The Best Places to Live in Utah [2020]

The best places to live in Utah

The Best Places to Live in Utah [2020]

What are the best places to live in Utah in 2020? If you’re asking that, you know Utah is no longer an obscure state.

The state has always been famous for its proximity to the outdoors. There are 5 national parks, 43 state parks, and a diversity of landscapes. You can find mountains and trees in the north and east, to the red rocks and desert in the south, and lakes, rivers, and even salt flats scattered throughout.

However, there’s more to Utah than just the great outdoors. Utah has a booming economy, a budding tech industry, and an unmatched quality of life. Did you know that Utah had the second highest increase in population from 2010-2018, second only to Washington DC? Business Insider ranks Utah as the 7th best state economy.

So if you’re moving here, what are the best places to live in Utah? Every Utah city has something to offer.

Best Places to Live in Utah

Instead of ranking the cities, this list starts in the North at Logan and ends in the South at St. George. Most of Utah’s population lives along the I-15 corridor, the main interstate running the length of the state.

Here is Neighbor’s 2020 list of top Utah cities to live in:

  • Logan
  • Ogden
  • Kaysville
  • Salt Lake City
  • Sandy
  • Highland
  • Heber City
  • Provo
  • Cedar City
  • St. George

Let’s jump in!

Logan

Logan is home to Utah State University and 28,000 students. Set between several mountain ranges in Cache Valley, Logan is famous for its small-town charm. Logan has quick access to many outdoor activities including hiking, watersports, and snow sports. Because of its affordability and beautiful landscape, Logan is growing steadily, spurred by graduates who’ve decided to stay in the valley.

As it’s a little more isolated, Logan offers a small town feel but that comes at the expensive of few than Salt Lake and Utah counties. Still, job growth is constant. It’s just shy of a 90-minute drive to downtown Salt Lake City, though snow can sometimes close the canyon in and out of Logan.

Nearby towns to check out: Smithfield, Providence, Brigham City

  • January High Temperature: 31° F
  • July High Temperature: 89° F
  • Annual Snowfall: 53 inches
  • Median Home Price: $241,158 (2020)
  • Average Rent Price: $1,358 (2020)

Ogden

While it sometimes gets a bad rap locally, Ogden is now the center of life in thriving Weber County. Moving to Logan will allow you to enjoy low home prices while still being within driving distance (45-minutes) of Salt Lake City. Like many old towns in Utah, Ogden’s historic downtown is quaint and cute and framed to the east by mountains. There are several ski resorts up the canyons in Ogden, as well as reservoirs and hiking trails.

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Move to Ogden Entrance - Featured Image

Ogden is home to Weber State University. Recently, Ogden has seen more economic activity, as well as a general citywide initiative to improve civic life.

Nearby towns to check out: North Ogden, Roy, Clearfield

  • January High Temperature: 37° F
  • July High Temperature: 91° F
  • Annual Snowfall: 40 inches
  • Median Home Price: $232,741 (2020)
  • Average Rent Price: $1,037 (2020)

Kaysville

Kaysville is the perfect distance away from Salt Lake City. It’s far enough to feel like its own community and town, but close enough to commute or take advantage of big-city activities. Kaysville is a true family-centric city. Niche ranks it as one of the best places to live in Utah and the best suburb of Salt Lake City for its great public schools and safety.

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For entertainment and fun, Kaysville is a short drive from Lagoon, a big amusement park. They also have a smaller family fun center called Cherry Hill, complete with a water park, campsite, and other activities. The mountains east of Kaysville are full of hiking trails.

Nearby towns to check out: Layton, Farmington, Bountiful

  • January High Temperature: 38° F
  • July High Temperature: 92° F
  • Annual Snowfall: 42 inches
  • Median Home Price: $419,785 (2020)
  • Average Rent Price: $1,501 (2020)

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is the cultural and business heart of Utah. It’s home to the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As such, SLC is full of cool architecture and historic buildings. At the same time, Salt Lake City is also a very progressive and inclusive city.Salt Lake City view from Capitol Hill

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Salt Lake City is a short drive away from Park City, the winter wonderland, and sits at the foot of two other canyons, Big and Little Cottonwood, which feature world-class skiing and snowboarding. Salt Lake City is also the home of the Utah Jazz: #takenote.

Salt Lake is home to a number of businesses and offices. Goldman Sachs is here, as is an office of the advertising giant McCann, plus the University of Utah. Salt Lake City can barely be summarized in a few paragraphs, as each neighborhood and suburb has its own personality. For people of every age, Salt Lake City is one of the best places to live in Utah.

Nearby towns and neighborhoods to check out: The Avenues, Sugar House, Millcreek, Holladay

  • January High Temperature: 39° F
  • July High Temperature: 90° F
  • Annual Snowfall: 62 inches
  • Median Home Price: $415,335 (2020)
  • Average Rent Price: $1,248 (2020)

Sandy

Sandy is located on the southeast side of the Salt Lake Valley. As a “big city” suburb, Sandy is far enough from Salt Lake to feel like separate towns while being connected to the big city. Along with more upscale suburbs, there are many great restaurants, shopping malls, and other family-friendly amenities that make the towns great. Home to young families and working professionals, this large city has seen significant growth in the last 10 years.

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One of the best things about Sandy is its proximity to great jobs. Within only a short 5 – 15 minute commute, you can be at your office in the heart of downtown SLC, at your new office in Draper, or in the Silicon Slopes tech community of Lehi.

Nearby towns to check out: Draper, Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, Riverton

  • January High Temperature: 39° F
  • July High Temperature: 92° F
  • Annual Snowfall: 78 inches
  • Median Home Price: $431,200 (2020)
  • Average Rent Price: $1,256 (2020)

Highland

After leaving the Salt Lake Valley, you descend from the point of the mountain into Utah Valley. Highland sits between Lehi, Alpine, and American Fork. The town is just down the road from American Fork Canyon which is full of campgrounds, hiking, a reservoir, and snowshoeing in the winter.

American Fork Canyon

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While most of Utah County is great for families, Highland is one of the best places to move to if you have children. Home prices are higher than some of the other cities on the list, but you’ll find a warm community just off the beaten path. While renting isn’t common here, there are definitely some hidden gems. Highland is very safe, home to several great schools, and connected to the interstate by a fast moving highway with a commuter lane.

Nearby towns to check out: Lehi, Alpine, American Fork, Pleasant Grove

  • January High Temperature: 41° F
  • July High Temperature: 94° F
  • Annual Snowfall: 56 inches
  • Median Home Price: $656,463 (2020)
  • Average Rent Price: $1,283 (2020)

Heber City

Take a short and scenic 40-minute drive up Provo Canyon and you’ll be in Heber City. Heber is one of the fastest growing cities in Utah, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s close to several different mountain ranges, right next door to both Deer Creek and Jordanelle reservoirs, two popular watersport areas in the state, and a few minutes away from Park City.

Heber Valley

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Compared to the suburbs of Salt Lake and Utah County, Heber feels more rural and country. Many of the jobs in Heber are government or tourist based. However, new businesses are always moving in, and it’s not too far to commute to Orem and Provo.

Nearby towns to check out: Midway, Park City, Kamas

  • January High Temperature: 35° F
  • July High Temperature: 88° F
  • Annual Snowfall: 74 inches
  • Median Home Price: $456,459 (2020)

Provo

Provo is the young, hip child of Utah County. Brigham Young University enrolls 31,000+ students, many from Utah, but also from across the United States and the world. Since many students are former missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they’ve brought foreign cultures home with them. If you’re planning to move to Provo, UT, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the diversity of restaurants.

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As for outdoors, Provo is just south of Provo Canyon, one of the most scenic drives in the state and home to Sundance Ski Resort. Provo is also one of the most walkable and bikeable cities in Utah.

Provo Utah Downtown

Economically, Provo has a natural entrepreneurial spirit and new businesses are always popping up. It’s not just tech companies. Provo hosts several craft and boutique markets where local businesses sell clothing, home decor, and more. Provo is home to many young families and singles.

Nearby towns to check out: Orem, Springville, Payson

  • January High Temperature: 40° F
  • July High Temperature: 94° F
  • Annual Snowfall: 49 inches
  • Median Home Price: $317,105 (2020)
  • Average Rent Price: $1,403 (2020)

Cedar City

A nearly three hours south of Provo through empty central Utah, you arrive at Cedar City. Like other Utah towns, Cedar City is home to a university, in this case Southern Utah University. Cedar City is a gateway to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.

Summertime in Cedar City is a busy time with the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Utah Summer Games, a large sporting event for adult and youth teams across the state to come and compete.

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Since the recession, Cedar City has experienced 6.2% job growth, about double the already high growth of Utah as a whole. The university, local government, and tourism industry are always hiring, and new business and information sector jobs have seen significant growth in the last eight years.

  • January High Temperature: 42° F
  • July High Temperature: 89° F
  • Annual Snowfall: 49 inches
  • Median Home Price: $237,727 (2020)

St. George

St. George was once a retirement town for sun seekers and golfers. Now, however, the rest of the state has caught on and the city is slowly shifting demographics. In 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that St. George was the 5th fastest growing metro area in the country, growing 29% between 2010 and 2019.

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That growth isn’t just retirees. Transplants come from California, students stay after graduating from Dixie State University, and entrepreneurs who are anxious to start their businesses in a town with a great quality of life move in.

Saint George Utah

St. George is a recreation and entertainment sandbox. Las Vegas is under two hours away, as are Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. There are dozens of golf courses, a large outdoor amphitheater, and water activities at Sand Hollow State Park. For those who love the heat and the outdoors, St. George is becoming one of the best places to live in Utah.

  • January High Temperature: 53° F
  • July High Temperature: 102° F
  • Annual Snowfall: 3 inches
  • Median Home Price: $329,543 (2020)

 

NOTE: Home data compiled from Zillow and rent prices from Yardi Matrix.

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