions are my own. (Full disclosure)
1. Ride an Alpine Slide
I could really just end the post here to be honest. What’s more fun than sitting on a little seat and careening down a track that winds down the side of a mountain? Nothing. There’s nothing better so don’t argue with me about it.
Riding an alpine slide was freaking awesome for lack of a more sophisticated description. I was immediately 10 years old in my mind again. My son and I rode one at the Utah Olympic Park and one at the Park City Mountain Resort.
The ride at the Olympic Park slide was on a metal track and the ski resort slide was plastic. I think the Olympic Park slide may have been a tad bit faster but don’t quote me on that. You can control your speed on both. The views are magical on both as well. The biggest difference is the Park City Mountain slide has 2 tracks side by side so you can race your opponent.
2. Ride an Alpine Coaster
Mmmk so I lied to you. There’s something better than riding an alpine slide. I’m sorry but not really sorry. That something better is riding an alpine coaster! I didn’t know that alpine coasters were a thing until the visit to Park City Mountain.
Built into the mountain is a metal track framework that first takes you way up on the mountain and then sends you zooming back down at top 30 mph for over a mile with vicious curves and dips along the way. You are strapped into a go-kart-like seat and you have hand breaks to slow you down if needed.
This thing flies!!!!!! Hands down this one of the most exhilarating adventures we’ve ever had. It reminds me of my days as an only child inventing rides in my room. This felt like a contraption that really shouldn’t work but it actually does.
3. Do an Extreme Zip Line
Zip Lines are old hats for many of you, I know. We’ve definitely done our fair share of zip lines all over the world but we enjoy it so it doesn’t really ever get old for us. When we learned we would be doing extreme zip lining at the Olympic Park we weren’t quite sure what qualified it as extreme.
Now it’s definitely very high up, but I wouldn’t say that made it extreme. We had to ride the ski lift up to the top of the k120 nordic ski jump to do the zip line.
Once you reach the top it’s evident why it’s called EXTREME zip lining. Riders are fitted into bucket seat harnesses and told to sit chair style with a big foam mat in front of you so you can’t see what’s coming. They count down (or sometimes not at all) and release the kracken. They send you 2 at a time so you can scream with a partner — how thoughtful of them. LOL
You are literally thrust down a stomach jolting steep drop before flying at up to 60 mph and 500 feet down to the bottom. It is actually the steepest zip line in the world according to the vendors! If you like thrills, this unassuming attraction is a must do. I promise this ain’t your grandma’s zip line.
4. Visit the Utah Olympic Park
The Utah Olympic Park was the site of the 2002 Winter Games. Now it is home to a museum and an abundance of activities. In the summer, you can do the alpine slide, 2 ziplines, a ropes course, a free fall, tubing or ride on a bob sled.
We really enjoyed watching the skiers train on the ski jumps! We were enamored with what they were able to do without any snow.
5. Explore Park City Mountain
Park City Mountain is the apex for summer fun. We just scratched the surface of all there is to do there. There are zip line tours, mountain bike courses, the alpine coaster, alpine slide, putt putt course, gondola rides, an activities area for smaller kids, a golf course, and a climbing wall.
There’s no way you can bring the kids here and hear them complain of boredom. Tickets can be purchased for individual attractions for you can buy combo passes for the day which seemed to be the most cost effective plan.
The ski village is still super cute sans snow. Many shops weren’t only for the summer season but most of the restaurants were.
6. No Winter Weather
I think the most obvious reason to visit a ski town in the summer is the mild weather! Snow is beautiful to look at but let’s face it, it has its down sides and inconveniences. You also have to pack a lot more clothes and gear for a snow trip! In theory you save money on the expense of luggage fees by visiting in the summer.
The weather while we were there in Park City in June was perfect. We still needed a light jacket at night but during the day it was mild 70s. I certainly didn’t miss that Florida humidity back home.
7. Less crowded
Ski meccas like Park City are known for being hot spots in the winter but not so much in the summer months. Everywhere we went the crowds were manageable. We had no trouble getting a table at a restaurant or doing the activities we wanted to do.
8. Lower Rates For Accommodations
Rates for accommodations are much lower in the summer because that’s slow season for ski towns. We stayed at the DoubleTree by Hlton Hotel Park City – The Yarrow. Rates in the summer months start around $119 for a standard double room. In peak season the rates can be $300 a night and up!
If you are looking for budget friendly then a family friendly hotel like the DoubleTree is right up your alley. However, visiting in the off season means you can take advantage of the off season and stay at one of the swankier lodges like Deer Valley Resort for much less than it would be during ski season.
I couldn’t justify adding a #9 to this post because technically you can get this year round and not just in the summer. However, I have to tell you, it’s worth a visit to Park City anytime to have the sumptuous beet humus avocado toast at Deer Valley Grocery Cafe. Don’t tell me you don’t like beets because guess what? Neither do I; I pick them off of everything.
However when a local says don’t you dare leave Deer Valley without having the beet humus avocado toast then you get the toast! It was divine. Stamp this one Foodie Adventurer approved.
Are you sold? Let’s chat in the comments. Have you visited a destination known for a certain type of weather in the off season?
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