There are numerous large cities worth visiting in the state of Utah, but surrounding these cities are hundreds of quaint little towns. So many of these towns lie amongst breathtaking terrain, adding heaps of charm.
There is such a large quantity of stunning towns and villages, in fact, that when you’re planning a trip to Utah it can be hard to decide which ones to visit.
So, what are some of the best towns that Utah has to offer? The following article will break down everything you need to know.
Best Towns In Utah: The Ultimate Guide
The town of Smithfield is in northern Utah and just 16 kilometers (or 10 miles) from Idaho’s southern border. It’s a historical landmark, and it’s no wonder; it lies in the gorgeous Cache Valley, and is regarded by many as the most picturesque town in the state.
Smithfield began as a thriving farming community, raising dairy cows and growing sugar beets. Now there’s a central business district that’s full of charm, and historic buildings that now house stores, antique shops, restaurants, and even a movie theater. Hiking trails, skiing, lakes, and rivers are all just minutes away.
Moab is in eastern Utah and is perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities; if you’re a mountain biker, you’re home. It’s a small town surrounded by the Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, the Colorado River, and the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trails.
There are a number of local ranches, too, if you’re eager to live out your cowboy (or cowgirl, or whatever the gender neutral term for that would be… cowpoke?) fantasy. There’s also a winery and a microbrewery, both of which are well worth visiting.
A rural town that lies between the Markagunt and Paunsaugunt Plateaus, Panguitch sits amongst some breathtaking mountains, as well as lakes, which is likely why its name is the Native American Paiute word for ‘Big Fish’.
Both the lakes and the rivers are very popular amongst fishers, particularly trout fishers, who can catch an abundance of rainbow trout all through the year.
Its historic district is perhaps the most notable aspect of this town; founded by the early Mormon pioneers, its buildings of red bricks will be admirable to both historians and architects alike.
The town is known for its friendly inhabitants, and there are many antique shops, craft stalls, and art galleries, as well as numerous festivals during the summer, like the Annual Quilt Walk Festival and the Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally.
A small town that’s great if you’re eager to explore the Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, Kanab offers a litany of outdoor activities, such as rafting, hiking, horseback riding, ATV riding, and camping.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast you’ll fit in well in Kanab. It’s the county seat of Kane County and is located just north of the state line with Arizona.
First settled back in 1864, the town sits in the Grand Circle, surrounded by many national parks and national monuments.
The surrounding landscape is also truly mesmerizing, most notably the red rock wave and the sand dunes that are coral-pink.
Some of the best accommodation options include the Arrowhead Country Inn and the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. Notable attractions include the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, the Pipe Spring National Monument, and Lake Powell.
Within the Heber Valley lies Midway, a small town which showcases the best of northern Utah’s verdant hills. There’s no wonder it was the host for the Winter Olympics back in 2002; it’s a town of remarkable charm, and there’s a whole host of outdoor activities on offer including trekking and fishing.
The town’s buildings have a distinct Switzerland theme, and pull it off splendidly. Overall it’s a tremendously photogenic little place.
Bisected by Snake Creek, Midway is home to the Midway Fish Hatchery. Snake Creek leads into the middle of the Provo River, which is above Deer Creek Reservoir.
The little town of Kamas has dubbed itself ‘The Gateway to the Uintas’, and for good reason; travel just a little out of Kamas and you’ll find yourself at the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway.
And what a great last stop it is. It takes in quite a few visitors throughout the year, mostly people travelling to the Byway, and there are a number of restaurants. For a traditional shake and ice cream cone you can stop by Uinta Drive In.
The primary industries within Kamas are those of lumber and cattle ranches. There are a variety of outdoor activities available, like camping, fishing, hiking, mountaineering, and more. Plus it’s just 42 miles (or 68 kilometers) outside of downtown Salt Lake City, which is ideal if you get a craving for some city.
A humble town located in northern Utah, Mantua is closest to Brigham City in the Sardine Canyon, and in the 2010 census recorded a population of 687. Its views are astounding all throughout the year.
In the spring and in the summer the mountains are vibrant and lush, in the fall there’s a myriad of autumnal colors, and in the winter they get heaps and heaps of snow.
The Mantua Reservoir is very popular for those interested in fishing (and, in the colder seasons, ice fishing), boating, swimming, and water skiing. To the south of the valley is the natural Maple Spring, which flows north through Box Elder Canyon.
Conclusion: Best Towns in Utah
There is a wide assortment of small towns across the state of Utah, offering picturesque mountain ranges, reservoirs, lakes and rivers, national monuments and national parks, and historical buildings.
All of the towns we’ve listed are perfect for a variety of outdoor activities, whether your interest lies in fishing, boating, water skiing, hiking, mountain climbing, mountain biking, camping, or hiking.
There are also a number of festivals in many of these towns, so you won’t be short on things to do when you take a trip around the state.