7 Best Small Towns in Utah

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A man look up in awe at the rock formations along the Wave Trail in Kanab, Utah.

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, you should check out the best small towns in Utah. These towns offer a unique experience that you can’t find in the big city.

These small towns have something for everyone, from amazing outdoor attractions to charming main streets. And we’ve got seven of them listed right here for you to choose from. Although, you might just want to visit them all.

There’s More to Utah Than Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City may be the state capital, Utah has many other great small towns with lots of heart. For example, Moab is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with its proximity to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

Midway and Heber offer world-class skiing and hot springs. And then there’s Kanab which is well-known for its slot canyons and canyoneering adventures. So if you’re looking for something other than Salt Lake City, you’ll find many great options worth visiting.

7 Small Towns in Utah That You Should Visit

Utah is full of scenic wonder and outdoor adventures, and some of the best places to experience both are in Utah’s small towns.

Whether you want to do mountain biking, hiking, canyoneering, shopping, off-roading, or look for the freshest strawberries, you’ll find that and more in these seven small towns in Utah.

1. Moab

About the Town: 

Moab is one of the best small towns in Utah and one of the most well-known. It’s located in Grand County, near the Colorado River, and is a popular destination for tourists who come to experience the nearby national parks and monuments. 

Moab is a popular spot for outdoor recreation, including hiking, mountain biking, and four-wheeling. The town has a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere and is known for its friendly locals. If you’re looking for a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors while taking in the stunning beauty, Moab is worth a visit.

Fading light has the red rocks in Moab glowing red against the blue sky.
Red rock landscape in Moab, Utah

Must-See Attractions:

Moab and the surrounding area are packed with great attractions no matter your style of outdoor adventuring. Three of the best ones include Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park.

Arches National Park is a world-famous national park. It is home to more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the widely known Delicate Arch.

Canyonlands National Park is another of Utah’s iconic parks, offering visitors the chance to explore canyons and other stunning landscapes not seen anywhere else on the planet.

Another must-see attraction is Dead Horse Point State Park. This park offers breathtaking views of the Colorado River and the surrounding canyon country below. Here you’ll find miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking with epic scenery everywhere you look.

Why You Should Visit:

If you’ve never experienced the Delicate Arch, the canyons carved through the rocks, or the many restaurants and shops that offer unique souvenirs throughout Moab, you need to visit here. While it is a highly sought-after vacation destination, it is well worth your time.

2. Midway

About the Town:

Midway sits in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. The town is best known for its scenic views and outdoor recreation opportunities.

It is home to about 5,000 residents and several unique attractions highlighting both its history and natural beauty. There’s also a great selection of restaurants and shops, making it the perfect place to spend a day or two.

Ice Castles in Midway, Utah

Must-See Attractions:

There’s no shortage of things to do in Midway, Utah. This small town is home to some of the best skiing in the state and several other outdoor activities, such as biking, hiking, and off-roading. In the winter, visitors can hit the slopes at one of the nearby ski resorts or go cross-country skiing through the Wasatch Mountains. 

Midway is also a great place to hike and mountain bike for those who prefer a warmer climate. In the summer, golfers can enjoy a round at one of the town’s several golf courses. And no visit to Midway would be complete without taking a dip in the Homestead Historic Hot Springs

And you can’t leave without catching a ride on the historic Heber Valley Railroad, visiting the Swiss Alps Resort, or caving at the Timpanogos Cave National Monument

Why You Should Visit:

Why not visit a small town known as the Switzerland of Utah, tucked away in the Wasatch Mountains? Then add in train rides, skiing, biking, and small-town charm; this is one of the best small towns in Utah and one you should visit.

3. Heber

About the Town:

If you want a small town with big-city amenities, Heber is the place for you. Heber lies nestled in the Wasatch Mountains, close to Midway and just a short drive from Salt Lake City and Park City. And while it may be best known for its winter sports, there’s plenty to do in Heber all year. 

In the summer, you can enjoy hiking, fishing, golfing, and swimming in nearby reservoirs. And in the winter, you can hit the slopes at one of the nearby ski resorts. 

Heber City, Utah

Must-See Attractions:

Here are some must-see attractions. One of the most popular, sharing this with the nearby Utah town of Midway, is the Heber Valley Railroad, which offers scenic tours of the area. 

Another popular attraction is the Wasatch Mountain State Park, a great place to hike, camp, and enjoy the outdoors. You can also visit several museums and historical sites, making it a great place to learn about the area’s history. 

And for those who love to ski and snowboard, Heber is home to some of the best slopes in Utah. So whether you want a winter getaway or an outdoor adventure, Heber is the place to be.

Why You Should Visit:

With two quaint mountain towns, Heber and Midway, less than a ten-minute drive from each other, this is a must-visit Utah small town with its many charming shops and outdoor recreational activities. Additionally, it’s close to many resorts, reservoirs, state parks, and forests.

4. Kanab

About the Town:

Kanab is one of the best small towns in Utah, located in the southern part of the state near the Arizona border. The town is known for its red rock cliffs and canyons and is home to several national parks, hiking trails, and outdoor recreation sites.

Kanab, founded in 1864 by pioneer settlers, is home to about 4,600 people and has become a popular tourist destination for its natural beauty and outdoor recreation.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Kanab, Utah

Must-See Attractions:

All the activities in Kanab will keep you busy, including hiking, horseback riding, and exploring the many canyons and slot canyons in the area. But Kanab is also well known for its plethora of photographic opportunities, including one of the most iconic landscapes of the American West, Monument Valley, with its many towering red rock cliffs. 

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is another must-see attraction when exploring Kanab and the beauty of the desert. You might want to bring your off-road vehicles to this attraction. This is one of the coolest “playgrounds” in the nation.

And we can’t forget the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This massive national monument covers over one million acres of land, making it one of the largest in the country. It’s home to some of the most stunning scenery in southern Utah, including canyons, slot canyons, and cliffs.

Why You Should Visit:

Speaking of slot canyons and cliffs, this is the main reason many visit Kanab and the surrounding areas. Depending on the canyon you want to visit, you’ll need to do some research to gain access to slot canyon permits. But it’ll be well worth your time when visiting these other-worldly sites.

Traveler’s Tip: Cross the border from Utah and check out the 7 Best Biking Routes in Arizona.

5. Mapleton

About the Town:

If you’re looking for a small town with a big character, look no further than Mapleton, Utah. This small town in Utah has just over 9,000 people.

It is located in the heart of Utah Valley, surrounded by some of the state’s best hiking and mountain biking trails. While Mapleton may be best known for its outdoor offerings, it also has a thriving arts community.

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

Must-See Attractions:

Mapleton is home to some of the best attractions in the state, including the Mapleton City Museum and the Mapleton Historic Courthouse. You can also explore the beautiful Mapleton Valley or go hiking or camping in the nearby Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

Why You Should Visit:

Many small towns offer history and culture, but Mapleton embraces its culture with its town museum and historic courthouse. And this includes the annual art fair and weekly farmer’s market. So while all of the best small towns in Utah offer exciting outdoor activities, Mapleton has culture and history too.

6. Fruit Heights

About the Town:

There’s no shortage of things to do in this best small town in Utah. You can find a fun outdoor adventure, from hiking and biking to skiing and snowboarding. And when it comes to fruit, no place does it better than Fruit Heights

Located in the heart of Utah’s fruit country, Fruit Heights has some of the best-tasting produce in the state. You can find fresh-picked apples or ripe peaches, and much more. And because the town sits at a higher elevation, the fruit is always picked at its peak ripeness. 

Must-See Attractions:

Fruit Heights is home to several great attractions, including the Hogle Zoo, Utah State University, and the Timpanogos Cave National Monument. You also have plenty of great shopping and dining in the town center. 

You can explore the great outdoors or just relax in a beautiful setting. And the best time to visit is during the summer, when the town hosts its annual Strawberry Festival featuring a variety of strawberry-themed activities, including a strawberry bake-off and a strawberry pageant.

Why You Should Visit:

Yes, you may have come to Fruit Heights to experience the caving or the typical plethora of amazing outdoor activities abundant throughout Utah, but it’s really all about the fruit here. 

7. Silver Summit

About the Town:

Silver Summit is yet another best small town in Utah. It’s located just a few miles from Park City, making it a great place to live or visit if you want to be close to the action but still have a sense of community.

The town has around 4,500 residents, and it’s known for its scenic views and friendly locals. You can go hiking, biking, and fishing.

Silver Summit is 25 minutes from Park City, Utah

Must-See Attractions:

Some must-see attractions in Silver Summit include the Silver Summit Museum, the Silver Lake Observatory, and the Silver Summit Train Depot. If you want a great place to enjoy the outdoors and learn about Utah’s history, Silver Summit is worth visiting.

Why You Should Visit:

Silver Summit embodies what Utah’s small towns are proud of: their culture, history, and outdoor recreation. If you want to experience local folks who will welcome you like family, you need to visit Silver Summit, Utah.

Take a Trip to the Best Small Towns in Utah

If you want a breathtaking, unforgettable travel destination, look no further than these best small towns in Utah. From the majestic Rocky Mountains to the stunning red rock canyons, Utah offers some of the best natural scenery in the world. 

But that’s not all that this state has to offer. These small towns in Utah are also home to some of the country’s best hiking, skiing, and camping. Plus, you can find unique experiences like strawberry picking or a mountain train ride.

What are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to one (or all) of the seven best small towns in Utah.

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