How can it be possible to create a Best Places in Utah list, when the whole state is so spectacular? Utah has a lot going for it: plenty of kid-centric amenities, gorgeous scenery from alpine mountains to red rock and some amazing cultural opportunities. So, we won’t even pretend that this list is comprehensive.
You’ll find lots of lists online where the ranking is completely based on census numbers and other statistics. A scientific approach certainly has its merits but cold, hard numbers leave out the heart and soul of a place — the charming, lovable and even quirky things that make it a great place to live. Those are the qualities we sought out for this list.
We’ve listed the 12 Best Places to Live in Utah ALPHABETICALLY to avoid the impossible task of assigning them rankings.
1) Farmington: Best Utah Place for Shoppers and Thrill Seekers
Farmington’s location and amenities put it on the list. Thrill seekers love Lagoon (we’ve heard Farmington residents get free passes, but maybe that’s just a rumor). Free or not, an amusement park in your backyard is something those of us who don’t live in Farmington envy. Station Park provides plenty of shopping, entertainment and restaurants. In addition, Farmington residents can hop on FrontRunner to Salt Lake City or Ogden.
2) Heber: Best Utah Place for Outdoor Enthusiasts
While pretty much most of Utah is a best place for those who love playing in the great outdoors, Heber gets our vote. It’s only 20 minutes from the ski slopes in Park City, but has a lower cost of living and a lot fewer tourists. It’s also the gateway to the Uinta mountain range -- a great spot for hiking, camping and fishing in the summer months. Deer Creek, Jordanelle and Strawberry are nearby for even more fishing, boating and waterskiing.
3) Hurricane: Best Utah Place for Sun Seekers
While the rest of us are shivering in blizzards and breathing inversion pollution in the winter, residents of Hurricane (pronounced hur-kin) are basking in the sunny, 60-degree weather. Hurricane is near enough to St. George to enjoy all of its neighbor’s many amenities (golf, anyone?) while keeping a lower cost of living and nearly non-existent crime rate.
4) Lehi: Best Utah Place for Young Families
Utah’s young families live happily all over the state, but those in Lehi have really got it good. Affordable family housing, low crime rate and plenty of parks provide peace of mind and room to run around. Thanksgiving Point offers museums, gardens and a movie theater, as well as programs and classes for family members of all ages. Proximity to the Salt Lake Valley and Provo/Orem keep commute times low (and if you’re a techie, odds are that you work in Lehi already!).
5) Logan: Best Utah Place for College Atmosphere
What’s great about living in a college town if you’re not a student? A vibrant population full of energetic, optimistic people whose souls have yet to be crushed by the drudgery of adult life, for starters! The Logan metropolitan area, with its population of around 125,000, is small enough to have that hometown feel, yet large enough to support a bustling Main Street, a cultural arts center, movie theater and tons of great coffee shops, restaurants and cafes.
6) Moab: Best Utah Place for Red Rock Revelers
Is there a better place to live if you’re a mountain biker? We don’t think so. Imagine biking Slickrock every day -- for Moab residents, it’s an option. Other ways to revel in the red rock country of Moab include hiking, jeeping and photography. If you live in Moab, you enjoy the proximity to TWO National Parks -- Canyonlands and Arches.
7) Provo - Best Utah Place for Entrepreneurs
Whether you’re building a tech startup, building a downline or just starting a small business, Provo might be the best Utah place for you. Inc. magazine ranks the city right up there with NYC, San Francisco and San Jose for venture capitalist-funded tech startups. In addition, Utah county has the highest concentration of MLMs in the country. Opportunities abound for networking, business meetups and mentors.
8) Salt Lake City: Best Utah Place for Singles
Salt Lake City is where the action is, and the city has built tons of hip apartments, condos and renovated warehouse lofts in the last decade. You’ll find two shopping malls, microbreweries, bars, clubs, movie theaters (both mainstream and indie) and restaurants galore. The University of Utah and Westminster campuses draw thousands of students and outdoor recreation is right out the front door -- access to hiking trails begins on the east side of the city. Of course, if you want to travel, the Salt Lake International airport is just a few minutes west.
9) Sandy: Best Utah Place for Soccer Fans and Skiers
The Rio Tinto Stadium is where the Utah Real soccer fans go, and it’s right in Sandy’s front yard. Four ski resorts (Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude) sit in Sandy’s backyard. In the middle, a shopping mall, Expo center, restaurants and parks.
10) Sugarhouse: Best Utah Place for Culture Lovers
If you want to live in close proximity to a world-class symphony, opera and ballet, and you enjoy independent film, chamber music and museums, Sugarhouse might be your place. The neighborhood is only a few miles from downtown Salt Lake City, but offers quiet streets and its own vibrant little shopping/dining area.
11) West Valley City - Best Utah Place for Diversity
Want to live in a place where cultures, languages and traditions mix together to create a diverse, unique population? The last census showed that 35.3% of West Valley City residents spoke a language other than English in the home. Residents hail from just about every part of the globe and they’ve brought their traditions, world views and amazing food with them. The city is also home to the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, which hosts festivals, art exhibits and cultural celebration programs.
12) Your Town or City: Best Utah Place for You
We couldn’t possibly list all the great places to live in Utah. Odds are, you think your town or city is the best! Tell us why in the comments below.