I have been working on mountain-town magazines for J.C. Bush Creative Media for well over a decade, and each issue we ask the people we profile the same question: What brought you here? Time after time, year after year, we get the same response: I came for the mountains. I came to hike, bike, and ski out my backdoor. I came to find a better quality of life.

It’s an answer that hasn’t changed over the last 10 years, no matter who we’re talking to — from trail builders and ski guides to interior designers and real estate agents. Everyone is looking for easier access to nature. A better balance between work and play. To breathe clean air. To find solace and solitude on mountain trails. People want to play. And when it comes to play, Park City is the gold standard.

The city is one of just four IMBA Gold-Level Ride Centers in the U.S. and has approximately 400 miles of continuous, non-motorized trail that spans two mountain resorts and an additional 8,000 acres of preserved open space. It’s a bike mecca (thanks in part to people like Bob Radke, more on page 42) and a hiker paradise. Wildlife is out your back door and a state park and reservoir is less than 20 minutes from downtown.

Beyond outdoor adventure, Park City is a music city, with more music festivals and live music events than you can name (we did our best on page 26) and a quaint and historic Main Street that’s lined with galleries and boutiques. And when the day’s fun is done, there’s an endless number of outdoor patios where you can enjoy the shift from sun to sunset to stars with friends (see our favorites on page 80).

Finding a better balance — a better life — comes naturally here.

We hope you find yourself inspired by the local stories and summer adventures we outline in the pages ahead. Then, get off the couch and go play!