An Off-Season Guide To Park City And Northern Utah: Where To Eat, Drink, Sleep & Explore Off The Slopes

As a Colorado resident, one of the questions I’m most often asked is, “Do you ski?” but generally in the form of a statement rather than a question – “So, you ski?”

When I answer honestly, “No, not really, I think it’s expensive/a hassle/too much of a commitment,” I am met with many confused stares. But I don’t sweat it because although I live and travel amongst some of the best ski mountains in the country, not skiing doesn’t stop me from enjoying the winter months.

In fact, being a non-skier visiting a ski town during the winter (or any time) has its fair share of perks. While everyone else is busy on the slopes, I can eat, drink, shop, hike, hot tub, snowshoe, and relax with a massage (or two). More to the point of this piece, outside of ski season the rates are better, the activities are less crowded, and you get an entirely different experience with mountain towns.

Stein Eriksen Deer Valley
Emily Hart

Which is just what I did on a recent trip to Northern Utah and Park City. While it wasn’t ski season yet, I spent ample time exploring the area outside the world-class skiing and snowboarding it’s known for.

So, if you are a non-skier like me – or want to diversify your next ski vacation – here is what I recommend in Park City and Northern Utah.


The phrase “Northern Utah” encompasses a large area. From Salt Lake City to the Wasatch Mountains, Provo, and Ogden – but for our purposes here, I’m referring to the famed SLC-area ski resorts, including Park City, Solitude, Snowbird, Deer Valley, and Alta. I stayed in Park City and Alta during my last trip, and this is where I recommend booking:

Stein Eriksen Lodge — Park City, UT

Stein Eriksen Lodge
Emily Hart

Stein Eriksen Lodge is classic Park City. The authentic European luxury ski lodge is the sort of resort you never want – or need – to leave. The 180 rooms, many apartment-sized with fireplaces, balconies, and private hot tubs, all offer majestic views of the surrounding mountains and the exceptional service that has made Stein Eriksen the longest-running Forbes Five-Star Hotel and Spa in Utah. Named after famed skier Stein Eriksen, the lodge was the first luxury property in Park City, and it remains one of the best options for a luxurious ski – or no ski – vacation in Utah. I stayed in a large suite with floor-to-ceiling windows and a full kitchen, enjoyed food and drink on the property, and was lulled into pure bliss during a massage at the award-winning spa.

Book here. Prices vary quite a bit, from upper $ 400s in the off-season to over $1,000 per night in the high season.

Snowpine Lodge — Alta, UT

Snowpine Lodge
Emily Hart

Just 28 miles from Salt Lake City and steps away from the Alta Ski area in the breathtaking Little Cottonwood Canyon is the 4-star luxurious Snowpine Lodge. The ski-in/ski-out lodge is perfect for hitting the slopes but offers plenty for the non-skier alike. I loved spending time on the balcony of my mountain-view room before heading to The Gulch Pub for drinks with a view (it’s a common theme). The on-site Stillwell Spa is historic and luxurious, with traditional spa treatments along with a grotto with a plunge pool, oxygen bar, and Therabody Recovery Air Boots available. I especially enjoyed the basement game room with a pool table, books, board games, and several arcade games for guests to enjoy.

Book here. Prices vary from $189 in the offseason to over $1,000 on the weekends during the high season.


Glitretind Restaurant

Stein Eriksen Restaurant
Emily Hart

Glitretind Restaurant at Stein Eriksen Lodge is an award-winning seasonal fine dining restaurant with incredible Deer Valley views. The traditional dining room is nostalgic, and the food is top-notch. Known for its extensive wine list and knowledgeable sommelier, Glitretind is a treat when visiting Park City or Northern Utah. If you’re visiting on a Sunday, reserve a spot at Stein’s Famous Sunday Brunch at Glitretind, an extravagant spread during Sunday ski season. For a unique dining experience, head outside to the Stein Alpenglobes for a panoramic mountain view while you dine.

For dinner, the first courses start at $16, and the mains at $32 and up.


Grappa Park City
Emily Hart

Grappa is the place to be for history, ambiance, and great food on Main Street in Park City. Over 100 years old, the building was once home to a bed and breakfast, a bar, and a brothel – now a local favorite for regional rustic Italian dining since its opening in 1992. The three floors of dining, outdoor garden, and attentive service stand out before you even have a chance to skim the extensive menu. I ordered (and loved) the Lobster Fregola Sarda, a pasta with Maine lobster tail, wild shrimp, black mussels, calamari, and chorizo in a spicy seafood broth with expert wine pairings that I’ll be thinking about for weeks to come.

Starters for dinner begin at $16 and entrees at $42 and up.

Alpine Distilling Social Aid And Pleasure Club

Alpine Distilling
Emily Hart

Don’t leave Park City without a visit to Alpine Distilling Social Aid and Pleasure Club, conveniently located on Main Street. The award-winning distilleries social club is a vibe, with inventive craft cocktails made with Alpine Distillings’ multi-award-winning spirits. It was an honor to hear co-owner Sara Sergent, the most decorated botanical distiller in the country, walk through the distilling process before participating in the “Make Your Own Gin Experience.”

Deer Valley Grocery Cafe

Deer Valley Grocery
Emily Hart

Stop for lunch with a view at Deer Valley Grocery Cafe, a restaurant and gourmet deli set in idyllic surroundings (but isn’t everything here). The lakeside dining beckons visitors and locals to stay a while, enjoying local brews, fresh food, and friendly service.

The Gulch Pub

The Gulch at Snowpine
Emily Hart

Utah liquor laws are notoriously… particular, let’s say. For example, while staying at Snowpine Lodge in Alta, liquor laws prohibited me as a guest from ordering a drink at the bar to take up to my room (but I could buy a bottle?). Usually, this would be a real bummer for me, but luckily, staying at the hotel bar to enjoy my drink, in this case, was an inspired choice. The Gulch Pub offers incredible mountain views, multiple seating areas inside and outside, and friendly bartenders making delicious cocktails. I loved watching the sunset with a “Sparkling Empress” made with Empress 1908 gin, elderflower liqueur, rosemary extract, fresh lime, simple syrup, and tonic.


Park City Main St.

Park City Main Street
Emily Hart

When you think of the perfect quaint mountain town, the image you have in your mind is likely very similar to Park City Main Street. The historic main street in the old mining town is positively charming. Full of luxury shops, gourmet restaurants, exciting bars, the Sundance Film Festival, and three Banksy originals, a visit to Main Street is a must on a Park City visit. I recommend an afternoon shopping before heading into Alpine Distilling for a drink.

Burns Cowboy Shop

Burns Cowboy Shop
Emily Hart

Visiting Burns Cowboy Shop in downtown Park City was a dream come true for a hat and Yellowstone lover like myself. The oldest same-family-owned Western shop in the world, Burns has been outfitting cowboys, Yellowstone cast members, and tourists alike since 1876. I opted to have a hat custom-made for me in-store, watching the artisan steam, crease, and shape his creation perfectly to my head in awe. Burns also offers in-store branding and accessories for your hat and other Western-inspired wear. It is truly an experience, not just a shopping trip.

Heber Valley Fly Fishing

Heber Valley Fly Fishing
Emily Hart

You might be surprised that fly fishing is touted as an alternative to skiing, but you can cast your line and live out your A River Runs Through It fantasies in Utah throughout the winter months. If outfitted correctly (I recommend Wilderness Access Outfitters in Heber City), fly-fishing during the winter can be just as meditative and rewarding as any other month. The Provo and Green Rivers are world-renowned for fly-fishing and well worth the extra layers you’ll need to get into them in the colder months.

Snowbird Tram

Emily Hart

Snowbird is a classic ski resort near Salt Lake City, up the breathtaking Little Cottonwood Canyon, but there is plenty to do there for non-skiers as well. Home to a 1.6-mile-long aerial tram, visitors can ride to the top of Hidden Peak and grab a bite at The Summit restaurant, traveling 2,900 vertical feet. I am admittedly not a heights person, and I did not take advantage of the views via the glass floor panels or the summer open-air ride above – but everyone who was not acrophobic was beyond thrilled. Head down the mountain for ample dining, lodging, and spa options at the resort.

Winter scenic rides start at $37 for adults during off-peak, $42 during peak times, and $47 on holidays.

Solitude Mountain Resort

Emily Hart

Solitude Mountain Resort is another ski resort near Salt Lake City with plentiful offerings for a non-skier. When I visited in the fall, I enjoyed hiking the gorgeous and peaceful trails, and I can’t wait to get back during the winter to snowshoe, ice skate, and enjoy the Solitude Mountain spa before some après-ski drinks at Honeycomb Grill. Solitude also has a Nordic center with plenty of groomed cross-country ski trails if you want to dip your toe into some ski boots without the incline.