If home prices are any indication, East Bench is the wealthiest neighborhood in Salt Lake City… by a lot. Nestled in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains and overlooking the entire Salt Lake Valley, the homes here tend to be among the largest and most luxurious in the city.
In addition to a great view, residents are also treated to the lowest crime rate in the city. Because East Bench is removed from the action of the city, it is easiest for commuters to use a car.
Those looking for a quiet and safe, if relatively expensive, place to raise a family are in the right spot in East Bench. If you’re looking for a diverse, hip scene with a great nightlife, stay down in the valley.
Cost of Living
As the old saw goes, “You get what you pay for.” It certainly holds true for residents of East Bench, who pay more on average for their homes than anyone else in the city.
The Zillow Home Value Index (a more precise median number) in East Bench is $504,700 (vs. the $240,800 SLC average), the highest in Salt Lake City. Rentals are few and generally on the edge of the neighborhood, but the Zillow Rent Index of $2,533 (vs. the $1,385 SLC average) is also the highest in the city.
So what are residents here getting for such high prices? Low crime, large houses, and for those far enough up the hill, a great view of the Salt Lake Valley. In fact, East Bench achieves another number- one ranking with the lowest crime per person in the city.
East Bench is in the foothills on the eastern edge of the city, about six miles from downtown. And because the peace and quiet is a selling point here, you won’t find any city bus routes that run through the neighborhood.
All of this adds up to a neighborhood that’s friendly to cars and not much else, at least when it comes to commuting. It takes about 18 minutes to drive from East Bench to the heart of downtown, with relatively clear roads. Rush hour commuters will add 10–20 minutes each way.
Walking to downtown Salt Lake City is not feasible, and the hills make biking not for the faint of heart (literally). As for buses, they don’t come through the neighborhood itself, but you can catch a bus on Foothill Drive at the western edge of East Bench.
Things to Do
East Bench is almost completely residential, without many activities available within the borders of the neighborhood, with a few notable exceptions.
Bonneville Golf Course provides an exceptional golfing experience, with challenging greens and hilly terrain. Besides the game itself, golfers are treated to an amazing view of the valley. Pro tip: try to get a tee time that will have you wrapping up your game around sunset.
Utah’s Hogle Zoo is next to the golf course and is a draw for the whole city. It may not rank with the San Diegos of the world, but it’s solid fun for the whole family, and it’s inexpensive. Entry is about $7–12 depending on age and season. (Kids under 3 get in free.)
Although it’s tempting to head into the city every weekend, remember that one of the benefits of being nestled in the mountains themselves is that you’re nestled in the mountains themselves. Take advantage of proximity to the great outdoors by hiking and skiing the mountains that residents of East Bench call home.
Restaurants, Shopping, and Nightlife
To beat the drum one more time, a big part of the appeal of East Bench is the peace and quiet it affords its residents. Because of this, you won’t find any restaurants, shopping, or nightlife in the neighborhood itself.
The obvious way around this is to head downtown for a night out. Don’t forget, though, that there are some great options in nearby Sugar House or Bonneville Hills. In fact, there’s plenty to do all over the city, and residents of this or any neighborhood won’t have to travel far to find it.
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