The upcoming London Olympics have many searching for sportier vacations. Park City, Utah, home to numerous high-altitude competitions during the Salt Lake games, offers a world-class getaway with an authentic Olympic vibe.
Activities: Ready to relax? Align Spaís atmosphere is part Zen garden, part Bohemian loft. Their $35 Ski Boot Revenge treatment includes a foot soak, paraffin dip and muscle-relieving leg massage. Itís one of several spa values the destination has to offer. Family adventure options include Park City Mountain Resortís Alpine coaster and the 2,111-foot zip tour adventure at Canyons, each available for $20. Canyons Resort also offers free Saturday afternoon concerts all spring, which are fun to enjoy with a casual beverage. More than 400 miles of public trails provide free fun to those preferring snowshoeing or Nordic skiing to a downhill experience.
Food: Stay on budget by hitting the appetizer menus. At High West, a ski-in distillery and restaurant housed in an antique livery stable, you and a friend can sample a selection of in-house whiskeys for the price of roughly one cocktail each. Fun snacks include the $5 bourbon-caramel popcorn and $6 giant soft pretzels with rye-infused dipping sauce. Silver, a slightly more sophisticated venue, offers several hearty starters for less than $15, including mushroom crostini and potato pancakes with smoked salmon. Donít want to leave the mountain? The Royal Street Cafť at Deer Valley serves noteworthy turkey chili and chive hummus with homemade pita chips for less than $10.
Savings: Ski free your first day! Out-of-state visitors taking a ski vacation can convert same-day boarding passes into complimentary lift tickets at any of the townís three major resorts with the destinationís quick start program. Those with direct morning flights can be on the slopes by early afternoon. Park City Mountain Resort lets children six and younger ski free, and the areaís transit bus provides no-cost transportation to ski resorts, recreational areas and the historic downtown district.
Got extra dough? Summit Mountain Adventures offers 7,000 acres of snowmobiling with spectacular mountain vistas and a large meadow to indulge the need for speed. Prices start at $100. Utah Olympic Parkís $200 bobsled ride is the real deal, reaching five Gís in 55 seconds. Typically, astronauts experience only three Gís during a space shuttle launch, albeit for a longer period of time. Children will remember a real-life dogsled ride through the forest for a lifetime. At $350 through All Seasons Adventures itís a bit spendy, but the rate allows for multiple little ones in the sled. Sacrificing a dayís lift tickets will help defray the cost and make a magnificent family memory.
Photo Credits: TrekHound.com