LOCAL LOWDOWNS

A Guide to Park City, Utah

The essential guide to Sundance Festival’s snowy homebase. (Click here to find out How To Survive Sundance).

EAT

There are a lot of wealthy people in Park City (in a town of around 8000 people, over 130 properties are worth $4 million plus) so it follows that its restaurant scene is a little bit more bougie than you might expect from a small mountain town. For all-out luxury, try haute seasonal cuisine at Talisker on Main, or opt for fresh New American dining at local favourite Silver. For a hearty taste of the region, head to the High West Distillery and Saloon (also a great place for a drink – see below) for Melted Mountain Cheese Raclette and Pulled Pork from Utah Ballard Farms. Just be sure to have some elasticated ski-pants at the ready…

SLEEP

The (already pricey) hotel rates in Park City take a predictable upwards hike during Sundance. Gather up a group and look into renting a lodge – we stayed at the accurately named Empire Luxury Lodging in Deer Valley. With huge fireplaces, flatscreen TVs and private terraces, the lodges don’t come cheap, but if you stay there with a group of 12 it works out at just over $100 (each!) per night. Alternatively, the eco-friendly Treasure Mountain Inn has ‘Film Festival’ rates starting at around $310 per night for a Junior Suite: not cheap, but certainly not exorbitant when you factor in amenities such as a large patio, full kitchen, and cable TV.

If both of those options seem too steep then explore Air BnB, where there are a multitude of affordable rental choices. At the opposite end of the spectrum, local luxury hotels such as the Sky Lodge and the Hotel Park City offer rooms from $600 upwards. Good luck with that!

DRINK

There’s a popular misconception that Utah is a dry state - they’ve got the Mormons to blame for that one – when in fact alcohol is readily available, albeit with a few retailing restrictions. Regardless, any aspirations towards sobriety go out the window during Sundance, when various Vegas superclubs set up shop along Main Street and eager drinkers wait patiently outside overpacked bars despite the glacial temperatures.

If you’re ready to fistpump, you can try wangle your way onto the guestlist at the annual residency from superclub Tao at The Lift, while karaoke-lovers should check out Downstairs. Alternatively, the chic and rustic High West Distillery crafts its own selection of premium whiskeys, which you can enjoy in a range of signature cocktails at the Saloon next door.

BUY

If you like to pick up souvenirs on your travels, then Park City is a great place to do so. The Southwest Indian Traders store sells adorable moccasins in both kids’ and adults’ sizes, while the Park City Clothing Company offer an impressive array of Pendleton blankets without the rip-off rates you’d expect to pay in hipster boutiques.

If your look is more modern than traditional, then newly-opened menswear store Hathenbruck offers an extremely stylish edit of clothing and accessories by Farmtactics, Filson, Penfield, Tanner Goods and more, plus an array of books and magazines. Around the corner, homegrown streetwear label Jiberish sells a nice range of five panels and logo hoodies in a fresh boutique store.

DO

Sundance Festival aside, Park City is a winter sports destination first and foremost. In fact, the whole town feels like one big ski resort: there’s even a lift at the bottom of Main Street to take you up to the top of the slopes. Take your pick from Deer Valley, Canyons or Park City Mountain: the town’s three main resorts, all of which rank among the world’s best destinations for skiiers.

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