The ultimate winter travel guide to Utah, I’ll tell you where to stay, what to eat and how to burn it off!
If Colorado is the only place you think of when you hear the words “ski trip,” it’s time to think again. Hands down, one of my favorite states to visit out west is Utah, especially during the beautiful winter months.
Easily accessible, more affordable and far less crowded, I jumped at the opportunity to return to one of my all time favorite ski destinations when Solitude Mountain Resort invited me out last month.
Having covered mostly warmer weather outdoor activities to date, I am super excited to showcase the many ways in which you can stay active in the winter. Of course, I may be a little biased since I live in Michigan.
Located just 40 minutes from the Salt Lake City international airport, there is something to be said for leaving your house in the morning and being on the slopes the same afternoon.
Solitude Mountain Resort offers a variety of housing options but I stayed at The Inn at Solitude located in the center of Solitude’s pedestrian village. If you’re traveling with a group, they also offer condominiums and townhouses.
Having stayed at many ski resorts in the past, I loved how everything was just a short walk from my hotel room. And yes, you literally ski in and out but more on that later.
The first order of business upon arrival? Ski rentals! You can click here to learn more about rates and packages. The staff was extremely efficient and helpful, ensuring that everything fit properly before I headed out. Even better? The Inn has complimentary ski lockers located in the lower level of the lodge so that you can ski right back to your hotel room after a day on the slopes.
Whether you’ve been skiing your entire life or this is your first time downhill skiing, I highly recommend private ski instruction to start off your trip. While I’ve been skiing since I was 7 years old, the hills of Michigan are very different than the mountains out west so I was thrilled to take a lesson.
My instructor was friendly, knowledgeable and knew exactly how far he could push me. In just one day, I immediately noticed improvement in my form, technique and confidence on the slopes.
As a an added bonus, I was surprised to see that over our 5-6 hours of downhill skiing my heart rate was in the fat burning zone for over 4 hours. Downhill skiing is definitely a great calorie burn, especially if you hold that athletic squat stance my instructor kept reinforcing.
If cross country skiing is more your style, you’re going to love the Nordic Ski Center at Solitude Mountain Resort. Located just a short shuttle ride from Solitude Village, the Nordic Center offers 20 kilometers of trails for both classic and skating styles of Nordic skiing.
Full disclosure: when I signed up for my Nordic ski lesson I pretty much assumed it would be similar to the recreational cross country skiing I grew up doing here in Michigan.
As it turns out, there is so much more to it and it is way cooler than I imagined! In fact, my instructor used to be a professional nordic ski racer. How legit does he look?
Do I look as legit? I’m kidding. But guess what? It was a lot of fun and I burned a ton of calories. If skiing isn’t your jam, I must also give a shout out to snowshoeing and ice skating – two other recreational activities offered right at Solitude.
Now that we’ve covered How to Burn it Off, let’s talk about What to Eat! To start your day of activity, I highly recommend the breakfast buffet at St. Bernard’s in the lobby of The Inn.
A second breakfast option that is also open for lunch is Stone Haus Pizzeria & Creamery. The veggie pesto pizza totally hit the spot.
For lunch on-mountain, there are a couple great options. For authentic tacos or a hearty bowl of chili, you will love Last Chance Southwest Grill.
If you’re not in the mood for Southwest inspired cuisine, the lodge also offers traditional favorites like a juicy burger or fries.
For something entirely different, the newly renovated Roundhouse offers Himalayan and Wasatch-inspired mountain food. There’s even a fire pit in the middle of the restaurant for you to warm up your gear while you chow down!
I enjoyed a hearty Indian curry combo including a lamb stew, spicy lentils and chicken tikka masala. We also indulged in curry fries which were out of this world. Hands down, this was my favorite lunch of the trip.
My beautiful hand model in the french fries photo? That’s my girl Kelly (far left) who lives in Utah and is the most bada$$ snowboarder I know!
Of course, no day on the slopes is complete without an après ski beverage or two. Thirsty Squirrel is the quintessential cozy mountain bar located right in the heart of Solitude Village.
Pro Tip: Order the turkey chili nachos! The turkey chili is out of this world – a recipe made famous at their sister property, Deer Valley Resort in Park City.
For a slightly more upscale dining experience, I highly suggest checking out Honeycomb Grill also located in Solitude Village. It’s hard to go wrong on this from-scratch menu but I loved the mountain trout and the tuna trio appetizer photographed above.
For a truly once-in-a-lifetime dining experience, be sure to make a reservation one night at The Yurt. I mean let’s be real, when was the last time you snowshoed to dinner?
If you’re not familiar (I wasn’t!), a yurt is a traditional Mongolian tent that is circular in shape on a collapsable framework.
This intimate dining adventure maxes out at 24 people so be sure to book early to reserve your spot.
The five-course meal prepared by our chef was by far the best meal of the entire trip. Plus, you have the chance to mingle and chat with other resort guests in the warm and cozy yurt. It’s definitely a must during your visit to Solitude.
So how did I do? Did I convince you to check out Utah for your next winter getaway? As always, if there are any other destinations you’d like to see me feature, be sure to let me know! Afterall, not all those who wander are lost.
Disclosure: Solitude Mountain Resort provided my meals, activities and accommodations during my stay. Photography by The Lemon Bowl and Alejandro Photography. I was not compensated to write this post. All thoughts are my own.