Main Street in Moab, Utah

6 Best Small Towns In Utah For Retirees

Utah is a scenic state in the Western United States filled with opportunities. The thirteenth largest state by area, one can find everything from beautiful landscapes to big cities. For example, the Rocky Mountains, Salt Lake City, and Arches National Park are a few iconic spots that beckon travelers from all over. However, along with its beauty, the state is also a gem for retirees. Taking advantage of Utah’s low cost of living, affordable housing, and tax-friendly environment, many people opt to retire here. Away from the crowd of large cities, Utah's small towns are perfect for retirement. These towns boast the perfect combination of beauty, economy, and tranquility.


Aerial view of the historic center of Price, Utah
Aerial view of the historic center of Price, Utah

Price is a wellspring of suburban charm hidden within Utah’s vast desert landscape. The town has a thriving array of amenities and attractions that make it an optimal retirement location. Filled with families, you’ll notice the homely vibe as soon as you arrive. So, head out into town and make some new friends to enjoy your retirement. As more than 15% of the population is older than 65, you shouldn’t have trouble finding like-minded people. With your new mates, check out Price’s cultural attractions like the Prehistoric Museum of the Utah State University Eastern. This stunning museum boasts dozens of archeological treasures that the locals adore. Similarly, the Bryner Pioneer Museum is another cultural attraction showcasing a historic house from the 1890s. These, and other sites like the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church will make sure you’re never bored.

If you’re feeling a bit more energetic, Price has got you covered. Home to Utah State University Eastern, the college crowd keeps things fresh. For example, catch a race at the Desert Thunder Raceway. Surrounded by people cheering for their drivers, it is an adrenaline-pumping venue anyone can enjoy. Or, one can stay fit with a hike along the famous Price River Trail with its alluring wilderness. Whether you want to sit back or stay active, there is something for every retiree in Price.

While you won’t be bored, there is a lot more to consider before retirement. Thankfully, Price checks all the boxes. The town has a calming vibe bolstered by residential neighborhoods and parks. This ensures a comfortable environment without unnecessary problems such as noise and pollution. Moreover, with services, stores, and eateries easily accessible, errands will never be a problem. In case you’re ever unwell, Castleview Hospital offers skillful doctors and great facilities. So, from your day-to-day to emergencies, Price is a great small town to retire in Utah.


Looking north along South 200 West in Ivins, Utah
Looking north along South 200 West in Ivins, Utah, via Wikimedia Commons

Similar to Price, Ivins is another one of Utah’s quaint suburb communities. Located just northwest of the major city, St. George, Ivins features a tight-knit community of 9,000 residents. To this end, the town is perfect for people who want a relaxing retirement without being too far from urban amenities. 

Ivans itself is full of fun, and one can find a range of ways to spend their day. For example, fans of the arts will adore Mystic Canyon Light Gallery, Tuacahn Amphitheatre, and the Centre for the Arts at Kayenta. From majestic local artwork to rock concerts in the desert, these sights are full of life. If you fancy Mother Nature’s allure, head over to the nearby Fire Lake Park at Ivins Reservoir. With sandy beaches along a tranquil four-acre lake, it is a lively outdoor area. Whether you want to relax under a canopy or kayak into the waters, there are many ways to experience the lake. So, no matter what you’re into, there is something for everyone at Ivins.

Along with having all sorts of attractions, Ivins is also in range of various important amenities. As St. George is just a 15-minute drive away, you can avail the facilities of a major city. This includes healthcare, major highways, an airport, and shopping centers making retired life easy. In addition to this, more than 32% of Ivins’s residents are senior citizens, so you won’t need to head into the city alone. Despite being slightly expensive, the convenience and pleasant environment make it a top spot for retirees in the state!

Cedar City

Aerial view of Cedar City, Utah
Aerial view of Cedar City, Utah

Cedar City, a bustling town in Iron County, nicknamed “the Festival City” in the late 1980s; it's 35,000 residents are always up for some fun. Retirees are often seen enjoying to iconic Utah Shakespeare Festival, an award-winning event showcasing timeless Shakespearean plays since 1961. With multiple theatres and stunning artists, it is a wellspring of artistic beauty. Similarly, the Utah Summer Games and Simon Fest Theatre Co. are iconic events you’ll never get bored of. That said, if you ever want a breath of fresh air, hiking, biking, and fishing are some of the natural pursuits on offer. Just drive 25 minutes to the Cedar Breaks National Monument, a natural amphitheater featuring vast flora and fauna. From mule deer to limber pine, one can appreciate Geogria’s outdoors. End your evenings with a delicious drink from the local IG winery for a soothing night’s sleep.

Kids crossing the street in Cedar City, Utah
Kids crossing the street in Cedar City, Utah, via stellalevi /

Apart from the lively events and natural activities, Cedar City is a great place to settle down. The town boasts a reasonable median housing value of $245,700, which is less than half the state average. So, one can afford their dream home for retirement without breaking the bank. Also, the town is home to great establishments such as Intermountain Healthcare, Wal-Mart, and Southern Utah University. These spots offer everything you need from groceries to a fun day out. All in all, Cedar City is a lively place full of culture and urban vibes that retirees will adore.


Aerial view of the Moab city center and historic buildings
Aerial view of the Moab city center and historic buildings

Known as the gateway to Arches National Park, Moab is a captivating town in eastern Utah. Astray from the hustle and bustle of urban life, retirees are attracted by the town’s peaceful vibe. Among the many sights, Arches National Park stands out with more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches. The picturesque park covers 77,000 acres and is ideal for hiking, bicycling, auto-touring, and more. A 30-minute drive away, Canyonlands National Park offers another perspective into Utah’s scenery. With 340,000 acres of red canyons, mesas, and buttes, it is a spectacle to behold that’ll never get boring. These and other nearby spots such as Faux Falls and the Sand Flats Recreation Area mean you can always relish unique outdoor experiences in Moab. If you don't feel up to these spots, the town itself also has a lot to offer. With a welcoming environment, downtown Moab is full of delicious eateries and cafes. Whether it's Mexican food at Quesadilla Mobilla or a burger at Moab Dinner, there is always something yummy to try!

Street view in Moab, Utah
Street view in Moab, Utah

While eating out in Moab, you’ll notice a lot of retirees wherever you go. This is because more than 22% of the town’s population is above the age of 65. To this end, you’ll have no trouble finding like-minded people for a fun retirement. After a day out with friends, you can head back to your dream home thanks to Moab’s reasonable housing rates. With the average house costing $483,000, you can live life large in this Utah town. If you’re not planning on buying a house, retirement centers like the Canyonlands Care Center offer great care and optimal accommodation. However, while your life in Moab will be amazing, keep in mind that the nearest major city is more than 3 hours away via U.S. Highway 191. So, going to the city will take up an entire day.


U.S. Route 89 through Kanab, Utah
U.S. Route 89 through Kanab, Utah

If Moab sounds interesting, Kanab is another slice of nature in Utah. The peaceful town of 4,700 rests along the Arizona state line atracting tourists and retirees from across the country. With some of the most stunning outdoor sights including Zion National Park, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, nature lovers will have a blast. So, one can opt for a plethora of unique activities for a fit and peaceful retirement. For example, spend your day wildlife watching at the Best Freinds Animal Sanctuary, the largest sanctuary of its kind. Watching parrots, horses, bunnies, and cats play around in the wild will ensure you have a happy retirement.

Exterior view of The Kanab Heritage Museum
Exterior view of The Kanab Heritage Museum, via Kit Leong /

On the other hand, retirees with a penchant for fitness can hike one of the many trails nearby. The Bunting Trail is a great example with 4 miles of panoramic views from atop Vermillion Cliffs. As you take in the alluring scenery, it won’t take long to forget all your stress and woes. Even if you’re not into fitness, the town itself has a lovely rural vibe and everyone greets you with a smile. So, even running an errand to a local store or restaurant is a blast in Kanab.

Furthermore, Kanab ticks all the boxes when it comes to your retirement checklist. For example, a large population of senior citizens, low housing costs, and great connectivity make for an easy retirement. As it's popular with tourists, calling your family to town is a blast as there are plenty of great hotels such as La Quinta Inn & Suites at reasonable prices. Additionally, it is one of the closest towns to Las Vegas, so you can always head down for a fun weekend.

Heber City

Heber City Historical City Center in Utah
Heber City Historical City Center in Utah, via Victoria Ditkovsky /

Heber City, a town reminiscent of rural communities in the Midwest, is a tranquil location to settle down. The county seat of Wasatch County, retirees here can make the most of high-quality services and facilities. For example, the Wasatch County School District manages half a dozen schools providing optimal education in the town. Parallelly, Heber City has one of Utah’s lowest unemployment rates thanks to a strong tourism industry and proximity to large cities. So, any retiree in town can rest assured that they are in an active community of great people.

The town itself is home to a population of just under 17,000 residents. Here, retirees who enjoy the outdoors can partake in various activities such as boating, hiking, cycling, and more. Scenic destinations nearby such as the Wasatch Mountain State Park and City Park make sure there is always a fresh atmosphere to witness. Meanwhile, history lovers rejoice at the town’s intriguing past and cultural attractions. Settled in 1859, learn about the past at the Heber Valley Railroad and CAF Utah Wing Museum, two spots that never get old. Roaming through town, one task that can be quite troublesome is cooking every day. So, why not give yourself some much-needed rest and try out some of Heber City’s delicious meals? Whether it's a chicken fried steak from Chick's Cafe or a beer at Back 40, there are plenty of options to choose from. Put it all together and Heber City is a package of joy suited for retirees.

No matter how you want to spend your retirement, these small towns in Utah have everything you need. From the vibrant culture of Price to the picturesque wilderness at Moab, there is always something to do. These towns offer a break from urban stress along with comfortable amenities and ideal conditions. So, start planning your retirement today for the best golden years in Utah!

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