The Golden Girls. The Flossy Posse. Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda. Girlfriends celebrate each other…and sometimes just celebrate. Galentine's Day, coined by Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope in ‘Parks and Recreation’ (no, it’s not from a Hallmark Channel movie), is the unofficial holiday for girlfriends, those women who will ride-or-die with you. “What's Galentine's Day? Oh, it's only the best day of the year.” And where is the best place to celebrate? On the ski slopes of Park City, of course, where your besties will drag you to the summit to discover just how amazing you are and cheer for you wildly all the way down to the whiskey bar at the bottom.
Every February 14th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas. — Leslie Knope, Group Organizer
Galentine’s Day is not an excuse but a reason to get the gang or just a gal pal – or even a mom or daughter – together. It can be for a week, a weekend, or just a few hours. Enough time to regroup, recharge and remember why the women in your life are so special. As Leslie, the walking spreadsheet, outlined, “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.” Just make it happen. To make it happen, you have to make it easy, because it’s just harder to say ‘no,’ ‘not right now,’ or ‘I’m not sure’ if it’s easy, and a Park City vacation (or staycation) is one of the easiest and most-accessible resort destinations in the country.
Park City, Utah is famous for its world-class skiing. As a venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics, it is home to iconic alpine venues. As it continues to welcome the world, it has also become a hub for luxurious amenities, foodie delights and morning-to-nighttime entertainments. With nearby Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) a literal hub with nonstop service to most major U.S. cities, girlfriends can minimize travel time and maximize playtime. Locals Tip: Delta Air Lines is offering fantastic flight savings when booked with selected Park City lodging.
Galentine’s in Park City is not a ‘what happens here, stays here’ trip. It’s an ‘I want to tell everyone! And my spouse, boyfriend and family want me to go back next year’ vacation. Forget hiding the evidence. It’s more like starring in your own Sundance movie. You’ll share photos and videos and even TikToks of you and your girlfriends doing amazing (and a few outrageous) things in stunning locations.
Indeed, playtime means many things on a Park City girls’ trip. If your girlfriends want to ski (or even learn to ski), there are few better places than top-rated Deer Valley Resort or Park City Mountain resorts. From green (easy) groomers to black diamond powder stashes, lady shredders of all levels will find their rhythm and move to the music of an alpine breeze whistling through the trees.
Sometimes you have to make the hardest climb to see the most beautiful sunrise. —Leslie Knope, TED Talk Speaker
Get ready to discover what Life ElevatedⓇ really means. If your gal pals take you (or push you) where you sometimes want to (or need to) go, McConkey's Bowl at Park City Mountain is probably on their ski itinerary. A locals’ favorite, it challenges and rewards and with a fresh dusting of snow, most visiting skiers consider taking a shot. The temptation (or peer pressure) is even greater with an entire cheer squad accompanying you.
As you enter through the gates along double black diamond Pinyon Ridge, you’ll see P-Zone and O-Zone off to your right and a glimpse of The Chutes ahead. Pop off your skis and start hiking upward. (Hiking is actually part of the fun!) There is no designated place to descend; the ridgeline typically has several traverses and entry points, allowing experienced but non-expert skiers to find a good line or perhaps a conga line with a group like this. Send someone ahead to shoot photos. You’ll definitely want evidence.
If your crew prefers to stay on piste, then turn left off the lift (instead of right toward the gate) and cruise down, down, down tree-lined Georgeanna, a vast blue run trailing down from the Ridge that will have your ponytails flying like a herd of horsetails heading toward the barn.
“You are a beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox." — Leslie Knope, AP English Teacher
But downhill skiing isn’t the only entertainment here. Cross-country (Nordic or skate) skiing, requiring less equipment and instruction, can feel like a simple glide or a sweaty CrossFit class and are extremely popular. Fat tire biking across the miles of tamped trails is even easier for first-timers. Sledding and snow tubing can provide hours of laughter and fun. Snowmobiling, dog sledding, butt sledding (it’s as silly as it sounds) and ice skating are also available.
“You are the most beautiful, glowing sun goddess ever.” — Leslie Knope, Best Friend to All
Or you could just head to one of many spas in town to enjoy a massage, manicure or other treatment. Want to lounge beside a heated pool? Follow the rising steam. Indoor or outdoor pools and hot tubs are ubiquitous at Park City lodgings. If you're staying elsewhere, you can enjoy use of these and other spa amenities by booking a service at exclusive hotels like Stein Eriksen Lodge or purchasing a day pass at health clubs in the area. Want to try something unique? Try a swim, soak or snorkel in a geothermal hot spring in Heber Valley. Pack your sandals and bikinis, ladies! And because you’re a mile closer to the sun than Miami Beach, throw in your sunscreen, so you leave with an alpine glow and not a burn.
If your favorite recreational activity is shopping, this mountain town has plenty of places to work those insert, swipe or tap muscles. Outlet Park City can outfit you from head to toe. In addition, locally-owned Backcountry has a retail store at Kimball Junction featuring best bets for outdoor items, and Historic Main Street has both luxury and touristy souvenirs to bring home for the family or just keep for yourself.
“I'm gonna get drunk and then I'm gonna order a three-course meal where each course is made of dessert." — Leslie Knope, Food Critic
All of this activity will make a girl hungry and a whole pack of them borderline feral! But, if you’re still skiing at Park City Mountain, just carve a hard skiers’ right before you hit Main Street and enjoy a stiff drink, a hearty meal and a lively apres ski scene at High West Distillery and Saloon. Heck, even if you don’t imbibe, you and your powder posse can warm yourselves by the outdoor fire and (somewhat loudly and boisterously so the boys in the back can hear) regale of your laps down McConkey’s earlier. Then, head inside for its famed deviled eggs, burger (with fries you will fight over like a Black Friday sale at Nordstrom) or chicken schnitzel. Yes, the desserts are delicious, too. Locals Tip: High West whiskeys are cult favorites worldwide and the General Store inside the saloon is one of the best places to find its most popular items to take home.
For a bit of nightlife action, you can enjoy a nightcap or take in a live show at any number of bars and clubs in Park City. If you just want to watch the stars quietly, you and your friends can snuggle under blankets in a horse-drawn sleigh or, if you have a bit of energy left, snowshoe under a full moon.
Something doesn’t have to make sense to know it’s right. Galentine’s Day is the ridiculous, funny, made-up non-holiday we all need. It was comically conjured to encourage women—and give them permission—to fete with abandon and bring joy to one another. So, keep giggling, grab your girls and go to Park City; the place that sets the stage for your easy, wild and wonderful Galentine’s celebration.