Take A Picture-Perfect Winter Couples Trip To This Western US Destination

Park City, Utah, is famous as an Olympic site, a world-class ski destination, and the venue for Sundance, America's biggest independent film festival. Every January, movie stars descend on the city for the festival, even as skiers and snowboarders take to the slopes at its two major resort areas, Deer Valley and the Park City Mountain Resort. Constructed for the 2002 Winter Games in nearby Salt Lake City, Utah, Olympic Park also allows visitors to Park City to have an authentic bobsled experience. You can climb behind a pro pilot and ride down the same sliding track that hosted the bobsled, luge, and skeleton events in 2002.

Beyond the obvious thrills, Park City also has an undeniably romantic air as you stroll past the historic buildings on Main Street, the center of what was once a silver mining town. This was even parodied to an extent, pre-Olympics, in the 1994 comedy "Dumb and Dumber," which used Park City to substitute for Aspen, Colorado. In the movie, Jim Carrey's character gets caught up in an extended fantasy sequence in his head as he drives across the U.S. to this wintry destination. He imagines himself in a Christmas sweater by the fireplace with that special someone, then dining out in a turtleneck at a nice restaurant before returning to his room with champagne for two. Subtract the slapstick humor, add a dash of real romance, and you may have the recipe for a winning Park City getaway.

Fly and ride to America's best hotel in Park City

Utah's largest international airport is in the state capital of Salt Lake City, which is only a 35-minute drive from Park City. This is the first new airport hub to open in the U.S. in the third millennium. It began its opening phases in 2020 and will continue rolling out new additions in 2024. This year, the airport recorded its busiest day after Salt Lake City hosted the NBA All-Star Game. Despite this, it's been cited as North America's most on-time airport, which might help take some of the stress out of your trip and set the tone for the perfect romantic vacation. You can even enjoy a chauffeured ride from the airport via services like Snow Country Limousine (which offers wedding transportation, too, if you want to get married in Park City).

Since winter is a big season for Park City, and it only has a population of 8,374, tourists may outnumber the locals at any given time. Yet there's something to be said for visiting a place used to catering to out-of-towners and showing them the best hospitality. In 2023, one Park City luxury resort, Goldener Hirsch in Deer Valley, was rated America's top hotel in a reader survey. Four other Deer Valley resorts ranked among Utah's 10 best: the Chateaux Deer Valley, Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley, Montage Deer Valley, and St. Regis Deer Valley.

Escape the crowd with that special someone

At 8,300 feet, Deer Valley has the highest elevation of Park City's resort areas. However, it's not so high that altitude sickness should become a problem. If you want to venture higher, though, you can take a tour exploring some of the city's more remote areas with Park City Peaks Snowmobiling. Keeping with the Sundance spirit, they'll even show you some places of such cinematic beauty featured in the Kevin Costner series "Yellowstone." If you're a fan, you can book a trip to the cabin in Montana where the show was filmed, too.

With so much going on in Park City, it might seem like a jam-packed vacation without much time for romance. However, it's those intimate moments away from the crowd, when it's just the two of you, that may feel the most special. You can snuggle up when riding the ski lift together, breathing in the mountain air, and looking out over the snow-covered hills. When you come back to your room after skiing, you can soak in the hot tub together.

Another way to unwind in Park City is to visit a hot spring. Utah Crater on Homestead Farm is a geothermal hot spring where you can relax or enjoy warm water scuba diving. For its part, Crystal Hot Springs has the world's highest mineral content, so it could be just the thing to rejuvenate you and your partner.