Where to Eat, Drink, and Play in Utah

Staff Writer
Where to Eat, Drink, and Play in Utah

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Deer Valley at Dusk. 

Heber Valley

Heber Valley, only a quick 20-minute drive from Park City, is a gem of a town that offers a range of activities that might be considered off the beaten path for most visitors. Adventurous travelers might want to try snowmobiling at Daniel’s Summit. It offers a variety of guided tours and different routes for snowmobilers to take on a breathtaking sightseeing tour in the snow. No matter what your level of expertise, or if you find yourself traveling with a guide or group, make sure to stop for a photo op at different points of the mountain to commemorate the moment.

After working up an appetite, be sure to swing by Heber Valley Artisan Cheese. This family-owned and operated shop is a fourth-generation dairy farm that produces more than 40 different varietals of cheeses on any given week. The shop has won awards for many of their cheeses. Some must-try ones include Queso Fresco Fuego Verde, Snake Creek Fresh, Vanilla Bean Cheddar, and Smoked Jalapeño Bacon Cheddar, among many others. The shop also has a wildly popular ice cream section (yes, even in the winter) as well as a handful of specialty jams, honey, and other accoutrements.

Be sure to make a pit stop or a drive-by the Ice Castles in Midway. Utah-based ice architect Brent Christensen designed the ice castles, which feature ice towers, archways, tunnels, narrow slot canyons, glossy walls, roomy caverns, and frozen thrones. While it’s a beautiful site no matter what time of day, it’s particularly stunning at night when the ice castle is completely lit up.

Finally, one of the more unique activities in Heber Valley is to take a relaxing soak in the Homestead Crater. Perfect for both couples and groups of friends traveling together, everyone can enjoy swimming in a cavernous geothermal spring, hidden within a 55-foot-tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock. For history buffs, there is the option to take a guided tour to learn about how the Crater formed when melting snow on the Wasatch Mountains seeped deep into the earth. Option number two is to throw on your swimsuit, strap on a life vest, and enjoy.

Park City

Park City is known for the glitz and glamour that the Sundance Film Festival brings to the town once a year, but there is fun to be had throughout ski season and beyond. Park City is home to two delicious restaurants: High West Distillery and the Wasatch Brew Pub, both of which are producing food and drink at a very high level.

High West has a distillery on property (which happens to be Utah’s first) and today is run by David Perkins who moved to Utah to pursue his love of whiskey-making. Today, there is an extensive whiskey and vodka menu with an outstanding cocktail list to boot, including drinks like the Lion’s Tail, the Smoked Manhattan, and the Blue Sky. Their food menu is seasonally inspired with dishes like Utah trout and the Bison cottage pie.

Fast forward to the next day when you feel like you might have been over worked or over fed, – turn your attention to a little exercise. Great for skiers or non-skiers alike, Park City Yoga offers a variety of classes that focus on the mind and body connection. The class schedule varies with different styles for all types of levels including restorative yoga, flow for 75 minutes and slow flow.  

For those looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, look no further than Utah Olympic Park. Guests can take tours of the property, saunter through the museum, or, for the ultimate thrill, go on a bobsled ride on the 2002 Olympic track. The Comet Bobsled is operated by a professional for those who were a little leery of riding solo. The team gives you a thorough run down and training before you get suited up and assigned a team to bobsled with you. Teams experience over 10 turns and can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour, all the while trying to have the best time, beating out fellow competitive thrill-seekers.

Deer Valley

For the ultimate luxury spa experience, check out the Montage Deer Valley property. It’s not just a 35,000-square-foot holistic-minded retreat with a suite of services; it has a Wellness Fitness Program with ever-changing class options. Guests can also engage in consultations with health experts to discuss diet and nutrition. A perfect spa treatment meant for someone who is looking to intertwine exercise with relaxation and wellness is the yoga Thai massage, where a therapist works with the patient during an assisted stretch, with floor Thai massage. It uses isolated stretching combined with a focus on nerve pathways to promote the release of chronic aches and pains.

Places to go:

Snowmobiling, Daniel’s Summit 

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese

Homestead Crater

High West Distillery

Wasatch Brew Pub 

Park City Yoga

Olympic Park for bobsledding 

Montage Deer Valley

Coverage made possible by participating in a sponsored visit.

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