22 Things You Need To Know About Utah Before You Move ThereFrom superior snow to lots of green jello, the Beehive State’s got a lot to offer.
1. Fry Sauce Is The King Of All Condiments
When in Utah, you can’t have fries without fry sauce. It’s a state staple that residents have come to love, and it can be found in pretty much every grocery store. What’s in this magical sauce, you may ask? Well, it’s essentially just ketchup and mayonnaise, but don’t let the simplicity deter you--it’s a must try.
2. Don’t You Dare Question The Pure Amazingness Of Green Jello
Utahns love their lime-jello, eating, on average, twice as much of the green substance than anywhere else in the world. It’s become a local favorite and is often served with shredded carrots mixed in. Hey, don’t knock it til you try it.
3. Sundance Puts All Other Film Fests To Shame
Honestly, nothing can beat the Sundance Film Festival. Each year, film-makers swarm to Park City to show off their work at this star-studded and internationally recognized celebration of cinema. Yep, this state has its own bit of Hollywood glamour annually that you can partake in--and action!
4. Dairy Keen Beats Dairy Queen Any Day Of The Week
If you’re in Utah and craving a milkshake, then Dairy Keen is the only place to go. Located in Heber city, this burger joint has won best-in-state awards for burgers and shakes for several years. But you’ll have to try it for yourself to get the real experience. While you can’t go wrong with classic chocolate, how about trying a jumbleberry or burnt almond fudge shake?
5. You’ll Come For The Snow
There’s a reason that many Utah license plates tout the phrase “Greatest Snow on Earth”--it really can’t be beat. Not only does snow just completely dump on Utah for much of the year, but the snow here has been scientifically proven to have the perfect blend of powder and salt for the best skiing conditions.
6. But Stay For Some Beer
Utah has gotten a bad rep for having some seriously strict laws, particularly those that involve alcohol. But, despite what you may have heard, you can get a drink in this mistakenly dry state--as a matter of fact, you can get several. There are numerous bars throughout Utah and plenty of local breweries for you to choose from, like the fantastic Epic Brewing Company, which has some exclusively strong beers.
7. And Nothing Goes Better Together Than Skiing AND Drinking
For some real winter fun, take a trip to the High West Distillery, located just steps away from the bottom of Quitin’ Time ski run in Park City. Not only is it Utah’s first distillery since 1870, but it’s also the first and only ski-in/ski-out distillery in the nation. So, when you need a break from hitting the slopes, slide on into High West for some tasty Western fare and great spirits.
8. Utahns Know The Difference Between “Steak House” And “Stake House”
Don’t expect a big juicy piece of prime rib when you’re invited out to a stake house in Utah. These locations are popular in the state and serve as a meeting house for local congregations of the Latter Day Saints. Just make sure to verify the spelling of your outing to avoid going hungry.
9. Park City Is What Skiing And Snowboarding Heaven Looks Like
We’ve already established that Utah has the best snow on Earth, so it’s no surprise that it has fantastic options for all the skiing and snowboarding fans out there. A particular favorite is Park City Mountain Resort, a renowned three resort ski town where you can fly through perfect powder on one of their various trails. Plus, the U.S. Ski Team practices there, so you know it’s legit.
10. Utah’s Music Scene Could Take Yours To The Cleaners
Believe it or not, Utah has a great music scene. Not only have popular bands like Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees and Fictionist originated in Utah, but Utah’s got concerts for every music taste. The Saltair, a great concert venue, has housed plenty of well-known artists, like The Ramones, Green Day, Skrillex and T-Paine. The Salt Lake City Arts Council also hosts the Twilight Concert Series each year in the summer, where thousands gather in the park, for a minimal price, to watch popular artists like The Black Keys or Bon Iver perform.
11. Be Prepared For Some Frickin, Flippin, Gosh Darn Swear Words
Don’t expect to hear your usual array of cussing in Utah -- the residents here have their own unique way of expressing their feelings. Given the strong Mormon culture, most won’t use typical swear words. However, clearly a versatile and creative bunch, they’ve found a way around the unwritten rule. Don’t act surprised when you hear phrases like “shut the front door,” “oh heck,” and “what the frick” thrown around like nobody’s business--you'll know what they really mean, those sneaky Utahns.
12. You NEED To See Zion…
What has beautiful waterfalls, colorful canyons, an array of wildlife and plenty of hiking trails for you to explore? Only the oldest national park in Utah: Zion National Park. People come from all over the country to see the natural wonders that this area holds, but lucky Utah residents get to have this unique location as their own stunning backyard.
13. …And All The Other Astounding National Parks
Okay--let's face it, when it comes to Utah, it’s a crime to mention only one national park. The state is jam packed with scenic natural beauty just waiting to be explored by outdoor adventures. Utah’s got Canyonlands, Arches, Capital Reef, Bryce Canyon… honestly, they’re all awesome.
14. The Red Iguana Is Worth The Wait
If you’re looking for prime Mexican food while in Utah, The Red Iguana is the spot to go. Be prepared for some long lines though, as the is widely renowned for its mouth-watering eats. Yet every minute of the wait is worth it, especially when you get to choose from a menu that has tacos to papadzules and everything in between--can you say holy mole?
15. Utah Is The Best Place To Go Star Gazing
With plenty of national parks and areas void of bright city lights, Utah is a prime destination to do some serious stargazing. Simply travel on over to one of the many beautiful remote locations and brace yourself for some incredibly astounding night skies.
16. And To Do Some Serious Rock Hounding
Utah’s got rocks galore, and not just plain boring ones like you might find buried in the dirt of your backyard. The state has several varieties of stunning minerals and even fossils just waiting to be dug up. There are plenty of sites where you can go rock hounding and maybe find some precious gems of your own.
17. The Peaches At Pettingill Fruit Farm Can’t Be Beat
10 miles south of the town of Willard are the most fantastic peaches you can find in the state. Whether you want the juicy fruit itself or some peach jam, butter or a fresh-made peach shake, you’ll be able to find it here. Pettingill Fruit Farm sells its fruit from summer through fall and has a variety of delicious local produce, in addition to those mouthwatering peaches.
18. Utah’s Salt Water Taffy Is Killer
Given the great natural supply of salt water, it’s no surprise that salt water taffy is a traditional favorite in Utah. This state has got some of the best kinds of the chewy sweet, especially at Taffy Town Taffy, located in the heart of Salt Lake City. With over 70 flavors sold at this shop, you’ll be sure to find something to satisfy your taffy hankering.
19. Lake Powell Is The State’s Best Un-Kept Secret
While everyone may know of the famed Great Salt Lake, Lake Powell is the place to go for some serious lakeside fun. Utah shares the lake with Arizona, and you can find plenty to do on this gorgeous body of water, from boating and water skiing to simply swimming or walking along its beautiful shores.
20. Moab Is Where Mountain Bikers Hope They’ll Go When They Die
Moab, harboring not one but two national parks, is self-acclaimed as having the best mountain biking in the nation. With fantastic scenery, beautiful canyons and plenty of trails for all levels, it’s an essential addition to your must-do list of Utah. If you’re up for a real challenge though, test your skill at the world-renowned Slickrock trail, a highly technical and challenging 9.6 mile ride.
21. Utah’s Shakespeare Festival Won A Tony. You Better Believe The Bard Would Be Proud.
Shakespeare fans abound during the summer in Cedar City when the annual Utah Shakespeare Festival takes place. This Tony Award winning theatre puts on several of the famous playwright’s works, all for your viewing pleasure. It also offers additional fun activities for visitors, like backstage tours and literary seminars.
22. Hatch Family Chocolates Is A Sweet Tooth’s Paradise
If you’ve got a weakness for chocolate-y and delicious treats, steer clear of Hatch Family Chocolates. This local shop has some of the best sweets in the state, like frozen hot chocolate, peanut butter truffles, candied apples, sea salt caramels and brownie hot fudge sundaes… Yeah, I just drooled all over my keyboard.