The 10 Best Places to Live in Utah in 2024


If you’re planning on moving to Utah, add these cities to your list.

Utah is a haven of rugged mountain ranges, high desert plains, and boundless outdoor activities. With its three unique regions, the state provides a mix of charming towns, rich history, and convenient amenities, making it a great place to call home. People are taking advantage of this, too; Utah was the fastest-growing state in the country from 2010-2020.

Natural beauty is one of Utah’s defining factors. The beautiful Uinta Mountains dominate much of northeastern Utah, providing ample opportunities for skiing, hiking, and fishing. In the southwest, the awe-inspiring canyons of Zion National Park draw visitors from around the world. 

Utah’s climate is also fairly pleasant. The nearby mountain ranges shield Utah from most extreme weather, especially heat and cold. As such, dry, mild weather is fairly common. Precipitation is more likely the higher and farther north you go, with most falling in the winter and spring.

Over 80% of Utah’s population lives in the Wasatch Front, a 150-mile valley home to cities like Salt Lake City, Provo, and Ogden. The valley is bordered by the steep Wasatch Mountains to the east, and the Great Salt Lake, Oquirrh Mountains, and Utah Lake to the west. Here, urban amenities blend seamlessly with outdoor recreation, offering the best of both worlds. 

But which cities in the Beehive State are right for you? In this Redfin article, we’ve uncovered the best places to live in Utah, ranking them on qualities such as affordability, navigability, and number of amenities. You can find more information about our methodology here or at the bottom of the article.

Skyline of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA in early spring as the sun sets.

1. Salt Lake City, UT

Population:

204,657

Average Commute Time:

19.8 minutes

Per-Capita Income:

$39,126

Median Sale Price: 

$595,000

Median Rent Price: 

$1,655

Unemployment Rate:

2.7%

Salt Lake City (SLC), Utah’s capital and largest city, tops our list as the best place to live in Utah. Ample access to the outdoors, a relatively affordable cost of living, and competitive housing market all contributed to its high ranking. The city is located in the heart of the Wasatch Front just west of the Wasatch Mountains and is known for its dramatic vistas, year-round outdoor recreation, and long history. 

Living in SLC means you’re never far from fun. The Utah Arts Festival and Downtown Farmers Market are popular options during the warmer months, while skiing is a local winter favorite. Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, and Solitude resorts are all within an hour from downtown SLC. 

Salt Lake City also has hundreds of local shops and eateries. The King’s English Bookshop is a beloved independent bookstore, while Eva’s Bakery and Caputo’s Market & Deli serve up delicious fare in the heart of the city. Historic Salt Lake City neighborhoods like The Avenues and 9th and 9th boast charming hotspots, including the iconic Tower Theatre and rustic Pizza Nono.

However, the region’s air quality and water security are important issues to know about if you’re moving to the area. Due to the region’s rapid growth, demand for water has skyrocketed. With the majority of the state facing long-term drought conditions, a growing portion of the water has come from the Great Salt Lake, whose water levels recently fell to its lowest recorded levels. This has had compounding effects on the region’s already poor air quality.

Salt Lake City homes for sale | Salt Lake City houses for rent | Salt Lake City apartments for rent

south-salt-lake-ut

2. South Salt Lake, UT

Population:

26,003

Average Commute Time:

21 minutes

Per-Capita Income:

$25,216

Median Sale Price: 

$392,500

Median Rent Price: 

$1,501

Unemployment Rate:

4.2%

Just south of Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake is the second city on our list of the best places to live in Utah. What used to be a fairly undeveloped part of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area is now a hip, bustling city with its own character and attractions. The city’s affordability is one of its main selling points; house prices in South Salt Lake are $200,000 less than Salt Lake City proper. And while the city has historically been fairly industrial, this can be a benefit for some.

South Salt Lake is also very convenient for commuters into downtown Salt Lake City. TRAX, UTA’s light rail system, offers three lines into and out of South Salt Lake: the Red Line, Blue Line, and Green Line. Trains run every 15 minutes and provide access throughout the SLC metro area. Commuting by car might take a while, though, especially along Interstate 15. 

South Salt Lake is home to quite a few local hotspots, including the Old Bridge Cafe, Pie Pizzeria, and King Buffet of Salt Lake. Chinatown Supermarket is especially popular among locals, with 30,000 square feet of authentic and unique Asian goods. And for people who want to spend a day on the greens, six golf clubs are within two miles of the city center. 

South Salt Lake homes for sale | South Salt Lake houses for rent | South Salt Lake apartments for rent

orem-ut

3. Orem, UT

Population:

95,910

Average Commute Time:

19.5 minutes

Per-Capita Income:

$27,460

Median Sale Price: 

$474,000

Median Rent Price: 

$1,481

Unemployment Rate:

2.7%

Orem comes in as the third-best place to live in Utah. A suburb of Provo about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City, Orem is known for being a fairly affordable college town. Rentals in particular are quite affordable, with rent prices $600 below the national median. Utah Lake borders the city to the west, while 10,000-foot mountain peaks are just two miles to the east. The scenic Provo Canyon is located in the easternmost part of the city limits. 

You can find most of what you’ll need in Orem along State Street (SR 89), which runs through the center of town. Restaurants like Pitada Brazil and Lomito’s, shopping destinations like Orem Plaza and Asian Market, and local attractions like the Hale Center Theater and Scera Park can all be found along a one-mile stretch of the road. Walking around State Street can be difficult, but the city government is working to transform the boulevard into a haven for pedestrians and cyclists. 

Commuting into Salt Lake City may be a challenge if you don’t use public transportation. For example, driving into Downtown SLC using Interstate 15 can take well over 40 minutes, longer depending on traffic and weather. On the other hand, The FrontRunner, UTA’s regional commuter rail, runs straight through Orem into SLC and can be a stress-free way to commute. This route takes around an hour, but the time is much more reliable.

Orem homes for sale | Orem houses for rent | Orem apartments for rent

midvale-ut

4. Midvale, UT

Population:

35,637

Average Commute Time:

21 minutes

Per-Capita Income:

$29,262

Median Sale Price: 

$488,500

Median Rent Price: 

$1,597

Unemployment Rate:

3.7%

Next on our list is Midvale, a small suburb 12 miles south of Salt Lake City. Similar to many suburbs in the region, Midvale boasts a more affordable cost of living than SLC, along with a more relaxed feel. Midvale developed separately from SLC and retains its own historic, old-school downtown while also providing plenty of new housing both east and west of Interstate 15. 

Like Orem, most of what you need can be found along Main Street in the center of town. Midvale Plaza is a popular shopping mall, while Moochie’s Meatballs and More and the Midvale Mining Company Cafe are beloved local restaurants. Main Street is also being renovated and updated to better serve pedestrians and cyclists. Other Midvale hotspots include The Shops at Fort Union, and Gardner Village. 

One of the benefits of living in Midvale is that you’re right in the middle of the SLC metro area. You’re within five miles from most of what the area has to offer, including renowned outdoor recreation and local shops and amenities. It’s easy to drive out to the Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge Trailhead, Heughs Canyon Trail, or Great Salt Lake State Park for a fun day outside. You can also easily head into downtown SLC for a night on the town using the TRAX Blue Line, or drive 17 miles south to the Outlets at Traverse Mountain.

Midvale homes for sale | Midvale houses for rent | Midvale apartments for rent

murray-ut

5. Murray, UT

Population:

49,463

Average Commute Time:

19.7 minutes

Per-Capita Income:

$35,046

Median Sale Price: 

$507,500

Median Rent Price: 

$1,598

Unemployment Rate:

2.9%

Located just north of Midvale in the center of the Wasatch Front, Murray (formally Murray City) comes in at number five on our list of the best places to live in Idaho. Murray is a historic city with roots in mining and smelting, specifically gold, silver, and lead, and still retains a rustic industrial feel today. Historic attractions include the 170-year old Wheeler Historic Farm, which provides education and summer camps, and the Carlisle Family Monument.

Despite its close proximity to the city center, Murray retains a distinct sense of tranquility. Tree-lined streets and spacious parks offer residents ample opportunities to unwind and enjoy the gorgeous Utah scenery. One of the most popular outdoor spots is the Jordan River Parkway Trail, which parallels the Jordan River for 45 miles and provides a paved and equestrian trail. Murray Park is another local favorite, with athletic fields, an ice skating rink, and an amphitheater. 

As with most suburbs in the Salt Lake Valley, most amenities are on or near State Street. The Desert Star Playhouse and the Paradise Buffet are fun spots to visit. The Ivy Place Shopping Village in the northeast has some other amenities as well. 

Murray homes for sale | Murray houses for rent | Murray apartments for rent

st-george-ut

6. St. George, UT

Population:

102,519

Average Commute Time:

15.3 minutes

Per-Capita Income:

$29,671

Median Sale Price: 

$546,000

Median Rent Price: 

$1,869

Unemployment Rate:

2.2%

A historic Mormon farming town turned outdoor paradise, St. George is the seventh-best place to live in Utah. Located on the Colorado Plateau in southeastern Utah, St. George is home to renowned natural beauty, historic architecture, and abundant outdoor recreation. Due to its pleasant climate and location near public lands, it’s also one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. The cost of living is fairly high, however, and wages sit well below the national average. 

Layers of red rock, narrow canyons, mesas, and volcanic lava flows dominate the landscape, while 300 days of sunshine makes it easy to get up and explore. St. George’s proximity to iconic natural wonders like Zion National Park, Snow Canyon State Park, and the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area provides residents with endless opportunities for hiking, climbing, mountain biking, and more. 

Another plus about St. George is that it has relatively good air quality, especially compared to the SLC area. In fact, the city has the 10th-cleanest air in the nation for year-round particle pollution.

St. George’s climate is markedly warmer and drier than cities further north, with average summer temperatures reaching 100°F and very little winter snowfall. Its climate is generally dry year-round, with most rain falling in the winter and late summer. Due to this dryness, water insecurity is a major issue in the region, especially as its population grows.

St. George homes for sale | St. George houses for rent | St. George apartments for rent 

provo-ut

7. Provo, UT

Population:

113,523

Average Commute Time:

19 minutes

Per-Capita Income:

$21,607

Median Sale Price: 

$435,000

Median Rent Price: 

$950

Unemployment Rate:

3.6%

Home to Brigham Young University (BYU) and a rich Mormon history, Provo is the seventh-best place to live in Utah on our list. Situated along Utah Lake 45 miles south of Salt Lake City, Provo is known for its college town vibes, active outdoor culture, and close-knit community. A big plus is the city’s affordability compared to SLC, especially for renters. However, many renters still spend more than 30% of their income on rent. The government has been working to improve the situation. 

Four-season recreation is around every corner and within minutes from the city. The Y, Provo Peak, and Rock Canyon trailheads are all a mile from downtown and offer stunning views of the valley and surrounding mountains. To the west, Utah Lake provides space for boating, swimming, canoeing, and paddleboarding, although the water quality is variable. The Provo River Trail, Paul Ream Wilderness Park, and Provo Recreation Center are popular spots in the center of town. 

It’s also easy to learn about the region’s Mormon roots. The Museum of Mormon Mexican History and Museum of Mormon History of the Americas showcase the religion’s history, while BYU hosts events and talks year-round. Numerous sacred temples are scattered throughout the city, too. 

Restaurants, shops, and other amenities are located throughout the city, too. Communal, Black Sheep Cafe, and Tucanos Brazilian Grill are especially popular. Orem Plaza is a good spot for getting together with friends, too. 

Provo homes for sale | Provo houses for rent | Provo apartments for rent

taylorsville-ut

8. Taylorsville, UT

Population:

57,879

Average Commute Time:

21.9 minutes

Per-Capita Income:

$27,658

Median Sale Price: 

$499,000

Median Rent Price: 

$1,541

Unemployment Rate:

3.2%

Just west of Murray, Taylorsville comes in at number eight on our list. Affordability is one of the top selling points of Taylorsville, with median sale and rent prices 16% and 7% lower than Salt Lake City, respectively. Commuting can be a challenge, though, and most errands require a car. TRAX doesn’t operate in Taylorsville, but numerous bus routes run throughout the city. The Taylorsville Temple is a regional landmark.

Taylorsville is laid out on a grid bisected by Redwood Road, the Taylorsville Expressway, and 5400 S, which is where a majority of the city’s amenities are located. These hotspots provide a lot to do, including dining at local restaurants to visiting one of dozens of parks. Red Maple Chinese and Great Harvest Bread Co. Bakery & Cafe are popular eateries, while Vista Park, Gary C. Swenson Valley Regional Park, and two golf courses provide space for a fun day out. 

Further outside the city, the Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre provides space for large-scale concerts and comedy shows. The Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center is great for more intimate performances. 

Taylorsville homes for sale | Taylorsville houses for rent | Taylorsville apartments for rent

sandy-ut

9. Millcreek, UT

Population:

63,034

Average Commute Time:

20.2 minutes

Per-Capita Income:

$43,165

Median Sale Price: 

$678,950

Median Rent Price: 

$1,537

Unemployment Rate:

2.6%

Located southeast of Salt Lake City and north of Murray, Millcreek is a relatively expensive suburb known for its quiet streets, mountain views, and gorgeous parks. Eastern Millcreek extends into the Wasatch Mountains, providing ample opportunities for exploration and fun. The Mount Olympus neighborhood, for example, is within one mile from Millcreek Canyon, Neffs Canyon, and the Mount Olympus Trailhead.

The Big Cottonwood Regional Park, Parleys Historic Nature Park, and Scott Avenue Park are outdoor hotspots within city limits. After spending a day outside, locals love to eat at restaurants like Provisions, Roots Cafe, and Eggs in the City. 

One of the latest and greatest attractions to open in Millcreek is Millcreek Common, the new heart of the city. The Common is home to the New Americans International Market, the brand new Millcreek Farmers Market, and dozens of events throughout the year. There’s also a climbing wall, ice skating rink, splash pad, and coffee shop. 

Like many cities in the Western United States, especially around Salt Lake City, most neighborhoods are managed by a Homeowners Association (HOA). HOAs can heavily regulate your home’s maintenance and appearance and influence your quality of life. Take this into account if you’re planning on buying a house in the area. Luckily, they can no longer require you to maintain a lush, green lawn. 

Millcreek homes for sale | Millcreek houses for rent | Millcreek apartments for rent

sandy-ut

10. Sandy, UT

Population:

93,022

Average Commute Time:

23.2 minutes

Per-Capita Income:

$40,469

Median Sale Price: 

$648,500

Median Rent Price: 

$1,709

Unemployment Rate:

1.7%

Sandy, UT rounds out our list as the tenth-best place to live in Utah. Just south of Murray in the southeastern edge of the SLC metro area, Sandy is a fairly expensive suburb surrounded by mountains, parks, and wide open streets. Traditional cape cod and farmhouse homes line the quiet roads, along with well-paved sidewalks and large trees. And no matter where you live, you’ll have views of Lone Peak, White Baldy, and even Flat Top Mountain to the west on a clear day. 

There is no main avenue in Sandy, with most shops and amenities instead situated in mini-malls scattered throughout the city. Little Cottonwood Center, Union Square, and High Point Center are popular. The largest park in the area is Dimple Dell Regional Park, which offers miles of trails, including one that runs through a gully. Stopping at Sunrise Point on a brisk sunny morning is a favorite pastime among locals. 

Commuting into SLC from Sandy can be a challenge, though. The TRAX Blue Line stops in west Sandy, but because local public transportation is limited, you will likely have to use a car to get to the station. If this isn’t an option, you can drive into the big city along I-15 or State Street, but this can take upwards of an hour depending on traffic and weather. In general, Sandy is very spread out, and it can be hard to get around without a car. However, improvements are underway to help promote pedestrian safety and navigability.

Sandy homes for sale | Sandy houses for rent | Sandy apartments for rent

Methodology

Redfin’s Best Places to Live rankings are meant to help home searchers make an informed decision when choosing where to live. To attempt to measure the overall quality of a metro area, each ranking takes into account several key factors, including access to healthcare, open outdoor space, navigability, housing trends, employment statistics, income, and travel time to work. Only metros with a population of 20,000 or greater were considered for our Utah list. More information about our methodology can be found here.

Data valid April 2024. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.



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