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There is something special about the beautiful state of Utah, its diverse landscapes have attracted many out-of-towners for years — think its snow-blanketed peaks, pine forests, meandering rivers, canyons, and mesas. And one of its popular destinations is undoubtedly in the northern part, where lies Salt Lake City, home to gorgeous national parks (including Zion and Bryce Canyon) and of course the stunning Wasatch Mountains known for their epic ski areas, hiking, and biking trails.


In addition, the city has its Great Salt Lake, which is the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere and the eighth-largest terminal lake in the world. The city is also one of the most desirable places to live in the United States and has been voted the second-friendliest state.

Salt Lake City Was Voted The Second-Friendliest City In The US

According to Travel+Leisure magazine, Salt Lake City was voted the second-friendliest city and the fourth-most attractive based on reader’s rankings. This charming city came behind the city of Nashville for being the friendliest. One reader commented: "these outdoorsy locals apparently treat visitors like family."

With so many positive comments, the city was ranked among the top for being kid-friendly and having a sense of adventure. Salt Lake City was also voted for its Christmas celebrations, and many readers chose Park City among their favorite mountain towns because of its 7,000 acres of Olympic-level ski terrain.

Related: Great Salt Lake, Utah: What To Do At This Unusual Waterway

Moreover, as per Utah Public Radio (a service of Utah State University), Salt Lake City was ranked among the ‘’Best Cities to Live in the US for 2022-23."

Out of 150 different US cities, Salt Lake City was in the 23rd position. There were many factors that were taken into consideration, including job markets, quality of life, and desirability.

According to the report, the city was particularly recognized for its culture and art, notably the Sundance Film Festival and its several museums and art venues.

Experience A Better Quality Of Life In Salt Lake City

Besides its friendly locals, Salt Lake City is also one of the most desirable destinations for its better quality of life. According to U.S. News and World Report, Utah ranked high at 7.3 for desirability, while Salt Lake City ranked 7.1 out of 10 for its quality of life and job market.

What makes life easier here is the fact that one can find many convenient amenities and facilities such as its eclectic range of restaurants, shops, and bars. One can also find popular attractions such as the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, and the historic Temple Square built by the Mormon pioneers.

  • Utah Museum of Contemporary Art: 11:00 a.m. - 06:00 p.m. (Wednesday - Saturday)
  • Admission Fee: $8 suggested donation

Nature lovers will have ample opportunities to connect with nature, thanks to the plethora of unique outdoor activities available in the city.

For instance, the ecological attraction — Great Salt Lake, recognized as the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere — is just a 20-minute drive from Salt Lake City.

Another perk of living here is the numerous opportunities of participating in many art and cultural events such as the Sundance Film Festival, where A-listers, locals, and out-of-towners come together to celebrate the creative artworks of many talented filmmakers and artists.

  • Sundance Film Festival: A single film ticket is $20

Salt Lake City Residents Can Expect A Low Cost Of Living

When it comes to the low cost of living, Salt Lake City makes for a perfect place to live compared to expensive cities like New York, Los Angeles, or San Diego. As per the cost-of-living index, the city scored 118.9 points compared to New York which is 187.2, and San Diego with 160.1 points.

For example, a studio can cost around $835 per month, and a one-bedroom apartment might cost around $946. Therefore, the city makes for a great place to live for those looking for affordable accommodation.

Many opt to live in the Central City area for its living affordability, and easy conveniences such as indie bars, restaurants, fun events, and of course the proximity to the University of Utah.

Related: 10 Things To Do In Salt Lake City (Besides See The Lake)

Another reason why the city is desirable is its downtown area is extremely walkable, even though there are many public transportation options to consider when moving around.

Visitors can enjoy complimentary transit when taking the public bus and the TRAX light rail when moving within a certain distance in the city.

Apart from the "free fare zone," one can expect to pay about $2.50 for a one-way ticket or $6.25 for an all-day pass. In addition, many will be able to find inexpensive meal options in different areas.

  • Average Accommodation Cost: One-bedroom apartment costs around $946
  • Average Inexpensive Meal For One Person: $12 in a restaurant; a three-course dinner for two starts at $60 at a mid-range restaurant.