How does one describe Utah? One thing that can’t be denied is Utah is an interesting place. The culture is unlike any other state in the nation.
Stunning natural attractions, friendly locals, and strong religious undertones are the backbone of this underrated state.
Travelers come here for a variety of reasons and often have their expectations blown away. This year has been the best yet as tourism has shot through the roof, even breaking pre-pandemic numbers.
Utah is not alone either. There are many surprising states that travelers are given a new chance to become top destinations.
Like it or not, Utah has become a trendy destination and is no longer the overlooked, misunderstood state that it once was.
Here are 6 reasons why this underrated state is breaking tourism records:
Zion Will Take Your Breath Away
Utah’s tourism industry took off this summer with no signs of slowing down, which is great because this state is also a wonderful place to visit in the fall.
Perhaps the biggest attraction Utah has to offer is the always breathtaking Zion National Park. Located closer to Las Vegas than Salt Lake City, this sprawling park is relatively easy to reach.
Travelers love coming here year-round, but as summer is turning into fall, there may be no better time with temps in the cool 60s.
Home to otherworldly natural red rock formations, scenic trails, and a vast range of wildlife, those who truly want to immerse themselves in nature should look no further.
A Solo Traveler’s Ultimate Getaway
One of the top trends for travelers is venturing off alone for a solo trip. While many coincide this idea with a huge backpacking trip across Europe or Asia, that doesn’t have to be the case.
Sometimes, the best trip can be in your own backyard, so to speak. Utah, with all its stunning natural wonders, is the perfect place to embrace solitude.
Venturing through one of many beautiful parks such as Zion, Arches, or Kanab will give you a newfound appreciation for nature while enjoying your own company.
Utah is home to some very unique dark sky parks as well. These are perfect for escaping the city light pollution to see the stars or enjoy an even more colorful sunset.
Is Salt Lake City The Next Urban Hotspot?
The capital of Utah may not come to mind right away when searching for a city escape, but it is well on its way.
The numbers back it up that Salt Lake City is becoming a lot more popular. Surrounded by gorgeous snowcapped mountains, it’s not exactly an urban jungle.
However, it’s large enough to feel like a big city with new restaurants and outdoor attractions popping up, making it all the more attractive to outsiders not visiting for religious purposes.
The modern new airport that recently opened, along with major sports events, has shined the spotlight on Salt Lake City.
Hotels are booming with business, too, with occupancy rates surpassing pre-pandemic levels as well.
Even quirky towns outside of the city, such as Ogden, are worth a trip for the artsy scene and charming downtown strip.
Pop Culture Influence
Utah may not quite be synonymous with California dreamin’, but it has the reverse effect. In fact, celebrities such as podcaster Joe Rogan and musician Post Malone often mention how much they love this state.
Post Malone escaped the chaos of Hollywood life and now calls Salt Lake City home, while other celebs visit to immerse themselves in nature like the average tourist.
As gossip-driven as we are in America, celebrities have influenced us to visit by putting this state on the map.
In addition, there are popular TV shows, such as Skinwalker Ranch, based in the tiny town of Gusher, UT. And popular Netflix documentaries, such as Murder Among the Mormons.
There is also the award-winning movie 127 Hours, but hopefully you watched it close enough to avoid turning your next hike into a sequel.
Hit The Slopes
If there is one thing mainstream about Utah besides Zion, it is how awesome ski trips can be here. Last year, Utah experienced record-setting snowfall, making it all the more fun.
Obviously, this year’s snowfall is still a question mark. However, no matter the amount of snow, it will always be a top attraction in this state.
Travelers love hitting the slopes of the world-renowned gorgeous town of Park City, while others may go to Cherry Peak or Beaver Mountain for a more affordable ski getaway.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com