From world-class ski resorts to sweeping rural landscapes and unmatched geological sights, there are so many reasons why a trip to the Beehive State belongs on your bucket list. Don’t believe us? Just check out our roundup of charming small towns in Utah and prepare to change your mind.
13 Charming Small Towns in Utah
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- Why We Recommend It: fishing, water activities, outdoor activities, nature
- Where to Stay: Hilltop Tiny Home, The Carriage House
Rural charm and a breathtaking natural backdrop make the quaint town of Panguitch well worth a visit. This sleepy town is surrounded by mountains and, most notably, lakes that boast an abundance of rainbow trout throughout the year. Indeed, fishing is the main event here, but be sure to check out the town center, where you’ll find historic brick buildings, antique stores aplenty and a frontier spirit that feels frozen in time.
- Why We Recommend It: nature, outdoor activities, amenities
- Where to Stay: Historic Rose Cottage, The Boundary Cabin 2
Springdale is just a stone’s throw away from Zion National Park, a national treasure that stands out for its incredible biodiversity. Needless to say, the region is rich with natural beauty and a prime spot for hiking, canyoning, rock climbing and a host of other outdoor activities. That said, the town of Springdale itself has plenty of amenities that will appeal to the less rugged vacationer, too—including numerous places to eat, drink and be entertained.
- Why We Recommend It: outdoor activities, low-key vibe, nature
- Where to Stay: Torrey Pines Cozy Cabin, The Roost
If you’re seeking a true small town experience, Torrey certainly fits the bill. This tiny tree-lined town has a population of only 200 and a quiet, family-oriented atmosphere that promises a welcome escape from hectic city life. It’s also located just eight miles from the west entrance to Capitol Reef National Park where hiking trails lead visitors through stunning sandstone canyons and lush green forests, and numerous outdoor activities are on offer.
4. Spring City
- Why We Recommend It: historic, picturesque, good eats
- Where to Stay: Ranchetta Ponderosa, The Jailer’s Cottage
This idyllic farming town in Sanpete County is brimming with history. First settled in the early 1800s by Mormon pioneers and later populated by Danish and Scandinavian immigrants in the 19th century, Spring City is home to an impressive number of well-preserved historic buildings that reflect the town’s unique heritage. The pretty stone homes that line the streets paint a portrait of a nearly untouched pioneer village and can be toured during the town’s annual Heritage Day, while the many cafes and eateries in “Little Denmark” serve up authentic cuisine year-round.
- Why We Recommend It: nature, geological attractions, sightseeing
- Where to Stay: Grand Canyon Cabin, Cliffrose Cabin
Located just north of the Arizona border, Kanab is best known for its landscape of spectacular rock formations. In fact, the unique geological beauty of the area has made the town such a popular filming location for movies and TV series (think: Planet of the Apes and Lone Ranger) that it has been dubbed “Little Hollywood.” Once you’ve toured the abandoned film sets in town, hiked the sandstone cliffs and visited the geological attractions (the Wave at Coyote Buttes and the Thin Wire Pass, for example), be sure to finish up with a cold drink and a hearty meal at one of Kanab’s many microbreweries and restaurants.
- Why We Recommend It: golfing, winter sports, outdoor activities
- Where to Stay: Invited Inn Bed and Breakfast, Zermatt Resort Condo
Midway is a popular destination for outdoor activities in summer and winter alike. In the summer, you can enjoy some R&R on a boat or the banks at Deer Creek Dam and Reservoir or hike the scenic trails and hit the golf courses of Wasatch Mountain State Park. In colder months, the beautiful landscape transforms into a winter wonderland that’s just right for cross country and downhill skiing.
- Why We Recommend It: nature, geological attractions, sightseeing
- Where to Stay: On the Green Condo, Moab Trail Inn #A
Another popular filming location, the desert scenery and desolate vibes of Moab has served as a backdrop for many Western and Sci-Fi flicks. Outdoor enthusiasts will also appreciate Moab’s close proximity to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, where striking geological formations and colorful red rock canyons can be explored by car or on foot.
8. Brigham City
- Why We Recommend It: birdwatching, outdoor activities, amenities, historic
- Where to Stay: Little Garden Home, Mountain Valley Getaway
Sitting pretty at the foot of the Wellsville Mountains, Brigham City boasts quiet charm, historic architecture and creature comforts, like luxury hotels and perfectly groomed golf courses. Its close proximity to the mountain range, as well as the Great Salt Lake and famous Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge also makes it a birder’s paradise and ideal base camp for all manner of outdoor adventures.
- Why We Recommend It: famous pies, rock climbing
- Where to Stay: Lakeside Cabin, Holmstead Ranch Resort
Whether you’re an aspiring Star Baker in search of inspiration or simply have a sweet tooth to satisfy, Veyo is the place to be. This charming Utah town is famous for its world class pies, which are on offer in every flavor imaginable. That said, gorging on baked goods isn’t the only thing to do in and around Veyo. Once you’ve had your fill, we suggest burning off the calories with a rock climbing expedition in the nearby and oh-so scenic Crawdad Canyon.
10. Mount Pleasant
- Why We Recommend It: historic, picturesque, wine tasting
- Where to Stay: Mountain Home, The Cottage at Miller Time Ranch
Here, a wealthy high-valley town that saw its peak at the turn of the century and has continued to thrive. Known for its vintage charm, Mount Pleasant lives up to its name with picturesque streets that are dotted with well-preserved 19th century architecture and a main drag that’s bustling with small, local businesses. While you’re in town, soak up some culture and learn about the region’s rich history at the Fairview Museum of History and Art, before sipping on top-notch vino at the town’s very own winery (a rarity in Utah), which serves swoon-worthy wine and cheese pairings every Saturday.
11. Green River
- Why We Recommend It: scenic, laid back vibes, water activities
- Where to Stay: Large 3-Bedroom Home, Green River Mesa
This Eastern Utah gem is located on the banks of its namesake river—a favorite spot for rafting and other water activities—and just a few miles south of Desolation and Gray canyons where opportunities for outdoor exploration abound and scenic beauty is guaranteed. Bottom line: The laid back vibe of this riverside town and its serene surroundings are a recipe for relaxation.
- Why We Recommend It: outdoor activities, bars and restaurants, family friendly
- Where to Stay: Romantic Lake Cottage Bed & Breakfast, Pineview Reservoir Home with a View
With the lush Ogden valley to the east, the Pineview Reservoir (a hot spot for boating and fishing) to the west and the powdery slopes of the Wasatch range just a short drive from town, Huntsville is a centrally located jumping off point for a wide variety of outdoor adventures in every season. There’s also an impressive selection of bars and restaurants, family-friendly recreational parks and an ice skating rink in town, so it's safe to say this rural spot has a little bit of something for everyone.
13. Park City
- Why We Recommend It: winter sports, hiking, bars and restaurants
- Where to Stay: The St. Regis Deer Valley, Temptation 8
When it comes to winter sports, Park City is the place to be. This world-famous resort town is particularly popular over the holidays, when its two massive ski resorts draw skiers and snowboarders with the promise of fresh powder throughout the season and downtown is filled with festive cheer. Park City has plenty of appeal during the summer months, too. For starters, this lively town has a vibrant nightlife and dining scene throughout the year, and once the snow has melted, there are enough scenic hiking trails to fill an entire itinerary.