Founded in the heyday of silver mining, the picturesque town of Park City, Utah boasts three great resorts in one city – Deer Valley, The Canyons, and the Park City Mountain Resort. There's also the Utah Olympic Park, which was used for the 2002 Winter Olympics and remains open for training athletes and curious visitors alike. And, of course, Park City is famous for the Sundance Film Festival, America's largest independent film festival. With so much to do, there's no reason not to book a Park City, Utah vacation rental for the vacation of a lifetime. If you have ideas on how we can update our Park City travel guide, please send us your tips.

What to Do in Park City, Utah

park city ski vacationPark City has more than enough to keep an entire family entertained! Ski the slopes at any of the three area resorts, which locals brag have the world's best snow. The Canyon is best for intermediate to advanced skiers, with only a small percentage of the terrain reserved for beginner-friendly runs. The Park City Mountain Resort offers tubing and mini-snowmobiling in addition to skiing and snowboarding, while Deer Valley lets you race NASTAR-style against the clock or a companion. It's worth noting that Park City Mountain Resort works with the National Ability Center to offer expertly taught lessons to people with disabilities, which means all members of your family can experience the thrill of skiing or snowboarding together. And, if you're up for a real challenge, the Ski Utah Interconnect Tour covers five ski resorts in up to 25 miles of backcountry skiing – an adventure that's not for the faint of heart. After a long, exhausting, but exhilarating tour of the nearby resorts, come home to crash at a Park City ski condo, with plenty of space and comfortable beds to recuperate.

sundance vacation rentalBut there's plenty to see and do if you want to take a break from the action, too. Park City has a very active arts community. A free winter concert series, active theater troupes (youth and otherwise), and music festivals all contribute to the local color. The August Artstravaganza features tons of arts and music festivals, art shows, and concerts with everything from jazz to classical to fiddle. Rent a Park City vacation home at the heart of town and you'll have things to do and see right outside of your front door.

And, of course, who can forget the Sundance Film Festival? One of the crowning glories of Park City, and what makes it internationally famous, this festival is an event to see and be seen, perfect for film buffs and fans of pop culture alike. It's the largest independent film festival in the US, and it will run from January 15-25, 2009. A Sundance vacation rental home will save you money while keeping you conveniently near the festival itself.

There are tons of other activities for the adventurous year-round, too: hiking, climbing, kayaking, hot air ballooning, biking, horseback riding. In winter, turn to perennial favorites like dogsledding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Park City

Deal-hunting shopaholics can find almost anything they want, from upscale boutiques to factory outlets. Less-shopping-inclined family members can spend the time catching up in a cozy Park City vacation rental, or checking out one of the area's golf courses or spas.

Restaurants run the gamut from fast food to a four-diamond-rated extravaganza (the Goldener Hirsch restaurant, set in the equally classy – and equally expensive – Goldener Hirsch hotel). If you want to splurge on a one-of-a-kind romantic experience, reserve a spot at the Viking Yurt, take a sleigh ride up to the top of the mountain, and enjoy a five-course meal prepared right in front of you by an award-winning chef. Save money by cooking your other meals in the fully-equipped kitchen of your Park City vacation rental and you'll be able to afford eating out at these expensive but remarkable restaurants, even on a budget.

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When to Visit Park City

You can visit year-round and still find plenty to do. Ski season lasts approximately from November to April, depending on the weather, but that doesn't mean you can't take a cool summertime vacation in the off months. Come during mid-January for Sundance and you won't regret it, though it will be crowded, so book your Park City vacation rental early! If you're a film buff, you might be interested in Vacation's ideas for Film Festival Vacations.

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What to Bring to Your Park City Vacation Rental

Whenever you visit a high-elevation region, prepare for the stronger sunlight (even when it's cloudy!) and the wind. Pack chapstick, hats, soothing lotion, and sunscreen, especially if you have small children who will need special sunscreen for their sensitive skin.

Don't forget to dress the whole family in layers, no matter what time of year you're going to Park City. Avoid cotton, which traps moisture and sweat close to your skin. Bring something waterproof in case of sudden showers in the summer or just to keep yourself dry amid snow in the winter. If you don't want to bring your skiing gear, you can rent or buy everything you need locally in Park City; otherwise, make a list ahead of time to make sure you don't forget anything!

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What to Know About Park City

Utah liquor laws are stringent, but restaurants and clubs generally take care of the worry so you don't have to. If you are intending to spend a special night out at a BYOB restaurant, be aware that you'll have to pay a decorking fee and that the bottle must meet Utah's laws.

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Getting to Park City, Utah

The Salt Lake City International Airport is about a 45 minute drive away. If you don't want to rent a car, you can catch a shuttle from the airport to Park City. Once you're in Park City, a free bus system can carry you around the town. Plan carefully and stay in a Park City vacation rental home on the bus route and you won't ever have to drive. From the city, you can easily reach any of the three resorts by car or by shuttle.

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Park City's Local Services

Park City offers lots of childcare options, and the resorts themselves have special centers geared specifically toward entertaining kids, in summer and in winter. Park City itself really caters to vacation renters, which means you can find all sorts of concierge services. Some specialize in stocking your Park City vacation rental kitchen with groceries, whether they follow your exact list or offer a list of suggestions themselves. They can even deliver preprepared meals so you don't have to worry about cooking, a huge help for your first day in town. Other services will run any number of errands for you, delivering flowers or arranging to ship your luggage home. If you're already bogged down with ski gear and other luggage, you can rent baby gear (furniture, toys, and more), which gives you one less thing to worry about.

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Why Choose a Park City, Utah Vacation Rental?

Because Park City is conveniently located near three resorts, it's a great base of operations for anyone who doesn't want to commit to a single resort. Stay in a Park City vacation rental and you can explore everything in the area or just stay at home if you need to recuperate from the day's adventures. Park City rental homes are more comfortable than any resort hotel, giving you the space and privacy of your own home along with the convenience of a full kitchen. Best of all, Park City vacation rentals can house your entire family (or any friends you're bringing along) with plenty of space at a fraction of what that much hotel room space would cost. For great deals and family-friendly comfort in Park City, Utah, you just can't beat Park City vacation rentals.

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