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Park City Possibilities

By Caitlin Moore

Often, when people think of fabulous ski vacations or summertime getaways filled with scenic alpine beauty, they consider the regular cast of characters but overlook a perfectly pleasing choice. Utah, particularly Park City, is one of the best places to enjoy winter sports (just ask the Olympians of the world) and when the weather warms up, you’ll find no sweeter sights than those provided while hiking through the state parks or trotting through the lush valleys on horseback.

Park City is nearly overflowing with vacation possibilities in a way that will satisfy travelers with all kinds of needs and interests. Ski lovers will enjoy the 350 inches of snow that falls per year, as well as the 3,300 skiable acres. Nothing compares to an early morning thrill ride down the tallest mountain you can find, if that’s your style, that is. If you’re more of a beginner, you’ll certainly learn to love the slopes if Park City’s dry powder and groomed trails are there to give you your first lessons. True adventurers can even be dropped off by helicopter or snowcat to embrace acres of untouched terrain as their very own.

But non-skiers should not despair. From sleigh rides to tubing, snowshoeing to snowmobiling, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the crisp mountain air without participating in the most traditional activity. Stray from the well-traveled paths if you like, and strike out on an adventure of your own design.

If you paid attention to the world’s affairs during 2002, you’ll remember that the Winter Olympics were held here in Utah. The pride of hosting this prestigious event still emanates from the mountains, and the impressive Olympic Park that was used for many competitions is still being used as an athletic training ground.

Visitors are welcomed to watch the experts in action, tour the two museums on the premises, or even hop into a bobsled and see what it feels like to experience 4G’s at 80 miles an hour. Ski Jumping, Bobsled, and Skeleton competitions continue to be held here, so schedule your trip accordingly if you’re interested to see the world’s finest athletes in these somewhat unheralded events.

If you’re more of a summer traveler, then be sure that your days will be just as jam-packed. Schedule an excursion with a local tour operation, and you could find yourself scaling the Uinta mountains, rafting the white water rapids of Weber river, or climbing aboard a 100 year old train for a day of sightseeing, old-fashioned dining, and entertainment.

The summer also boasts a number of festivals and ongoing events. Cooking and wine seminars, outdoor film festivals, theatrical productions, historical tours, and music of all varieties will keep you busy during the day and alert far into the night. Park City takes its culture seriously, so don’t fret about returning home feeling like your brain has been shut off for a few days. Rather, you’ll be able to impress your friends with the expanded and enriched perspective you’ll have gained during your visit to the great state of Utah.

Now that your interest has been piqued, you might want to consider the lodging situation in Park City as well. Since you’re coming all this way to a new place, you’ll probably be in the mood to really go for the gold and reserve a memorable place to stay. A smart option would be to check into renting a vacation home, considering that no matter what it is you seek while you’re away from home, one of Park City’s condos, mountain chalets, or old town apartments is likely to have what it takes to keep you and your companions feeling comfortable.

For example, if skiing is your thing, choose a condo with a ski catwalk located 100 feet from the front door. You’ll be able to whisk on and off the slopes with the greatest of ease, and when the day is done, a whirlpool tub to soak your weary bones and a fireplace to warm your fingers and toes will be the icing on the cake.

Or, if you’ve come to rub elbows with celebrities during the Sundance Film Festival, you’ll easily find a cozy cottage within walking distance of the town’s Main Street. View films by day and the heavenly skies at night, either way you’re seeing the stars up close and personal.

Park City has the chance to dazzle millions of people every year. If you’d like you and your loved ones to be next, go online and pick out the Park City Vacation Rental that will add the finishing touch to what is shaping up to be a lovely-looking trip.

Visit HomeAway.com for all your vacation rental needs and wants.

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