We’ve now been living in Utah for a little over a year now and we wanted to do a recap on our experience living here! As many of you know, we like to live in a bunch of places to test out different areas in order to know where we would enjoy settling down. We decided on Utah ultimately because of the beautiful landscapes and access to nature from your backyard, and also for the affordability compared to living in California where we previously were. Let’s break down our past year here and maybe you can decide if Utah is the right place for you!
How’s the weather in Utah overall?
Alright, so one of the things we were really nervous about when we decided to move to Utah, was how we would handle the winters. We both grew up in Florida and then we lived in California for 4 years– so it’s not something we necessarily learned how to deal with. Granted, we’ve traveled to plenty of places in the winter and have had to drive in the snow and ice, but it’s definitely different when you live somewhere where it snows for a few months out of the year!
One of the big things we do love about Utah is the change of seasons. It’s one of the smaller things in life that is truly such a pleasure of witnessing and makes you appreciate the nicer days when you have them! Fall time here is absolutely incredible (arguably one of our favorite parts of the year) and the fall colors are unlike any place else!
The summers here get pretty hot (up into the 100’s during July) but are pretty manageable since there’s basically zero humidity. The winters are mild compared to say, Michigan or Montana– but there is a decent amount of snow and the temps do dip below 0 on some of the coldest nights.
Spring time here is another one of our favorite seasons because the wildflowers are just starting to come out and the life and color is coming back to all of the plants and trees! Waterfalls are gushing since all of the snow is melting and it’s slowly getting warmer out. You really can’t go wrong with any of the seasons here, as they all have their own special beauty!
Utah Culture: Is it weird?
Before we moved here, a lot of people were telling us that we wouldn’t enjoy it because of the large LDS community here and strict alcohol laws. Keep in mind, we’ve been visiting Utah for years on roadtrips and ski trips, so we were somewhat exposed to the culture here– but now that we live here we can give a better conclusion on it.
1.) The elephant in the room is the large LDS community: personally when we moved here we thought that everyone would be mormon except us. But that’s just not true. A lot of the people we’ve met are actually not mormon and have never been a part of the church. The people that we have met that have been apart of the church have been nothing short of welcoming and really friendly too! The best way to feel like you fit in is to do the things you love to do and you’ll attract like minded people. We love going to coffee shops or cute cocktail bars, so we’ve met some great people in those places.
We also do a lot of hiking and outdoor adventures, so we have made friends by going out and doing activities that we would have normally done regardless. We don’t feel like the outcasts here at all, and a lot of the people who live here are really chill + down to earth (keep in mind that we live in SLC so this isn’t to say that all of Utah is like that)
2.) Alcohol laws are different here, but really not even that inconvenient. Personally we aren’t huge drinkers and don’t buy hard liquor regularly. The grocery stores/gas stations do sell beer and seltzers inside, but if you want wine or liquor you will need to go to a state liquor store. A lot of people said that it’s an inconvenience to have to go to a specific place to buy liquor, but majority of the time they’re right next to grocery stores and they have a huge variety of anything you could ever want!
As far as bars and restaurants, you can’t order shots and drinks are made with one serving of liquor in them. You also cannot order multiple drinks at once and you have to have food with it. Again, really not a big deal for us since we aren’t out taking shots on the weekends and partying frequently.
Is Utah Dog Friendly?
Salt Lake City, Utah is hands down one of the most dog friendly places we’ve ever lived! Majority of bars and restaurants will allow you to bring your dog on the patios and some places even have doggie menus! There’s plenty of off leash dog trails close by and a lot of the parks and trails allow dogs (except for any of the watershed areas!)
From our experience living in California, it was super strict with dogs in any parks or even on some trails. And you could easily get ticketed for having your dog off lease while playing fetch, even if your dog is well behaved. In Utah, there’s definitely more relaxed areas that will allow off leash, which is great if you want that as an option!
We also find that most of the dog owners and dogs that we run into are really respectful of your space and have dogs that have great recall, etc. If you’re on a trail, owners will typically allow one or the other to have the right away and don’t let their dogs approach unless otherwise specified– which is a great habit to get into!
Cost of Living in Salt Lake City, Utah
One of the big factors for moving to Utah was the affordability. Growing up in Florida, we always had a pretty low cost of living– so when we moved to San Diego it was definitely a huge shock as far as the cost of renting/buying, gas, taxes, etc. After 4 years of paying well over $3,000 for rent (for a one bedroom, btw) we decided that Utah would be the best option for our next move.
Now with that being said, prices here have gone up over the last year or so, mostly from people moving here (we don’t blame them, Utah is awesome!) so it’s definitely not as cheap as it once was.
There are a lot of tech companies that relocated out here (Facebook, Adobe, etc) and so there are a lot of opportunities for work + growth. Since we are self employed, we aren’t sure about the average income– but a quick Google search tells us that the average household income for a Salt Lake City is $60,676. The median home price in Salt Lake City is $523,400. Keep in mind that we also don’t like in downtown or any of the areas close to downtown, so we have a significantly cheaper cost for our townhome!