A beginner's guide to Utah
The state of Utah might not be the first place you think of visiting when you plan a trip to the USA, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be added to your America travel plans. It is most famously known for being home to some of the most stunning natural wonders in the United States, as well as full to the brim with southwestern charm and character. Over 1.5 million people visit Utah to experience this each year, which proves that Utah definitely has something to shout about.
What to do
One of the very best things to do in Utah has to be Bryce Canyon National Park. This park is world famous for its unique, Mars-like hoodoo formations, large red pillars of rock spread across the park for miles. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, in particular hiking and horseback riding while enjoying the phenomenal scenery. In winter, you can snowshoe and cross-country ski, and don’t forget to check out the unbeatable view of stars in the night sky. For another national park, Utah is also home to Zion National Park, which is full of bright red sandstone cliffs. Here you can hike, bike, climb, camp, go boating down the river or go canyoneering – it really is paradise for anyone who loves outdoor pursuits.
If you’re looking for a very 'western' experience, consider taking a tour from Salt Lake City that will take you through Yellowstone, through mountains and forests, on steam trains and to cowboy ranches – can’t get more western than that! Taking a tour is the perfect way to make sure you catch all those key sights during your time in Utah.
Where to eat
If you’re into great, hearty food, you’ll definitely find it in Utah. From classic American diners to fine cuisine in the best restaurants in Salt Lake City, there’s something for every kind of foodie here. In Salt Lake City, make sure you make sure you take a look at The Copper Onion, a famous restaurant with a creative menu, from delicious bone marrow to ricotta dumplings paired up with the perfect wine. There are plenty of other upmarket restaurants serving modern cuisine, but for something a little different for lunch you should check out Eva’s Bakery, a French bakery that serves excellent pizza by the slice or delicious homemade frittata for the gluten free among us. If you’re heading to Zion National Park, head to Red Rock Grill after a long day adventuring for some tasty grub while you take in beautiful views of the park.
Where to stay
For a truly authentic experience right in the heart of Utah’s natural beauty, find some accommodation within the national parks. When you’re visiting Bryce, stay at Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel, a spot that will truly make you feel like you’re staying in a hunting lodge. For Zion, take a look at the luxurious Cable Mountain Lodge, which offers all kinds of exceptional views from wherever you are in the hotel. Finally, when visiting Salt Lake City, Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites is the perfect downtown option, reasonably priced and close to plenty of attractions for you to enjoy.