Salt Lake City has always been something of a hidden gem. Ever since Brigham Young laid the first foundations in 1847, the natural attractions of this beautiful city nestled between snow-capped mountains have been zealously guarded by happy inhabitants. Salt Lake has largely managed to stay out of the world’s limelight.
Recently, however, the secret is starting to get out—many publications are beginning to rank Salt Lake City as one of the best cities in America to retire to.
SLC may not have a reputation for sun-drenched beaches or endless miles of golf courses, as better-known retirement destinations like Florida or Arizona do, but don’t write it off. Salt Lake City offers a combination of attractive benefits to people looking for the perfect place to retire.
Here are five of the top reasons why people are increasingly considering Salt Lake City to be America’s most desirable destination for retirees.
1) Unbeatable Outdoor Activities
Utah’s location in the heart of the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains makes it ideal for those who love the outdoors. Few cities of Salt Lake’s size can boast the same easy access to outstanding hiking, boating, skiing, and fishing.
Alta and Brighton, two world-class ski resorts, are just a few miles outside town—and have you heard about the quality of Utah’s snow? Skiers and snowboarders famously say that Utah has the greatest snow on earth. Perhaps, as a result, SLC was home to the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Head the opposite direction and you run into The Great Salt Lake, the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, home to countless species of unique wildlife and waterfowl. The Bonneville Salt Flats is another natural wonder—an enormous area so flat and dry that scientists use it to test supercars and set land speed records.
2) Unique Cultural Attractions
Don’t worry—not all of Salt Lake’s attractions are outdoors. For those who prefer the finer things in life, The Greater Salt Lake City area offers fine dining, theatre, opera, and unique art festivals.
The world’s foremost showcase of independent film, The Sundance Festival, takes place every year just a few miles up the canyon from Salt Lake, attracting celebrity film stars from all around the world.
Salt Lake City is home to the acclaimed Utah Symphony, which performs almost weekly from its stately venue, Abravanel Hall. For those interested in history, Utah’s Mormon heritage is on vivid display at historic Temple Square.
3) Outstanding Medical Resources
With healthcare now one of the primary considerations in retirement planning, Utah is uniquely equipped to provide outstanding care for retirees. A wide selection of great hospitals, universities and other research facilities makes the Salt Lake Valley one of America’s leading healthcare destinations.
The Huntsman Cancer Institute, one of the world’s leading medical research institutions, is located on the campus of The University of Utah. Just a few blocks away is the headquarters of the highly-regarded University of Utah Hospital.
In fact, Salt Lake City is home to no fewer than three major hospitals and many hundreds of doctors and specialists, making care both affordable and convenient.
4) Reasonable Cost of Living
In Utah, the cost of living is substantially lower than the national average, a benefit which is enhanced even further by the state’s booming economy. Utah is the scene of tremendous entrepreneurial activity, largely as a result of the low cost of doing business in the state.
Salt Lake City is a hub of industry, positioned on the edge of the booming area called “Silicon Slopes” for its proliferation of cutting-edge tech companies.
Many businesses headquartered in Salt Lake provide services that are particularly valuable for retirees—like self-storage giant Extra Space Storage, which offers great, affordable options for stashing the extra items retirees often have with them.
5) Pleasant Year-Round Climate
It may not be near an ocean, but Salt Lake enjoys a temperate year-round climate. For those who enjoy having four seasons, Salt Lake offers lush, green summers, beautiful, colorful autumns, crisp, dry winters, and beautiful springs.
With roughly 222 days of sunshine each year, Salt Lake City is significantly sunnier than the national average. Winters are snowy, with an average of 62 inches of snow each year, but the dry climate makes the season milder than it might feel in a location with high humidity.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to retire, look no further than Salt Lake City, Utah. A combination of great outdoor activities, a lively cultural scene, excellent healthcare options, low cost of living and good climate makes it perhaps America’s most desirable location to retire to.