Utah is often overlooked when we think about all the amazing places we can live in the United States.
However, just because other people overlook something doesn’t mean you should.
On the contrary, Utah actually has a lot to offer, and if you choose an area of the state that fits your needs, it could be your ideal home.
25 Pros Of Living In Utah
There are many wonderful advantages to living in Utah.
Let’s take a look at 25 of them below.
1. A Strong and Stable Economy
Utah is full of economic and job opportunities.
The U.S. News & World Report’s Best States 2021 list ranks Utah as #1 for Economy.
The state has an excellent rate of economic growth, and this creates exciting job opportunities in several parts of the state.
Utah has such a strong economy because of several factors, including a strong tech industry and outstanding employment growth.
2. Extraordinary Natural Beauty
Utah has a truly unique beauty.
If you have never been there, you will be impressed by its striking beauty and dramatic natural features.
Some of the most famous features of Utah’s wild landscape include the enormous rock formations of Canyonlands and Arches.
There are also the cliffs of Zion, which have a gorgeous red hue.
Also, check out the hoodoos of Bryce.
There is also rock art dating back to ancient times that you simply must see.
As we’ll learn later, Utah is full of parks, including numerous national parks and other public parks of many kinds.
3. Perfect for Outdoor Activities
Utah’s natural spaces offer the chance for a wide variety of outdoor activities.
Some examples of outdoor activities popular in Utah include hiking, backpacking, cycling, and rafting.
Many people also enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing, fishing, and cross-country skiing.
Just spending time in the great outdoors is a memorable experience when you live in Utah.
All the outdoor activities you can enjoy in Utah are a fun and healthy way to spend your time.
They’re great family outings as well.
4. Competitive Cost of Living
Utah has a relatively low cost of living when it comes to food, transportation, utilities, and miscellaneous daily living expenses.
This is especially true when you compare it to areas on the East and West Coasts of the United States.
While Utah’s home prices are high and continuing to rise, you can offset this a bit by saving money on other essentials.
Also, the thriving economy of the state overall brings you exciting job and career opportunities.
5. Affordable Rental Market
Compared to many other areas of the United States, especially hot spots such as California and New York, many areas of Utah have very affordable rent prices.
Of course, rent prices will vary from area to area.
If you find yourself unable to afford a home purchase in Utah’s thriving real estate market, look into whether a rental might better suit your budget.
6. Low Crime Rate
While there are a few places in Utah that have more crime, this state has a low crime rate overall.
That’s one reason so many Utahans see their state as ideal for families.
If you want to move to a state with a crime rate that is lower than average, Utah is a great place for you.
Whether you want to live in a rural, suburban, or urban area, do your research and make sure the one you choose has the low crime rate and safe environment for which Utah is known.
7. Excellent Schools
If you have kids and want to make sure they’ll have access to excellent schools, Utah is definitely a state to consider.
It ranks #10 for education in the United States.
When you have school-age kids, knowing the quality of schools they will attend should be one of the most important considerations when choosing a place to live.
While Utah has excellent schools overall, check into the different towns, cities, and neighborhoods to find out all the variations.
8. Four Beautiful Seasons
One of the best parts of living in Utah is the chance to experience all four seasons each and every year.
Each season in Utah has its own weather pattern.
You will usually find the best Utah weather is between the end of April to the middle of June, and then, from the end of August to the middle of October.
9. Nice and Friendly Neighbors
Do you want to live somewhere with super-friendly neighbors?
Utah is a fantastic choice.
Neighbors almost always make friends and watch out for each other and their families.
Families in Utah tend to be a bit larger than the national average, so there will probably be plenty of other kids for your own children to play with in the neighborhood.
10. Access to Salt Lake International Airport
Before the Covid-19 crisis struck, this airport offered non-stop flights to metropolitan locations such as Paris, London, and Amsterdam.
Salt Lake City is recognized as an international connection city.
Once the current crisis is finally over and international travel can re-start, you will be glad you have this useful airport nearby if you are a bit of a globetrotter.
11. Entertainment and Things to Do
Utah has plenty of entertainment and recreational options for the entire family.
Family quality time and adventures are encouraged, and you will especially find a lot to do in the great outdoors.
You will find lots of opportunities to show your kids the beauty of nature (or discover it for yourself).
12. Live Longer
Well, it’s not guaranteed, but Utah does have a higher average life expectancy than many other states.
The average life expectancy for the United States as a whole is 78.7 years old.
While in Utah, the average life expectancy is very similar (78.5), the average life expectancy for women is 82.
The average of those two numbers is 80.35, which is significantly higher than the national average.
13. Impressive State Parks
Utah is known for “The Mighty 5.”
These are the state’s famous national parks, and they’re a must-visit for all residents and visitors.
“The Mighty 5” include Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Zion National Park.
Can you think of many other states that have so many national parks?
14. Cultural Events
Did you know the Sundance Film Festival is held in Utah?
This state has plenty of outdoor concerts, too.
Like most other states, most cultural events in Utah happen in the cities.
Of course, as its largest and most important metropolis, Salt Lake City is the cultural hub of Utah.
Examples of exciting cultural events in Utah include the Utah Arts Festival, FanX: Salt Lake Comic Convention, Utah Pride Parade and Festival, the Days of ‘47 Parade, Salt Lake City Sounds, LOVELOUD Festival, and the Twilight Concert Series.
15. A Skiing Paradise
Have you ever heard Utah referred to as having “The Greatest Snow on Earth”?
It’s earned that accolade fairly and squarely.
Utah even holds one of the world’s snowiest places: The Cottonwood Canyons.
The town of Alta gets about 551 inches of snow on average every year.
It’s not just the amount of snow that makes Utah so attractive for skiers.
It’s also the type of snow that you get.
Experts say that the snow density is perfect for the sport.
If you don’t already know how to ski, you can go to one of the state’s many ski schools.
There is also a plethora of ski resorts.
Many of these offer other activities, as well, and some have restaurants and bars, too.
There’s no doubt about it. Skiing is huge in Utah.
16. Lots of Sunshine
Salt Lake City’s average number of sunny days per year is 222.
This is higher than the national average of 205.
If you are looking to get some serious vitamin D, Salt Lake City may well be the place for you.
Let’s face it: everyone loves sunshine.
Utah doesn’t get as much rain as other states, so there’s less chance of your exciting outdoor exploration plans being rained out.
You will probably have to water your garden a bit more often, though.
17. Fewer Rainy Days
As just mentioned, rain isn’t something you’ll have to worry about very often in Utah.
In fact, there are only two other states that get less rain than Utah.
These are Nevada and Arizona. Utah is so dry because the whole state ranges from semi-arid conditions to desert.
This is why you will find the summers extremely hot and the winters bone-chillingly cold.
The average monthly rainfall in Utah is 1.1 inches, while the annual average rainfall is 13.6 inches.
The month of each year with the most rain tends to be April.
When it rains in Utah, it’s a result of the Pacific Ocean.
Yes, this is true even though Utah is landlocked.
18. Wonderful Stargazing
If you enjoy stargazing, you will love Utah.
Utah has many spots with ideal stargazing conditions.
The state has a plethora of locations certified by the International Dark Sky Association.
These include places such as protected areas, communities, and parks.
These locations are found in many regions of the state.
19. Lots of Adventure Sports
If you’re into adventure and extreme sports, you will find a lot to do in Utah.
Many of the extreme sports you can do in Utah are facilitated by the wild nature of its natural landscape.
A few adventure sports you can do in Utah include hang gliding, hot air ballooning, skydiving, river rafting, rock climbing, and mountain biking.
20. Genealogical Research Resources
If there’s one thing pretty much everyone knows about Utah, it’s that Salt Lake City is a fantastic place to do genealogical (family history) research.
In fact, people from all over the world come to Salt Lake City to do this kind of research and learn about their family trees.
The Family History Library is located in Salt Lake City.
It’s found at Historic Temple Square.
You can bring the whole family to the library, so you can all learn together.
21. Salt Lake City Has Popular Farmers’ Markets.
You’ll be simply amazed by all the farmers’ markets in Salt Lake City.
The Downtown Saturday Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays from 8 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon.
It’s situated in Historic Pioneer Park.
Another Salt Lake City farmers’ market is Wheeler Farm Winter Indoor Market.
This is open from November to April each year, with hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s found at Wheeler Farm Barn.
A third example of a Salt Lake City farmers’ market is The Farmers’ Market at Gardner Village.
It is usually open from July to October each year. You will find not only fresh farm produce but also artists and artisans.
22. A Diversified Economy
Utah has the most diversified economy in the United States.
As Utah Business reports, this is quite an accomplishment for a state that’s not only relatively small but also in the West of the country.
Some of the largest and most important industries in Utah are financial services, technology, and tourism.
There are numerous private-industry corporate headquarters in Utah, including companies such as Adobe, Dell EMC, Overstock, Clearlink, and Workfront, to name just a few.
23. Unique Local Foods
Utah is anything but boring when it comes to food.
The state has a wide variety of unique local foods that you won’t find (or maybe even hear about) anywhere else.
How do Funeral Potatoes sound?
The name may leave a lot to be desired, but Utahans love this tasty casserole dish.
It’s made with cheese, sour cream, hash browns, cream of chicken soup, and potato chips crushed up as a topping.
For dessert, give Aggie Blue Mint Ice cream a try.
It’s made exclusively by the Utah State creamery, and it’s full of white chocolate and Oreo cookie chunks.
Yum! And if you crave a snack, look for some Utah scones.
These aren’t like scones you’ve tried anywhere else. Have you ever had frybread?
You’ll recognize that taste with these.
24. Many Parks in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City has an impressive number of lovely public parks where you can enjoy a picnic, some family time, or just time to enjoy the fresh air by yourself.
Two of the largest parks are Sugar House Park and Liberty Park.
Sugar House Park is the largest park in Salt Lake City. It is 110 acres in size.
When you visit this park, you will enjoy the extraordinarily wide lane created for walkers, cyclists, runners, and other people exercising in the park.
Sugar Park’s pond has many ducks floating around and nearby.
Spend time watching the feathery wildlife.
Liberty Park stretches over 80 acres and is full of old trees, providing lots of shade.
Liberty Park is included on the National Register of Historic Places.
You will find another historic site, the Isaac Chase Mill, in the park.
Tracy Aviary is found in Liberty Park.
This aviary boasts exotic and rare birds.
Liberty Park also features summer farmers’ markets and even an amusement park for kids.
25. Many Historic Attractions in Salt Lake City
History enthusiasts will love Salt Lake City.
This city has a rich and interesting history, and there are many historic landmarks and attractions to see and explore.
Two such attractions are Frontier Homestead State Park Museum and Social Hall Heritage Museum.
When you visit Frontier Homestead State Park, you will learn about the history of Iron County’s development from the 1850s.
There are displays with horse-drawn vehicles from the mid-19th century to 1920.
There are also many artifacts of pioneer life.
Frontier Homestead State Park aims to provide an immersive experience.
At Social Hall Heritage Museum, the focus is on the recreational pursuits of 19th century Salt Lake City settlers.
This was the place where people had social gatherings in the early years of the city.
There were musical performances, dances, and even lectures.
There are fascinating artifact displays to admire.
26 Cons of Living in Utah
If you’re thinking about moving to Utah, you should know the cons before making a final decision.
1. Expensive Houses
Utah has a booming real estate market.
While this might sound like a good thing, it’s not if you want an affordable house price.
That’s certainly the case in Utah, where house prices are often prohibitively high.
One reason for this is the strength of Utah’s economy.
More and more people are wanting to move to Utah for its economic opportunities, so there is more competition for houses.
We all know the law of supply and demand.
As demand goes up and supply stays the same (or decreases), prices tend to rise.
2. Large and Empty Spaces
There is often an enormous distance between communities, and you will often find there’s nothing to see or do in those places.
If you’re not a big fan of rural spaces and the wilderness, you will probably find this very boring.
3. Flat Tax Rate
While some people consider this an advantage, you may dislike Utah’s flat state tax rate.
A flat tax rate means that everyone pays the same percentage of their income, no matter how much they earn.
Unless you are extremely comfortable or wealthy, this probably won’t benefit you overall.
4. Religion is Everywhere
This includes, specifically, the Mormon religion.
As you probably know, Utah was originally founded as a Mormon state.
As such, the Mormon church plays an instrumental part in Utah’s culture and everyday life.
Also, some Mormons are eager to convert others to their religion.
You will have to be prepared for this.
Sometimes you might even end up with people knocking at your door, wanting to discuss religion.
5. Old-Fashioned Liquor Laws
If you ever enjoy a drink or two, be aware that Utah has some unusual and old-fashioned laws governing alcohol and its consumption.
One of these is that you cannot just order a drink by itself in a restaurant.
You must order food with it as well.
Also, Utah has legislated large price markups on alcohol.
6. Extreme Summer Heat
Remember, Utah has a semi-arid, extremely dry climate.
Some areas of the state are desert.
If you live in Utah, be ready for extreme heat during the summer.
That season also tends to be quite long.
You should get a bit of respite at night, however, when temperatures go down.
7. The Infamous Winter Inversion
The winter inversion is a strange weather event.
It involves a thick and impenetrable fog that can make life very inconvenient.
It can also cause issues if you have breathing or lung conditions.
The winter inversion affects Salt Lake City.
8. Inadequate Public Transportation
While many areas of Salt Lake City have good public transportation, systems in other areas of Utah are notoriously inadequate.
Like most other states, if you are in a rural area or small town, you aren’t going to have any reasonable public transportation options.
9. Too Much Snow
You will have to be okay with snow if you want to live in Utah, especially Salt Lake City.
The city’s average snowfall per year is 54 inches.
This is much higher than the national average of just 28 inches.
10. Bizarre Laws
Utah has some pretty strange laws on the books.
Can you imagine someone wanting to fish using a crossbow?
Apparently, someone has tried to do this.
After all, Utah has made it illegal.
Want to have a snowball fight?
You’re out of luck in Provo, Utah.
You could end up with a $50 fine if you throw a snowball.
These are just the start of all the odd laws you will come across in Utah.
11. Hardly Any Diversity
If living somewhere with a lot of diversity is important to you, don’t live in Utah.
It ranks #42 in a state diversity ranking.
If you move to Utah, don’t expect to come across a lot of different cultures.
If you are determined to live in Utah, anyway, stick to Salt Lake City.
12. No Ocean
As a landlocked state, you won’t have any ocean views or beaches in Utah.
Keep this in mind when deciding whether you want to move to the state.
13. No State Lottery
The prohibition on lotteries is in line with Utah’s Mormon tradition.
If you enjoy playing the lottery, this is a definite disadvantage.
The prohibition is enshrined in the state constitution, so it’s unlikely to change soon.
Only two states in the United States have forbidden every type of gambling, and Utah is one of them.
Only five other states lack a lottery that is sanctioned by the government.
14. Stereotypes of Utah
It may seem silly to worry about, but people will tend to think certain things when you tell them you live in Utah.
If you care about this, get ready for lots of explaining (if what they think isn’t true).
15. Road Signs and Highway System
Utah visitors and residents alike complain about its confusing road signs and highway system.
You will have to spend some time learning about the system to avoid getting too frustrated.
16. Boring Sundays
Almost everything is closed on Sunday in Utah.
This is yet another result of the state’s religious heritage and the continuing importance of the Mormon religion in everyday life.
If you like having the option of shopping and getting other errands done on Sunday, you’ll be out of luck in Utah.
17. Lots of Smog
You’ll have to be ready to deal with smog if you live in Salt Lake City.
In fact, this city is reported to be the 7th worst in the United States when it comes to air quality.
The air in Salt Lake City is pretty much as bad as you would find in Sacramento and Las Vegas.
18. Hard to Live Downtown in Salt Lake City
Actually, you might find it impossible to live downtown in Salt Lake City.
That’s because there is so little housing in that part of the city.
19. Smelly Salt Lake
Are you planning to live within approximately 15 miles of the Great Salt Lake?
You may have to deal with a foul odor sometimes.
Does it smell like someone left eggs out to rot?
That’s just the lake.
Why is it so stinky?
The smell develops as a result of a specific biological process.
Algae blooms serve as food for the nutrients in wastewater.
After they are dead, they also feed bacteria.
20. Be Wary of Price, a Troubled City
Given Utah’s peaceful reputation, it’s surprising to learn that one of its smaller cities has a very high crime rate.
Its main problem is property crime rather than violent crime, but any kind of high crime rate is a reason for alarm.
21. Extreme Cold
As well as scorching hot summers, Utah has extremely cold winters.
While this season tends to be on the shorter side in Utah, it involves lots of snow and blistering cold.
22. Crime in Downtown Salt Lake City
Downtown Salt Lake City has more crime than any other part of the city.
If you are in downtown Salt Lake City, there is a strong chance that you will end up victimized by some kind of property crime.
Violent crime is also a big problem downtown.
23. Salt Lake City is a Dangerous City Overall
While it’s true the state of Utah has a wholesome reputation, Salt Lake City is shown to be a dangerous city overall when you compare its crime rates to other cities.
In fact, they’re far higher than the national average.
24. It Can Be Tricky as a Non-Mormon
This depends on where you live, as rural areas tend to be more religious than cities.
However, as a Mormon state, Utah can be difficult to navigate for non-Mormons.
25. Economic Challenges in Rural Areas
If you’re thinking about living in a rural area of Utah, be aware that finding a job will be a challenge.
If you will be moving with your family, they will probably have problems finding employment, too.
26. Your Kids Might Hate It
Are you a non-Mormon with kids?
If your children have gone to school and made friends in their home state, Utah may be too much of a culture shock.
Many non-Mormon children from outside the state find it very difficult to fit in.
When it comes to dating in high school, some Mormon parents forbid their kids from dating non-Mormons.