Fall Break in Park City, UT!

For our fall break in early October, Elizabeth and I decided to fly out to Salt Lake City, Utah using Southwest points to see some sites at a place we had never been. It turned out to be a very memorable trip, capped with a 3 night stay in Park City, Utah.

We decided to stay at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel Park City-The Yarrow. The hotel is located less than 5 minutes from what I would consider “downtown” Park City on Main Street. We were able to stay here WITHOUT PAYING A DIME by using 57,000 Hilton points. During the dates of our stay, the rooms were over $200 per night pre-tax at this hotel, and we were able to stay for free!

Because we have Hilton Honors Gold Status, we received an all you can eat buffet breakfast for two each morning, and the hotel was very relaxing and fit the feel of Park City. For those of you unfamiliar with hotel points and hotel status, look for subsequent posts describing them! This is how we are able to travel cheaply on a teacher’s budget!

Here are some pictures of the hotel lobby (Elizabeth spent quite a few hours next to the huge fireplace):

Even though the hotel has a large outdoor area and swimming pool, the temperature was very cool at night when we were getting back to the hotel.  It was far too cool for us to swim, but there were some kids and parents swimming one night when it was below 30 degrees!  They screamed when they got out of the pool as they were freezing!

Park City just about 30 minutes east of Salt Lake City.  The beautiful Wasatch Mountains separate the two, and even though the drive on the interstate is gorgeous, you can access both SLC and Park City through a winding, mountain road called Guardsman Pass (closed in winter).  If you decide to drive up Guardsman Pass, be ready for some crazy turns and the feeling of being on the edge of a mountain!  However, you will see sights like this:

We decided to hike at a ski resort called Brighton, and even though we do a lot of hiking in the Smoky Mountains, this hike was quite a bit different!  When we made it to the top after about an hour and half, we came up on several lakes.  It was gorgeous, and we definitely recommend hiking in the area around Brighton and a neighboring ski resort called Solitude. Here are some pictures from the hike:

Even though we weren’t able to spot any moose, we did catch some incredible views.  If you are interested in hiking in these areas around the ski resorts, we saw that they receive over 500 inches of snow per year! So if you are attempting to hike in November-April, it looks like it may be hard to reach by car. We were fortunate to have all fall break from school fall perfectly in early October, and the trees were beautiful while also having some snow and ice in high elevations.

The tourist area of Park City is situated all around Main Street, which is surrounded by ski resorts.  For those of you that have visited Gatlinburg, Tennessee, this strip will bring back memories of Gatlinburg, except it’s a little fancier.  We ate at several awesome restaurants here, the best of them being No Name Saloon.

We had some really great burgers (we rarely eat burgers but these were awesome) and some uniquely seasoned French fries, all for under $20.

We did not do much shopping while there because we spent our time seeing the sites, but there were PLENTY of places to shop!  Trust me, if you are wanting to shop in Park City, you have plenty of options on Main Street and even in shopping centers on the main highway.

Here are some pictures of Main Street in Park City:

Look for upcoming posts detailing the rest of the trip to Salt Lake City, and there will be a lot more information on using points for cheap travel!