Nowhere in America can you get more geographical diversity than in Utah, where half the state is mountainous and green while the other half is red and rocky. To accompany this unexpected, contrasting landscape, Utah holds a number of surprises for visitors and residents alike. Curious to learn more? Here are 15 fun facts about Utah to get you started.
Behind Nevada, Utah is the second driest state in the United States. Residents are used to the dry air, but if visiting Utah, make sure to stock up on lotion and lip balm!
The inventor of the television, Philo T. Farnsworth, is from Utah. We can thank him for his contributions to our current Netflix addictions.
If you’re too scared to seal the deal with your significant other, try coming to Utah, where a higher percentage of Utah residents are married than in any other state in the United States.
It may be up to debate, but Utah does claim to have the best snow on earth. How do you define the best snow? Thanks to Utah’s dry climate, snowfall is often powdery, which means it’s perfect for world-class skiing.
Walter Frederick Monson, the man credited with inventing the modern Frisbee, was born in Richfield, Utah and died in Monroe, Utah at the age of 90.
Jello is Utah’s official state food. Why? Mormons simply cannot resist those Jello jigglers, or Jello and Cool Whip salads, for that matter. If you’re skeptical, try going to three hours of church meetings. When you’re tired, famished, and craving sugar in salad form, Jello really hits the spot.
Contrary to popular opinion, the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chain did not start in Kentucky. In fact, the first KFC restaurant opened in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1952.
With the highest literacy rate in the nation, Utah must be full of bookworms. Certainly, there’s no denying the joy of sitting by the fire in the middle of the Utah mountains with a good book.
Disney’s “High School Musical” franchise was filmed in Utah. East High is a real high school in Salt Lake City and the second film was filmed in the state’s red rock country.
Utah’s state symbol is the beehive, which is meant to symbolize thrift and industry. The symbol originated with the Mormon pioneers who settled in Salt Lake City and continues to serve as a nice reminder of Utah’s heritage.
One of Utah’s strangest state symbols is the Dutch oven. The only state with a cooking instrument as a state symbol, Utah takes Dutch oven cooking very seriously. If you ever get the chance to camp with native Utahans, prepare yourself for some hearty and savory Dutch oven fare as well as Dutch oven cobbler.
Utah was home to the first modern department store in the United States. Known as Zion’s Co-Operative Mercantile Institution (ZCMI), the store sold everything you needed all in one place.
Looking for a rubber chicken? You’re in luck in Utah, because the nation’s leading manufacturer of these squeaky toys is in Salt Lake City.
Thousands of years ago, a majority of Utah was covered by Lake Bonneville. Fortunately for the residents of Utah, this large water mass dried up about 14,000 years ago.
Utah’s state fruit is the cherry, though Utah is well-known for its swath of delicious fruits come harvest season.