Sunrise in Kanab, Utah.

9 Best Small Towns to Retire in Utah in 2024

Utah might be among the driest states in America, but it is remarkably endowed with natural beauty. Its vast desert landscape hosts five national parks punctuated with dramatic red rock formations, sandstone arches, and jagged mountains that transform into the best skiing destinations when it snows. The Beehive State also harbors a wealth of Native American history that can be seen in the eons-old petroglyphs inscribed on the desert rocks.

With its beautiful outdoor scenery, rich culture, and captivating history, Utah is a choice retirement destination, especially when you choose to settle in the smaller, more laidback towns. But with so many options available, it takes a great deal of due diligence to find a place that meets all your preferences. To help you out, here are some of the most desirable towns to retire in Utah in 2024.


Monticello, Utah. In Wikipedia.,_Utah By Ntsimp - Own work, Public Domain,
Monticello, Utah. In Wikipedia. By Ntsimp - Own work, Public Domain, Wikipedia

Monticello is a small town of about 2,000 residents in San Juan County, steeped in history and teeming with exciting outdoor adventures. Its colorful beginnings date back to the 1880s when members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints settled in the territory. The Frontier Museum offers a vivid look into life in Monticello as it was in the last century by exhibiting ancient artifacts like vintage pieces of clothing and primitive telephonic tools.

Retirees need not worry about staying active in the town as numerous outdoor adventures in the vast desert surroundings call for enough physical activity. These include hiking excursions into the desert courtesy of Canyon Country Discovery Center to explore natural gems like the postcard-worthy Church Rock. Also, a laidback "tee time" surrounded by lush greenery and spectacular views would make for the perfect alternative. Homes in Monticello are conveniently below the state average, with a median value of $463,000.


Aerial View of Torrey, Utah in early Spring.
Aerial View of Torrey, Utah, in early Spring.

This tiny Wayne County village is less than five miles from Capitol Reef National Park, making it the outright getaway to the natural gem. This also promises retirees plenty of outdoor adventures into the heart of red rock country, where picturesque canyons, hills, and bluffs inspire awe. For those too weak to hike, Wilderness Ridge Adventures provides relaxed horseback riding tours that take you to popular vantage points like Goosenecks Overlook. However, the fastest and most comfortable way to explore Torrey's outdoor landscapes is to get behind the wheel for a drive along the "Journey Through Time Scenic Byway."

Torrey has a modest but charming art scene that should interest connoisseurs. A tour of the Torrey Gallery allows you to browse various fine art pieces by sculptors, photographers, and painters from the Utah region. With a median home value of $438,200, retirees will not have a difficult choice to invest in a local property.


The 'Balloons and Tunes' Festival is held in Kanab, UT each February. Editorial credit: Layne V. Naylor /
The 'Balloons and Tunes' Festival is held in Kanab, UT, each February. Editorial credit: Layne V. Naylor /

Kanab's proximity to multiple national parks makes it the perfect base for those who crave outdoor adventures. The town is under two hours away from Bryce Canyon National Park, promising year-round fun for extroverted retirees. Locally, it hosts the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, where a sprawling sea of red sand allows for adrenaline-filled ATV tours courtesy of the Kanab Tour Company. For some bit of local history, seniors can visit Moqui Cave, a sandstone erosion cavern with signs of ancient civilizations housing diverse Native American artifacts.

Kanab is a darling of the film industry, remaining a sought-after shooting location for different movies and TV commercials. This long-standing heritage is well documented inside Little Hollywood Land, where guests can witness classic movie sets and shop for cute memorabilia. Finally, the town's median housing price of $590,000 is slightly above the state average.


San Juan River flowing near Bluff, Utah.
San Juan River flowing near Bluff, Utah.

This charming oasis in San Juan County boasts exquisite natural surroundings, flanked by breathtaking sandstone bluffs and the gentle waters of the San Juan River. As such, outdoor recreations abound for retirees, from hiking and canyoneering to rafting and tubing down the San Juan River. Tracing its history back to 1880, when it was founded, Bluff harbors a rich pioneering heritage that residents can discover at the Bluff Fort Historic Site. The facility houses a variety of interesting artifacts, including antique furnishings sourced from local families.

Meanwhile, the famous Sand Island Petroglyphs are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and show proof of several millennia of civilization. Art enthusiasts and treasure hunters can admire beautiful Native American Crafts at the Twins Rocks Trading Post and shop for souvenirs at the Cow Canyon Trading Post. For those planning to buy a home, it costs an average of about $680,000 to get a decent property in Bluff.

Cedar City

Cedar city in Utah State.
Cedar City in Utah State.

Sitting about 170 miles from Las Vegas, Cedar City presents a nice escape from the chaotic scenery of Sin City. However, there is no shortage of entertainment options, featuring a bustling art scene with world-class venues like the immaculate Southern Utah Museum of Art and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Cedar City offers vital social amenities like the Cedar City Aquatic, where retirees can take advantage of swimming sessions to stay fit, as well as enjoy meaningful interactions with other members of the community.

For the ardent outdoorsmen, the sprawling Dixie National Forest presents a fair share of adventures across its two million-acre expanse, ranging from hiking and camping to horse riding and hunting. Furthermore, Zion National Park is only about 20 minutes from the town. The best part about choosing Cedar City to retire in Utah is that its median housing cost of $425,000 offers great value for money.


Sunset in Clinton, Utah.
Sunset in Clinton, Utah.

In a region dominated by desert landscapes, this quaint community offers a hint of green spaces like Meadows Park and the Crane Field Golf Course, where pensioners can take advantage of the tranquil scenery to play a laidback game of golf. Clinton impresses with a couple of fitness facilities for those who want to stay ahead of their physical health, including All Fit Bungee and Anytime Fitness. And for those who stay with family, you can enroll the grandkids in the Shaw Dance Studio and Preschool, which is among the best in the region.

Several shopping outlets in the town promise retirees wonderful retail therapy sessions without having to go to the big cities around. They can address all their grocery and other household needs at the Walmart Supercenter and get generous discounts for clothing items at Ross Dress for Less. Finally, the average housing value in Clinton is around $560,000, which falls within the neighborhood of Utah's average.


Golf course sunrise in Kaysville, Utah.
Golf course sunrise in Kaysville, Utah.

A bunch of wonderful green areas, amusement centers, and art venues give Kaysville a pleasant personality, offering retirees a generally "happy" place to call home. There is enough entertainment for all ages at Kaysville Theater, which is ideal for fun times with family, while Boondocks Food & Fun features go-kart racing, bowling, arcade games, a mini golf course, and more. Performance art lovers can find inspiration from different productions staged at the Hopebox Theatre, dedicated to providing hope to cancer patients.

Stepping outside, seniors can enjoy delightful recreational opportunities at Barnes Park, which is known for housing various social amenities, including basketball courts, a softball field, picnic pavilions, and playgrounds. The same applies to the East Mountain Wilderness Park, which harbors nature trails for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. Pensioners will have to spend a little above the state average to afford the $627,500 median home rate in Kaysville.


A view of a main street of Farmington lined by trees in Utah.
A view of a main street of Farmington lined by trees in Utah.

This bustling community in Davis County delights newcomers with an array of entertaining experiences, ensuring it is never a dull time. It is home to the expansive Lagoon Amusement Park, where senior citizens can channel their inner child to enjoy attractions like water slides, roller coaster rides, challenging games, and more. Quality shopping opportunities are readily accessible at Station Park, which houses several nationally recognized brands, multiple specialty shops, as well as highly-rated restaurants.

Those who prefer the outdoors can make the most of a tranquil natural setting at the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, a hub for migratory shorebirds with awesome opportunities for hunting, birding, and nature viewing. Meanwhile, the average home in Farmington costs about $640,200.


Mine mosaic in Helper in Utah (USA).
Mine mosaic in Helper in Utah (USA).

Helper is located southeast of Salt Lake City and has a rich mining and railroad heritage that is well documented inside the Helper Museum. Housed inside the facility are a range of artifacts depicting life in Helper during its mining heydays. The town's art scene presents an impressive mix of art centers, which should give connoisseurs something to look forward to. Kt Gallery is home to a world-class selection of fine art pieces, ranging from paintings and sculptures to woodwork and print art, while Canvas Alchemy focuses on high-quality canvas prints.

Low-key bowling sessions at Gateway Lanes make for a perfect way to spend quality time with friends or family. And when you want to venture outside, try a relaxed game of golf at the beautiful Carbon Country Club Golf Course. Lastly, investing in a home in Helper will set you back around $350,000, which is pretty affordable.

Retiring in Utah allows senior citizens to enjoy the tranquility of its secluded desert atmosphere and take advantage of numerous adventures in the open spaces. The small communities inhabiting the towns above take pride in their rich history and offer amazing cultural experiences, allowing newcomers to feel a sense of belonging. Whether looking to stay fit with outdoor activities or immerse in local arts, these are some of the best places to retire in Utah, promising a high quality of life without having to break the bank.

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