By Ailsa Ross, Matador Network -- Though there are many more, here are just a few of the reasons Utah is the most underrated state in the U.S. For the complete list, click the link at the bottom of this abbreviated list.
10. Salt Lake City has one of the largest LGBT communities in the US.
Betcha didn’t know that Salt Lake City was Advocate‘s #1 “Gayest City in the USA” in 2012. It dropped to #6 in 2013, but I’m betting that’s still a lot higher than you expected. SLC was the first in the state to pass anti-discrimination ordinances based on sexual orientation, and the LGBT community here is HUGE. The Pride Festival is one of the biggest events in the city and draws over 25,000 attendees, including (for the last couple years) a hundred or so members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) who come out to show their support.
11. The average depth of the Great Salt Lake is 13 feet.
It’s also 75 miles long and about 35 miles wide, making it bigger than the state of Delaware. And like the name suggests, it’s salty. This means floating in the Great Salt Lake is effortless (slightly smelly) fun.
12. The music scene is epic.
Salt Lake City’s the only big stop in the Intermountain West, which makes it a great spot for music by default. But in addition to that, SLC’s music scene is boosted by a huge pool of regional talent including Neon Trees, The Used, and Imagine Dragons.
Even the SLC Arts Council’s gotten in on the action by offering concerts downtown in the park — and with bands you’d actually pay more than $5 to see. The Black Keys, MGMT, Bon Iver, Sonic Youth, and the Empire of the Sun have all played in the park in recent years.
15. It’s the home of the first KFC.
You’re welcome, world. Salt Lake City is the epicenter of the fast-foodification of Southern fried chicken, and the only place you can chow down on a KFC chicken buffet while sitting next to one of the colonel’s original white suits.
21. Utahns are the most generous people in the country (in the most generous country on Earth).
Out of all 50 states, people from Utah give the most of their time and money, according to a recently published Gallup poll. Of those asked during the second half of 2013, 71% had donated money and 56% had volunteered their time (48% did both). And this is in the US, the most “civically engaged” country in the world, with 65% of those asked having donated money, 43% having volunteered, and 73% having helped a stranger.