Craft Chocolate Capital of America
Saveur Magazine published an article titled, “The Craft Chocolate Capital of America is … Utah?” Yes, Utah. The state boasts the most bean-to-bar producers per capita in the U.S. And, Amano Artisan Chocolate, arguably the most award-winning chocolate in the world having won over 200 national and international medals, is made by Brigham Young University Physics alumnus Art Pollard in an unmarked warehouse in Orem, Utah, half an hour south of Salt Lake City. Connoisseurs of cacao visiting Utah should head straight for Caputo’s Markets in Salt Lake City. Caputo’s stock over 400 varieties of chocolate. And, in a given year owner Matt Caputo receives another 400 samples from chocolate companies hoping to be added to the shelves. Caputo himself consumes between one-half to a full pound of chocolate on an average day for evaluation purposes alone. For a full list of where to taste, tour and take home Utah’s chocolate, click here.
Brian Head Resort Boasts More Than Red Rock
John Grissinger, a retired Kansas City industrialist bought Brian Head Resort, 40 minutes from Cedar City, Utah, sight unseen in 2010. What really surprises visitors, however, is the ski resort in Southern Utah – one of 14 in the state – is also one of the best places in the country for Kansas City-style BBQ and that Grissinger is not only the one cooking it, but is the one who owns the whole place and, on top of all this, is not even much of a skier. Regardless, since Grissinger took over Brian Head Resort, the terrain has been expanded and improved, new high-speed lifts have been installed and the resort started throwing a party every weekend featuring rock bands and Southern BBQ, cooked by Big John himself, of course. The signature red rock scenery surrounding Brian Head is already spectacular so arguably the top enhancement to the resort has been the installation of Grissinger’s meat smoking rig. For more information on John Grissinger’s story and Brian Head Resort, click here.
Celebrate International Dark Sky Week
Utah is home to nine of the world’s International Dark Sky Parks – more than any other destination. This makes Utah the ideal location for astro tourists and avid stargazers to celebrate International Dark Sky Week from April 15-21, 2018 – marking 30 years of night sky advocacy. Astronomers believe people who live in urban areas can see fewer than 500 stars, but in remote areas of Utah visitors are said to see 15,000 or more. During International Dark Sky Week and throughout the year, these Utah Dark Sky Parks offer outstanding opportunities to wish upon a star:
- Antelope Island State Park: Utah’s newest dark sky park received its designation in April 2017. As an island and protected land, it is free of development which helps preserve the condition of the park’s night skies
- Cedar Breaks National Monument: Receiving its dark sky certification in March 2017, this park is situated in one of the largest regions of remaining natural darkness in the lower 48 U.S. states
- Goblin Valley State Park: Receiving Gold Dark Sky Certification in September 2016, the park’s location in a remote corner of the Colorado Plateau boasts the darkest skies yet recorded by the International Day Sky Association
- Natural Bridges National Monument: Named the world’s first International Dark Sky Park in 2007, it is one of the darkest parks in the country according to a comprehensive study of night sky quality by the National Park Service
- Hovenweep National Monument: Home to ruins of six prehistoric villages built between 1200 and 1300 A.D., it is open 24 hours a day conveniently allowing visitors to view the night sky as dark as it was 800 years ago
- Weber County North Fork Park: Boasts four qualities that sets it apart from many other dark sky parks – urban adjacency, intense focus on wildlife, an extensive outreach program and innovative public art incorporating dark skies themes
- Dead Horse Point State Park: The park’s position above the canyon walls makes for spectacular, virtually unobstructed views of the night sky and adjacent Canyonlands National Park. It is also best known for its use in the iconic final ‘Grand Canyon’ scene of the 1991 film Thelma & Louise
- Canyonlands National Park: One of two Mighty 5® national parks with dark sky certification, park rangers offer storytelling, telescope viewing and other programming to visitors
- Capitol Reef National Park: Despite its popularity as a Mighty 5® national park, Capitol Reef has largely resisted infrastructure development and instead offers visitors a rustic experience with a night that is remarkably close to what it would have been in the pioneer era
Issued by the Utah Office of Tourism Canadian Press Office.
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Issued by the Utah Office of Tourism Australia / New Zealand Press Office.
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