Often called the Beehive State, Utah is a treasure trove of jaw-dropping landscapes, rich history and fascinating cities. From vibrant metropolises to quaint towns, a journey through Utah reveals intriguing historical highlights, stunning geological landmarks and some surprising hidden gems.
The cities in Utah may be small in population size but punch above their weight in uniqueness. Its largest city, Salt Lake City, only has around 200,000 people, but holds an important role as the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). An intriguing fact about Utah’s cities is that many were founded by Mormon pioneers whose beliefs strongly influenced the state’s settlement and growth.
This overview of the best cities in Utah will give you a flavour of the historical background of each city, showcasing their roots in Mormon settlement, agriculture, industry, and the subsequent growth and development they have experienced over the years.
- Cities in Utah
Cities in Utah
20 Utah Cities To Visit
1- Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah, blends urban comforts with natural beauty.
The 2002 Winter Olympics host city is home to the impressive Temple Square, a 10-acre religious site that is the spiritual heart of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).
Anyone visiting Salt Lake City should explore the square’s landmarks, such as the majestic Salt Lake Temple, which blends Gothic, Romanesque, and Renaissance architectural styles, the Tabernacle with its famous organ, the Gothic-style Assembly Hall and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
Lush gardens, statues, and reflecting pools adorn the grounds, creating a tranquil ambience to contemplate and appreciate the area’s historical and religious significance.
Also, visit the Utah State Capitol, or hike in the nearby Wasatch Mountains.
Founded by Brigham Young and his Mormon pioneers in 1847, Salt Lake City became the hub for the LDS church and played a significant role in the expansion of the USA towards the West.
Despite strict liquor laws, the city has experienced a craft beer revolution.
Numerous local breweries, brewpubs and beer bars offer a range of quality craft beers, including unique and creative flavours.
Hidden gem: A hidden gem in this Utah city is the Gilgal Gardens, featuring a collection of Mormon artist Thomas Battersby Child Jr’s sculptures, stone carvings and symbolic artwork created.
- Salt Lake City Guided Bus Tour
- Trolley Adventure: A Show-Tour of Salt Lake City
- Salt Lake City Bike and Brew Tour
If you’re looking to experience otherworldly landscapes, one of the best cities in Utah to visit is Moab.
In Moab’s early days, it was a trading post and a hub for mining and ranching. It became a city in 1936.
Its location in the southeastern part of the state makes it a gateway to two national parks – Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park – that showcase otherworldly rock formations, towering arches, deep canyons and breathtaking vistas that attract visitors from around the world.
Arches National Park, with its iconic Delicate Arch and numerous other unique rock formations, offers a mesmerising playground for hikers, photographers and nature enthusiasts.
Canyonlands National Park, known for its expansive canyons, dramatic overlooks, and the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers, provides opportunities for hiking, four-wheel driving, and exploring remote backcountry trails.
Moab also has an extensive network of mountain biking trails, including the world-famous Slickrock Bike Trail.
This desert mountain biking mecca attracts riders of all levels, offering thrilling rides through slick rock terrain and breathtaking desert scenery.
Beyond its natural wonders, Moab has a vibrant town atmosphere with charming shops, galleries and restaurants, where most visitors enjoy browsing for souvenirs, artwork, and outdoor gear while enjoying the friendly and laid-back ambience of this Utah city.
The region surrounding Moab is rich in outdoor activities such as rock climbing, rafting on the Colorado River, off-roading, and canyoneering.
Adventure seekers can partake in exhilarating experiences while immersing themselves in the awe-inspiring beauty of the surrounding red rock landscapes.
- Arches National Park 4×4 Adventure from Moab
- Canyonlands National Park Half-Day Tour from Moab
- Moab Private Half-Day Canyoneering (4 Hours)
3- Park City
Originally settled in the 1860s as a mining town, Park City quickly grew due to the silver mining boom and received its official city status in 1994.
The mining industry played a significant role in the early development and growth of Park City.
Over time, the city transitioned into a renowned ski resort destination and has since become a vibrant community with a rich history, cultural attractions, and a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities.
With its world-class ski resorts, including Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort, Park City is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. If you’re keen, jump on this link and book your 2 Day Rental of Park City Premium Ski Package.
Beyond skiing and snowboarding, there’s an extensive trail network for hiking, mountain biking and exploring scenic landscapes.
The city’s historic Main Street has boutiques, art galleries and award-winning restaurants, offering a vibrant dining and shopping scene.
Park City also hosts renowned events like the Sundance Film Festival.
Recommended tour: Urban Art and Historical E-Bike Tour in Park City
4- West Valley City
Established as a city in 1980, West Valley City was settled in the mid-19th century by Mormon pioneers and grew as a suburban community near Salt Lake City, becoming Utah’s second-largest city in 1980.
West Valley City offers both recreational opportunities and cultural experiences.
The USANA Amphitheatre is an outdoor music venue that hosts exciting concerts, while the Hale Centre Theatre showcases outstanding live performances.
Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the Oquirrh Mountains or visit the Utah Cultural Celebration Center to learn about the city’s diverse heritage.
Thanks to Brigham Young University, Provo is a vibrant city brimming with youthful energy.
Explore the stunning Provo Canyon, go on scenic hikes to Bridal Veil Falls and enjoy aquatic activities on Utah Lake.
Provo Canyon stretches along the Provo River, where you can go fishing, kayaking and hiking.
The scenic drive through Provo Canyon is also breathtaking, with towering cliffs and lush vegetation.
Wildlife sightings are common, and the canyon is known for its diverse flora and fauna. drive
Mormon pioneers led by Brigham Young founded Provo in 1849.
The city began as a gathering place for members of the LDS Church, growing into a thriving city with the establishment of Brigham Young University in 1875.
Hidden gem: One hidden gem is the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, featuring an extensive collection of preserved animals.
Recommended tour: Private Utah High Country Rafting Adventure from Provo
6- West Jordan
Incorporated in 1941, West Jordan traces its roots back to the mid-19th century when Mormon settlers arrived.
It was primarily an agricultural community until it experienced significant growth in the late 20th century.
This city in Utah’s Salt Lake Valley has several family-friendly attractions, such as Gardner Historic Village, where visitors can step back in time and experience pioneer life.
Hidden gem: Discover the city’s creative side at Schorr Art Studio, a hidden gem and a hub for local artists.
Originally known as Sharon, Orem was also settled by Mormon pioneers in 1877 and is only 7 miles (13 minutes by car) from Provo.
It was renamed Orem in 1914 to honour railroad magnate Walter C. Orem and became a centre for industry and education, home of Utah Valley University (UVU).
Orem is nestled against the Wasatch Mountains and offers stunning natural surroundings and a vibrant arts scene.
A scenic natural spot to explore is the beautiful Cascade Springs in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest nearby.
It’s a natural spring originating from an underground limestone formation that cascades down the hillside forming small pools and waterfalls.
For city delights, shop and dine at University Place or catch a show at the Hale Center Theater.
Sleepy Ridge Golf Course is a challenging 18-hole golf course with beautiful mountain and Utah Lake views.
Sandy was settled in the 1860s by Mormon pioneers as a farming community.
This Utah city was officially incorporated in 1893 and has since transformed into a thriving suburban city that is a gateway to outdoor adventures at Snowbird and Alta ski resorts.
The two winter destinations in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains are interconnected, allowing skiers and snowboards with a combined pass access to a vast area.
Snowbird’s steep terrain and abundant snowfall offer a wide range of ski and snowboard runs suitable for all skill levels, while Alta’s deep powder and challenging terrain makes it a favourite among advanced skiers.
The Shops at South Town offer excellent shopping opportunities, while the Sandy Amphitheater hosts live concerts and performances.
Ogden was founded in 1846 by Mormon settlers and under Brigham Young’s direction.
It was a hub for the transcontinental railroad and a commercial and industry hub during the late 19th century.
This city at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains has a rich history rooted in the railroad era.
Explore the revitalised “Historic District” of 25th Street, lined with shops and restaurants, or visit Union Station to learn about Ogden’s transportation heritage.
Kids will love Eccles Dinosaur Park, home to life-sized dinosaur replicas and the Treehouse Children’s Museum, an interactive museum that sparks creativity and imagination.
Outside Ogden, Powder Mountain ski resort offers vast terrain, pristine powder and uncrowded slopes.
Recommended tour: Ogden Puzzling Adventure
10- St. George
St. George is a sun-drenched city with a fascinating history and stunning red rock landscapes.
Explore the picturesque Snow Canyon State Park, admire the architecture of the St. George Tabernacle, or visit the Rosenbruch Wildlife Museum.
St George is also near Zion National Park (33 miles and about a 30-minute drive), with its towering sandstone cliffs, emerald pools, cascading waterfalls and narrow slot canyons.
Founded in 1861 by a group of Mormon pioneers led by Brigham Young, St. George was established as a cotton mission to produce cotton during the American Civil War.
It has a rich pioneer heritage and is known for its warm climate.
Recommended tour: Utah Mighty 5 National Parks Limousine Tour from St George Utah
Layton was settled in the 1850s by Mormon pioneers seeking fertile land and was incorporated as a city in 1950, experiencing steady growth over the years to become a vibrant suburban community with a population of over 80,000
Layton has beautiful parks for outdoor enthusiasts, including the popular Layton Commons Park, with playgrounds, sports fields and picnic areas.
Explore Antelope Island State Park, home to a thriving bison population, while the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve has tranquil views and is a haven for birdwatching for shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors and songbirds.
Hill Aerospace Museum is only 12 miles from Layton and is worth a visit for its military aircraft exhibits.
12- South Jordan
Settled in 1859 by Mormon pioneers, South Jordan was primarily an agricultural community before it became a city in 1935.
It has undergone significant residential and commercial development in recent years, transforming it into a modern city with a rich pioneer heritage.
Visit the stunning Oquirrh Mountain Temple and Jordan River Temple – this was the world’s first city to have two LDS temples.
Explore the vast Jordan River Parkway, or enjoy a performance at the South Jordan Performing Arts Center.
The Gale Center of History and Culture showcases South Jordan’s fascinating past through exhibits and interactive displays.
Another city in Utah, Lehi, was named after a Book of Mormon prophet and, of course, settled in 1850 by Mormon pioneers.
Once an agricultural community, Lehi has pivoted with the times.
It has evolved into a technology-driven city, earning the nickname “Silicon Slopes” because of its thriving tech industry that is home to startups.
Ancestry.com, Podium and DigiCert have their headquarters in this city and Adobe Systems has a significant presence.
Throughout history, Mormons have been involved in science, engineering, medicine, information technology and other areas of technological innovation.
Lehi also offers family-friendly attractions like the Museum of Ancient Life, housing an impressive collection of dinosaur fossils.
Visit Thanksgiving Point to explore the stunning gardens, museums and farm experiences.
The Outlets at Traverse Mountain offer excellent shopping deals.
Settled in the 1840s by Mormon pioneers, the Millcreek area became a city in 2016 when several smaller communities combined.
Millcreek combines urban amenities with easy access to the great outdoors as the nearby Wasatch Mountains provide opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, skiing and other outdoor activities.
Millcreek Canyon is popular for its scenic trails, picnic areas, and nature hikes, while Big Cottonwood Canyon is great for hiking and skiing.
Visit the charming Historic Trolley Square for shopping and dining.
Millcreek is less than eight miles (about a 12-minute drive) from downtown Salt Lake City, allowing visitors to easily access the city’s attractions, cultural events and entertainment options.
This proximity provides the convenience of staying in a peaceful suburban area while having easy access to the state’s most vibrant urban centre.
Taylorsville was settled in the mid-19th century by Mormon pioneers and was also an agricultural community.
It was incorporated as a city in 1996 and has grown into a suburban residential area.
Explore the vast Taylorsville-Bennion Heritage Center to learn about the city’s pioneer history, or visit the beautiful Taylorsville Lake for fishing and boating.
The Meadow Brook Golf Course offers a scenic golfing experience surrounded by majestic mountain views.
Logan sits in Cache Valley and is yet another city in Utah settled in 1859 by Mormon pioneers seeking fertile land for agriculture.
This Utah city was named after Ephraim Logan, a fur trapper, and developed into a thriving city with the establishment of Utah State University in 1888.
Explore the stunning Logan Canyon, visit the Utah State University campus, or catch a show at the historic Ellen Eccles Theatre.
The American West Heritage Center offers a glimpse into pioneer life through interactive exhibits and live demonstrations.
Although Murray is a Salt Lake City suburb, it became a city in 1902 and has, over the last century, maintained a balance between residential and commercial growth.
Visit Murray Park for picnicking and sports activities, explore the Murray Theater for live performances, or stroll through the Murray Historic District.
The Desert Star Playhouse combines comedy and dinner theatre for a unique entertainment experience.
Discover the Wheeler Historic Farm, a working farm that offers educational programs and a glimpse into Utah’s agricultural history.
Draper’s backdrop of the majestic Wasatch Mountains makes it a great place for outdoor recreational opportunities.
It was settled in 1849 by Mormon pioneers and named after William Draper Jr., an early leader in the LDS Church.
Like many other cities in Utah, it began as an agricultural community and later became a residential and commercial centre.
Explore Corner Canyon for hiking and mountain biking, visit the stunning Draper City Park, or rock climb at Steep Mountain Park.
The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium offers an immersive underwater experience with diverse marine life.
Its Discover Utah exhibit highlights the local aquatic life found in Utah’s rivers, lakes and wetlands; you can learn about native species like the Bonneville Cutthroat trout, beavers, and amphibians and an understanding of the region’s diverse ecosystems.
Founded in 1847 by Mormon pioneers, Bountiful was named after the “bountiful” land described in the Book of Mormon.
It is one of Utah’s oldest settlements and has maintained its small-town charm while experiencing growth.
Visit the Bountiful Utah Temple, explore Mueller Park for hiking and wildlife viewing, or enjoy shopping and dining at the Gateway Plaza.
The Bountiful/Davis Art Center features rotating exhibits and art classes for all ages.
Riverton combines a small-town feel with modern facilities and was initially settled in the mid-19th century by Mormon pioneers.
It became a city in 1947 and has grown into a thriving community with a residential and commercial development blend.
Visit the Riverton City Park for outdoor activities, explore the expansive Jordan River Trail, or enjoy a round of golf at the Riverbend Golf Course.
The Flight Park State Recreation Area is a popular spot for paragliding and offers breathtaking views of the Salt Lake Valley.
21- Spanish Fork
Spanish Fork is known for its rich agricultural heritage and vibrant community events.
It was settled in 1851 by Mormon pioneers and named after the nearby Spanish Fork River, playing a significant role in the agricultural and livestock industries in the region.
Visit the Spanish Fork City Park, enjoy water activities on the Spanish Fork River, or attend the famous Fiesta Days celebration.
The Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple is a serene retreat and a place of spiritual reflection, formed by a dedicated community of followers of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in the region.
Roy is a city in Utah’s Weber County that offers a laid-back atmosphere and easy access to outdoor adventures.
It was established in 1873 by settlers seeking new opportunities and was originally an agricultural community that has become a residential area with a strong sense of community.
Visit the scenic Roy City Municipal Park, explore the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, or catch a movie at the Roy Theatre.
The Hill Aerospace Museum, operated by the United States Air Force, showcases an impressive aircraft and aviation history collection.
The museum’s interactive displays allow visitors to learn about the principles of flight, experience flight simulators and engage in hands-on activities related to aerospace technology.
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