Often simply called “SLC”, Utah’s capital city was named for its close proximity to the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere.
With stunning mountain views, tons of outdoor recreation activities like skiing and hiking, a richpioneer history, the historic Civil War era Fort Douglas, and an open, friendly vibe - Salt Lake City is truly a unique place to live.
Salt Lake City Area Communities
North of Salt Lake City in the stunning foothills of the mountains, Bountiful lives up to its name with a suburban feel in a smaller city that appeals to families and young professionals.
South of Salt Lake City is Draper, a city with a population of about 45,000 and a charming suburban feel that makes for a nice break from big city life without being far away from the city.
South Jordan is another suburb of Salt Lake City, with good schools and a family-oriented vibe, beautiful green spaces, and lots of shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.
Just north of South Jordan is West Jordan, a slightly larger city of about 100,000 people. West Jordan offers slightly lower cost of living than the main Salt Lake City area, and there is a strong focus on community in this city.
Only a short interstate drive south of Salt Lake City, Sugar House is a trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood that has a growing arts scene, great restaurants, and a pioneer history.
West Valley City
West Valley City is the second largest city in Utah - behind Salt Lake City - with a population of 136,000. Its close proximity to the capital city makes it a popular place to live, and it has a suburban feel with lots of parks.
Only 30 minutes east of Salt Lake City on a scenic drive through the mountains, Park City is a smaller mountain city with a strong skiing culture, great schools, and a family-friendly community.
Sandy is a popular Salt Lake City suburb with lots of great shopping and outdoor activities, just 13 miles south of the big city.
If you want to live a more urban lifestyle, downtown Salt Lake City gives you easy access to all of the great museums, art, restaurants, and sports the city center has to offer.
Top Salt Lake City School Districts
Finding the right school district for your children has a major impact on their quality of life and path to success. These are the top rated school districts in the Salt Lake City Area; if you want to delve deeper into school records and standards for the State of Utah, NewHomeSource has a guide to all the resources you need to find the right school for your child.
Davis School District
Students Served: 71,721
School Breakdown: 66 elementary schools, 22 middle schools, and 17 high schools
Students Per Teacher: 25
Test Proficiency: Above state averages in all demographics
Communities Served: Antelope Island, Hill Air Force Base, Davis
Canyons School District
Students Served: 34,423
School Breakdown: 32 elementary schools, 14 middle schools, and 14 high schools
Students Per Teacher: 23
Test Proficiency: Above state averages in most demographics
Communities Served: Alta, Brighton, Solitude, Sandy, Seven Springs, Pepperwood Canyon, Hidden Hill
Salt Lake School District
Students Served: 24,526
School Breakdown: 30 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, and 7 high schools
Students Per Teacher: 22
Test Proficiency: Above state averages in some demographics
Communities Served: Salt Lake City
Jordan School District
Students Served: 52,985
School Breakdown: 68 elementary schools, 27 middle schools, and 22 high schools
Students Per Teacher: 24
Test Proficiency: Above state averages in some demographics
Communities Served: Riverton, Westfold, Bluffdale, Olivers, Dalton, Snyder, Maxfield, Echo Ridge, Country Cove, Ridgecrest, Clover Ridge
Murray School District
Students Served: 6,544
School Breakdown: 7 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 2 high schools
Students Per Teacher: 23
Test Proficiency: Above state averages in most demographics
Communities Served: Murray
Granite School District
Students Served: 70,100
School Breakdown: 72 elementary schools, 27 middle schools, and 23 high schools
Students Per Teacher: 24
Test Proficiency: Below state averages
Communities Served: Garfield, Lost Acres, South Salt Lake
Top Employers in Salt Lake City
Healthcare and education are two of the largest employers in Salt Lake City.
University of Utah
The University of Utah is the largest employer in Salt Lake County, providing over 20,000 jobs in the higher education sector.
State of Utah
The State of Utah is another major employer in the Salt Lake City Area, providing numerous jobs to people who provide necessary government services to residents of the state.
Intermountain Healthcare Medical Center
Intermountain Healthcare Medical Center is the largest healthcare provider in the Salt Lake City Area, providing a steady source of employment for people working in the medical field.
Wal-Mart has a major employment presence in Salt Lake City, with over 7,000 retail sector jobs available to residents.
Granite School District
Granite School District serves the students of Salt Lake City by providing an exelemprary education, and employs over 7,000 teachers and support staff.
Salt Lake City Area Museums
National History Museum of Utah
Located in a modern building with scenic mountain-side views of the Salt Lake Valley, the National History Museum of Utah offers visitors the chance to explore and learn about the natural history of the world, with a particular focus on Utah and the western United States.
Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Art lovers can spend hours admiring masterpieces from around the world at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. In addition to a vast collection, the museum also offers rotating exhibitions throughout the year, guaranteeing you’ll see something new every time you come.
Discovery Gateway Children's Museum
Hands-on fun and learning are the focus of the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum, where kids can explore a real mountain rescue helicopter, service a kid-sized car, operate a bank, learn about bees, and much more - it’s fun for the whole family.
Wheeler Historic Farm
Venture back to the late 1800’s and explore one of the last historic farmsteads in the Salt Lake City area. The Wheeler Historic Farm offers cow milking, wagon rides, tours of the historic farm house, a country store, and walking trails through the scenic farm.
Fort Douglas Military Museum
Visit the Fort Douglas Military Museum to learn about the history of Fort Douglas, which was established during the Civil War just outside of Salt Lake City. The museum has free admission.
The Clark Planetarium, in downtown Salt Lake City, has a variety of free, interactive exhibits where visitors can learn about the universe. In addition to the exhibits, the Clark Planetarium has two theatres - the Hansen Dome Theatre, where the universe becomes 3-dimensional, and the Orbital ATK IMAX Theatre, where science programming is offered on the big screen.
Leonardo Museum of Creativity
The Leonardo Museum of Creativity and Innovation focuses on STEAM - science, technology, engineering, arts, and math - combining art with science and reminding visitors that they often go hand in hand. Exhibits provide an interactive way to explore these elements.
Great Parks in the Salt Lake City Area
Liberty Park is a large, popular park just south of downtown Salt Lake City. Established in 1881, the park is home to the historic Isaac Chase Mill from 1852. Amenities include the Tracy Aviary, a large pond with islands, playgrounds, a concession stand, a swimming pool, sports courts, and a jogging path.
Sugar House Park
The biggest park in the city, Sugar House Park offers 110 acres of green space with mountain views, a walking path, sports fields, sledding hills, pavilions for picnics or parties, and a large pond in the southern part of the city.
Memory Grove is a tranquil park near the Utah State Capitol Building. Several memories for state veterans, a walking and cycling path, and an off-leash dog area are all great amenities to this green space.
Southwest Salt Lake City’s Jordan Park is a large park with plenty of amenities - sports fields and courts, playgrounds, and a dog park. Additionally, the park is home to the International Peace Gardens, a botanical garden which honors international friendships between countries.
For stunning mountain views, Ensign Park is the place to visit. The trailhead for the 0.8 mile trail to the top of Ensign Peak is located just north of downtown Salt Lake City, and offers incredible views of the city below.
Tanner Park is in the southeastern part of Salt Lake City, and park-goers can find 10 acres of tennis courts, a pavilion and amphitheater, a playground, and close proximity to a dog park.
Salt Lake City Sports Teams
Salt Lake City is an active community, and this is reflected in the city’s sport scene. One of the most popular is the NBA team the Utah Jazz, which calls Vivint Smart Home Arena in downtown SLC. Their navy blue and gold team colors fill the stadium on game days.
Other professional teams that call the city home include the soccer club Real Salt Lake, as well as a professional rugby team - the Utah Warriors.
Salt Lake City also has an exciting and varied college sports scene with the University of Utah’s football, basketball, gymnastics, and even ski teams.
The city has several sports clubs for anyone who wants to exercise their athletic side, and there are arenas for almost every sport - including ice rinks and BMX tracks, and the popular Utah Olympic Park that played host to the 2002 Winter Olympics and still serves as an Olympic training center.
Living in Salt Lake City
With a beautiful mountain climate, Salt Lake City residents can enjoy the outdoors in all four seasons - even in the snowy winters. SLC is a very friendly and family-oriented city with an increasingly diverse population, and the city is growing every year - the current population for SLC is about 200,000 and the metro area is about 1.2 million.
The city is also home to the popular Sundance Film Festival, renowned museums, and a flourishing music scene - plenty of arts and culture opportunities. The job and housing markets are also healthy here, adding to the perks of living in this city.
Salt Lake City Housing Trends
With a great blend of hip downtown neighborhoods and family-friendly suburbs, there are many housing options depending on the kind of lifestyle you are looking for.
Housing costs are rising over time, but there are still a variety of options depending on your pricepoint, as there are many suburbs and cities surrounding Salt Lake City.
Median Home Price: $392,000
Although housing prices are higher than the national average, there are many new developments popping up around the city, which gives home buyers more options and a less stressful buying process.
Growing Communities in North Salt Lake City
The city of Ogden is a booming area in North Salt Lake City. This fantastic town has great schools, a fun environment, and comfortable neighborhoods, making it a wonderful place for growing families to put down roots.
If you think living in one of Ogden's new home communities makes sense for you and your family, neighborhoods like Salt Point and East Gate have your dream home waiting for you.
Growing Communities in Central Salt Lake City
Living in Central Salt Lake City gives you access to the best of urban living. This vibrant metropolitan area has everything you've always wanted in exciting living, including fantastic new homes and neighborhoods.
New home communities in Central Salt Lake City let you invest in your dream home and live in a thriving urban hub. Explore communities like Mendon Park and Liberty Park and start living a life you love.
Growing Communities in Southwest Salt Lake City
Living in Southwest Salt Lake City lets you enjoy a peaceful and private lifestyle, while still having easy access to Downtown Salt Lake City.
Grantsville is just one of the great cities in Southwest Salt Lake City with numerous neighborhoods with new construction homes available for sale. This great area is perfect for growing families, so explore communities like Saddleback and Stansbury Park to find the perfect place for your dream home.
Growing Communities in South Salt Lake City
West Jordan has become a thriving town in South Salt Lake City that appeals to growing families and young professionals alike. If you gnat to enjoy the benefits of living to Salt Lake City, but still want to come home to a serene sanctuary at the end of the work day, West Jordan is the perfect place for you.
Glenmoor and Jordan Meadows are just two of the wonderful new home communities available in South Salt Lake City.
Amazing Salt Lake City Restaurants
Good eats are easily found in Salt Lake City. From Cajun to Asian-Fusian, and everything in between, great food is in abundance in the SLC.
The Copper Onion
In the heart of Salt Lake City’s downtown area, The Copper Onion uses local ingredients for its seasonal, affordable New American menu.
The Red Iguana
The Red Iguana has been a Salt Lake City staple for over 30 years, and their delicious home-cooked Mexican food frequently places them in the #1 spot on best restaurant lists.
Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade
Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade is one of the best brunch spots in the city - and it all started with hand-squeezed, refreshing limeade. In addition to their signature beverage, they are also known for their delicious biscuits.
Modern Lebanese food can be found at Laziz Kitchen, with affordable prices, a friendly environment, and fantastic hummus near downtown Salt Lake City.
If you’re craving some Cajun food in a hip bar setting, The Bayou is the place to go. In addition to Red Beans and Rice, Jambalaya, and Hoppin Johns, they also have over 500 beers to choose from.
The Park Cafe
A popular breakfast and brunch spot in the Liberty Wells neighborhood, The Park Cafe serves traditional diner food across from the stunning Liberty Park.
For a fancy night out, look no further than Valter’s Osteria. Serving high-end Italian food in the heart of Downtown Salt Lake City, you’re guaranteed to have a great experience from start to finish.
It’s not real BBQ if there aren’t a variety of hot sauces and rolls of paper towels on every table, and R&R delivers just that. Serving tantalizing smoked meats and all of the beloved BBQ sides like coleslaw and macaroni and cheese, this is the perfect place to get your BBQ fix.
Eva is the perfect downtown restaurant for a fun night out with family or friends. In a warm, inviting setting, Eva’s menu features tapas - smaller, shareable dishes that allow you to try lots of different things.
Takashi is a popular sushi bar in downtown Salt Lake City. With an extensive menu, there’s sushi for everyone, and if you’re not a fan of raw fish, they have a variety of small plate dishes as well.
Pig & a Jelly Jar
With a unique name and a southern-inspired brunch menu that includes the classic chicken and waffles, Pig & a Jelly Jar is worth remembering - and going back to.
Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana
When you’re craving a slice, look no further than Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana, where their authentic Neapolitan pizza is cooked quickly in a wood-burning oven. Many of the ingredients used at Settebello are sourced straight from Italy.
Zao Asian Cafe
Zao Asian Cafe serves Asian-fusion in a fast-casual setting, with modern decor and unique dishes at an affordable price.
Experience Japanese cuisine in a luxurious setting. Nobu Houston opened in 2018 in the Gallaria to elevate the Houston restaurant scene.
Harbor Seafood & Steak Company
Harbor Seafood & Steak Company is one of the best steakhouses in the city, and it has become a neighborhood staple for the Sugar House area. They use the freshest ingredients, often locally sourced, for their steak and seafood menu.
Zest Kitchen & Bar
Vegetarian and vegan friendly, Zest Kitchen & Bar’s menu will appeal to all - with a focus on healthy and delicious local ingredients, a full bar, and a prime downtown location, Zest is great for lunch or dinner.
Tosh’s is one of the most popular ramen spots in Salt Lake City, and their casual atmosphere, affordable prices, and delicious variations on ramen dishes make it easy to see why.
Pretty Bird takes you on a trip down south with its classic fried chicken. They have a simple menu - a fried chicken sandwich or a “quarter bird” are their main items - allowing for customization with the heat level, seasonal sides, and sauces.
Great Attractions for Salt Lake City Stay-cations
The Great Salt Lake
Visiting the city’s namesake, only a 20 minute drive, is essential if you want to call yourself a true SLC resident. Because the 1,700 square mile lake does not have a natural river outlet, its water is saltier than the ocean - but this doesn’t stop an abundance of marine life and birds from calling the lake home. Recreation opportunities include panoramic hikes and beach resorts.
Utah Olympic Park
Home of the 2002 Winter Olympics, visitors can still experience some of the thrill of the games at Utah Olympic Park, only 30 minutes outside of Salt Lake City. While the park still serves as an Olympic training center, non-athletes can enjoy the museums, ride the bobsled, race down the Nordic jump, zipline down the mountain, and much more.
Temple Square is the headquarters for the LDS Church in Salt Lake City and the most popular tourist attraction in the state. Visitors can admire the grandeur of the historic Salt Lake Temple, visit the Church History Museum, and experience the acoustics of the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
Family History Library
The Family History Library is part of Temple Square, but it is a unique experience on its own - this genealogical research library is open to the public, and visitors can learn about the history of their families here.
Hiking to the top of Grandeur Peak is a great option for anyone looking to enjoy nature and admire incredible views of the valley. The hike is 6.5 miles round trip, and hikers will gain 2,650 feet in elevation, admiring beautiful trees, wildflowers, streams, and more along the way.
Red Butte Garden
Red Butte Garden is the largest botanical garden in the area, with five miles of walking trails through garden displays and beautiful foliage. Visitors can also take classes in gardening, bird watching, art, and the garden even offers a summer camp.
Redwood Drive-In Movie Theatre
The Redwood Drive-In Movie Theatre has been around since 1948, making it a staple in the area. Families can enjoy popular movies on a new and improved digital projection system year round while still having the same drive-in theatre experience from the mid-20th century.
Bonneville Salt Flats
You may recognize the Bonneville Salt Flats from many car commercials, but they are also a unique natural destination about an hour and a half from Salt Lake City. Over 30,000 acres of stunning, flat, white landscape with the sky and mountain peaks reflected in the water, await.
Salt Lake City has a great mix of unique local shops and big-name stores, often found side by side in shopping areas. There’s plenty of opportunity to shop ‘til you drop in this city.
Gardner Village is a historic shopping spot - built around a historic 1877 flour mill, the area now has many local shops and restaurants in charming village buildings that make you feel like you’re stepping back in time.
Near downtown Salt Lake CIty, The Gateway is a one-stop destination for your favorite national chains as well as an abundance of shops unique to the city. Occupying several blocks, The Gateway’s open-air shopping has something for everyone.
Trolley Square is another historic shopping destination - high end shops can be found in what were formerly old trolley barns. The unique architecture of the shopping center includes an iconic bright red water tower and a sky bridge.
9th and 9th
Located in the Liberty Park neighborhood, 9th and 9th is a smaller, eclectic shopping area. In addition to local boutiques, the area also has art displays and is home to a popular annual street festival.
Places of Worship
Salt Lake City has numerous places of worship that represent a wide range of faiths and religions that go beyond the Church of Later Day Saints.
The Temple Square
The Temple Square is the historic square in the Salt Lake City Temple. You can tour its beautiful grounds and architecture, or atend one of the many free events held here.
Al-rasool Islamic Center
The center offers community fellowship, relgious teachings, youth programs, and a religious schools to Shia Muslims in the Salt Lake Area.
Congregation Kol Ami
Congregation Kol Ami offers a welcoming shoul to Jewish and interfaith families in addition to the Rafi Schwartz relgious school and preschool.
Salt Lake Buddhist Fellowship
The Salt Lake Buddhist Fellowship offers Sunday morning gatherings to everyone in Salt Lake City, offering the Way of Oneness to all.
Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple of Utah
The Sri Ganesha Temple is a peaceful place of worship where adherants can pursue Hindu ideals, traditions, and cultures.
Chabad Lubavitch of Utah
The Chabad Lubavitch of Utah is a welcoming community that offers Jews of all affiliations traditional services and a loving group of people.
Khadeeja Islamic Center
The Khadeeja Islamic Center is an outgrowth of the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake, and one of the most diverse relgious communities in the area, meets commuinty need for a place of prayer and fellowship.
Krishna Temple Salt Lake City
The Krishna Temple has two beautiful Rajasthani inspired Temple locations in Salt Lake City and Spanish Fork.
First Presbyterian Church
The First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake offers traditional Christian worship services in a beautiful historic church, with stunning stained glass windows.
Other Utah Resources
Lara Herreid has a BA in English and Sociology from Southwestern University and a Master of Public Administration from The Ohio State University. She currently works in higher education and enjoys writing in her free time.