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Destination Utah: Top Reasons to Explore the Beehive State

Updated: Apr 22

I had the pleasure of exploring Utah on a FAM trip, hosted by the Women in Travel Summit (also known as WITS). A FAM trip is a trip to help you familiarize yourself with a particular destination. Each year for the past 11 years, WITS hosts a full week of activities and events to celebrate women in the travel space, including content creators, bloggers, and social media influencers. Check out WITS to learn more about this premier event.

We began our day of exploration in Salt Lake City, UT. I flew into the SLC airport and there is a light rail train that conveniently takes you right into downtown from the airport. The UTA Trax is Utah's light rail system that you can take to explore different parts of Utah for cheap. It's $2.50 USD for a one-way ticket and $5 for round-trip fare.

This year’s WITS was held at the Marriott Downtown at City Creek in downtown Salt Lake City, a beautiful hotel with a spacious lobby. WITS Utah successfully to highlighted a plethora of travel experiences all around the great state of Utah. From national park tours to Bryce Canyon and Zion, to day trips to Topaz Mountain, Park City, and the Bonneville Salt Flats, this was a week of a variety of FAM trips for conference guests to enjoy. I was selected to participate in the Topaz Mountain FAM trip, which also included stops in Eureka, Nephi, and Mona, UT along the way.

Here are my Top 5 reasons to visit Utah:

  1. Visit Topaz Mountain and mine for topaz and quartz: This was such a cool experience. While I have been hiking before, this was a different experience because we got to hike right after a rock blast. We each got our own tool kit to hammer inside massive rocks, in search of beautiful pieces of topaz and quartz. I've never mined before, but I got lucky and found several pieces of topaz and quartz.

  2. Explore National Parks: Bryce Canyon, Slot Canyon, and Zion are three of Utah's most popular national parks. No matter which park you choose to visit, you won't be disappointed. Be sure to wear appropriate hiking shoes and dress in layers...remember to stay hydrated!

  3. Experience the wonder of Park City, Utah: Experience the premiere destination for skiing in Utah. Book a private tour to ski, explore, and revel in the picturesque mountain views.

  4. Visit the Bonneville Salt Flats: Easily one of my favorite things to do in Utah. The salt flats are an amazing site to see; you'll get to walk across a massive salt pan (I prefer to walk on the Flats barefoot) and take in all the natural scenery around you. The best time of year to go is between March through September.

  5. Hang out in the small towns of Eureka, Nephi, and Mona: If you like walking around old towns and learning about cultural history during your travels, then you'll love exploring some of the small towns in Utah. Eureka, home of the financial center for the Tintic Mining District in the 1800s, was my favorite.

Spend the Day Mining in Topaz Mountain

For starters, this was my first time mining for anything, let alone topaz. Like many of us, I learned about the history old mining towns in school and I've seen pictures of miners down in the mines working heavy machinery underground. Going to Topaz Mountain to mine for topaz was an unforgettable experience. Hammering large rocks and boulders for what seemed like hours was hard work. I was honestly expecting to find large gemstones after pounding on the rocks but to my surprise, I ended up with a bunch of small stones. It was a cool experience nonetheless and the best part was getting to keep the gems after mining.

Fun Fact: Topaz is the official state gem of Utah.

We ended the long day of exploring with a beautiful dinner in the middle of the mountains. It was so nice to enjoy some live music, good food, and good vibes all while looking at the amazing mountain views of Mona, Utah.

I highly recommend traveling Utah to experience more than just visiting a national park. However if you are planning to visit a national park anytime soon, take advantage of National Park Week for free admission to national parks in celebration of Earth Day.

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