Park City’s Sundance Film Festival may have already concluded, but between the great outdoors, excellent restaurants and world-class accommodations, you don’t need Hollywood to make this town glitter. After all, Park City Mountain Resort recently combined with Canyons Resort, making it 7,300 acres of skiable terrain and the largest ski resort in the country. But while skiing is definitely a draw, you won’t need a love for the slopes in order to like the area. In fact, here are five fantastic ways to get down in the Utah ski town without your goggles and poles.
With over 300 runs beckoning snowboarders and skiers from across the world, there is no doubt you can catch plenty of powder. But that’s not the only winter sport worth checking out. Lately, fat tire biking has made the scene, and here you can easily rent a bike to take to the snowy trails. White Pines Touring offers these unique cycles, tour guides, plus a slew of other cold-weather adventures, all customizable to your group.
Another great option is dog sledding. Though it’s not too common to find an outfitter that can take you out with a team of Huskies, Rancho Luna Lobos can book such jaunts. Try and get your spot secured early. Between weather requirements, space and time, these runs go fast.
One place you must make a reservation for is nouveau American eatery Handle. Chef Briar Handly whips up seasonal fare showcasing the bounty of the area. Not only that, with dishes that have included roasted mushrooms with gorgonzola and beef cheek sliders with pimento cheese, he demonstrates a real talent in the kitchen. Pair all of that deliciousness with the sommelier’s mad wine skills and you have the perfect après-ski meal.
Another good bet is Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Powder, the restaurant housed in Four-Star Waldorf Astoria Park City. Before you sample chef Ryker Brown’s luscious clam chowder or the grilled buffalo rib eye, though, make sure to pop into the seasonal Arctic Ice Lounge (open through winter) at the back of the space and get a glass of Moët’s Ice Imperial Champagne.
If you find yourself wandering down the strip looking for elevated new American fare, try the Four-Star Riverhorse on Main. Seth Adams runs the kitchen at this tried-and-true establishment, serving up plates of tempura-battered prawns with soy-glazed sea bass, potstickers and an appetizer tower filled with restaurant specialties like wagyu beef cubes and goat cheese crisp. It also has an enclosed deck on the second floor, which means more seats and another reason to make a reservation.
Explore the town
Park City was settled by prospectors in the 1860s as a silver mining town. As they harvested more precious metals, the population grew until the area proved quite popular. But, as prices of silver dropped and World War I took a toll on the country, Park City declined as well.
Luckily, although mining no longer flourished, the idea of skiing in the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains did. By 1960, Park City had been reinvented as a ski town. In 1981, the aforementioned Sundance Film Festival moved to Park City (the festival started in Salt Lake City three years prior) and brought a bit of fame to the area. Learn more details about the town’s colorful history at the Park City Museum or have fun exploring its past by delving into the supernatural side and taking in a ghost tour.
Contrary to what you might think about Utah, Park City has some awesome imbibing options. For example, High West Distillery, the first Utah distillery, has been operating since 1870. Not only is the place groundbreaking, but you can find a great rye, bottled barrel-aged Manhattans and stellar cocktails. For beer, Park City offers Wasatch Brewery and Park City Brewery, two hot spots serving excellent suds.
While Park City is covered with almost as many luxury hotels as ski lifts, there’s something special about Four-Star Waldorf Astoria Park City. Each room sports a roaring fireplace, but if you desire more reminders of home, book a one-bedroom suite with a kitchen and living room. For even more amenities (not to mention 2,100 square feet of space), stay in the Waldorf Astoria Suite.
But no matter what room you choose, you will still have the benefit of a heated, outdoor pool and bubbling hot tubs, access to the Four-Star spa and the reassurance that you’re within stumbling distance of Powder and Arctic Ice Lounge. To make the vacation even sweeter, the hotel has a private gondola located right outside, setting it up as a prime ski-in-ski-out destination.