Tucked away in Utah's famous ski country, Alta boasts some of the finest powder slopes in North America. While the Alta of today is primarily known for skiing, it also has a colorful history dating back to the 19th century, when the town was founded during a mining boom in the area. After the mining boom waned, the legendary Norwegian skier Alf Engen was brought in to help design a recreational skiing facility, and in 1938, the town's first ski slope commenced operations.
Here are some suggestions for things to do while in Alta:
- Skiing, skiing and more skiing: The primary reason for visiting Alta is to go skiing. The Alta Ski Area offers hills for skiers of all skill levels, and attracts casual, recreational and serious ski enthusiasts alike.
- Grab a bite: Alta offers dozens of restaurants, lounges and lodges, both at the base of the ski area and at mid-mountain.
- Enjoy the nightlife: With the influx of visitors during ski season, Alta offers plenty to do after the slopes close for the day, including bars, nightclubs and entertainment venues to suit all tastes.
- Commune with nature: Wasatch National Forest spans through Alta, and if you're looking for something to do outdoors that doesn't involve hurtling down a slope, exploring the forest is a perfect way to spend the day.
- Hike Sugarloaf Road: If it's a sunny winter day and you'd like to catch some rays, the locals will point you to Sugarloaf Road for a hike.
The town attracts visitors throughout the year, as the natural beauty of the Utah wilderness is well worth visiting during the spring and summer when the slopes are closed. Accommodation options abound in Alta, but if you want to maximize your relaxation and enjoy extra privacy, your best bet is a vacation rental. You can choose from apartments or condos if you're with a smaller group, or opt for a spacious villa with plenty of space for storing your ski gear. If you're craving the adventure and excitement of the big city, you can always make a day trip or a weekend jaunt to nearby Salt Lake City. The cosmopolitan metropolis is only 25 miles to Alta's northwest.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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