Sundance Survival Guide: Where To Eat, Drink, and Unwind

Leah Bourne
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SundanceFor those heading to Park City, Utah for Sundance this year—yes the festival is about seeing movies—but given how much fun there is to be had in Park City, you want make sure to leave some time in your schedule for other activities like eating, and of course, watching champagne being sabered mountain-side (seriously, it’s a thing). Here, our top tips for what to do during your downtime during the festival.
WHAT TO DO
Park City is known for being a ski-on ski-off town. The Park City Mountain Resort (adult lift tickets $79 per day, parkcitymountain.com) is one of the oldest ski properties in the area, is friendly for snowboarders, and boasts the city’s only night skiing. Often dubbed the fancier option is the Deer Valley Resort (adult lift tickets $79 per day, deervalley.com) because the resort limits the number of tickets sold daily. Lift lines on its 22 chairs—which feed some 99 runs—are basically nonexistent, even during peak times. For avid skiers, this is basically heaven.
There are plenty of other winter activities to keep the non-skiers out there excited to be in Park City too. Top picks include snowmobiling and even tubing. At Thousand Peaks (100 Browns Canyon Road, thousandpeaks.com) you have the chance to snowmobile on over 60,000 acres of mountain terrain. Live out your ultimate tubing fantasies at Gorgoza Park (3863 West Kilby Road, gorgoza.com) that actually boasts lift-served tubing and seven tubing lanes.
WHERE TO EAT
Park City is quickly morphing into a bona fide foodie destination. Gourmands should head directly to Talisker On Main (515 Main Street, taliskeronmain.com) where Executive Chef Briar Handley has created a cozy 42-seat restaurant with mouthwatering options including braised pork belly and lobster hush puppies. The scene-y Sundance boîte of choice is Silver Restaurant (508 Main Street, silverrestaurant.com) where you can enjoy pitch perfect comfort food like a hanger steak with brick fries while crossing your fingers for a Harvey Weinstein sighting.
Besides the tried and true Park City options, many brands also come to town and set-up pop-up restaurants. Stella Artois is back in Park City this year with a pop-up restaurant at Village at the Lift (by invitation only) coinciding with the launch of its new cidre. Udi’s Cafe (by invitation only) is setting up shop offering yummy gluten free fare, including one incredible burger.
WHERE TO UNWIND
If you are looking to get away from it all, there is no better place than the Spa at the Montage Deer Valley (9100 Marsac Avenue, spamontage.com). We recommend the Après Ease treatment ($195 for 60 minutes), a lower-body-focused massage perfect for after a long day on the slopes.
And beyond the movie premieres, in recent years Sundance has become synonymous with branded suites which allows VIPs to relax and recharge. Eddie Bauer lands in Park City this year with the “Adventure House” (by invitation only) where guests can try rock climbing, cocktails, and enjoy live campfire music sessions. At the TR Suites (by invitation only) get your hair done at the Dove Hair Care Salon and stop by the Avocados From Mexico booth for snacks, cocktails, and even massages.
WHERE TO PARTY
Make your first stop of the night the St. Regis Deer Valley (2300 Deer Valley, stregisdeervalley.com) for their nightly champagne sabering ceremony. Be there promptly at 6:30 p.m. on the Mountain Side Terrace. Everybody’s favorite vodka brand Grey Goose is returning to the festival with a pop-up (by invitation only) celebrating movies like Kristen Wiig’s latest “Skeleton Twins” and “Song One” starring Anne Hathaway. Park City’s latest hot-spot is Rock & Reilly’s (427 Main Street) which is hosting A-list events for The Creative Coalition and Fiat heir Lapo Elkann. And those that have been to Sundance before know that every night ends with a visit to Tao at Village at the Lift (by invitation only), a bona fide pop-up nightclub that takes over what is otherwise a parking garage during the rest of the year.
INSIDER’S TIPS
Use public transportation when you can, because parking is scarce. Don’t count on normal cellphone coverage, even with the additional mobile cellphone towers brought in to handle the traffic. And remember, you are visiting a ski town, so leave the high heels at home.
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