#5. Salt Lake City
A slate of construction projects ranging from renovations of historic buildings to new apartments and office towers puts downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, in a perpetual state of change. Longtime residents of this thriving downtown area have seen many new residential units added along with restaurants, coffee shops and places to find live music. The downtown area’s stable vacancy rate shows apartments and offices are being occupied shortly after they’re built. Among the statistics that helped Salt Lake City’s downtown land a spot on our list of the Top 10 Best Downtowns are the large percentage of new homeowners the city has (26 percent) and the high number of workers considered to be part of the “creative class,” which includes engineers, artists, scientists and those in technology fields.
Salt Lake City’s large assortment of amenities, excellent education system and variety of homes helped it make back-to-back appearances on our list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live.
While workers and tourists help to double the downtown area’s population during the day, hot spots like Bar-X, The Garage and The Red Door lure in rowdy crowds at night. Families will find plenty of kid-friendly attractions and educational experiences in downtown, whether it’s touring the grounds of the Utah State Capitol or getting a grasp on science at the Discovery Gateway children’s museum. The retractable glass roof at City Creek Center is often opened on sunny days, creating an outdoor market feel. While Capitol Theatre hosts ballets, opera and Broadway shows, places like The Depot and Abravanel Hall feature rock bands and soul singers. Temple Square, which includes the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle, remains the city’s top attraction. A light rail system helps residents get around, while a bike share program lets people get some exercise on their way to work or while running errands.