Top 5 Best Eats & Drinks – Park City Adventures (Part 3)

When we weren’t skiing, we were eating our way through some of the best food and drinks Park City has to offer! Here are our top 5 places for food and drinks in Park City:

5. The Spur Bar & Grill – Our first afternoon in Park City, we dropped our stuff at the Airbnb and headed to check out downtown Park City on Main Street. There are so many options for any occasion of the day on Main Street, and we spent about 30 minutes just taking note of some of the restaurants and menus that we wanted to come back to. Once the snow started to pick up, we decided to take a quick break and grab a drink at The Spur Bar & Grill. We said cheers to a great start to our vacation at the upstairs bar, and got a peek of their outdoor patio for the nicer days. While we just had a drink, they looked to have a great menu and have live music several times per week.

4. High West Distillery – We had heard a lot of recommendations for High West and even tried to go our first day in Park City but it was so packed! We finally got a chance to stop by our our last night before dinner to see what all the buzz was about. A local watering hole for locals and skiers to unwind after a cold day on the slopes, High West transforms their outside patio area into the perfect afternoon social hotspot. With the fire going, hot cider and whisky flowing, it was the best spot to still enjoy the beautiful crisp air while staying warm. We tried the American Prairie Bourbon and their signature hot cider. Next time we are here, we definitely want to check our their tour and tastings to really understand the history of High West.

3. Blue Iguana – We love a good Mexican restaurant, and with as funny of a name as Blue Iguana, we couldn’t pass it up! With a vibrantly colorful atmosphere, we reminisced about our wonderful honeymoon in Mexico. The Blue Iguana featured a salsa bar with 6 different all you can eat salsa varieties. TLB tip: Chips refills are not free here (Whattttt??). Blue Iguana charges $2 for a chip refill, so we sparingly ate our chips so we didn’t run out! No additional chips were provided with guacamole either. Despite having to ration our chip supply, we both left full after our delicious dinner. We started off with margaritas (we recommend the frozen over the on-the-rocks version) and the signature guacamole, which was so fresh and a surprisingly a good portion size. Meagan had the chicken quesadilla and Grant had the enchiladas with rice and beans. While it is a Mexican restaurant, it was a bit pricier than our usual La Parilla visits, so be prepared to tack on a few extra dollars for each entree if you stop in.

Tied 1. Buona Vita – As much as we love Mexican, we equally love delicious Italian food! We had an incredible meal at Buona Vita after our first day of skiing. Since we had another day of skiing, we figured why not carbo-load?? The intimate and authentic atmosphere of Buona Vita was surpassed only by the rich, delicious flavors of their food. We had a romantic table for two right by their stone fireplace and started off our meal with a great Italian bottle of wine and the appetizer special of the night – garlic bread. We typically go for a salad appetizer, but we couldn’t resist the bread once we caught a whiff of the garlic! Meagan decided on their mushroom ravioli while Grant went with the tried and true Chicken Parmesan. Both dishes were amazing, and it looked like you couldn’t go wrong based on the empty plates at other tables. We highly recommend Buona Vita for the Italian foodies, couples looking for a romantic evening, or for anyone craving warm, comfort food. Entrees range from about $18-$30+, so plan to take your time and enjoy your meal to get the best experience.

Tied 1. Butcher’s Chophouse – Tied with Buona Vita, Butcher’s Chophouse was a completely different atmosphere and food, but equally as delicious. With it being our final night in Park City, we wanted to relax and enjoy a leisurely dinner. To “cheers” a successful first post-honeymoon trip, we started with some of the signature cocktails – Blackberry Bramble for Grant, and Bubbly Bee’s Knees for Meagan. Now we just need to learn how to make them at home! For our appetizer, we went with the Mazza Plate – a perfect sampler platter of hummus, pita bread, roasted red peppers and tomatoes, goat cheese, and olives, all drizzled with a balsamic glaze. With a huge amount of food, we definitely felt we got the best bang for our buck with this $14 appetizer!

Butcher’s is known for it’s fantastic cuts of meat and fresh seafood options, so it was a difficult choice to decide our entrees. Meagan went with the Butcher’s Signature Chop Chop Salad, and Grant ended up going with the 16 oz. Prime Rib, asparagus, and jalapeno bacon mac. It was the perfect way to cap off our trip!

Bonus: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory – It wouldn’t be a vacation without a few sweet treats! We found some great chocolates and truffles on Main Street at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. $15 worth of yummy chocolates later, and we were ready to stock up on even more before we left town! TLB Tip: If you don’t get a chance to stop in at the Park City location, RMCF is a national brand that has locations all over the world! 

Curious about other parts of our Park City trip? Check out our tips for snow activities here and our awesome accommodations here.

Follow along on Instagram at www.instagram.com/thelocalbells

Do You Want to Build a Snowman? Or Ski? Or Snowmobile? – Adventures in Park City (Part 2)

When you think Park City, one of the first things that come to mind is their world-class skiing. Park City is home to Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort, the annual Sundance Film Festival, and was also the site for the 2002 Winter Olympics. The ski season typically ranges from November until April, though can sometimes extend into June if they have an awesome snow season. This year was a late start for snow – a lot of locals told us if we had come a month prior, there wouldn’t have been much snow at all!

So when you are in a city known for its amazing snow and skiing, you make it a point to see what all the hype is about! We decided that we would ski at Park City Mountain, as it offered the most extensive options for ski lifts and runs, particularly for beginners. Meagan skied growing up, but it had been about 12 years since she had hit the slopes. Grant had never skied before (he had tried snowboarding once), so we knew we needed to start slow. TLB Tip: We did some research online and found we’d get the best deal on lift tickets by purchasing directly through Park City Mountain at least a week in advance. We were a little taken aback by how expensive the tickets were – over $400 for two people skiing on Friday and Saturday, so definitely keep that in mind during your ski trip planning. The tickets were mailed to us before our trip, so we didn’t have to wait in the super long lift ticket line once we arrived, which was a huge plus. The passes ordered ahead of time look a lot like a credit card. You stick it in any of your jacket pockets and the Park City Mountain staff is able to scan it right through your jacket before you get on the lifts.

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Before we could hit the slopes, we stopped by the Ski’N’See rental shop in the Prospector lobby to rent our ski equipment. TLB Tip: We made a reservation for our equipment in advance and ended up saving about 25%! Two days of rentals including boots, skis, poles, and helmets ran us just under $200 total. Luckily, we were able to raid Meagan’s family’s ski bag and borrow some of the other winter weather essentials like goggles, gloves, and hats.

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Friday morning, we hit the road at 8 AM to get to Park City Mountain before it opened at 9 AM. Again, the Park City Transit bus system was a super convenient (and free!) way to get us to the mountain, with the only disadvantage being having to carry all of our ski equipment with us there and back. Once we got there and the lifts officially opened for the day, we popped our skis on and made our way to the aptly named “First Time” lift for our first run of the trip (and first time ever for Grant!). Luckily, we made it on and off the chairlift successfully! We spent the rest of the morning continuing down the “First Time” run to get more comfortable and confident before heading up the “Payday” lift to a longer green run, starting about halfway up the mountain.

This new run, “Homerun,” is a 3.5 mile long green run that takes you down the mountain right back to the resort center. Meagan isn’t a huge fan of the chairlift (thanks, fear of heights), so this was a great long run before having to head back to the lifts. Both Friday and Saturday, we stuck with the green runs, not quite ready to make the jump to blues. It was a little windy out too, but luckily temperatures stayed in the 30’s so we really weren’t that cold. Despite not getting any fresh powder, the runs were groomed beautifully and the ground snow conditions were still pretty good for us novice skiers. The picture below perfectly captures how we navigated the mountain!

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All in all, it was a successful two days of skiing! You do forget how physically demanding it is to ski all day, so it’s likely we would stick to 2 or 3 days in the future (or shorter days). A big success was no injuries on either side (luckily the snow was soft for the few tumbles that happened). Unfortunately, we forgot to have our snowball fight and didn’t build a snowman – but that gives us something to look forward to next time!

If skiing isn’t for you, Park City has a ton of other snow activity options including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, or sleigh rides. Meagan had the chance to go snowmobiling earlier in the week before Grant arrived. If you’ve ridden a Jet-ski before, snowmobiling is very similar. Meagan went to Red Pine Adventures for a 2 hour guided tour that took the group on trails up and down the mountain, getting as high as 10,000 feet. The views were stunning and if you have a need for speed, then this activity is right up your alley!

Stay tuned for our final post on the best eats and drinks in Park City. Follow along with us on Instagram at www.instagram.com/thelocalbells 

Park City Adventures – Travel & Accommodations (Part 1)

After a whirlwind long weekend (and battling a foot of snow!), we are back from our incredible trip to Park City! The snow conditions out there are the best of the season, so we can’t wait to share our favorite parts of our trip in case you are headed there as well.

We’ve had the opportunity to travel together to a variety of different places including New Orleans, Charleston, Playa del Carmen, Orlando, Dallas, West Palm Beach, Washington D.C., and New Smyrna Beach, but we have never ventured anywhere with snow and winter activities. Meagan had a conference in Salt Lake City Monday through Thursday, so we decided it was the perfect opportunity for Grant to fly out for the long weekend. We started looking at flights and accommodations back in late December/early January, to get an idea of what to expect for our budget. Despite Atlanta being a big airline hub, there weren’t a lot of great flight options to Salt Lake City. Direct flights were almost $200 more than flights with connections, so we decided the cheaper cost was worth the minor inconvenience of having to connect through other cities. For our trip, we used Southwest – we highly recommend Southwest for all trips, and especially ski trips where you have a lot of extra baggage since two checked bags fly for free! TLB tip: Southwest often selects one-hour layovers – be sure to check historical data regarding flight on-time records to make sure you are comfortable with such a short time-frame! In our case, it worked perfectly and got us to our destinations almost as quickly as a direct flight, but it could have been disastrous if our first leg had been delayed or canceled.

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We both flew in the the Salt Lake City International Airport before making the trek through the canyon and to the mountains of Park City. We ended up taking an Uber from downtown Salt Lake City instead of renting a car, making the assumption that it would be the cheaper option (little did we know…) and so we had the peace of mind that neither of us would have to drive through any snow. Us Atlantans have a bad history with snow (i.e. Snowpacalypse/Snowmageddon 2014), so we weren’t going to take any chances! The Uber ended up costing around $50 for the 40 minute drive to our Airbnb accommodations in Prospector Square – all in all, not too bad! When we were researching options of where to stay, we looked first at Park City Mountain Resort, but quickly realized that three nights there was going to be way more expensive than we wanted. Our two requirements were a total cost of under $1,000 and walking distance to Park City Mountain for skiing or easy access to public transportation. With that in mind, we decided to take a look at Airbnb options, which turned out to be a great decision. There are so many rental options in the Park City area, but they go fast during the peak February-March ski season.

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We ran across Ted and Heidi’s Silver Snow Wonder condo, which is located in Prospector Square, just a few miles from Downtown Park City and Park City Mountain Resort. For three nights during peak season, we were easily able to stay in our budget. The condo offers two queen beds, a 55 inch flat screen TV, huge shower, bathroom with a double sink, and a small kitchenette area with mini fridge, microwave, and Keurig. One thing to note – there is no washer or drier in the condo (which would probably be preferred if staying closer to a week). The condo looked recently renovated and was tastefully decorated – think Flip or Flop’s style with the white subway tiles and grey floors, reflecting the tranquility and beauty of Park City in the snow. The condo is also located on the first floor, which was a huge plus after a long day of skiing! The condo was just a short walk to two different bus stops as well, all part of the free Park City Transit System.

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Check-in at the Prospector was super easy, and we were even able to check in a few hours early. Ted and Heidi were wonderful hosts – we arrived to a small basket of snacks and water from them, as well as a variety of K-cup options for morning coffee. Before we arrived, they gave us some great recommendations for food and places to go, as well as sharing a discount code for our ski rentals at the Ski’N’See shop located in the Prospector main lobby. The condo was the perfect size for the two of us (though it might have been a tight squeeze with four people and all of the ski equipment) and great location with easy access to everything we wanted to do in Park City. We made great use of the bus system in getting to and from Downtown Park City for dinners and going to Park City Mountain for skiing.

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The only downside of staying in Park City is having to go back through the canyon to get to the airport in Salt Lake City. It’s somewhat of a catch-22 – you want beautiful snow for your ski trip, but if it snows too much, you won’t even be able to get to your resort, or in our case you won’t be able to get to the airport to go home! Our flight was scheduled for 12:30 on Sunday afternoon, and we woke up to over a foot of snow outside our window, with even more coming down! Starting at 8 AM, we started requesting Ubers and Lyfts, in hopes there would be someone willing and able to get us to the airport. After multiple drivers canceled our rides upon learning we were heading to the airport, we tried not to panic and kept our fingers crossed until we finally had confirmation that Jodi was on her way to pick us up! She was one of our best Uber drivers yet, and delivered us safe and sound (despite the horrible road conditions) to the airport. Unlike the $50 Uber trip to Park City, this one to the airport ended up costing nearly $200… We are very grateful we made our flight and arrived safely, but that charge made us cringe with the Uber surge pricing. Definitely keep a little buffer in your budget for unexpected Uber surge charges and any inclement weather!

All in all, the travel and accommodations for our trip went pretty smoothly! As always, build in a little extra time for weather delays and pad your budget for unexpected costs. For anyone thinking about booking a trip to Park City, definitely take a look at the beautiful Silver Snow Wonder condo! New to Airbnb? Use our link here for $40 in travel credit when you sign up here.

Stay tuned for our posts on snow activities and great food from Park City! Follow along through our Instagram at instagram.com/thelocalbells