Utah- we spent most of October absorbing the beauty of Utah, from Park City up north to the “Big 5” down south. We still have so much more to see, but here are a few things we noticed about Utah along the way:
Location, location, location!
Some of the most breathtaking physical geography in the U.S. From salt flats and green snow-capped mountains further north, to various rock formations and red rock country down south, Utah packs in so many distinct landscapes within a single state. We read one fact, which claimed that Utah is the only state in which each county contains portions of a national forest. Outdoor lovers will rejoice!
Though Utah is not the only state with more stringent alcohol regulations, this was something that stood out about this state.
Other than the low alcohol beer sold in grocery stores, if you are looking for an adult beverage, you will need to go to a state-run liquor store. These state-run stores have limited hours and less selection than what you may be accustomed to from other states (also, less competition means more fixed prices).
“Happy Hour”? Another strange quirk we ran into was needing to order food before we could order a drink, which doesn’t seem to consider the patron’s appetite level or budget. This rule seemed to apply mainly at establishments that have a restaurant, even if you choose to sit directly at the bar. Enforcement varied based on the discretion of the establishment/ server.
Large mountaineering community
Throughout our time spent in the parks, we became aware of a huge community of transplants that flock either seasonally or permanently to Utah to take full advantage of the natural landscape, especially in and around Zion.
Though they are not exclusive to Utah, we spotted these all over the northern portion of the state. This was our introduction to this elegant looking bird!
Utah has some of the prettiest highways throughout the state, making the journey just as much of a highlight as the destination.
With some of the highest elevations in the nation, getting adjusted to the altitude in higher areas took some getting used to. We didn’t really experience bad headaches, but more a dull throb, accompanied by a noticeable shortness of breath.