That's right—it's not just restaurants.
Utah is officially the first—and only—American state to receive three stars from the Michelin Guide. Indeed, the tire company famous for awarding stars to the best restaurants in the world also recognizes tourist destinations for their excellence, and Utah made the cut.
“Utah is a beautiful state, a destination worth making a special trip for American and international visitors, including the French who love it,” said Philippe Orain, Editorial Director of Le Guide Vert Michelin, in a statement. “I am happy and glad to give this recognition for the high quality of service, the beauty of its world class landscapes, and the concentration of three Michelin Star National Parks (the highest of the U.S. with Zion, Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands).”
The state is, of course, delighted with the honor.
"This is the first time in Michelin history, the hundred years they have published this, that hey have recognized a state as [a] tourism destination that you simply must see," Utah Office of Tourism Director Vicki Varela tells KPCW. "They describe it as essential, exceptional, worth a journey in itself.”
According to Southern Utah News, the state was recognized largely for its "local hospitality, visitors’ accessibility to hidden gems and The Mighty 5 national parks."
And what's not to love about Utah? There's a fantastic artisanal chocolate scene (some say the country's best), bourgeoning farm-to-table movement, and a craft cocktail culture that rivals any global destination.
In the Michelin Green Guides for travel, destinations follow a three-star rating system, similar to the one used for restaurants.