SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – It’s no secret that Salt Lake City is growing. Our access to the outdoors, the Silicon Slopes tech job market, and our thriving economy are just some of the many reasons Utah’s capital city is currently so highly sought. But, every move — even if it’s to a relatively welcoming city like SLC — brings a little bit of a culture shock.

So, what should you know before making the move?

1. We are hardcore about our outdoor activities

Many newcomers to Salt Lake cite the unparalleled access to the outdoors as a key factor in their decision to move to the Beehive State. Whether you love to hike, ski, mountain bike, or climb, Utah has plenty of scenic options for you to explore. But one thing you should know: Utahns are hardcore about their hobbies. You’ll be sharing the slopes with world-class skiers and you might even run into an Olympian at the climbing gym. But don’t be deterred by the excess of athletes, either. Salt Lake is also a great place to be a beginner, especially when it comes to outdoor sports. In fact, you’re at a high risk of being pulled into a whole slew of new activities. Oh, and with all these new hobbies, watch your budget, because you’re probably going to acquire a lot of new gear, too.

2. Utahns have a unique palate

From fry sauce, to pastrami burgers, to specialty shops that serve every flavor and combination of sugary soda you can imagine, it’s safe to say that Utahn taste buds are a little different. Fry sauce — which is a frankly delectable condiment made by combining mayonnaise, ketchup, and a smattering of spices and sauces (Many restaurants use a slightly different recipe!) — might be a little different than your average fry and burger accoutrement, we can almost guarantee it’ll be your new favorite. And you’d definitely be missing out if you didn’t try a Crown Burger, the eponymously named specialty of Salt Lake City mainstay Crown Burgers, which combines a classic burger with pastrami, Thousand Island dressing, and the classic lettuce-tomato-onion-cheese topping combo. If you have a sweet tooth, you might just have a new favorite stop in Swig, Sodalicious, or one of the other cleverly-named soda havens across the Salt Lake Valley. And there’s plenty of other unique food options, too. Who knows? You might just find your new favorite!

3. Though Utah is not known as the most diverse state, Salt Lake City is actually a melting pot of people and culture

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Although — according to U.S. census data — Utah’s population is about 90% Caucasian, Salt Lake City itself is home to a lot of differing cultures. Our Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints religious majority brings a rich history to the state, and even if you aren’t a member of the church, you might enjoy visiting some historical sites to learn about Salt Lake City’s founding, or take in the beautiful architecture at Temple Square. In addition, Salt Lake City has been ranked very highly for LGBTQ+ equality and hosts a large celebration in June for Pride. And with the current influx of transplants coming to Utah for outdoor access, jobs in the Silicon Slopes region and a plethora of other reasons, new people and perspectives are coming to Utah.

4. Our food scene is underrated

Diners at The Crack Shack, a California-based restaurant that recently opened a location in Salt Lake City’s 9th & 9th district. Photo courtesy of The Crack Shack

Typically, folks don’t think of Utah as a culinary capital. However, Salt Lake City is not only home to local favorite restaurants — like Pretty Bird Hot Chicken, the aforementioned Crown Burgers, and a variety of other homegrown favorites — the city has been the focus of market expansions for a variety of upscale dining establishments from larger cities like Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Keep your eye out for Flanker Kitchen and Sporting Club, which comes from Vegas-based hospitality firm Carver Road Hospitality, and Sol Agave, an upscale Mexican restaurant with California roots coming to downtown SLC towards the end of 2022.

5. The city is great, but you’d be missing out if you didn’t explore some of Utah’s smaller towns and remote highways

Fall colors outside of Kamas, Utah. Photo by Sophie Bress

Don’t get me wrong, exploring Salt Lake City is great, but some of Utah’s real gems can be found off the beaten path — and sometimes even out of cell service. It’s certainly worth it to travel from the Wasatch Front to the Wasatch Back to visit Midway, Utah’s very own “Little Switzerland.” And if you want to travel a bit further, you can head into the Uinta Mountains, which provide access to the untouched Great Outdoors fit for even the most intrepid traveler. Outside the city, you’ll also find some of Utah’s reservoirs, which — depending on location — are perfect for swimming and relaxing in the summer.