I thought it would be fun to interview one of my favorite Utah bloggers, Brianne of The Huntswoman! She’s an LGBT blogger who travels often, and she’s currently based in Utah. We got to talking about the misconceptions of our home states (Arkansas and Utah), and we wanted to dispel some of those negative ideas.
We decided to interview each other on our own blogs, to share some of our favorite places in our respective home states.
SC: Can you share a little bit about how you got started blogging and what you blog about?
BH: For sure! I got started fashion blogging because I realized that networking within the fashion industry would be 100x easier if folks could look me up online, and, you know, find something related to fashion.
I blog about fashion, money (career, business & personal finance), LGBT travel – and whatever I feel like writing 1,000 words about that day, lol.
Q: What’s it like to be a blogger in Salt Lake City, Utah?
BH: So, Utah is known for its high population of “Mommy Bloggers.” I think that term can be used negatively, which really isn’t fair – those women are POWERHOUSES. There are some serious content and money-making mavens out here.
That said, I don’t do a whole lot with other Utah bloggers. I’m queer, I don’t have kids, etc. I’d love to meet and collaborate with other folks, though!
Q: What’s a misconception about Utah?
BH: Oh, I can think of a few:
- So, I grew up Mormon (LDS), and I think there’s this idea that EVERYONE from Utah is Mormon. Not true!
- Also, I’ve had readers email me and ask, “Are you, like, the only queer person in Salt Lake City?” Absolutely not! There’s also a thriving LGBTQ+ community in Salt Lake City, and SLC Pride is one of the largest in the country.
- Finally, while Utah is known for its GORGEOUS outdoor activities and national parks, there are a lot of “indoorsy” activities and adventures to be had.
I’m sure I’m missing a bunch, but those are the ones I run into the most!
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Happy National Coming Out Day!! ? I first realized I was queer in my 8th grade French class, when I had some romantic tingles for the blonde girl who sat in front of me. I was so sheltered, I didn’t really understand what “homosexuality” was until I googled something like, “I like girls, and I’m a girl.” Seeing “LGBT” pop up in the results rang a bell – I could remember Mormon sermons, or conference talks about “same gender attraction.” Aaaaaand after falling down that internet black hole of sludge and spiritual sadness, I repressed any gay thoughts through self-harm. It comes as no surprise to anyone that I ended up suicidal and in therapy around ~5 years later. “I think I’m gay,” I told my therapist. “Well, I’m glad you’ve figured it out!” she said with a gentle smile. Whether you can come out today, you’re in the closet or you’re questioning: I want you to know that you are perfect just as you are. ? #LGBTmormon #nationalcomingoutday #wewearwhatwewant #alternativecurves #allbodiesaregoodbodies #qwear #dapperq #goaldigger #honormycurves
SC: Let’s say someone is visiting Salt Lake City for a weekend. What restaurants would you recommend, and what activities should they try (or places they should visit)?
BH: Lol, I feel like I’m an unofficial member of the Utah Tourism Board, because I’m constantly sharing recs via Instagram DM! People message me when they’re making a trip out to Utah, and I love it.
Restaurants: I love love Tradition and Blueplate Diner for brunch. Pig & Jelly Jar is my go-to for a more casual lunch. And you absolutely need to try Utah staples, Cafe Zupas and Cafe Rio (or Costa Vida!) while you’re in town. Make sure to try the house dressing at Cafe Rio or Costa Vida!
If you’re into mixology, go into a local bar, like the Water Witch, and ask for 5 Wives Vodka. 😉
Indoor Activities: If you’re an “indoorsy” person like me, you’ll want to check out the following places:
- Hale Centre Theatre
- Utah’s Hogle Zoo
- Living Planet Aquarium
- Temple Square & Beehive House (You can do a tour or wander)
- Indoor Skydiving
- Ballet West
- WiseGuys Comedy Club
Groupon usually has great activities offered (silversmithing, pottery, etc) that support local artists, so definitely check that out! There are also some great wineries and distilleries.
SC: Any common mistakes visitors to Utah make?
BH: YES! Be wary of altitude sickness, especially if you’re going to one of the ski resorts! If you’re coming from a low elevation city, you’re going to want to do some online research and make a game plan for visiting.
SC: Where should visitors to Utah stay?
BH: I’m a big fan of Kimpton Hotels, and the Hotel Monaco SLC is a fan favorite. The company is explicitly LGBT friendly and works with LGBT non-profits all year long! The Grand America is also popular.
If you’re going to stay in an Airbnb, make sure it’s close to a Trax station if you don’t have a car. Utah has really been improving public transport by offering more lines and routes, but you’ll want to be centrally located.
SC: When is the best time to visit Utah?
BH: If you’re not into skiing or snowboarding (or the Sundance Film Festival), I’d avoid coming October – March. I think fall is the most gorgeous time (early October) or April in the spring. Utah is a desert with mountain ranges, and it can get up over 100F in the summer.
If you come in the “off-season” (ie when it’s warm) you can get great deals at the resorts, and have a week or weekend of spa pampering and amazing food. The resorts are very diverse, and you’ll meet people from all over the world.
If you’re coming for Utah Pride in June, be sure to bring good sunglasses and HYDRATE. The parade is really fun, but it can get HOT. As in over 100F.
SC: Anything else you want to share?
BH: If you’re coming for a weekend getaway, I would definitely focus your time on Salt Lake proper! If you’re coming with kids, Utah County (area just south of SLC) has a host of activities and experiences for the whole family.
Thanks for sharing your experience and advice, Brianne! Stay tuned for my interview sharing my favorite Arkansas spots on her blog, The Huntswoman.