In recent weeks, Movoto Real Estate has virtually traveled all over the country, visiting places like Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, just to name a few, in an effort to uncover the best places all over the country to live. Today, we're taking this worker bee mentality to yet another of our nation's great states: Utah. It may be known as the Beehive State, but in just looking at its variety of landscapes, cultures, and things to do-it's probably more apt to call it the state for just about anyone. But which place within this fine state was the best? According to our analysis, it was Holladay. Of course this most cheerful-sounding city didn't make it to the top without some serious competition. Here are the 10 best places in Utah: 1. City of Holladay
2. Washington City
3. City of Centerville (tie)
3. City of Syracuse (tie)
5. City of Bountiful
6. City of North Salt Lake
7. City of Lindon
8. City of Kaysville
9. City of Woods Cross
10. City of Farmington
Is Holladay as fun as it sounds? Is Bountiful as, well, bountiful? Keep on reading to find out a bit more about each of these places and why they were front and Centre in our list. We'll also explain the methodology behind our analysis.

How We Did It

Whether we're measuring the best places for singles or just the best places in a state, we rely on research and data to make our Big Deal Lists. After all, it would be pretty simple to just choose ten places in a state and talk about them; but we want to be accurate, factual, and absolutely thorough. That's why to find these top 10 in Utah, we relied on seven criteria, broken up into a total of thirteen:
  • Total amenities
  • Quality of life (cost of living, median home price, median rent, median household income, and student-to-teacher ratio)
  • Total crimes
  • Tax rates (sales tax and income tax)
  • Unemployment
  • Commute time
  • Weather (temperature and air quality)
Once we settled on our criteria, we looked at the U.S. Census data for all of the places in Utah with populations over 10,000 people, which left us with a total of 53. Then, each place was ranked from one to 53 in each of the criteria above, with one being the best possible score. After that, we averaged each ranking for an overall Big Deal Score, with the lowest score being the winner. To see a complete list of our analysis rankings, you can head to the bottom of the post. Otherwise, we'll take a closer look at each of our 10 winners, starting with No. 1, Holladay.

1. Holladay

Holladay, UT
Source: Flickr user Ken Lund
If we were awarding points for the absolute jolliest-sounding city in our study, Holladay would have it in the bag, but, clearly, this place has more going on than a cute name. First of all, Holladay ranked as one of the best in terms of its number of amenities-3,308 total. Holladay also excelled with a higher-than-average median home price of $346,900, indicating the area's desirability. Holladay has all the benefits of being just close enough to Salt Lake City and its number of attractions and things to do; but also the pluses that come with being a smaller city-like a crime rate of just 1,026 per 100,000 people. Plus, with an average summer temperature of 74 degrees, there's plenty of incentive to get outdoors and enjoy some of the nearby parks, like the beautiful Fortuna.

2. Washington City

Washington City, UT
Source: Flickr user bossco
This city may be known as Utah's Dixie, for the Mormon pioneers that settled the area to raise cotton, milled at Washington City's cotton mill, but it has certainly come a long way from its cotton-milling roots. Case in point: the sheer number of things to do this place offers. Washington City has a total of over 16,000 amenities, putting it in first place for this criterion. But that's not the only place where it beat the rest; this Dixie also had the very best weather in our study, with a warm average summer temperature of 85 and an air quality score of just 44. Compare that to, say, Logan, where the average summer temperature is just 67 and you may just want to celebrate by driving over to Highland Park. Speaking of driving, Washington also gained points in our study for its short average commute time of just 16 minutes. It may be a quick drive to work; but hey, at least you can enjoy it with your windows down.

3. Centerville (tie)

Centerville, UT
Source: Centerville City
This city scored well in our study for a number of reasons-and central among them was its resident's overall quality of life. (No more puns, we promise!)
With a median household income of over $81,000, a median home price of $261,500, and a median rent price of $938, Centerville was among the highest rated for its overall quality of life-a rank of nine out of 53. It was also among the best for its low unemployment rate of just 5.3 percent, and for its low sales tax of just 6.4 percent-a good thing too, for all those frequenters of Rio Grande St.

3. Syracuse (tie)

Syracyse, UT
Source: Wikipedia user Ntsimp
The median household income was just slightly lower in Syracuse than that other No. 3 city-$80,994 rather than $81,118-and the rent was just slightly higher here at $1,319 versus $938. In the end, however, both cities were pretty similar. After all, they are both in Davis County, both have the same low sales tax, both have the same low unemployment rate, and both ranked well for overall quality of life; but there were some differences. For example, Syracuse was rated one of the safest places in our study, with a crime rate of just 1,193 crimes per 100,000. Compared to Centerville, with a crime rate of 2,975 per 100,000 people, it's clear why they call Syracuse the Safety City. By "they," we mean "us." Just now.

5. Bountiful

Bountiful, UT
Source: Wikipedia user Andyknelson
If there is a more appropriate name for our No. 5 city, I certainly don't know what it is. Originally, Bountiful was named both for its plentiful gardens and after a city named in The Book of Mormon. Today, Bountiful is better known as an affluent (if quaint) bedroom community of Salt Lake City. In our study, this city scored bountiful points for a crime rate of just 1,946 crimes per 100,000 people-39 percent lower than the rest of the state. Along with the other Davis County cities on our list, Bountiful had superb weather, an average summer temperature of 74 degrees, a low unemployment rate, and low sales tax. What to do with all the money you're saving on sales tax? Head to the local gem, Nielson's Frozen Custard, and be sure to get bountiful chocolate sauce.

6. North Salt Lake

North Salt Lake, UT
Source: City of North Salt Lake
Yet another Davis County winner, North Salt Lake ranked high in several criteria in our study, but mostly for its ideal summer weather: 74 degrees and an air quality score of 48. Like the other Davis County cities thus far, North Salt Lake also had an unemployment rate of just 5.3 percent and a sales tax of 6.4 percent. Unlike some of the other Davis County cities so far, though, North Salt Lake had an average commute time of just 23 minutes, knocking Syracuse out of the water (a three minute difference was all it took).

7. Lindon

Lindon, UT
Source: Flickr user M.Peinado
Let's take a break from our string of Davis County cities and hop over to Lindon. Located in Utah County, just outside Provo, this city was first settled in the late 1800s and known as "String Town" for the way the houses were strung up and down the street. Of course, a lot has changed over the past century, but this relatively small city of just over 10,000 has held onto its roots and still calls itself "a little bit of country." Lindon came in high on our list mostly for its high score in quality of life-which, in this case, meant a high median household income of $78,385, a median home price of $362,700, and a high median rent of $1,108, indicating Lindon's desirability.

8. Kaysville

Kaysville, UT
Source: Wikipedia user Ntsimp
This town scored well in all of the same categories as the other Davis County cities on our list: low sales tax, low unemployment rate, and an average summer temperature of 74 degrees. But according to our study, Kaysville is unique among the others with its low student-to-teacher ratio or just 19-t- 1 (compared to national average of 21-to-1). Kaysville also had one of the highest median household incomes, not just in Davis County, but in the entire state: $82,287, or 33 percent higher than the Utah average. To top it off, Kaysville had one of the lowest crime rates in our study: just 1,333 crimes per 100,000. With its low crime rate, low student-to-teacher ratio, and high median household income-not to mention the Cherry Hill Amusement Park and Utah Botanical Center-Kaysville seems to be a truly wonderful place to raise a family.

9. Woods Cross

Woods Cross, UT
Source: Woods Cross City
Yet another Davis County city, Woods Cross was one of our winners for its ideal warm summer temperatures, averaging at 74 degrees, its low unemployment rate of 5.3 percent, and its low sales tax of just 6.4 percent. Where it stood out from the other Davis County-ers, though, was in its low commute time of just 20 minutes-one of the lowest in the state-and its low cost of living (relatively speaking). The cost of living in Woods Cross is 92, but when compared with the average of 100, and, in fact, the cost of living scores for the rest of our top 10, Woods Cross seems pretty affordable.

10. Farmington

Farmington, UT
Source: Wikipedia user Ntsimp
Farmington ranked well in our study for a number of reasons. As yet another Davis County city, Farmington did well in all of the usual subjects (nice weather, low sales tax, and low unemployment rate), but it also did well in some of the subjects that its Davis peers did not. Yes, Farmington truly appeared the model student, especially when it came to school, with its student to teacher ratio of just 16-to-1, the best in the state. This affluent city also had one of the highest median household incomes in the state ($76,696), and one of the highest median home prices ($311,300). Of course, the cost of living is a bit higher in Farmington with a score of 100, but you get what you pay for. In this case, that seems to mean a low crime rate of just 1,135 crimes per 100,000 people, all of the benefits listed above, not to mention Lagoon Amusement Park. Farmington? More like Funnington. (Last pun, for real.)

What All the Buzz Is About

There you have it, Beehive State. With such variety in your state from city to city and town to town, we would have been hard pressed to choose the winners-so it's a good thing the numbers did it for us. You know what that means: Holladay is the winner, with the data to back it up. On the other end of the spectrum, Brigham City. well, better luck next year.
(click to enlarge table)

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