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Utah - Park City & Salt Lake

 August 10, 2020
By Melinda Bourgeois 

There are so many amazing places to see around the world that we sometimes forget what's right in our backyard. The U.S. offers incredible diversity for the luxury traveler and active adventurer alike.  Melinda, our owner, has just returned from Utah and shares her expereince. 

With non-stop Delta flights lasting a short 3 hours, Salt Lake City and Park CIty proved to be a perfect getaway to rejuvenate and appreicate the current travel protocols during COVID restrictions. 

Park City

 

Most people think Park City for skiing and that is 100% true. It is known worldwide for its powder snow because of it's arid dessert.  But it also offers an incredible summer getaway. Activities besides incredible hiking and biking trails include: 

  • Park City Museum - on main street right next to an ice cream & chocolate store :) fabulous museum on history of Park city from the railroads, then the miners, how it reinvented itself as a ski town to 2002 winter Olympic and Robert Redford's Sundance festival every winter.
  • Utah Olympic Park - definitely for active for $80 for all rides (check Groupon for discount). Summer bobsledding, alpine slide, extreme tubing, and freestyle zip and discovery course. (can pick individual rides too) Plus, interesting museum on the history of ski and the 2002 Winter Olympics in the visitor center. 
  • Golf! 14 courses.
  • Fabulous restaurants on Park City's Main Street. Dine at 501 Main, great wine list and their tomato soup is the best ever! Almost across the street is Cafe Terlinga.  Their patio is perfect and great food.   Another great place to eat is Silver Star Cafe.  Its near downtown overlooking the golf course.   Also don’t miss High West Distillery.   Great dinner on their patio.  https://www.highwest.com/distiller We enjoyed a fabulous meal at Fletchers too!
  • Shopping on Main Street is another great opportunity.   Be sure to hit Gorchse, Grace’s and Hilda’s. and DiJore - it’s a little hard to find 

 

Waldorf Astoria

Waldorf Astoria Park City

Waldorf Astoria great ski in / ski out location with 4 major ski mountains accessible by lift or shuttles. Great rooms with fireplaces and full kitchen. Stock up and enjoy your breakfasts, appetizers and drinks at location. 

Great location for local day trips to Historic Main Street , Olympic park and the Guardsman’s Pass.

The Waldorf hotel is a proud recipient of a variety of awards, including:  

  • Condé Nast Traveler “Top Resorts in the West” Reader’s Choice Awards 2016-2019
  • World Ski Awards – Best US Ski Hotel 2017
  • The Daily Meal’s Best Special Occasion Restaurant and Best Romantic Restaurant in Utah
  • World Spa Award – Utah’s Best Spa, 2018-2019
  • World Spa Awards – North America’s Best Hotel Spa 2018
  •  Rooms are sealed with a sticker denoting the last person in the room was the cleaning crew. And since the room offers a full kitchen, all utensils on the basic glasses, coffee cups and silverware were removed to avoid contamination if not using, can request if planned to cook and use.

Antelope Island State Park

Antelope Island Bike Tour!  An electric journey around the largest island in the Great Salt Lake. (e- bike is defintely the way to go!)

After a short hike to top of mountain (and trust me no mountain climbing experience needed) we had an absolutely stunning view of the sunset over the western mountains! Other stops  including the  bison corral, White Rock Bay, Bridger Bay campground and the beach.  The mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and American bison viewed along the tour was just added bonus! 

Antelope Island is home to free-ranging bison, mule deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn (antelope), and many other desert animals. Millions of birds congregate along the shores surrounding the island, offering unparalleled opportunities for birding. Year-round Interpretive opportunities round out the Antelope Island experience.

 

Park City & Salt Lake City are only 40 minutes apart by interstate.  They also have mountain pass called the Guardsman, that connects the cities that is absolutely beautiful, but takes about an hour and 1/2. 

Salt Lake City

 

Salt Lake City

A very clean, bikeable, walkable city that offers some interesting attractions, history and now has several microbreweries!  Though through 2024, the Temple is being renovated and so Temple Square can be visited but much construction around the area.   We enjoyed an interesting small group tour to all the major sites.  And definitely take the drive to at Ruth's Diner in the Canyon. 

Why Salt Lake City? Many have asked why I chose to stay in Salt Lake and not just enjoy the surrounding beauty.  Two reasons, as with all my travel, I love learning about the history and culture of locations, and the Mormons history of moving to the desert to avoid persecution is something to explore.  And I’ve never been!  

Things to do:   Clark PlanetariumDiscovery GatewayThe LeonardoLion House PantryTracy Aviary, Natural History Museum of UtahRed Butte GardenUtah's Hogle ZooThis is The Place Heritage Park, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Thanksgiving Point's Museum of Ancient LifeMuseum of Natural CuriosityGardens

Weather:  Even in August, though in the 90's and sunny, we didn't perspire, and we were lucky to have a cool breeze most days.  In the evenings, there was always a temperature drop. 

Within a 4 - 5 hour drive if doing a road trip:  West YellowstoneOld Faithful GeyserOld FaithfulYellowstone National ParkLake Powell & Zion National Park
 

New Travel Protocols

The entire industry has gone above & beyond to implement new safety and cleanliness protocols.  We used to say bring your credit card and proper I.D (your passport or driver's license) and you can travel anywhere.  Now we have to add your pack your hand gel & face mask and you're ready to go!

As of August 1, 2020, face masks are required in all interior spaces whether a plane, hotel, walking into a restaurant, museums, and tourist attractions.  The new trending amenity is hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes. 

Other interesting trends are "a la carte" housekeeping, no longer is it just not do you want to change your sheets daily, but you choose when you want them to come into your room. With only 2 nights at each hotel, we chose to not to have housekeeping service, but if you needed anything from towels to coffee pods, they were delivered quickly upon request. Texting is the new norm in hotels; they text you upon arrival in your room to let you know that if in need of additional services, you could call or text.  Also, upon arrival, your door is sealed with a sticker denoting the last person in your room was the cleaning crew. 

Technology!  From menus and hotel amenities by scanning QR codes (add the program to your phone now) to contactless check-ins, we will definitely see continued evolution of technological advances.  I believe many in the long run will make travel easier. 

Delta Airlines:  Welcome gift upon boarding is Purcell wipes That though the plane went through electrostatic spraying prior to boarding, you can clean your immediate area. Your snacks of a bottle of water, almonds, chocolate pretzels and single use hand wipe gel all handed out in individual plastic bag. 

Waldorf Astoria Park City:  Rooms are sealed with a sticker denoting the last person in the room was the cleaning crew. And since the room offers a full kitchen, all utensils on the basic glasses, coffee cups and silverware were removed to avoid contamination if not using.  can request if planned to cook and use.  The pool deck chairs are by reservation so single use and cleaned prior to the next person using them because was so incredible even in summer, the hotel’s restaurants were serving outdoors only.