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Park City, Utah: Beyond skiing and Sundance

Park City may be synonymous with plentiful skiing and the star-filled Sundance Film Festival (which just wrapped up this past weekend). But that’s not all there is to do in the famed ski town.

Beyond the slopes and film buffs, here are even more reasons to take the 35-minute ride from Salt Lake City’s airport to the historic mining town.

PARK CITY PROPER

Off the slopes, most of the action happens
Photo Credit: Doug Burke

Off the slopes, most of the action happens on Main Street, a quaint stretch of road that angles upslope and gives off the vibe of a small, low-maintenance ski resort. There are dozens of cute, unique shops (no big-name brands on the strip) to pop in and out of, all housed in low-level buildings.

Learn about Park City's history as a once-prosperous silver mining community and its reinvention as a ski town during the 1960s at the newly-renovated Park City Museum (admission $10 adults, $8 students and seniors, $5 children ages 7-17, free for ages 6 and under; 528 Main St., 435-649-7457).

Of course, there is also the movie side. Even if you don't go for Sundance, you should still tap into the area's film fame by checking out the 90-year-old Egyptian Theatre (328 Main St., 435-649-9371), a stunning spot that hosts live shows all year long, as well as the festival's red carpet events.

OUTDOOR FUN

To explore the natural wonder found all over
Photo Credit: Linnea Covington

To explore the natural wonder found all over the Wasatch Back, book a guided fat tire bike or snowshoe tour with White Pine Touring (prices vary; whitepinetouring.com). Each jaunt is customized based on fitness levels and goals and can take groups through the mountains of Park City or historic sites around town.

Winter hiking also proves a unique pastime, and White Pines can help outfit you for a day wandering around the frozen forests. You can also plan it solo with the help of a trail guide from the Mountain Trails Foundation, mountaintrails.org.

For more wintry activities, head to the Utah Olympic Park, utaholympiclegacy.org, -- from when Park City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics -- and find bobsledding, tubing, an adventure course and more.

EAT AND DRINK

One of the best places for a stiff
Photo Credit: High West Distillery and Saloon

One of the best places for a stiff drink and a good meal in Park City is High West Distillery & Saloon (703 Park Ave., 435-649-8300), located in a former horseshoe shop. Sample its rye, whiskey and bourbon, as well as wonderful Western-style eats.

For a causal apres-ski, one of the best buffalo burgers in the country can be found at No Name Saloon & Grill (447 Main St., 435-649-6667). This laid-back joint has been in town since 1903 and, aside from pub fare, serves plenty of booze and local suds.

Speaking of beer, walk to the top of Main Street to sample the goods at Wasatch Brewery (250 Main St., 435-649-0900). The Polygamy Porter proves a real winner.

And to pay homage to the man who helped make Park City such a hot spot, head to Zoom (660 Main St., 435-649-9109), Robert Redford's 21-year-old American restaurant that is housed in the town's old train depot.

SLEEP AND STAY

For the luxury of a ski-in-ski-out resort, the
Photo Credit: Waldorf Astoria Park City

For the luxury of a ski-in-ski-out resort, the Waldorf Astoria Park City (2100 Frostwood Drive, 435-647-5500) offers not just high-end accommodations, but a private gondola right across the street from the property for immediate access to the slopes. Upon your return, you are minutes away from the outdoor hot tubs, a spa, good food and tons of roaring fireplaces.

For a historical bent to your stay, the Washington Schoolhouse (543 Park Ave., 800-824-1672) is a boutique hotel in a former schoolhouse built in 1889. Today, instead of classrooms, there are 12 suites, plus a heated pool terrace and a ski lounge.

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