Park City, UT

Park City, UT

A magical snowboarding adventure

Nick’s favorite vacations are at the beach, but I love the forest and mountains. I could spend all my time up there in a coat and with a cup of coffee. It’s my kind of nature.

This leads me to before Christmas. Nick was lamenting we didn’t have any upcoming trips planned while we had a week off in early January.

So we decided to change that.

We don’t do a lot of “last minute” trips, but both of us had been talking about trying snowboarding for a while. We’ve both been skiing separately, but have never taken a mountain vacation together. And what better time to go to the mountains than in the winter?


I’ll get into the actual trip in a moment but wanted to start off with all the gear we had to get to make this trip possible. There is a lot of stuff we had to buy that can make a trip like this prohibitive and I’m glad we waited so long to try it.

The point of most of this gear is to keep you warm and dry. You do not want to wear jeans otherwise you’ll be wet and cold all day. I fell a lot, but I stayed dry the whole time.

I’m going to be upfront, this stuff is expensive. It’s because it’s specialty equipment and works hard to keep you safe, dry, and warm. Even the cheap stuff is pricey.

Snowboarding coat

This was my favorite purchase. I don’t have any kind of ski jacket because I live in Texas, so being able to find something cute was a lot of fun. I’m definitely a form-over-function person but, again, I needed to find something that would keep me warm and dry.

I did a little light Googling and found Dope Snow which looks like a lifestyle brand run by a bunch of influencers. That being said, most of those brands have the cutest stuff. I checked around on some snowboarding forums and Reddit to see if people actually like their stuff and the consensus was positive.

I decided to bite the bullet and bought the Adept W in soft green. And, y’all, it’s so cute. I saw a lot of Dope Snow on the mountain so I felt good about buying it.

Snowboard/ski pants

I found a pair of North Face ski pants on sale at REI so check those sale racks! I think they’re cute and they complement my jacket.

Base layers

I wore a top and bottom base layer. The first day I wore two top layers and got way too hot. It was miserable. The highs hit the 40s if you can believe it and two layers were just too much.

Both my top and bottoms were Patagonia.


So gloves are all about preference. We bought these mittens from REI, but I think I’d like something else for next time. I felt like I couldn’t grab anything in mittens.

I’m going to look for actual gloves instead of mittens and something that feels more water-resistant.


Again, preference. I found this cute pink pair on Amazon. Pay attention to what kind of lighting each lens is suited for. When we went, it was sunny and these really helped mitigate the reflection off of the snow.


You gotta keep the wind off of your face. I bought this two-pack of face gaiters from Amazon and wore the pink one. They were a little thick but did keep my face warm.

Padded underwear

Buy this. Trust me. This will be the most expensive underwear you ever buy, but your butt will thank you. My tailbone didn’t so much as bruise during our trip because of these.

Be sure to size up your ski pants to make sure these fit underneath. They are super padded.

Wrist guards

I recommend these because I didn’t wear mine and jammed/sprained my arm. So, lesson learned.

Snow boots

You need a pair of cold-weather boots for walking around. I didn’t have any and didn’t know what to expect so I wore normal boots. I will be buying boots for next time. I’ve been eyeballing the UGG Adirondack.

Rental equipment

We rented the rest of our gear: snowboards, boots, and helmets. I cannot stress enough how important the helmet is. As I said, I fell a bunch, but I only landed on my head once and my helmet saved me from having a really bad day.

We were able to rent our gear inside our hotel so it made pickup and dropoff very easy. There are rental places all over Canyons Village and Park City.

Park City, UT

Okay, on to the actual vacation!

We landed on Park City because, well, it’s a really popular ski destination and popular places usually have all of their tourist activities down to a science. We wanted a vacation that would be easy to plan since it’s something we hadn’t done before.

We stayed in Canyons Village which is right by Park City. It’s at the base of the mountain so you basically walk out of your hotel and hop on a gondola to go skiing. We didn’t want to rent a car for this trip so this was a great option. There are several hotels in Canyons Village as well as shops and restaurants. It’s a really cute area.


We stayed at the Hyatt Centric Park City and it was pretty nice. The whole area is very cozy and the hotel makes it feel like you’re staying in a mountain lodge. The staff was friendly and everything was clean.

The view from our room was also super cozy. I will say it was weird seeing people ski by though, but no one looked in.

They have a great heated pool and jacuzzi area that is perfect after a long day on the slopes. We went every evening. Pro tip: wear your robe from your room so you can wrap up as soon as you dry off. This way you don’t get your clothes wet from your swimsuit.

We ate at the hotel’s restaurant once for breakfast and it was tasty albeit overpriced. They also have baked goods you can grab, but we didn’t get any which is kind of unlike us, haha. There is no continental breakfast.

The only thing about this hotel is that it’s a little hard to get to on foot. Not impossible by any means, but it’s the furthest one from the main area. We walked up many a snowy slope to and from our hotel.

We stayed in this hotel because we have Hyatt points and it was great. I do think we would try a different hotel next time.


Listen, we don’t get snow in Texas unless it’s the apocalypse so to be in a literal winter wonderland was magical. They had Christmas decorations up still so all the trees were lit up and it reminded me of Disney. It was so fun just walking around that I would have had a great vacation if that’s all we did.

It’s incredible how much snow is there. It snowed 18 inches the night we arrived. 18 inches! That’s a lot of snow!

The whole place is beautiful, enchanting, and romantic.

Snowboard lessons

If you’ve never snowboarded or skied, I highly recommend taking lessons. There are tons of instructors of all skill levels ready to help you and your family/friends/group get safely down the slopes and enjoy your time. Classes are about 3 hours long.

We did a morning and afternoon snowboarding class. There were high winds in the morning so the gondola up the mountain was closed and we learned on a smaller hill by the hotels. Afterward, we signed up for an afternoon lesson and, thankfully, the gondolas had opened back up so we could go up the mountain and learn on actual slopes. There is no way I would have attempted even green slopes without taking lessons.

We had an awesome instructor named Blake. He was a really cool guy and a great teacher. Quite literally would hold our hands to help us get the right movements and was very patient. If you get the chance to go ask for him!


There are tons of places to eat in Canyons Village alone and that’s mainly where we stayed. Keep in mind, because it’s a tourist area, everything is going to be pretty pricey and some stuff is going to taste average.

Kuchu Shabu ★★★★☆

I was immediately drawn to this place because I love Japanese food and it looked super cute. It was also cold as heck when we got there and a hot dinner sounded great.

We didn’t get the shabu but did get a couple of bowls of ramen. Pricey, but one of the best meals during our stay.

Drafts Burger Bar ★★★★☆

We went here for dinner and breakfast. Very tasty, but the wait staff seems a little disorganized and slow. Friendly, though.

For dinner we ordered burgers and they were huge and juicy. They also have a ton of sides you can get instead of regular french fries. Delicious.

Their breakfast was just as good. I got french toast sliders with runny eggs. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

Murdock’s Café ★★☆☆☆

Eh. It’s quick and convenient. Overpriced sandwiches and they gave me a different sandwich than I ordered, but it tasted fine. We went here in between our morning and afternoon lessons because we had less than an hour to eat and meet back up.

Disco Pizza ★★☆☆☆

Disco Pizza is one of those places that looks like it does stuff well, but it’s actually just okay. Overpriced like everything and takes forever to get your order. Honestly, I would stick with the plainer pizzas. You’ll save some money and will taste better for it. They’re also “personal” size so don’t let the price fool you into thinking they’ll feed several people. Maybe two tops.

I got their mushroom one because I love burrata cheese, but it was absolutely covered in mushrooms. I mean covered. Way, way too much.

Umbrella Bar ★★★★★

This is a cute outdoor bar in the middle of Canyons Village. We got a beverage after our last run and just sat and enjoyed the area.

Escala Provisions Co. (hotel) ★★★☆☆

As I said earlier, we ate here once for breakfast and it was pretty good. Hotels will always hit you with upcharges for convenience though. The food was good, but not really worth the price and there was a lackluster buffet available as well.

Red Pine Lodge (mountain) ★★★☆☆

This is a place that knows they are your only option. Very expensive for what it is and busy as hell all the time. They’re at the top of the main gondola where a bunch of the runs converge.

To be fair, there’s a ton of seating and you can go in to just relax if you want. It’s overpriced, sure, but it’s convenient and decent for what it is. Our snowboard instructor swears by their chili pork sandwich.

We had brisket grilled cheese and tomato soup ($45!!!!). Don’t get me wrong, they tasted great, but holy cow the price. And it’s not like it’s fine dining in there. It’s cafeteria-style ordering where you wait in a crowded line, order, take your food to a register, pay, and then try to find somewhere to sit and eat. It can be a madhouse in there.

I also got coffee a couple of times and it wasn’t great, but it was warm so.

Wasatch Brew Pub (Park City) ★★★★★

We took a day trip to Park City and found this cute brewery. They had a hard seltzer there that was very good. I’m going to have to look up the brand because I can’t remember. We also ordered fried cheese curds and their housemade marinara was awesome. Friendly staff and great atmosphere.

Atticus Coffee (Park City) ★★★★★

Another cute find. They have little knick knacks and books you can peruse while you wait for your drinks. Tasty coffee and is priced normally.

Things to do

Day trip to Park City

We took a day trip to Park City in the middle of our vacation to relax/heal from snowboarding. I recommend having rest days if you’re new to this.

Park City is a cute mountain town that caters to its tourists. Main street looks like something out of a Hallmark movie and is filled with shops and places to eat. It’s fun to go and walk around.

Buses are also free so it’s really easy to get around.

Other winter sports

There are all kinds of things you can do on the mountain besides skiing. They have dog-sledding, snowmobiling, tours, hiking, and sleigh rides.


This was one of our best vacations- definitely top 4. I had so much fun and I want to take snowboarding up as a hobby. Everything was just so easy and effortless. We didn’t run into any hiccups and it was so peaceful being up in the mountains. There is just a different air up there. I can’t wait to go back.

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