Moving to Salt Lake City

Moving to Salt Lake City? Congratulations! You’re coming to a fantastic location: a city with a potent combination of large-city culture and small-town charm.

Salt Lake City has been welcoming new people and companies for years, and more are coming all the time. Low cost of living, stunning natural beauty, and a thriving economy have caught the attention of businesses and workers from all over the world.

Bonus: We’ve created a tool to help you find the perfect neighborhood for you and your family. Click here to find the neighborhood that’s right for you.

A Fresh Look at Salt Lake City

6 Reasons Why Moving Here May Be the Best Decision You’ll Ever Make

Green Check Mark

1. The Greatest Snow on Earth

It really is the best! In quality, quantity, and—maybe most important—consistency, Utah’s snow comes out on top. There’s plenty of scientific data to go into, but suffice it to say that the snow that falls on Utah’s mountains has the right moisture content and even the right crystalline shape to make for some epic powder.

And there’s plenty of that wonderful snow to go around. In terms of average annual snowfall, a whopping four of the top ten resorts in the nation are within a 45-minute drive of downtown Salt Lake City: Brighton, Solitude, Snowbird, and Alta, each of which average 500 inches or more in average annual snowfall. Several others, including Park City are within an hour’s drive.

A Quick Heads Up

SLC’s air quality can be pretty bad for several weeks during the winter, as a result of a meteorological inversion. It’s getting better, though. One more reason to hit the slopes and get above the bad air!

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2. More Diverse than you Thought

“I’m not sure I’ll fit in there… Isn’t Salt Lake City full of middle-class, rural, religious families?” Not exactly. You’ll still find plenty fitting that description, but Salt Lake City’s days of uniformity are long gone. Racial, religious, and cultural diversity are the new norm, with frequent parades, events, and festivals for any number of various groups. (Pro tip: check out the massive Festival of Colors at the Lotus Temple in neighboring Utah County.)

A major surprise amongst newcomers is the thriving LGBT community. A recent Gallup poll ranked Salt Lake City number 7 in percentage of the population that identifies as LGBT. In fact, the Utah Pride Parade is Utah’s second most attended parade each year, behind only the Pioneer Day celebration.

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3. Easy Access to the Outdoors

What to do when Utah’s famous snow melts? (And yes, it will melt! Salt Lake City has four wonderful seasons, including a warm and inviting summer.) Those same mountains that were so great covered in snow become a different kind of playground when the sun comes out in earnest. Hiking, camping, mountain biking, ATV riding, and much more await the adventurous. Being nestled up against the mountains themselves means that you’re only a quick ride away from breathtaking trails, lakes, and waterfalls.

For a change of pace, head out the other way, toward the Bonneville Salt Flats, an ancient—and massive—dry lake bed, famous for being so flat and so barren, that you can actually see the curvature of the planet.

A Quick Heads Up

Winters in SLC are long and cold, the summers long and hot. Good news for hikers and skiers. If you come from milder climates, be prepared to make some wardrobe adjustments.

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4. A Bike-Friendly City

Get fit, help the environment, reduce traffic congestion. Why wouldn’t you commute by bike? And plenty of people here subscribe to that mindset. In fact, the League of American Bicyclists in 2015 named Salt Lake City a bicycle friendly community, noting particularly its high percentage of streets with bike lanes and its efforts to mainstream bicycling culture.

Things are hardly perfect for bikers, but Salt Lake City recognizes that there is still work to be done in encouraging the safety of cyclists, and is enthusiastically engaging in that work. Consider that Salt Lake City, as of Fall 2015, will be the first US city with a protected intersection, designed specifically with cyclists in mind.

Green Check Mark

5. Music and Entertainment

Being the only major city in the Intermountain West has its perks, and one of them is a vibrant—and growing—music scene. See great local talent like Neon Trees or Imagine Dragons in their natural habitat: small- and mid-sized venues like The Depot or In the Venue. And the big acts almost never fail to make a stop at Vivint Smart Home Arena or the Maverick Center.

Looking for something a bit more highbrow? Salt Lake City has you covered there, too. Utah Opera and the renowned Ballet West both perform in the century-old Capitol Theatre. Additionally, 2016 will see the opening of a brand new performing arts center for touring Broadway productions and other large shows.

A Quick Heads Up

Heading out for a night on the town? Utah’s anti-liquor laws of decades past are gone, but there are still a few quirky things on the books, like no liquor at dine-in restaurants without ordering food.

Green Check Mark

6. Friendly Residents

This one is a bit harder to quantify, but the mountains of anecdotal evidence this time paint an accurate picture: Salt Lake City is a friendly place. Drop by the local grocery store or bank and you’re likely to be greeted by the sort of hospitality normally associated with southern states. It’s one reason that, in addition to a thriving tech industry, Utah is home to a huge number of customer service jobs.

Overall, residents of the Salt Lake City area have embraced a culture of genuine acceptance and inclusion, and people of all stripes moving into the area will have little trouble getting along their new neighbors. Whoever you are, you’ll fit right in.

Sundown in SLC

Salt Lake City’s Nightlife

There are plenty of economic reasons to come to Salt Lake City, and they mostly revolve around great jobs and great homes. But what do you do when you’re off the clock and it’s way too early to head home?

Salt Lake City’s Nightlife

Worried that Salt Lake City will leave you with nothing to do after hours? Relax, you’re covered. Salt Lake City has long had a reputation of being the city that, far from never sleeping, has more of an 8:00pm bed time. Luckily, that reputation is being quickly shed, with its many bars and clubs enjoying a productive relationship with the many local micro breweries. Enjoy yourself into the wee morning hours at a wide variety of nightly hot spots.

Food and Dining

It’s official: Salt Lake City is a foodie city. What are you in the mood for? Just name it, and it’s within easy reach, including cheap eats. Barbecue? Head to Pat’s. Lunch downtown? Hit up Lamb’s Grill or The Copper Onion. Sandwiches? That’s easy: Moochies has the best Philly cheesesteak this side of Philly, and maybe the best meatball sub anywhere. The Mexican food at Red Iguana is killer. There’s plenty of fine dining, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll just suggest that you head to Pago for an exceptional dining experience.

Bonus: If our suggestions weren’t enough for you, go check out Salt Lake Magazine’s 25 Best Restaurants in Utah.

More Reasons to Come to Salt Lake City

11 Facts That Explain Why Everyone is Moving Here

1. The Best City For Soccer Fans

Real Salt Lake plays at the beautiful Rio Tinto Stadium. The fans are great, the local soccer culture is best in the nation, and oh yeah, the team wins a lot.

2. One Of The Best Cities For Tech Jobs

Salt Lake City’s economy is growing, and that’s especially apparent in the tech industry. The city has enjoyed a 31% growth in tech employment in the last 10 years.

3. Incomes Are Growing Faster Than Rents

While many areas in the country are feeling the sting of rising rents and falling wages, Salt Lake City is one of the few cities where incomes are actually rising faster than rent.

4. The Best City In Job Creation

Your long-term prospects in Salt Lake City are looking good. A recent Gallup survey ranked Salt Lake City in the top spot of their Job Creation Index.

6. One Of The Best Job Markets

By weighing three measures (hiring opportunity, cost of living, and job satisfaction), ranked the 25 best cities for jobs. No surprise, Salt Lake City is very high on that list.

5. One Of The 10 Best Downtowns

New construction mingles with restoration of historic buildings, ensuring that Salt Lake City’s downtown will remain an attractive location for a long time to come.

7. One Of The Best Cities For 20-Somethings

Cheap rent, plentiful jobs, a relaxed vibe, and a newly hip nightlife make Salt Lake City a magnet for the young and adventurous.

8. We’re Working To End Homelessness

Salt Lake City, which had the same number as San Francisco just a few years ago, has so few chronic homeless that their number is considered statistically insignificant.

9. One Of The Best Cities For Creatives

Salt Lake City made it into the top 10 cities for creatives. ranked cities according to cost of living and density of creatives in the population.

10. One Of The Best Cities To Buy A New Home

Buying a home is both stressful and exciting. Thanks to low(ish) home prices and rising wages, buying in Salt Lake City helps Millennials to favor the latter over the former.

11. One Of The Best Cities To Start A Business

Low cost of living. Low cost of doing business. Favorable tax rate. Young workforce. Of course Salt Lake City ranks high on Kiplinger’s list.

Photos of Salt Lake City

More of What Salt Lake City Has to Offer

Craig Hanks

Craig is a Salt Lake City-based writer who has moved more times than he cares to count. He tried living out of state a couple times, but SLC irresistibly pulled him back in.
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  • Andrew Hansen

    Great article Craig.

    I’m considering a move to SLC and wondering if you had any input the best places within the city to live. I’ve read very little about Downtown, Sugar House neighborhood and The Avenues and looking for some guidance

  • Blaine

    Hey Craig,

    Don’t make me vomit please. I lived in that S-H for 3 long ass years and it was the worst experience of my life. I’m 44, I know what I am talking about. Let’s tell it like it really is shall we?

    Worst place in the nation if your a heterosexual guy looking for a decent single woman to date who is NOT Bi-Polar or popping meds from depression. Salt Lake in itself is a truly depressing place so that explains that. Salt Lake is a GREAT place to live if your an auto insurance scammer. Heads up people, Utah law forces insurance companies to disclose your auto limits to any scum bag attorney so that they can go after your limits. This means some jerk off can sideswipe you and turn around and sue you. You have NO privacy in that crap hole of a state. Lets say that again… Remember, this is a state where you have NO PRIVACY. Not only is it a haven for freak show types, but also a good place to commit suicide. Think about it and do your research, Utah has the highest rating of pill poppers in the nation. Utah also has some of the most outlandish laws in the nation. The homeless population? It has possibly more then SFO. I lived in the bay area for several years and never had as many scumbags come up to me begging for money. These are the young millennials who are fully able to work but refuse to do so. 99.5% of them don’t want to work because they are lazy and useless. Smoke pot? I don’t, but I sure as hell don’t care if anyone else does. BUT, Utah as backwards ass as it is, cares and they show it. Wasting jail space for someone caught with an ounce of weed in his/her possession and a ton of wasted tax dollars from some over paid mormon hillbilly judge that should have died 30 years prior, yeah, expect to rot in a cell for that hit. Filthy air? Yeah, plenty of it. Bad roads? Hope you don’t care about your car/truck or SUV because it will pay the price from the crumbling infrastructure. See, Utah or UDOT doesn’t know how to repair roads which is why they are falling apart. Pot holes are plentiful just like a 3rd world dump. Utah got 3 long years of my life and it was a lesson indeed. I am white but that is beside the point. If your white and living in Utah, especially SLC, you will find that some of the most dumbest white people live in Salt Lake. They can’t drive, they lack on skills that is needed to take care of cars. Funny, the whole time I lived in that slop hole the ONLY ones who washed the salt crap off their vehicles were latinos. So if you buy a used car/truck, DO NOT buy from a white guy.

    Being a CA native, that state too is a repulsive god forsaken hell hole. But, Utah is not far behind. Funny, everyone boasts about how Utah is a wonderful place to live, I wonder how much of the (Kool-aid) they drank before making such a false statement. Utah, you can keep your watered down government controlled crappy tasting beer and your thousand island dressing you claim as your fry sauce. As for me every time I visit your god forsaken state, I will remember to drop my pants and take a big load on your (Welcome to Utah) sign and smear it all over. Thanks again for making my life a “positive” one for the 3 lousy years. Let’s hope the Temple Square has a 10.0 earthquake soon.

  • Slaiman Atayee

    Hi Craig,

    Great Article. Do you mind providing your source for “3. Incomes Are Growing Faster Than Rents”? Thanks.

  • Renaissance man

    Yay!! Diversity! LGBT. Is NOT diversity. Europeans, Americans, South Americans, Asians, thats diversity. LBGT is 1% of the USA population. Bg deal