Park City, Utah
Today and tomorrow, restaurants in Park City start accepting reservations for the week of the Sundance Film Festival (Jan 19-29) -- so if you're going, call now, or you'll be left feasting on snow. But Park City's a great vacation even when it's not overrun with movie-geeks stroking Robert Redford's thinning golden pubes for a three-picture deal. Use our insider's guide, and you can do this super-accessible resort town proper, whenever you decide to go
Ski areasDon't ski or stay at Park City Mountain Resort or you'll just end up envious and depressed, as the other two areas are much nicer. Deer Valley has pristine skiing, but snowboarding's not allowed. If you go with DV, don't bunk at the Stein Eriksen Lodge, which, while renowned, is a sucker bet. Try the less pricey, still swank Goldener Hirsch Inn right next door. The third mountain (and our favorite) is The Canyons, which offers the most challenging terrain, and a 'boarding park where you can show off your skills, or score smokable drugs. Lodging at The Canyons' Grand Summit Hotel is compulsory, because unless you land a cozy, bear-free cave, there's nothing good nearby
Can't afford ski passes and a decent crash pad? Try the Yarrow. It's solidly mediocre, and with the slopes only minutes away, you can escape your hovel at will
ActivitiesHeli-skiing: Try PC Cat's Snow Cat skiing or, better yet, Heli-skiing. What could be more audacious than leaping from a helicopter onto virgin slopes, dramatically increasing your odds of slipping into a frozen crevasse, only to be thawed out in a bleak and distant future where laughter and sexual pleasure are against the Law
Snowmobiling: Once your rental boots have gnarled your feet into claws, scrap skiing and go snowmobiling with Red Pine Adventures. Call ahead and speak to Roger to reserve a nighttime deep powder run, and he'll speak forever of how wondrously the moonlight framed you and your Polaris Sport 500 as you hurtled suicidally off a cornice
GorgingDinner: Asian fusion restaurant Wahso is the toughest reservation in town, but the sea bass is worth the pain in your ass. The Mariposa's a must-hit for its meat-riffic triple-combo (lamb chop, venison and wild boar sausage). The local favorite's the Blind Dog, named for a pet blinded in a car accident -- though frankly, that dog got with some pretty nasty bitches even when he could see what he was humping
Lunch:Cafe Terigo is the moderately priced, in-town hangover standby. But you should ascend to Lookout Cabin at The Canyons at least once: fine dining with deck seating and a full bar, situated 9,000 feet up Lookout Peak -- so high, you'll have Park City at your feet, and the ambrosial smell of God's own chili bread-bowl in your nostrils.
Where to DrinkThe No Name Saloon's the rowdiest bar in town; one "liberated" local told us that she's never once managed to leave there without exposing her swinging teats. The smoke-free Spur claims to be a more relaxed lounge, but they also boast a contraption involving nine shot glasses lined up on a ski -- so they're obviously lying
How To Drink Generally, the maximum booze per cocktail in Utah is one ounce, so to make your drink respectable, demand it come with a "sidecar" (an extra ounce served on the side). Or, take advantage of this new legal loophole: for no apparent reason, multi-liquor specialty cocktails can skirt the one-ounce limit. When ordering suds, specify a full strength bottled brew -- all tap beers must be 3.2%. Be prepared to fill out a membership card (usually around $5), since in Utah only "private" clubs can serve hooch. Also, don't drive, period. Hwy 224's heavily patrolled, and it's doubtful any restaurant will hold your table after you're busted by a cop who thinks even drinking caffeine will send you to hell.