Salt Lake City is among the fastest-growing cities in the United States, drawing an average of 160 new residents each day.1 This lively urban Great Basin oasis touted more than 14% growth in 2021 alone, with plenty of assets to attract newcomers from all walks of life.
If you’re a skier, mountain biker, alpinist, or outdoor enthusiast of any ilk, you’ll find a veritable wonderland in your backyard. If you’re looking for career expansion, the job market is explosive—particularly in health care, finance, and a growing tech sector.2
But before you can settle into Salt Lake, you’ll have to decide which best neighborhood will let you get the most out of this city. Here, we explore 8 of the best Salt Lake City neighborhoods to come home to after a day of ogling the magnificent Wasatch Range.
#1 Downtown Salt Lake City
In downtown SLC, you’ll be a stone’s throw away from everything that draws people to this city in the first place. Especially as younger generations have flocked to Utah’s capital, downtown Salt Lake City has become an epicenter for dining, entertainment, and nightlife.
Some of downtown’s notable offerings include:
- The Downtown Farmer’s Market – Utah’s agricultural sector has perked up in recent years, and you’ll find incredible access to locally farmed fare at this market.3 The Downtown Farmer’s Market hosts three sites in the neighborhood year-round, with a brief recess in May.4
- The food and drink scene – Downtown is one of the best places for eating and drinking. When it’s time to eat, try The Copper Onion down the block. It’s a world-class new American eatery with locally sourced ingredients and a cozy, intimate ambiance. For drinks, head to Bar-X—with a swanky, Prohibition-era feel, it’s a Salt Lake mainstay (and a great place to play pool with roommates or meet other locals).
- Excellent public transportation – Most people in Salt Lake valley have cars, but downtown boasts some exceptional public transport options. The city’s railway, TRAX, runs across the city on 3 lines. There’s also GREENbike, which has the most stations downtown but extends as far south as Liberty Wells.
Best of all, downtown offers all the convenience of an urban hub without sacrificing the beauty of Salt Lake’s surroundings. Here, you’ll steal unmatched vistas of the dramatically stunning Rocky Mountains (and if you can find an apartment in the area, chances are you’ll even steal some views from home).
#2 Central City
Think of Central City as the Brooklyn of Salt Lake City: Right next door to Downtown, it’s got a lower-key vibe and boasts an eclectic range of shops, eateries, and public common spaces. While it offers many of the same amenities as more urban areas, you’ll also find plenty of wide open space here.
One of Central City’s most popular offerings is Liberty Park, which is among Salt Lake’s largest green spaces. Close to the University of Utah, Central City also has an ebullient, experimental college-town vibe—perfect for current students and young professionals alike.
#3 Sugar House
If you love quaint, old-school vibes, look no further than Sugar House. This neighborhood is ground zero of Salt Lake City’s “shop locally” movement, home to a bevy of employee-owned shops and restaurants.
A few local favorites include:
- Cooperhive Vintage
- Raunch Records
- Central Book Exchange
- Sugar House Coffee
Independent vintage stores and coffee shops give Sugar House a very cozy, homey feel. Even so, folks of all ages live in Sugar House park: a lively medley of students and young professionals mixed with families and longtime residents.
#4 The Avenues/Capitol Hill
Between Greater Avenue and Capitol Hill, you’ll transition from a grid-like urban landscape to steep, winding streets. Known for its slower pace of life, this charming neighborhood (which also happens to be Salt Lake’s first neighborhood) offers quirky cafes, mom-and-pop eateries, and stunning Gothic and Victorian-style homes.
One of this neighborhood’s main draws is its ample access to Salt Lake’s amazing trails and open space. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail and Avenue Twin Peaks make The Avenues/Capitol Hill a perfect home base for outdoor adventurers.
Situated adjacent to the University of Utah, the University/Foothill neighborhood offers a true college-town feel. While proximity to 30,000 college students may be daunting to a family, this area is perfect for young professionals.
Catering to its core demographic, University/Foothill offers:
- Independent shops and restaurants for great day outings
- Bars and clubs for unbeatable Salt Lake City nightlife
- Art museums and theaters for the rich culture
If you’re a sports fan, consider making the University/Foothill one of your first-ranking neighborhoods for apartment hunting. Competing in the fierce Pac-12 division, University of Utah teams have dedicated fanbases for football, basketball, and other sports teams, which is one of the many things Salt Lake City has to offer.
Situated in a repurposed industrial warehouse, Publik Coffee Roasters stands as a perfect symbol for the Granary District: ripe with change while stalwartly maintaining its blue-collar manufacturing roots.
Throughout this neighborhood, decades-old auto shops blend seamlessly with new businesses and community spaces. It’s an ultra-hybrid urban real estate with tons of access to both commercial and residential accommodations.
Another perk: Granary/Ballpark is highly walkable, making it perfect for those who want an urban feel nestled in a small-town setting. Restaurants, boutique shops, microbreweries, and music venues are just a few of the businesses that have set up shop in vacated buildings and warehouses. And because of its accessibility to culture and entertainment, it’s one of our top picks for SLC newcomers and young professionals.
People from all walks of life move to Salt Lake City for the promise of outdoor adventure—and the Millcreek/Holladay neighborhood is a veritable gateway to the mountains.
Within close proximity to the Wasatch Mountain that surrounds Salt Lake, Millcreek/Holladay offers ample access to skiing, hiking, and mountain climbing. On top of that, it’s riddled with plenty of other fun activities for every time of year—indoor rock climbing, retro arcades, and breweries, to name a few. It’s truly the place to be for Utah’s adventurous residents.
FAQs About Living in Salt Lake City
If you want to relocate to a growing city with urban amenities and unbeatable access to the outdoors, Salt Lake City is one of the best places to be. But before you make the big move, let’s address some common questions new residents ask before they move here.
What’s the Best Salt Lake City Neighborhood for Young Professionals?
Salt Lake City is a noticeably young town, with the median age here being 32 for both men and women.5 If you’re wondering where to live in Salt Lake City, you’re likely to find the most young professionals here:
- Central City
- East Central/East Liberty Park
- Ball Park
- Sugar House
So, why has this city become so popular with this demographic? It’s suspected that young professionals are relocating here to take advantage of the snowballing (pun intended) job and real estate markets. Coupled with Salt Lake’s sizable student population, these trends have made the city a young hub.
How Close is Salt Lake City to the Mountains?
Salt Lake City’s proximity to world-class skiing, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities makes it a mecca for adventurers across the globe. Moving to Salt Lake gives you unfettered access to the action, and these ski resorts are less than an hour’s drive from the city:
- Park City
- Deer Valley
Not only are these resorts close to Salt Lake City, but they’re widely considered to be among the world’s best ski and snowboarding destinations. Whether you’re an avid winter sports enthusiast or have yet to try hitting the bunny slopes, Salt Lake gives you unbeatable access like no other city.
Is Salt Lake City an Expensive City to Live In?
Salt Lake’s growing housing market signals a major opportunity for investors. However, it also means prices have been rising for renters and potential buyers. According to Payscale, the cost of living in Salt Lake City is around 2% higher than the national average, with housing costs falling around 4% higher.6
That said, rent in Salt Lake City is considerably lower than in other populous cities like Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York. And with a lively local job market and an unemployment rate that’s well below the national average, there’s plenty of promise for newcomers who want to make a short- or long-term home here.2
Settle Into the Perfect Salt Lake Apartment with Common
If Salt Lake City’s otherworldly scenery and bustling local culture are beckoning you, you’re in good company. Join the tide of explorers discovering cities across the country by finding your next apartment with Common.
Our community is a nationwide network of young professionals exploring some of the most exciting cities in the country together. Discover your next favorite city by finding your next home with Common today.
- KSLTV. Population Update: Utah averaging 160 new residents per day. https://ksltv.com/478511/population-update-utah-averaging-160-new-residents-per-day/#:~:text=SALT%20LAKE%20CITY%20%E2%80%94%20The%20Beehive,Gardner%20Policy%20Institute
- U.S. News Real Estate. Salt Lake City Utah Job Market. https://realestate.usnews.com/places/utah/salt-lake-city/jobs
- U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agriculture in the Beehive State. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2019/11/01/agriculture-beehive-state
- Urban Food Connections of Utah. Downtown Farmers Market Salt Lake City. https://www.slcfarmersmarket.org/
- World Population Review. Salt Lake City, Utah Population 2022. https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/salt-lake-city-ut-population
- Payscale. Cost of Living in Salt Lake City, Utah. https://www.payscale.com/cost-of-living-calculator/Utah-Salt-Lake-City
- ABC4. Why are so many people moving to Salt Lake City? 5 reasons Utah continues to see rapid growth. https://www.abc4.com/gtu/gtu-sponsor/why-are-so-many-people-moving-to-salt-lake-city-5-reasons-utah-continues-to-see-growth/
- Niche. 2022 Safe Neighborhoods in the Salt Lake City Area. https://www.niche.com/places-to-live/search/safest-neighborhoods/m/salt-lake-city-metro-area/