Hipster guide to Park City

7 reasons why park city Utah is the capital of ski town cool.

The kale brigade with their bushranger beards, man buns and sockless ankles have made their way to the ski town of Park City in Utah.

But before you bash their mason jar ways, be thankful for the food scene, fashion boutiques and intimate hotels that have transformed the village from your average Joe ski town to a genuine destination with offerings worthy of some bigger cities.

Try these Park City moments on for size and send me quinoa cacao raw chocolate as a thank you.

Washington School House Hotel

For those who like to consider themselves alternate to the big hotel chain pack, there is the Washington School House Hotel. This shrine to cool design is found downtown, a block from Main Street accessed via a quaint lane way with it’s own Banksy (see below). As the name suggests, the sandstone building was originally built as a schoolhouse in 1889 and restored to interior design glory four years ago.

Think super high ceilings with drool worthy windows to match, design trickery at every corner, a den of apres ski iniquity in the basement, a dance of antler chandeliers in the main room, 12 unique guest rooms, elegant furnishings combined with rustic chic, clean crisp whites, chaise lounges, dangling light art, a heated pool, breakfasts to long for, the best turn down gifts, apres delights and all libations included.

In a word? Sigh.


Atticus bookstore come coffee house

An ode of caffeine to Atticus Finch and his cast of To Kill a Mockingbird characters. Expect barista style coffee served up within the walls of a bookstore complete with house made Boo Radley energy bars alongside books of ‘Broetry’ on the counter shelf and a breakfast and lunch menu peppered with sprouts, goat cheese and hipster sugar otherwise known as agave.



Shared plates, Japanese French British American fusion, men with big beards, men with buns, men with tattoos, craft beers, craft cocktails, local produce, exposed wood, pressed tin and servers that moonlight as calligraphers, graphic designers and yogis. Yes, hipsterville is having a convention in Park City and it’s called Handle.

But before you turn up your kale-is-so-last week nose let me tell you that what Chef Briar Handly can do with a duck liver, a cauliflower, an Arctic char, mushrooms and lamb will stay with you forever. Handle is simply offering the most innovative and flavour filled shared plate menu in town and it does not disappoint so do not even consider a visit to Park City without hitting this destination of dining.

Favourite dish? Duck liver mousse with berry gelee, chestnuts and crostone and then the mushrooms with hash brown and gorgonzola cream. Oh, but then there’s the sunchoke chawanmushi, don’t ask what it is just order it. Sublime.

Least favourite? The pork roulade. Over salted with a big aroma and a fatty taste that sticks to the mouth.

Redeeming dish? The Caramel Pudding, a mason jar (of course) filled with whipped marscapone, caramel and chex cereal streusel (we think that’s European for crumble). You will lick the jar, it’s a given, or at least scrape every last morsel out with a spoon and your fingernail.



You know you’re on the map when graffiti artist, political activist and film director ‘Banksy’ stencils his mark onto your walls. Park City must be doing alright as the town boasts not one but two Banksy art works.

Whiskey Distillery x 2

The High West whiskey distillery is the only ski in ski out distillery in the world. Now whiskey lovers can hit Blue Sky Ranch twenty minutes outside of town for the full whiskey distillery tour on a working ranch including peering into a giant copper vat worth a quarter of a million dollars. Then down some quirky named whiskey from A Midwinter Night’s Dram (see what they did there) to Yippee Ki-Yay and OMG Pure Rye.


Park City – there’s only one

Park City went from a three ski resort town (Park City Mountain Resort, The Canyons and Deer Valley) to the home of the largest ski resort in the USA when Vail Resorts took over both The Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort and blended them like a mixologist in skinny jeans or drop crotch pants tending lovingly to a bottle of Grey Goose with the fresh zest of a grapefruit.

The result? A top shelf cocktail that packs a mighty punch of 7300 acres now linked by a swanky new Quicksilver gondola and accessed by the one pass.



Forget your felt fedora? Need to raise the waist on your jeans? Ripped your plaid?

Try Jiberish Vault on Main Street for button downs, sneakers and head ware, P.R.O.S.P.E.C.T on Main Street for denim, onesies, Nixon and footwear, Cake Boutique on Main Street for Citizens of Humanity, Rag & Bone, See by Chloe, Frame Denim and their friends.

Read more: Park City just became the largest ski resort in the USA

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Tory is a long time travel and lifestyle journalist and the co-founder of Australia's leading wedding and honeymoon site, i-do.com.au. A self confessed 'groomed' skier, Tory has skied in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, Oregon, Utah and Colorado with friends, family and instructors. She's partial to a pinot and is focused on learning to ski powder.


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