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Nicknamed ‘The Beehive State’, the state of Utah is famous for being the global heart of Mormonism, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In fact, its nickname is derived from the original title ‘State of Deseret’ where ‘deseret’ means ‘honeybee’ in the Book of Mormons. Utah also draws visitors to its mountains, canyons, aspen forests and Great Salt Lake. You can book your Utah car rental in advance with Enjoy Travel.
Guide to Utah
With its semi-arid/desert climate, Utah is the second driest state in the USA. Summer temperatures can go up to 37.8ºC, while winters are usually freezing with lows of -17.8ºC. Fortunately, the mountains to the north and east block out the coldest Arctic winds!
Utah experiences great variation in rainfall: the Great Salt Lake Desert gets just 5’’, while Salt Lake City gets 60’’. The best time to visit is during the transition seasons, spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November).
Utah is divided into three broad regions: the Colorado Plateau, Basin and Range, and Rocky Mountains. The capital, Salt Lake City, is one of five metropolitan areas in the state.
About 60% of all Utahns are Mormons, and hence there is a heavy emphasis on family values and genealogy. Importance is also given to diligence – this is why the symbol of the state depicts a beehive.
Things to Do in Utah
Explore Arches National Park
The iconic Arches National Park is almost synonymous with Utah because of its distinct red rocks arranged into a variety of landforms, including pinnacles, bridges, rock fins, natural arches, and precariously balanced rocks. Visit at sunrise or sunset to see the red rocks glowing surreally.
Discover Mormon heritage
To better understand the teachings of Mormonism, visit one of the many temples and congregation centres for the religion across Utah. You can start with the Mormon Temple and Mormon Tabernacle, both of which are in Salt Lake City. The Tabernacle boasts a beautiful organ made of 11,600 pipes.
Visit Cove Fort
Built by Ira Hinckley to house travelers on the Mormon Corridor, Cove Fort was always more of a wayfarer’s retreat than a military camp. It was meant to be a safe sanctuary of rest and restoration for weary travelers passing through the harsh terrains of Utah. Be sure to peek into the telegraph office and kitchens.
Spot wildlife at the Zion National Park
‘Zion’ is an old Hebrew word for ‘sanctuary,’ and the Zion National Park is indeed a place of safety for various species, including bighorn sheep, mule deer, California condors and canyon tree frogs.
Walk along the Great Salt Lake
Utah’s biggest and most iconic lake may be extremely saline, but that doesn’t mean it’s lifeless! In addition to brine shrimp living in the mud, you will also find birds such as grebes and the elusive Wilson’s phalaropes here.
Eating Out in Utah
After hiking at Arches National Park, head to Quesadilla Mobilla for some of the best quesadillas in the country. For a bite of Utah scones, also known as Navajo frybread, try the 7-11 Ranch restaurant in Vernal. Valter’s Osteria in Salt Lake City offers the best of Tuscan home food – lasagna, chicken piccata and the like. For dinner, savor some Japanese cuisine at Takashi, Salt Lake City. Their sushi rolls and Shiitake lamb shank are exquisite!
Flying to Utah
Utah has seven major airports, of which the Salt Lake City International Airport is the busiest. It’s about 6.4 km from the main city, so you’ll want to get on a shuttle bus after you land.
Public transport in Utah
Being the 13th biggest state in the US, Utah has well-developed bus and rail systems, especially along the region called the Wasatch Front.
Driving in Utah
The best way to experience Utah’s natural beauty is with a car. Most people have their own vehicle or rent one to get around the state and see the major tourist attractions. Popular car rental agencies include Sixt, Allsave Car Rental Utah, and Affordable Rent-A-Car and Sales.
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