What are the best attractions in Park City?

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Susan Kime
Park City at night/Courtesy Park City Chamber Of Commerce

Park City is a winter paradise, where skiing, snowboarding and all other things that demand snow are here for the asking in the winter months — and those months can go often from the end of October until May. This year, 2013, the snow finally ended during the first week of May. The snow in Utah is dry and powdery, which makes for some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the United States. This is no doubt the reason why Park City was the home to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. That said, other great attractions are:

The Sundance Film Festival. Most of the films in this annual festival are shown in Park City. The festival started out as a low-budget, low profile, outside-Hollywood event, but now it is a media spectacle for Hollywood actors, producers, directors, paparazzi and multiple entourages. In 2012, there were 46,731 attendees, making it one of the largest independent film festivals in the United States. Held in January in Park City, the festival is a showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers, who debut American and international dramatic and documentary films, both feature-length films and short films.

Utah Olympic Park
Utah Olympic Park is located in Park City just before arriving to the historic Old Town center. Things you can do at the Park include zip line rides and bobsled rides, both very FAST! In winter you can shoot down the bobsled track, which is the same one used in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. It is one minute in duration, but it is not for the faint of heart and the ride can go up to 80mph. In summer, the bobsled still moves, but on wheels, as there is no ice to move it along (it still garners speeds up tp 70mph). Check out the ski museum, shops and theater.

Main Street Park City
The thing is, Park City used to be a substantial mining town in the 1880's, where over $400 million of silver, it is said, was taken from the silver veins in the nearby mountains. In the evenings, miners and their friends, would carouse until the light of day. Now the history and the memories of that time are symbolized by historic Old Town Main Street. Many buildings on Main Street are part of the National Historic Register. Main Street is the heart of Park City, and though winter is the busiest time — there are three world-class ski resorts within minutes of Old Town — there are still many things to do that don't involve snow. There are art galleries, boutiques and antique stores. One word of caution, remember the altitude: it is about 7,000 feet here, so take water and maybe a piece of hard candy with you. Another good thing to remember is that the bus system is free as is the Historic Main Street Trolley. 

Deer Valley Music Festival
During the summer, mid-July to mid-August, the Snow Park Lodge Amphitheater is host to the Deer Valley Music Festival. There are three parts to the area: stage left is the blanket side, the middle is reserved, and the right is for lawn chairs. On the blanket side, you can get closer to the stage. Pack a dinner, bring a blanket, and enjoy the ambiance.

Stephanie Nitsch
Courtesy of Park City Chamber/Bureau. Photographer, John McCarthy.

Park City has a penchant for attracting the world’s best winter sport athletes, thanks to a number of official training venues and facilities. (Park City co-hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.) In addition to the area's three ski resorts - Park City Mountain, Deer Valley and Canyons - the Utah Olympic Park pays tribute to past and present winter athletes with its ski history museum and 2002 Olympic museum. Here visitors can discover more about these sports by watching one of many seasonal competitions in person or becoming an athlete themselves, either through the Utah Olympic Park’s Comet bobsled ride or navigating a skeleton sled down the icy track on their own.
 
Park City’s Historic District is an essential stop in any season. Located in the valleys of Park City’s small foothills, this district gave birth to the once thriving silver mining town in the late 19th century. Walk along Main Street and wander the residential streets of Old Town for an architectural digest of old-meets-new. More than 80 buildings and houses have been preserved and are currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, although many have been updated for 21st century aesthetics. Include a stop at the Park City Museum for an intriguing look into Park City’s mining past and skiing legacy, or explore the town by means of a guided ghost tour.
 
Swaner EcoCenter has adopted more than 1200 acres of wetlands and protected the area from any development. The result is an ecological haven for nearly 100 wild critters that are native to the area, such as elk, moose, minks, red foxes, eagles, sandhill cranes and beavers. The Swaner Preserve welcomes the public, including hikers, bikers, snowshoers, birdwatchers and photographers, to stroll its recreational trail system or tour the hands-on nature exhibits inside the Platinum LEED facility.

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