Salt Lake City, UT aerial view

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 49
Demographics 43
Economy 60
Education 63
Health 60
Housing 47
Infrastructure 55

#30. Salt Lake City, UT

Utah’s state capital is Salt Lake City, an active, outdoorsy town with 205,000 residents and it’s one of the best places to live in the U.S. Home to the University of Utah and just a short drive to some of the best ski areas in the world, Salt Lake City, UT is the perfect home base for busy families, young professionals, extreme adventurers, students and everyone in between. It has a robust, stable economy (including a growing tech scene!), a strong sense of community and tons of fun activities for the young and the young at heart.  

Top Colleges/Universities: University of Utah & Salt Lake Community College

Top Industries & Employers: Health care, higher education, banking and finance, transportation and religious services 

Weekend Plans: Shop and dine downtown, then catch a show at Eccles Theater.

Favorite Place to Feast: Red Iguana, a popular Mexican restaurant run by the Cardenas family. They’ve been serving up incredible margaritas and rich mole sauces in Salt Lake City for more than 30 years, and they were even featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” 

Beloved Beverage: The glaciers at Millies Burgers are a genius drink that combines a slushy with ice cream.

Outdoorsy Activity: Birdwatching, a mindful activity that feels like a treasure hunt. Salt Lake City is a great place to go birding because it’s on the north/south migration route for many species of birds. There’s even a Great Salt Lake Bird Festival here!

Rooftop Bar: The Green Pig Pub, a fun sports bar with great views of downtown and the mountains, plus live music and trivia.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: There are so many parks, trails and open spaces for getting the zoomies and playing fetch, you won’t know which one to explore with your dog first. Tanner Dog Park, part of Parley’s Historic Nature Park, is a great place to start, thanks to its wide trails, mountain views and creek access.

Remote Work Perk: Remote workers and entrepreneurs are flocking to Salt Lake City because of its proximity to nature and easy accessibility to all sorts of outdoor recreation. You can close your laptop, lace up your running shoes and be out on the trail in 15 minutes or less from many parts of the city.

One More Thing … The Great Salt Lake, for which the city is named, is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi at 75 miles long and 25 miles wide. 

– Sarah Kuta

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