Salt Lake City, Utah

Best Places to Retire in Utah


Salt Lake City (population approximately 182,000) is the capital of Utah, and its largest city. Its history dates to 1847 when Brigham Young and 147 Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. With the discovery of gold in California in 1848, Salt Lake City became the “crossroads of the west” and began to grow and prosper. It was incorporated in 1851 and became the capital of the territory in 1856. Completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 gave a big boost to the economy, stimulating its mining and agricultural industries. In 1896 Utah became the 45th state in the Union. 

The Salt Lake City of today has been described as a vibrant city, a city of strong moral character, and as a city that thrives on the challenges of the changing times. It stretches out on the flat Salt Lake Valley in a very orderly and functional way. Temple Square, with its majestic Morman Temple, Morman Tabernacle, and other church related buildings, marks the center of the city where street numbers begin as; First Street North, First Street South, First Street West, etc.

The Salt Lake/Ogden area has consistently been lauded as a great place to live and work. Plaudits have appeared in recent years in several publications, and Yahoo has rated it among the top 25 “wired cities” in America. In addition, Utah has been rated as the best fiscally managed state in the nation.

The rugged and majestic Wasatch Mountains tower over the city and provide the Salt Lake Valley with world-class skiing, and hiking opportunities are only minutes away. The outdoor recreation opportunities are outstanding with more than 60 parks in the valley, seven National Forests and five National Parks within a 100-mile area. Several of them are among the best known National Parks in America. There are also many good golf courses in the area.

The city is alive with both the visual and performing arts, and there are numerous festivals and special events that occur throughout the year. For sports fans, there are a number of professional teams and there are big-time college sports. Salt Lake also boasts of excellent healthcare facilities.

Liquor laws in Utah are somewhat unique. Alcohol may be ordered with a meal in most restaurants after 12:00 p.m. Mixed drinks are served at Utah’s non-exclusive private clubs thoughout the day. Visitors are welcome to purchase a two-week membership to most of the private clubs for just $5.00. The taverns and lounges only sell beer.

Arts & Culture

There are more than 25 art galleries and museums throughout the valley displaying an array of contemporary work by local and regional artists. Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah houses the largest collection of Intermountain Art.

Abravanel Hall is one of the important venues in the city. Located adjacent to Temple Square at the center of the city, this architectural masterpiece is a landmark. It hosts the Utah Symphony performances, numerous concerts, and special events. 

Salt Palace Convention Center, constructed in the 1970s, offers facilities for hosting conventions, concerts, and sports events. 

The Utah Symphony offers a subscriptions series, educational and outreach concerts and travels throughout the Intermountain West on a regular basis. It also accompanies the Utah Opera in four productions each year at Salt Lake’s Capitol Theatre. 

The Utah Opera offers a series of four productions, accompanied by the Utah Symphony. All productions are at the Capitol Theatre in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. 

Utah Museum of Fine Arts – 

The historic Capitol Theatre in downtown Salt Lake City is home to the Ballet West, Utah Opera and the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. The theatre also hosts world-class Broadway productions and community arts education programs. 

The Rose Wager Center is a 500-seat venue that grew out of the need for additional rehearsal space for tenants at the Capitol Theatre. It has hosted dozens of companies and artists during its relatively short existence. 

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs Sunday mornings in the Tabernacle and rehearses Thursdays at 8:00 p.m.. All concerts and rehearsals and are open to the public.,10634,1879-1-1-1,00.html

The Tuacahn Outdoor Amphitheatre, the permanent home to the original musical “Utah,” has hosted performances such as “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” 

The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company –,10634,1879-1-1-1,00.html – and The Repertory Dance Theatre – – are premiere modern dance companies based in Salt Lake City.

There are a number of unique festivals and celebrations in the city each year. Included are:
Sundance Film Festival – 
Utah Arts Festival – 
Greek Festival, Japanese Obon Festival –
Oktoberfest –
Shapespearean Festival – 
Festival of the American West in Wellsville in late July/early August Park City Art Festival – 


World-class skiing and resort areas are within minutes of Salt Lake City. Seven ski resorts, three Nordic ski areas, and a recreational ski jumping facility are all within 40 minutes of the city. There are additional resorts within easy reach as well. Utah’s mountains receive more than 500 inches (over 40 feet) of snow each year. Professional racers train here and it is the home of the U.S. Ski Team. To all of this you can add the facilities built for the 2002 Olympic Games where the public can enjoy ski jumping, bobsledding and luge, or use its ice skating facilities in Kearns or in Ogden.

The Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation Department maintains over 60 parks throughout the valley. Its neighborhood parks generally offer playground areas, tennis courts, etc. Community parks (19 in number) include facilities such as picnic pavilions, sports courts, pools, recreation centers and athletic fields. Its 10 regional parks are large natural open spaces, or special theme parks. Jordan River Parkway is an area along the river with seven miles of pedestrian and cycling paths, park benches and picnic spots.   The county also operates Wheeler Historic Farm, a restored 75-acre turn-of-the-century diary farm.

Salt Lake County Equestrian Park and Event Center (maintained by Salt Lake County) is a premier racing, training and show facility. It includes a fine æ-mile track, 200 stalls for year round boarding and 300 stalls for show boarding. There are five outdoor arenas and a polo field. 

Salt Lake County operates six golf courses that are managed by PGA professionals. 

The Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation Department operates dozens of recreation centers, offering fitness, sports, aquatics, children’s activities, and community events. 

For sports fans there are choices: the Utah Jazz of the NBA; the University of Utah basketball team; the Utah Starzz of the WNBA; the Utah Grizzlies Hockey Club; the Salt Lake Stingers (AAA team of the Anaheim Angels); the Utah Blitzz minor league soccer team; the Utah Freeezz – an indoor soccer team; Brigham Young, Utah University and Utah State football, and finally the Catzz, a professional indoor football league.

Utah has a wide array of outdoor recreation opportunities. It is world-renowned for its whitewater rafting on the Green, Colorado and San Juan rivers in the southern part of the state. The U.S. Golf Association claims Salt Lake has some of the best-maintained and most accessible courses in the country. There is outstanding hiking and backpacking, plus boating, fishing, rock climbing, cycling, horseback riding, nature and archaeological tours, and more.

There are seven National Forests and five National Parks in the state – within hours of Salt Lake City. Included are:

Arches National Park – 
Bryce Canyon National Park-
Canyonlands National Park – 
Capitol Reef National Park – 
Zion National Park – 


The University of Utah is the leading research university of the state. Located in the Northeast corner of the valley, it has an on-campus enrollment of about 27,000. 

The Salt Lake Community College is a two-year institution offering Associates degrees and certificate programs. It has total enrollment of about 21,000 students. 

Westminster College is a four-year private liberal arts college with an enrollment of about 2,400 students. 

Latter Day Saints Business College is a not-for-profit two-year institution offering Associates degrees. It has an enrollment of about 800 students.

Senior Programs

Salt Lake County Aging Services Senior Resource Directory provides Web links, addresses, and phone numbers for dozens of services for persons age 55 years or more. Included are Senior Centers, AARP, Catholic Community Services Community Services Council, Easter Seals, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and the Salt Lake County Aging Services. 


Salt Lake Regional Medical Center is a 200-bed full-service hospital with over 500 physicians on staff. 

University of Utah Health Sciences Center has more than 850 board-certified physicians and health-care professions staffing its hospitals and clinics. 


Salt Lake City International Airport – 


Salt Lake City, which is 4,330 feet above sea level, enjoys four distinct seasons. Average temperatures in January are a high of 36 degrees and a low of 19 degrees. July averages are a high of 93 and low of 61. Utah enjoys a great may sunny days, and its humidity is only 30 percent. Rainfall varies from only five inches in the desert region to 60 inches in the northern mountains. Snow frequently reaches depths of 10 feet or more at the ski resorts. 


The Salt Lake Tribune – 

Property Taxes

Salt Lake County – 

State Taxes 

Chamber of Commerce 

State Aging Agency 


Ogden – 38 miles
Provo – 48 miles
Orem – 40 miles
Jackson, WY – 320 miles
Yellowstone National Park – 356 miles
Colorado Springs – 600 miles
Las Vegas – 420 miles
Grand Canyon – 696 miles

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