Living in Utah as a non-LDS citizen is somewhat like being in a foreign country for a number of years, but still being surprised on rare occasions by the culture differences. There are times when I stand with my mouth hanging wide open thinking, “What is this place?”. From State controlled liquor stores, to a truly biased state government, Utah seems like a place of oddities to outsiders. Those that live in the State, however know that there are many escapes from the church based culture. Stepping into Salt Lake City or Park City is an obvious shift from the norm. Park City should be considered a sovereign state-within-the-state. Liberal minded, nightlife abundant, and economically stout. Park City is a far cry from it’s closest neighbors and offers a wonderful escape. Salt Lake City is now demographically a non conservative city, and over time, has become a major city center. Salt Lake is now a major hub for most touring concerts and shows, and there isn’t a night where you can’t find some sort of an event to attend. Recently the City hosted one of it’s most successful Pride Parades, showing off the cities increasing diversity.
Nightlife can be found, and is actually pretty fantastic. Venues of all shapes and sizes make up a strong grouping of night clubs and bars. With a majority of these venues offering live music, and dancing. Utah isn’t as prude as you think it is. There are still those living here that want to have fun on their Friday and Saturday nights, so it doesn’t take long to find a night scene that works for you.
Utah also offers some of the most amazing wilderness in the country. Multiple National and State Parks and a seemingly endless supply of BLM Land (Business of Land Management) strewn across the state, there is enough to take a lifetime to explore. One of the greatest escapes from “Utah”, is literally to go to “UTAH”. Red rock deserts, pined mountain tops, vast salt flats, and terrain that mimics a melting pot of the world, Utah is the place to be outside. Even within Salt Lake City limits, you are on average 15-30 minutes from large swatches of wilderness areas.
Utah, although intermittently culturally backwards, and religiously overbearing at times. Is overwhelmingly outweighed by what it does have to offer for non-LDS folks and LDS folks alike.