Utah has experienced a lot of growth over the last decade. Most of our population growth comes from within – we have the most children in the nation, and those kids grow up, get married and settle into Utah neighborhoods. But some of our new residents are from elsewhere. While we welcome them to the Beehive State, there are a few things we’d like to tell them.
1. Our hiking trails can be vastly different from what you're accustomed to.
We can't wait to show you all of Utah's natural beauty! But don't head for our highest peaks during your first week here. For one thing, our elevation might kick your butt, especially if you hail from a coastal state. Our wilderness areas are vast and rugged. Make sure you're adequately prepared before you start tackling the trails.
2. Yes, fry sauce is a thing. But it's not
You'll surely be introduced to fry sauce within your first few weeks here. People make a big deal about it, and the topic can spark endless debate: What's the correct recipe? Is it delicious, or disgusting? Look, it's a
condiment, ok? Go out and try it. Decide if you like it. Then either dunk your fries in it or not. You don't have to love it to live here.
3. Utah has a lot of kids.
Because the Beehive State is so kid-centric, it's a great place to raise a family. You'll find so many kid-friendly activities here that you'll never be bored. If you don't have kids, we hope you like 'em, because they are everywhere.
4. Yes, you absolutely can get a drink in Utah.
Welcome to our somewhat strange but still greatly satisfying world of craft beers and liquor. It might take you awhile to get the hang of our liquor laws, but contrary to popular belief, we actually have a vibrant craft beer scene, and we even have some local distilleries here. If you like your beer full-strength, go straight to the brewery, or buy at the liquor store...the stuff at the grocery might taste like beer-flavored water to you.
5. We're pretty serious about DUI here.
Utah recently passed a new law that lowers the legal limit from .08 percent blood alcohol content to .05 - the lowest in the nation. This controversial law goes into effect January 1, 2018, so put the Lyft app on your phone and get ready to use it.
6. Your first Utah snowstorm might be a bit surprising.
Depending on where you lived before, our snow here might be a bit of a shock. For one thing, we don't tend to shut down our schools and businesses when it snows. If you're new to driving in the mounds of powder, take your time and sloooow down. Seriously. Slow. Down.
7. It's hot...but it's a
When the thermometer hits 105, I seriously want to throat punch my fellow Utahns when I hear this...but I suppose it is true. If you hail from the deep south, you'll appreciate our lack of humidity. But let's face it: 105 is HOT. We don't want to hear you gripe about it - we're dealing with the blistering heat, too - so just find yourself an air-conditioned place and hang out with a cold drink.
8. Leave our beautiful wilderness just like you found it.
We don't know how it is in your previous state, but here in Utah we like to keep our mountain trails and national parks beautiful for all to enjoy. Practice the Leave No Trace principals so that your children and grandchildren can also enjoy the beauty of the Beehive State.
9. Utah has difficulty separating church and state.
The Beehive State was settled by Mormons, and the religion has been the majority ever since. As of 2014, about 60 percent of Utahns are Mormon. But...the Salt Lake Tribune reported in December, 2016, that 91 members of the Utah State Legislature are Mormon, and just 12 members are not. So, you might hear about how the Mormon Church runs the state. While that's not quite true, the legislature is certainly influenced by their faith. If you don't agree with that notion, make your voice heard at the polls.
10. Not all yard sales are good.
Now that you're here, you definitely need to learn how to ski or snowboard. Our ski resorts are incredibly gorgeous and the snow here really is the best in the world. But don't be tempted to let your neighbor take you up on the slopes and show you how it's done. If you want to avoid blowing out your knee, sign up for lessons at a resort's ski school. Otherwise, your first Utah "yard sale" might be a disaster.
11. Welcome to Utah!
We're glad you're here!
What other things would you like to tell newcomers to Utah? Share your comments with us!