The 5 Best Neighborhoods in Salt Lake CIty

If you’ve ever thought about moving to Salt Lake City, now is the time.

Forbes has called Salt Lake the “next tech mecca” and ranked it at #10 on its list of fastest-growing cities in the United States. In fact, SLC is quickly outgrowing itself as more people discover all the area has to offer, and with good reason.

Salt Lake City is the perfect place for outdoor lovers, creatives, techies, young professionals, and families. There’s a little something for everyone — and a neighborhood to match.

Read on to discover the SLC neighborhoods we love most.

1. Downtown

Perfect for: Millennials, young professionals

Downtown Salt Lake City is the center of it all—literally. Like many cities founded and settled by Mormon pioneers, SLC is built on a coordinate grid based on longitude and latitude. Temple Square represents zero-zero, and the streets are numbered according to how many blocks away they are in each cardinal direction. Downtown is home to the administrative and conference centers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is also the heart of Utah’s business and financial sectors. Imposing office buildings stand out in comparison to the rest of the valley, but wide streets and long blocks keep downtown from feeling crowded and cramped.

The area adjacent to what is officially “downtown” and that spreads south and east toward the Wasatch mountains has more residential buildings, old and new, mixed in with commercial properties, restaurants, and bars, but it’s still walkable and close to the bustle of downtown. Both neighborhoods offer easy access to public transit, including buses and TRAX, a light-rail system, as well as GREENbike bikes hare stations.

You’ll find more apartments and condos in a wide price range than single-family homes here, so it’s ideal for young singles, couples, and professionals who want a city feel—especially if you work nearby. Two important notes: Most businesses, including some restaurants, are closed on Sundays, and like any downtown area, there is more crime here than in other neighborhoods.

Highlights:

  • Broadway District—300 S east of State Street is a hotspot for restaurants, bars, galleries, and fitness studios. Try the burger at Copper Common, oysters at Current, fresh-pressed juice at Vive, and take in an indie movie at the aptly-named Broadway Theater.
  • The Downtown Salt Lake City Farmers Market runs year-round—find it at Pioneer Park in the summer and Rio Grande in the winter.
  • Entertainment—The Vivint Smart Home Arena is home to the Utah Jazz (NBA) and hosts large concerts throughout the year. The Utah Symphony, Ballet West, and theater groups also perform at venues downtown.
  • Despite Utah’s weird liquor laws, downtown and Central City are home to great nightlife. Try Beer Bar for beers and brats—it’s owned by Ty Burrell of Modern Family awkward dad fame.

2. Sugar House

Perfect for: Families, students

Sugar House gets its name from a sugar beet test factory that ran for 1.5 months in 1855 before it was shuttered by the LDS Church’s Deseret Manufacturing Company. It’s now an eclectic neighborhood that has a little something for everyone. You’ll find new high-rise condos, restaurants, and bars around the central intersection at 2100 S and Highland Drive and a mix of housing styles on the surrounding tree-lined streets.

Sugar House is home to Westminster College, so it has options for students while also being family-friendly. It offers easy freeway access, sits close to the mountains, and is relatively self-contained—you’ll find a grocery store, coffee shop, and gas station within walking or short distance of most points in the neighborhood. It’s a hotspot: Housing prices in Sugar House rose nearly 12% in 2017.

Highlights: 

  • Sugar House Park—This is great place to run, ride your bike, walk your dog, or play ultimate frisbee. It also has a perfect hill for winter sledding and many picnic pavilions available for public use.
  • Farmers market and food trucks—Sugar House hosts a farmers market on Wednesdays during the summer, and the Food Truck League brings local trucks into the neighborhood.
  • Shop Local—Check out the local business in and around Sugar House, including Pib’s Exchange thrift shop, the Central Book Exchange, Best Friends Animal Society, and locations of Wasatch and Epic Brewing.

3. The Avenues (The Aves)

Perfect for: Families, young professionals, students

The Avenues was Salt Lake City’s first real neighborhood, and many of its old, Victorian-style homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood deviates from the rest of the SLC street grid—avenues from 1st to 13th run east-to-west and intersect with streets (A to U) that run north-to-south. Blocks are about one-half the size of those downtown, and the area is walk/bike friendly.

Here you’ll single-family houses as well as small apartment buildings and former mansions that have been converted into multi-unit rentals. Because of its proximity to the University of Utah, many students call the Aves home, but it’s also a perfect spot for young professionals because it offers easy access to downtown via public transit. Families also appreciate the quieter, residential feel.

The Avenues sit on a “bench”—a steep hill that runs up from the valley floor. The Lower Aves tend to be less expensive and have more rental options, while the Greater Aves with their large single-family homes and sweeping views are pricier.

Highlights:

  • Hidden gems—There are no strip malls or commercial centers here. Check out local spots like Publik, Avenues Proper, and the Sweet Branch library.
  • Outdoor access—Proximity to green space is one of the neighborhood’s best perks. There are access points for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail as well as Lindsay Gardens and Memory Grove Park in City Creek Canyon.

4. 9th & 9th/East Liberty/Liberty Wells

Perfect for: Millennials, families

The area around Liberty Park is a real-estate hotspot. On the east side you’ll find the shops and restaurants centered at 900 E and 900 S—hence the name 9th & 9th—and on the west/south the up-and-coming Liberty Wells neighborhood, where housing prices rose 12% in 2017 and are expected to continue. The area is mostly single-family homes with tree-lined streets and yard space. It’s pleasant to walk around but also offers easy access to commercial spaces in Sugar House to the south and around Trolley Square to the north.

Highlights:

  • Liberty Park—Like Sugar House Park, Liberty is friendly to runners, walkers, bikers, and skaters. There’s also a pool, tennis center, aviary, chip path, picnic areas, basketball and volleyball courts, and great people-watching on weekends when the weather is nice.
  • Small-town feel—9th & 9th is just one intersection of this area, but you’ll find great restaurants, markets, and fitness studios in the surrounding blocks. The annual 9th & 9th Street Festival brings together local artists and small businesses.

5. Millcreek/Mt. Olympus

Perfect for: Outdoorsy people, families, empty nesters

Millcreek is technically its own town, but it’s worth a mention because of what it has to offer. The whole east bench of the Wasatch Front is ideal for outdoor lovers and those who want more space. It gets you closer to Utah’s world-class ski resorts and feels less like the “big city.” Homes in this neighborhood are large (three bedrooms or more) and pricey, so it’s generally best for families, empty nesters, and those further into their careers. If you’re set on the neighborhood, though, there are apartment and rental options.

Highlights:

  • Great trails—Find spots for hiking and mountain biking in Millcreek Canyon and all along the bench. The Mount Olympus trail is a must-do for active Utahns.
  • Beautiful views—Salt Lake is no stranger to stunning sunsets. Because much of Millcreek sits above the rest of the valley, it’s a perfect viewing spot.

One thing to know is that Salt Lake is much more than these five neighborhoods. Capitol Hill, Marmalade, and Rose Park on the west side of the city have plenty of flair of their own, and there are many gems tucked in and around the areas listed. If you move to Salt Lake City, you’ll find advantages to every neighborhood.



Emily Long