The Best of Park City
Park City is a one of a kind destination. Not only is it host to Sundance every January, but it is a year round resort city with top notch hotels, outdoor activities, shopping, food and even a host of craft breweries and distilleries.
I have been to Park City many times before, but this year, I got to spend time there over Sundance. The town changes into the ultimate movie-buff or Hollywood lover's fantasy. But whether you are there for the celeb-spotting, the movies, or the winter sports, Park City is a destination that is easy to get to and once you're there, you might never want to leave!
Stay: Located on the Canyons Ski Resort (which is connected to the main Park City Mountain), the Waldorf Astoria Park City is the best option for leisure and adventure seekers alike. With direct mountain access, the hotel offers a luxurious spa, outdoor pool and hot tub and world class restaurant. One of my favorite things about staying at The Waldorf during Sundance, was their special apres refresher - which transforms your helmet hair and windblown cheeks into perfectly coiffed hair and makeup for a night on the town.
Eat: Located on Main Street of Park City, Tupelo has inventive cuisine and a relaxed but trendy vibe. If you are looking for something a bit more formal, head to The Goldener Hirsch Inn for a meal at their legendary restaurant, which will be sure to transport you to the ski chalets of Switzerland. If you want something slope side, head to Powder, which offers great apres cocktails, like their signature hot, spiced cider, and fabulous farm to table cuisine (the buttermilk fried chicken is divine).
Apres: For a truly decadent apres experience worthy of the stars, take the funicular up the side of Deer Valley Mountain to the bar and outdoor lounge at The St. Regis. With fires lit, you can watch the sun set below the mountain and every night they ceremoniously saber champagne for the guests. If you want something more laid back, ski right off the main mountain of Park City to the High West Distillery and Saloon. Pop your skis off and head right in for some of their local whiskey, rye or bourbon.
Explore: If you don't want to partake in the skiing (which most Sundance attendees do not), opt for an outdoor adventure like no other. Luna Lobos Dog Sledding offers private dog sled tours just a short drive outside of downtown Park City. Not only do you get to spend a few hours surrounded by herds of dogs (my dream come true), but you get to mush through the snow covered fields of Utah. It is a magical experience and the staff at Luna Lobos will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about dog sledding - or just let you ride in comfort under blankets. Be sure to dress warmly, though. Snow pants, parkas, hats and gloves fully recommended. It's still Winter after all!
Shop: No trip to Park City is complete without a stop at Burns Cowboy Shop. The Main Street shop is filled with some of the most beautiful hand-tooled leather goods - boots, belts, hats and jackets - to fulfill all your old Western fantasies.
Drink: One of the things that makes Park City so cool is that while it offers first class resorts and dining and arguably the most star studded film festival of the year, there is still a laid best Western vibe that permeates the town. My favorite place is No Name Saloon. It always has a mix of New Yorkers, Hollywood-types and locals - which is my favorite part about it. It is a dive bar at its best but you will feel at home in your ski coat just as much as you will in your furs.
Not only does Park City offer a multitude of activities, but unlike other ski resorts out west, it is relatively simple to get to, especially from New York. Fly directly into Salt Lake City and be on the slopes within a few hours.
I had such a great time visiting during Sundance but I love Park City even more when the town isn't crowded and taken over by the film festival. Any outdoor, adventure, film or leisure enthusiast should visit Park City. It is a four season resort that has much more to it than just the Sundance Film Festival!