A Locals Guide to Park City Utah

Every serious snow-enthusiast has heard of Park City, Utah, but it takes a local’s perspective to fully appreciate its remarkable offerings. The phenomenal restaurants, bars, resorts, and people found in this ideal recreational environment combine to create perhaps the perfect mountain community. Whether the town is hosting the Olympics, the Sundance Film Festival, or just the winter-weekend crowd, Park City is a refuge for nearly everyone who loves beauty, excitement, and plain old fun! Excuses abound for making Park City a permanent change of residence, and everyone from urban hipsters to back-country adventurers will find their niche in this little piece of paradise tucked within the magnificent Wasatch Mountains.

Park City is affectionately known as a drinking town with a skiing problem, so one must completely cast aside preconceived notions about Utah Park City may as well be its own state. With a vibrant night life and a much relaxed attitude towards alcohol and entertainment, one can always find friendly people enjoying both the snow and the aprs ski. One can compare Park City to Aspen, CO of thirty years ago a balance between skiing and culture not yet overwhelmed by tourists and the ber-rich. Property in the area, though expensive, can still be found for considerably less than in Colorado or even Montana. Within the town itself, a vibrant community of artists, outdoorsmen, entrepreneurs, and, of course, ski-enthusiasts join together to create an oasis in the cultural desert that is Utah.

Entertainment opportunities abound throughout the winter. Coming in from a hard day on the mountain one need look no further than the Brewhouse a large, outdoor hangout where many a thirsty snowbunny or snowbear has been known to flock. Later in the evening, head to Main Street downtown for a variety of pubs, clubs, bars, and grills. An established favorite is Harry O’s the owner originally started one of the most popular clubs in the Los Angeles beach community, fell in love with snow-sports, and remade this successful club in the mountains. Other bars of note include the No Name Bar, perfect for weeknight partying; O’Shucks, with a variety of nightly drink specials; and J.P. Mulligans, the spot for pool and live music. Of course your best bet is to become friendly with the locals there are service-industry house parties throughout town, hot tubs in many backyards, and unique, friendly people everywhere. This is where Utah comes to let loose.

The high altitude, cold air, and expenditure of energy spent skiing generate many an overwhelming appetite. Thankfully, many top chefs from around the world also like to ski! If you want to go big, head to Zoom owned by no less than Robert Redford and renowned for catering to the stars. Cisero’s is one of the best Italian restaurants in the Rockies, while Chez Betty offers warm, country-style French cuisine. For the local on a budget, Nacho Mama’s and El Chubasco offer good, cheap Mexican food guaranteed to get you up the mountain. New restaurants open with frequency, and the variety of phenomenal dining in such a small, remote mountain outpost is testament to the draw of the area.

And who can forget the mountains? Located in Summit County and at the south-eastern edge of the Wasatch Mountains, Park City provides remarkably easy access to perhaps the finest skiing in the world. Snow rolls in off the Great Salt Lake similar to Buffalo, NY, except the higher altitude and naturally drier climate result in snow so fine and light, one must be careful not to drown in a drift. It is not uncommon to see a storm drop over eight feet of snow in a single weekend!

There are three main local resorts catering to different styles and interests: Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley, and the Canyons. Park City Mountain Resort is perfect for the local easy access to downtown, a wide variety of terrain considered more challenging than most, and gracious, friendly staff throughout. Deer Valley focuses on the upper-end of the ski spectrum no snowboarders allowed, five-star dining opportunities throughout the mountain, and prices well-beyond the average ski-bum. Finally, the Canyons offers the most wild and ambitious terrain west of the Wasatch, with bowls and chutes guaranteed to challenge even the most die-hard skier!

Offering unexpected variety away from it all, Park City truly is a mountain paradise. See you on the slopes!