by Susan Mayloch
When people think of Park City, winter sports and the "Greatest Snow on Earth" are usually the first things that come to mind. What most don't realize is that Park City has as much to do in the summer as in the winter, if not more. The hard part is choosing which activities to do if you have a limited amount of time.
Winter skiing is not the only sport for those seeking adventure in Park City. To start, the resorts are home to world renowned mountain bike trails. Deer Valley hosts downhill races during the summer for all skill levels, although most people come to watch the experts attempt the challenging single tracks. If mountain biking does not appeal, there are many other ways to get adrenaline pumping, including rock climbing and river rafting.
While sports are a big lure for many vacationers, there are also numerous activities to keep families entertained. Park City Mountain Resort offers pulse-racing rides like the zip line, alpine coaster, and alpine slide for kids and adults alike. Mini-golf, a climbing wall, and a human maze are also great alternatives right at the base of the mountain.
Utah Olympic Park can give aspiring Olympians and adventure seekers the opportunity to experience the rush of racing down the bobsled track. An expert will guide the sled down the track at speeds up to 70 miles per hour-definitely not for the faint of heart! If the bobsled isn't enough, there is also a freestyle aerial splash pool at the park, where Olympians practice, as well as putting on public shows. There are even aerial camps available for those who want more of a hands on experience.
Park City hosts a number of events throughout the summer, including the Kimball Arts Festival in August, which unites artists from all over the country to sell their wares to crowds wandering Main Street. Music aficionados can get their fill at the Park City Jazz Festival with its multiple stages and world famous musicians. Another delight for the senses is the Park City Food and Wine Festival, which features fine wines and food from local restaurants.
On an every day basis, Park City possesses enough dining options to satisfy any palette. Various international foods, as well as classic American fare, can be found throughout town. Whether it's fine dining in an award winning Continental restaurant in Deer Valley, or having a casual meal in a bistro on Main Street, it would be difficult to sample all that Park City has to offer in just one trip.
Shopping is yet another pastime for locals and visitors alike. Strolling down Park City's quaint Main Street while deciding between checking out a souvenir shop or one of Park City's many boutiques is a great way to spend a day. There are also plenty of shops specializing in gear for mountain sports, from mountain biking to rock climbing-some even offer ski apparel and equipment year round.
It can be easy to think of Park City only in terms of its snow. While this is a big attraction for people in the area, the summers are usually what keep people from leaving. Coming up to Park City in the summertime, with the abundance of activities and scenic landscape, it can be easy to understand how people come for a week, and end up becoming locals.
Susan Mayloch is a travel and outdoor writer from Park City UT. Susan uses a local website for information on Park City Activities.