Main Street in Moab, Utah.

The Most Picturesque Small Towns in Utah

Utah is a mountain state in the western U.S. with plenty of gorgeous attractions and sightseeing opportunities. Its small towns are nothing short of splendid, with amazing commercial locales and natural or historical landmarks that would appeal to just about any traveler needing a new vacation. With many ways to experience fun and thrills within an arid desert climate, these small towns may be the perfect motivators for a visit to the Mountain West region!


Exterior of stores in the city of Moab, Utah.
Exterior of stores in the city of Moab, Utah.

An eastern town with 5,277 residents, Moab is a nice option for any outdoorist who likes seeing red rock formations up close. Arches National Park has vivid sandstone landscapes and natural archways that make travelers feel right at home in the southeast. The 10.5-mile Slickrock Bike Trail is a worthwhile natural excursion for any tourist needing some cycling pleasure along dunes and Navajo history. Those who love even more natural scenery can take the Best Arches Airplane Tour for gorgeous aerial views of the Colorado River, Green River, and the Corona Arch!

Moab Rock Shop offers shiny gems and fossil jewelry dating back to the 1960s that any traveler would love to have for the journey home. At Moab Diner, one can expect friendly breakfast service and lunch buffets while enjoying green chili meals and retro environments. Hungry visitors can also check out Moab Food Truck Park, a famous stop where street vendors love to sell the best gelatos and quesadillas in town!

Garden City

Aerial view of Garden City, Utah, on the shore of Bear Lake.
Aerial view of Garden City, Utah, on the shore of Bear Lake.

A small town of 658 inhabitants, Garden City is a suburban scenic paradise. Natural landmarks like Bear Lake State Park are famous for shoreline beauty and recreational mountain photography right along aqua-blue waters. Hikers may love Limber Pine Nature Trail, a looping natural splendor with pleasant forestry and yellow wildflowers that have been around for over 500 years! Any tourist who wants to enjoy casual marina lifestyles can pay a visit to Marina Rentals, where family-oriented groups can experience kayaking and boating while taking in regional mountain beauty.

For golfers, Bear Lake Golf Course may be right up their alley with open views of Bear Lake and some of the best-quality mountain golf course sights with views of nearby neighborhoods. Mountain skiers may prefer Beaver Mountain Ski Area for a mixture of Logan Canyon snow activities and northeastern slopes for morning sunlight; it is also the oldest known family ski resort in the entire country! LaBeau's has mouthwatering cheeseburgers and fried salads perfect for any cozy traveler needing to satisfy their hunger.


Balloons and Tunes Festival in Kanab, Utah
Balloons and Tunes Festival in Kanab, Utah. Image credit Layne V. Naylor via Shutterstock

A scenic town of 5,559 locals, Kanab is known as "Little Hollywood" due to its geological beauty and famous landmarks for filmmakers. Wire Pass Trail is quite popular for its canyon rim sights and hiking routes that allow visitors to experience the true beauty of narrow trailheads within Buckskin Gulch. At Little Hollywood Museum, one can explore movie set collections and the old American West culture behind historical sites used as downtown filming locations. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is a great landmark stop for tourists who love wildlife and animal welfare, with a lot of cute species and furry companions to be around while in town!

At Honey's Marketplace, visitors can enjoy fresh groceries and Sushi Bar cravings, while locales like Sego Restaurant provide fine dining and New American cuisine that makes for a unique trip for couples especially! Vegetarians who prefer non-meat dishes can try healthy options at Peekaboo Canyon Wood Fired Kitchen, a frequented stop for garden entertainment music shows and baked ziti. Those who love the smell of pastries can stop by Kanab Creek Bakery for quality espresso, European salads, and rustic patio views.


Entrance to the Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah.
Entrance to the Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah. Editorial credit: f11photo /

Springdale, a stargazing town with 629 residents, is a must-see for canyon enthusiasts and art admirers. The Zion Canyon Visitor Center is a typical first stop for travelers who want to learn more about local history and the ambient wilderness, and is also a hidden gem for its friendly tours of Zion National Park and a nearby gift shop! At the Zion Human History Museum, one can witness historical showcases of the Native Indians who first settled in town, as well as other pioneering history relevant to modern society.

Art lovers may enjoy David J. West Gallery, a mainstay for photographers and painters who enjoy creating memorable works of art about Utah, with a bunch of cute greeting cards and calendars up for sale too! For those who crave outdoor splendors while browsing fine art, Worthington Gallery has plenty of local and regional artistry amongst a beautiful backdrop of town! Tourists in the mood for food may like Zion Pizza & Noodle, a former Mormon church where beer gardens and intimate pizza conversations make for an interestingly quaint trip.


The beautiful town of Midway, Utah.
The beautiful town of Midway, Utah. Image credit: An Errant Knight via Wikimedia Commons

A small town with 6,386 inhabitants, Midway is commonly known as "Little Switzerland" because of its Swiss heritage and Germanic upbringing. Sundance Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort are known stops for travelers with their snowy cross-country activities and scenic mountain pleasures for skiers. Nordic skiing history and breathtaking snow tubing sights can be found at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, a great stop for learning about European history while learning how to ski down Utah's famous Olympic lanes. It is also home to the Ice Castles, a 25-million-pound winter landmark with a fairytale ambiance and phenomenal ice caverns that make for the best photography!

Concert lovers may discover Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, a popular summer locale for evening entertainment and weekend cultural vibrance. At Zermatt Utah Resort & Spa, tourists can taste the best hot chocolate around or take a bite out of marvelous eclairs, both of which will make newcomers feel like timeless European settlers! As for hungry stomachs, Cafe Galleria offers Italian bagels and pizzas in an environment where visitors become special guests around a cozy fireplace.


Downtown Monticello, Utah
Downtown Monticello, Utah. Image credit J. Stephen Conn via

Monticello, a small town of 1,686 residents, is a good option for any traveler who loves a combination of history and natural landscapes. The Frontier Museum is a key stop for its barn livelihood and farm-like architectural points that make it easy to feel like a vintage tourist from the past. The Newspaper Rock State Historical Monument is a cultural highlight with its mysterious rock carvings and petroglyphs right along Utah Highway 211 that trace back nearly 2,000 years!

The Abajo Trading Post is equal parts historic and commercialized, with its Native American goods and Navajo and Zuni jewelry that may appeal to any tourist wanting to take home a piece of history. Visitors can enjoy wine tasting at Montezuma Canyon Ranch & Vineyards, a well-known orchard that is hidden within the Colorado Plateau of southeastern Utah with cozy cabin history and barbecue dining rooms! Thai food enjoyment can be had at Ja-Roen Thai & Sushi, where curry meals and Southeast Asian delights are easy motivators for a return trip. Gustavo's Monticello is an alternative for those who prefer Mexican cuisine with a more casual ambiance.


The charming town of Eden, Utah.
The charming town of Eden, Utah. Image credit: Tricia Simpson via Wikimedia Commons.

A small town with 942 inhabitants, Eden is a snowy paradise only an hour away from Salt Lake City. Powder Mountain is a massive skiing resort zone with over 8,000 acres of mountainous solitude and untouched snowy terrains! Nordic Valley Ski Resort also provides open splendors for those new to town, with curved lanes and family-friendly snow tubing that allow for a clear view of Ogden Valley mountain landscapes.

For fascinating distillery sights, one can visit New World Distillery, where the finest Ogden Valley wines and spirits in a wood cabin setting make it easy to stick around for a long time. At Carlos & Harley's Fresh-Mex and Bar, 1880s local history combines with traditional cantina cuisine to create the ultimate Mexican food itinerary! For specialty coffees and fruit smoothies, travelers can check out Peddlers Cafe, while others can check in at Links Bistro for golf course viewing pleasures and the best outdoor hillside seatings at the edge of town.

The Takeaway

All of these towns demonstrate natural beauty and historical significance for anyone new to the state of Utah. For anyone booking trips to the "Beehive State," there are countless wonders to behold. Travelers who visit any of the listed locales or landmarks above may find that there is plenty to see and do without sacrificing the importance of tourism. With this list in hand, nobody will feel left out in the Mountain West!

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