With a year-round population of fewer than 8,000 residents, little Park City supports a massive drinking scene. From entertaining the glitzy Sundance tourist crowd with fancy cocktail lounges to providing locals with gritty dives for cheap hooch, Utah’s most famous ski resort community punches well above its weight when it comes to the world of alcohol-based entertainment.
Here’s your essential guide to drinking in Park City, no matter who you’re with or what sort of trouble you’re looking to get into.
Best for Live Music with Classy Craft Cocktails: O.P. Rockwell
Named after Mormon outlaw Orrin Porter Rockwell, this upscale cocktail lounge also doubles as one of Park City’s premier live music venues. Describing its decor as “a tasteful intersection of western-frontier and Victorian-luxe,” this newish downstairs spot on Main Street welcomes nationally touring acts like Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and The Crystal Method on its 580-square-foot stage.
Lined with exposed wood and brick walls and illuminated with chandeliers and Edison bulbs, the bar also offers high-energy sounds emanating from its world-class sound system. Order an expertly crafted cocktail — just don’t spill your drink all over the floor as you attempt to dance, OK?
Best Rooftop Deck for People-Watching: No Name Saloon
One of the best views of downtown Park City can be had by snagging a spot on the sunny rooftop deck of this iconic local hangout, where you can watch the action unfold along Main Street as you breathe in the fresh mountain air with the sun on your face.
But as great as the No Name Saloon’s patio is, the always-busy downstairs bar is no less worthy of your attention. Housed in a historic, early-1900s building littered with character (and characters), including oddball antiques and twinkling Christmas lights, this friendly spot is the perfect place to bite into one of No Name’s world-famous buffalo burgers with a craft beer in hand — and make a new friend or two in the process.
Best Downstairs Lounge for a Sexy Date Night: Fletcher’s
Fletcher’s is a twofer. First, grab one of the best meals in Park City upstairs at this posh Main Street spot, which puts out magnificent dishes like seared lobster tail with linguine in a glistening space that resembles an upscale supper club.
But the night doesn’t end with dinner, as you then make your way down to the sleek, library-style basement lounge with plush sofas and DJs on the weekends, cultivating a sexy date-night vibe. It’s the kind of place you might imagine Ron Burgundy relaxing in with a cocktail and a nice leather-bound book. So you know it’s classy.
Best Peanut-Riddled Dive to Drink out of Massive Schooners: O’Shucks
Peanut shells on the floor and massive schooners of beer mean you’ve entered the wonderfully weird world of O’Shucks. This is Park City’s premier flannel-covered hangout where you’ll party with folks from all walks of life, from adventurous tourists to grizzled old-timers.
With low ceilings and narrow corridors, the close quarters of this cozy dive almost force you to into conversation with the delightful cast of misfits who call this place their home away from home.
If you’re feeling antisocial, head to the back area for a game of pool or shuffleboard as you take in all the questionable odors and dive bar charms that make this joint a welcome respite from Park City’s ubiquitous glitz.
Best Secret Mountain Yurt Only Accessible via Private Sleigh Ride: Viking Yurt
A six-course gourmet dinner served in a yurt only accessible by sleigh ride? Need we say more? OK, we’ll say more.
For a night you’ll never forget, RSVP for Viking Yurt’s leisurely, four-hour dinner with drinks inside a romantic, 40-person-capacity yurt. To get there, you’ll take a sleigh ride up 1,800 feet to the top of the 8,700-foot mountain.
Open only from December through March, the yurt is outfitted with a concert pianist taking your requests on a baby grand piano. Soak in the warm vibes and the romantic feeling of being on top of the mountain at night as you pair your dinner with a bottle of wine, beer or a shot of Norwegian spirits.
Best (and World’s Only) Ski-In Gastro-Distillery: High West Saloon
As the world’s only ski-in gastro-distillery and Utah’s first distillery since 1870, the uber-popular High West Saloon has a lot going for it.
With a rustic exterior that looks like something out of a Wild West movie giving way to a more chic interior of wood walls, ceilings and floors, it’s the ideal setting to grab an Instagram-worthy (if pricey) cocktail, like an Old-Fashioned or a whiskey sour, or a flight of spirits.
You can also stick around for dinner (the menu includes upscale interpretations of classic dishes like grilled strip steak and smoked salmon) or take a free tour of the distillery space.
Either way, be sure to grab a bottle of one of their award-winning handcrafted spirits to go. It’ll help on the plane ride home.