See you later coastline and palm trees, we’re heading for the hills. Not to worry though — we’ll be back within 24 hours. Wheels up on Friday evening, we’ll be in Salt Lake City within an hour and a half and booking it to one of America’s favorite towns: Park City, Utah (which, in fact, is not an exaggeration —Travel + Leisure said so).
While this little rural paradise has garnered serious acclaim for its rad winter skiing, the verdant sunny season amongst the Wasatch Mountains should not be missed. The Smith & Berg team is wildly inspired by F. Ron’s recent family trip to Park City, where he — of course — came up with the most epic itinerary to make the most out of a curtailed mountainous retreat. From driving rangers amidst the backcountry to balling out at Firewood for dinner, we’ll have whatever F. Ron’s having.
Wait — We’re Getting There
If you’re as busy as F. Ron, it’s not so easy playing hooky on a Friday. So, snag an evening flight from LAX to SLC—there are plenty to choose from; unless, of course, all of our readers are simultaneously scouring Orbitz. That being said, book it fast. Land in Salt Lake, jump into a rental car (skip the line at Hertz and head for Dollar Rent A Car and you’ll be out of there in precisely 8 minutes…but don’t quote us on that) and drive just about 40 minutes to paradisiacal Park City. From sea level to about 7,000-feet above, within just a few short hours.
For the ultimate getaway that couples matchless luxury with killer mountain vibes, park it at the Montage Deer Valley. Authentic yet refined, the Montage is one of the country’s premier ski-in/ski-out resorts (if you’re more of a winter wanderer) and located less than 5 minutes from Park City’s sought-after Main Street (if you’re more of a shopper/drinker/eater). According to F. Ron, the service at the Montage is an absolute 11 out of 10. With a well-appointed gym, crazy indoor pool and the largest spa in Utah (again, not an exaggeration), the resort takes self-indulgence very seriously. We’re not opposed.
Wake Up & Smell the Aspens
To make the most of one day in Park City, it’s crucial that you start your morning early to fit in all of Utah’s natural goodness physically possible. Do as F. Ron did and embark upon a stunning 3.5 hour hike from your Montage doorstep to the Wasatch summit; or, if you want a super jam-packed day of Park City exploration, take the gondola to the top for a fast-version adventure. Breathtaking panoramic vistas from the pinnacle that’ll blow you away (even literally, perhaps — so hold onto your kiddos).
Bet the Ranch
For those unfamiliar with farmer colloquialisms, to bet the ranch is to risk everything on something you believe will succeed. When it comes to Victory Ranch, though, you needn’t risk anything. Triumph is in the name itself. One of Utah’s most acclaimed private communities just minutes from Park City, Victory Ranch completely captivates with its stellar architecture, modern rustic decor and, last but not least, its unrivaled setting upon 6,700 pristine acres. F. Ron and his sons tested their zombie apocalypse tactics while skeet shooting at the Double Barrel, which was followed by an eye-opening 4×4 ranger exploit throughout the backcountry. After meandering the ins and outs of small creeks, beaver dams, stretches of the Upper Provo River and the Rees Jones Golf Course (F. Ron’s still kicking himself for not playing), the Smith Family checked out Victory Ranch’s yurts. Rustic luxury in the backcountry, where Executive Chef Adam Price will curate a five-star fireside meal? Sign us up.
Drinks, Dinner, Dessert
Following an incredible day of adventure, complete with 3.5 hours amongst both the Wasatch Mountains and Victory Ranch’s seemingly endless terrain, there’s nothing quite like recounting a wild experience with loved ones and a nice cold beverage in hand. The historic Main Street in Park City is renowned for its great eats, which F. Ron & Co. can certainly attest to. The family took a seat at Firewoodfor dinner, where Chef John Murcko totally wowed with his primitive cooking methods and jaw-dropping dishes. Take a look at his rad recommendations below (don’t read this if you’re hungry):
The Woodlands Old Fashioned, made with buffalo trace bourbon, cherry wood smoked demerara sugar and orange + aromatic bitters
The Fire Line, shaken with espolon tequila, wahaka joven mezcal, cointreau, hibiscus extract, lemon and citrus ash
Oak Smoked Trout on sourdough, chive goat cheese and maple bacon (cue the drooling)
Tomahawk Short Rib (straight out of The Flintstones) with a street corn salad and garlic mashers
If you have the slightest bit of room left in your belly, head over to Java Cow for a sweet ice cream treat. The line may bend around the corner, but travel tip #1: always flock to where the line is long. It’s like that for a reason.
Homebound (if you can get yourself to leave)
If you wish to stick to this 24 hour plan, hop on a Saturday evening flight out of Salt Lake City to L.A. But, we’re pretty sure you’ll want to extend your stay. Don’t blame us when a week has past, though. Perhaps we’ll just have to start selling homes there…
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