Living in Utah: An Insider’s Guide

Category: Lifestyle 59 0

Several things could be taking you to Utah; skiing, hiking, and religious pursuits being but a few. The state has earned its spot in the top tourist destinations “hall of fame” for its beautiful scenery and serene lifestyle. The state is littered with fabulous ski resorts and breathtaking views of the sunset over the Great Salt Lake. A recent analysis by the Wall Street Journal showed that the job market in Utah is thriving. Despite the growing population, the crime rate in Utah is relatively low. The state is a red one politically speaking, but the camaraderie of Utah’s transcends all political barriers. If anything, life in Utah is anything but boring. 

Whether you are visiting the Beehive State as a tourist or considering a permanent relocation there, here are a few critical things that you must know. 

Utah has beautiful national parks.

The national parks in Utah are world-famous, something to write home about. The state plays host to several amazing national parks, including the mighty five: Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, and Capitol Reef. Taking a tour of any of these parks will give you the authentic feel of being in Utah. An adventurous yet serene atmosphere in the outdoors. 

The job market in Utah is thriving.

Despite the pandemic, the job market in Utah has continued to flourish. Professionals in banking, tourism and hospitality, health and medicine, and IT are likely to find well-paying jobs in the state without having to look around too much. 

Do Utah jobs pay well?

Utah jobs pay relatively well, but the cost of living in Utah is also competitive. The price of housing is on the rise. If you are thinking of relocating to Utah, you better plan to be an investor in real estate instead of being a long-term tenant. 

Utah has a vibrant nightlife.

Unknown to many people is that this rather conservative state with odd liquor laws does indeed have a nightlife that is worth writing home about. In Salt Lake City, you will not only be able to hop from one bar to the next, but you will also be able to enjoy some good craft beer. Epic Brewing Company, The Paint Mixer, The Egyptian Theatre, The Cabin and Whiskey Street are a few places to try out. There are a few “dry” cities that still don’t allow bars, most parts of Utah, it is easy to find a good bar or tavern if you use the local directory. Just make sure that you are above the age of 21. 

The Sundance Film Festival happens in Utah.

The Sundance Film Festival happens each year in Utah and attracts a lot of film talent and tourism. This is the largest independent film festival in the U.S. that captures both drama and documentary films. If you hope to chance on a few celebrities, make sure that January finds you in Salt Lake City. 

Be prepared to pay a flat tax.

Utah has a flat tax policy on income tax set at 4.95%, regardless of your income. This should be an incentive for working hard; you don’t get “penalized” for higher earnings. 

Utahns love winter sports.

If one were to actualize “while in Utah, do as the Utahns do,” then winter sports would be it. The Cottonwood canyons attract thousands of tourists each year worldwide who come to ski and snowboard during the winter months. The dendrite snowflakes that are common in canyons are a rare attraction to visitors. Winter sports allow Utahns to maintain an active lifestyle. 

Enjoy some funeral potatoes in Utah

The cheesy funeral potatoes trace their history back to the Mormon community in Utah. While in Utah, allow yourself to enjoy some delicious funeral potatoes from the original creators. 

Utah has a diverse economy.

The economy in Utah is quite diversified, making it a good state for investors from all walks of life. This also means that the job market is quite diversified and robust. Tourism is of significant importance to the local economy and employs many Utahns. Agriculture, Finance, manufacturing, technology, and petroleum production are also a big part of Utah’s economy. 

Salt Lake is not just for Mormons.

While Utah is known to be a “Mormon State,” things have been changing gradually. In Salt Lake City, Mormon is now a minority religion. Other religions in Utah include other Christians such as mainline Protestants, evangelicals, Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and other world religions. In short, it is now easy for anyone to fit into this state. 

Provo has high living standards.

Provo, a city in Utah County, has high living standards that attract many professionals seeking to exploit the robust job market in Utah. The unemployment rate stands at 2.1%, which is way below the U.S average of 6.0%. Provo has a suburban feel, and most residents rent their homes. Amenities are plentiful, and public schools are above average. 

Utah is mainly republican.

When it comes to politics, Utah is a largely apolitical red state. Salt Lake City, however, is almost liberal. In the last election, about 53% of Salt Lake voted on the Democratic side. As much as most of Utah is republican, there is a gradual shift towards a more liberal approach to politics. 

Medical Marijuana is Legal in Utah

Medical marijuana was legalized in Utah in November 2018 after voters approved Proposition 2. The Utah medical marijuana program allows patients with qualifying conditions to purchase marijuana products from licensed dispensaries in the state. Utah marijuana laws do not allow out-of-state purchases. 

A Milky Way experience

If you are a nature lover, then visiting Utah should be on your bucket list. Several beautiful spots in Utah will allow you to stargaze at the Milky Way. Dead Horse State Park, Dinosaur National Museum, East Canyon State Park, and Goblin Valley State Park will give you some beautiful dark skies from where you can catch a glimpse of the Galactic Circle. 

Utah is for Everyone

For many years, Utah has been considered to be a rather plaid state. The high quality of life fueled by a vibrant and diversified economy attracts people from all walks of life into the state. In the last few years, there have been many changes, starting from Salt Lake City and spreading out to the rest of the state, that herald the end of the conservative era in Utah. This is likely to be a trend that will persist into the future and, in its wake, wipe away the stereotypical conservatism in the Beehive state. 

References

  1. https://www.wsj.com/articles/where-can-you-find-a-new-job-try-these-u-s-cities-11617960612?st=oj1xaq58amrdp15&reflink=article_imessage_share
  2. https://utah.com/national-parks
  3. https://www.visitutah.com/plan-your-trip/recommended-itineraries/red-rock-dark-skies-stargazing-the-national-parks

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