After recently spending an incredible and way too short of a week in Park City, I’m prepared to give you the full low-down on all the things a twenty-something will want to know about this town. From the skiing to the bar scene, it’s fair to say I did some extensive research. And lucky you, you’ll get to benefit from the fruits of my labor. 🙂
Buying a Park City ski pass will really get you onto two mountains — Park City and the Canyons. These are right next to each other, and both have been recently made over. For ease of access, there is even a gondola that connects the two mountains.
My group stayed at the Canyons, so naturally, we skied that resort the most. The locals also told us that the Canyons tend to be less crowded than the Park City slopes. However, Park City runs seemed a bit longer and wider than the Canyons. Both have their advantages, so make sure and ski both hills if time allows.
Where to go.
If you’re skiing Canyons that day, make sure and hit up Drafts or Red Pine Lodge. Drafts has insanely good burgers, and the Red Pine Lodge has the best moscow mule I’ve ever had. Not to mention incredible food.
If you’re in downtown Park City, there are definitely a few places you’ll need to check out. No Name Saloon or OP Rockwell are fun bars that have character with a lively scene of characters. Wasatch Brew Pub has incredible beer brewed in-house (try the jalepeno beer) and decent food to boot.
If you’re in the mood to hit the best bars at night, I would reccomend Downstairs, Cisero’s, or Park City Live. Downstairs is a more modern and hip bar where you’ll definitely be able to shake your hips.
Cicero’s is a “silent disco”, where they hand you a set of big headphones when you walk in the door. The headphones have two settings — red or green. At the front of the bar, there are two DJ’s in front of two booths, colored either red or green. One DJ is playing his best set, while the other does the same. You can switch your headphones and hear Nelly spit out Hot In Here, and then suddenly switch it again and hear Ke$ha break it down with some Timber. Everyone in the bar is listening to one station or the other, and their headphones will light up with the color of station they are on. If you take off the headphones however, it is dead silent in the bar. The only sounds you hear are people attempting to sing the songs they are hearing in their headphones. I could go on about this bar since it was probably my favorite, but I’ll move on.
Park City Live is a venue that will host several different artists throughout the year, so it might be worth seeing who is in town while you’re there. Think ‘big dance area, an upstairs on either side of stage that overlooks the bottom, and a big bar in the back’. We saw The Chainsmokers when we were there, and saying it was epic is an understatement.
Things to know.
To and from
Several ski resorts across the country are super difficult to get to. This is definitely not the case with Park City. Simply fly to Salt Lake City, and a half an hour from the airport, the ski slopes await. This is a huge plus for Park City, and you will easily be able to get on the slopes the day you arrive or even the day you leave. I sat on the plane on the way home realizing I had been skiing just a couple hours earlier. Crazy!
Let me just say that Utah liquor laws are weird. First off, you will never be served a drink if you currently have one in front of you. Even if that glass/bottle/cup is empty. So that item must be cleared from the table before your next alcoholic beverage is set down. Secondly, if you’re drinking a mixed drink, the alcohol you are being served has been measured to be exactly a shot. Utah is required to have shot caps on all bottles of hard alcohol so that it controls the pour.
If you’re drinking beer, know that that has been regulated as well. All draft beer is required to be “3/2 beer”, which essentially means it is no more than 3.2% alcohol. This is the same level as the kind of beer you’re able to buy at a gas station in other states. My advice would be to order your beer to come in a bottle, because they can’t control the alcohol levels in bottled beer.
Another fun little quirk about Park City is that several drinking establishments have built in breathalyzer tests to their walls, usually by the bathroom. The thing will dispense you a new straw, you can blow into the machine, and right away it will give you your BAC with a very high accuracy. Obviously this is to control drunk driving, but when you’re a tourist without a car anyway, it can quickly turn into a fun game with your group of friends. Just sayin’.
If you’re trying to decide where your next mountain getaway should be, I would definitely recommend this awesome town. It’s filled with fun people and great destinations. And not to mention, it’s the city Sundance Film Festival is held in every year — how could it be anything but amazing?!