View of the sunrise over a red rock resort in Moab just outside of Arches National Park, one of the top choices for Where to Stay in Utah

Where to Stay in Utah in 2023 (Best Areas & Places)

Choosing where to stay in Utah is an essential element to having a great trip. From the contrasting ecosystems of the high-altitude mountains in the north to the red rock sandstone towers in the south, Utah is a wealth of diverse beauty. 

I’m a Southwest USA local who has traversed Utah high and low. In this article, I’ll cover the best locations to stay in Utah and help you pick which is right for you. Whether you’re considering camping in Utah, checking out its fun cities, or staying at a desert resort, there’s a place to stay in Utah for you!

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Best Places to Stay in Utah

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Utah? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive of the best areas and neighborhoods in Utah:  

9 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Utah

Utah’s size isn’t overwhelming but there are a lot of fantastic destinations in the state. Most national parks are found in southern and eastern Utah while most high-altitude mountain ranges and ski resorts take up residence in the north. And then, of course, there are Utah’s cities, which hit both nature and urban dispositions in one fell swoop.

Top outdoor activities comprise the rest of the state, making an ultimate road trip the best way to experience the best of Utah.

St. George

Panoramic view of the lake and scenic landscape of The Inn at Entrada
The Inn at Entrada golf course

👉 Best Area For National Park Access | ✨ Best St. George Hotels: Sand Hollow ResortBest Western Coral HillsThe Inn at Entrada

Stay in St. George if visiting Utah’s national parks is your priority while on vacation. This southern Utah town is in the perfect location to explore both Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.

You’ll find many accommodation and entertainment options in St. George, as well as quite a variety of house rentals. This is one of the best places to stay for big travel parties with plenty of room to spread out and close access to amenities and hiking trails.

Famously known for its warm weather year-round, St. George sits in a red rock valley surrounded by sandstone mesas and the landscape of the nearby Colorado Plateau. Staying in St. George is guaranteed to be a 360-degree scenic experience.

The backdropped beauty at St. George’s golf courses is hard to beat. Meanwhile, the Virgin River is just outside of town and is the perfect place to take the family fishing, climbing, canyoneering, or on an ATV adventure.

Pros of Staying in St. George:

  • Surrounded by beauty
  • Metropolitan amenities
  • Close access to national parks
  • Many hotels and rentals are available
  • Close access to outdoor activities

Cons of Staying in St. George:

  • At least a ½ hour drive to the closest national park
  • There can be traffic on the weekends 
  • Summer tourist prices can be expensive

📚 St. George Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for National Park Access
Google Map

Salt Lake City

Aerial view of Salt Lake City during sunset
Salt Lake City during sunset

👉 Best Area For Metropolitan Amenities | ✨ Best Salt Lake City Hotels: Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake Cityevo HotelThe Little American Hotel

Utah’s capital city is the best place to stay for big city amenities. Centrally located near all the top northern Utah activities, Salt Lake City, or SLC for short, offers visitors a diverse array of things to do.

Most Utah visitors fly into SLC, as this is the state’s biggest airport, and stay for various reasons including skiing, hiking, exploring top Utah hot springs, shopping, lake lounging, and more. SLC is also a great place to set up base camp before traveling south to explore Utah’s famous red rock country.

You’ll likely pass through SLC on an epic Southwestern road trip heading north to Yellowstone or Grand Teton national parks, two top American national parks. I recommend looking for a vacation rental in SLC, as you’ll likely want to stay here longer than most other Utah destinations due to the sheer number of fun things to do.

Pros of Staying in Salt Lake City:

  • Thousands of fun things to do
  • Plenty of hotel and rental options are available
  • Near top Utah ski resorts and hiking trails
  • An ideal place to stop before exploring the rest of the state

Cons of Staying in Salt Lake City:

  • The city can be noisy at night
  • There can be traffic, especially on the weekends
  • No sense of a remote, quiet vacation

📚 Salt Lake City Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Metropolitan Amenities
Google Map


View of the camping yurt with a scenic view of the rock formations in the background in Goblin Valley
A camping yurt in Goblin Valley just outside of Moab

👉 Best Area For Outdoor Adventures | ✨ Best Moab Hotels: Under Canvas MoabSage Creek at MoabRed Cliffs Lodge

Every Utah visitor must check out Moab at least once. The best of Utah’s red rock wilderness can be found at this outdoor oasis. With so many cool things to do in Moab, this town is high on my list of places to stay in the Southwestern state. 

There are many top places to stay in Moab, ranging from free campsites along the Colorado River to more luxurious RV campgrounds, glamping yurt options, hotels, and desert house rentals. 

Moab is the best place to stay for Utah visitors who want to visit either Capitol Reef National Park, Arches National Park, or Canyonlands National Park. The outdoor adventures in these parks are unlimited. Explore deep slot canyons, go on a multi-day backpacking adventure, rock climb on quintessential desert sandstone, go off-roading, and more.

The whole family is sure to love Moab, even the city folks in the family. A trip to Moab encourages visitors to get outside of their comfort zones and try a new outdoor activity either free solo or with a Moab tour guide.

Pros of Staying in Moab:

  • Unlimited outdoor activities
  • Easy access to three Utah National Parks
  • Every kind of accommodation imaginable is offered
  • Away from heavy tourist crowds
  • Relatively quiet, even on the weekends

Cons of Staying in Moab:

  • Not near many other top Utah cities
  • Few metropolitan amenities are offered
  • No cell service outside of town in the backcountry

📚 Moab Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Outdoor Adventures
Google Map


Aerial view of a town surrounded by towering red rock formations at sunset
The town is surrounded by towering red rock formations

👉 Best Area For Hiking Trails | ✨ Best Springdale Hotels: Cliffrose SpringdaleDesert Pearl InnZion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

Also known as the gateway to Zion National Park, stay in Springdale if your main goal is to visit Utah’s most popular national park. This tiny town is right outside of the national park gates and hosts a variety of cute boutiques, rock shops, bike rentals, and Zion tour agencies.

The accommodation options in Springdale are slightly more affordable than the Zion Lodge inside the park without compromising any scenic Zion red rock views. Soaring canyon walls set the backdrop of this tiny national park town, making an early evening stroll around town one of the most relaxing activities in Springdale.

With only 500 permanent residents, it’s safe to say that the bulk of people you’ll see in Springdale are national park visitors. To avoid an overly crowded town, the best time to visit Utah for Zion NP is during the non-summer, off-season months.

Pros of Staying in Springdale:

  • Within walking distance of Zion National Park
  • A small-town atmosphere with plenty of accommodation options
  • Camping options are available
  • Bike rentals and tour guides are available

Cons of Staying in Springdale:

  • Few metropolitan amenities are offered
  • Far away from other Utah attractions
  • Can be extremely crowded during the summer months
  • Hotels can be pricey

📚 Springdale Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Hiking Trails
Google Map

Park City

Aerial view of the Summit Hike accommodation surrounded by greenery at dusk
Photo of the Summit Hike accommodation (PLUM GUIDES)

👉 Best Area For Skiing and Snowboarding | ✨ Best Park City Hotels: Summit HikeHotel Park CityWaldorf Astoria Park City

World-class skiing can be found at Park City Utah, a quintessential snow-capped mountain town. Once a silver mining town back in its historical days, Park City is now home to a vibrant art scene mixed with an outdoorsy aesthetic.

This is the best place to stay in Utah for families interested in hiking some high mountains or skiing down some of the best slopes Utah has to offer. The outdoor activities in Park City are sure to strike up a big, athletic appetite. Venture downtown to Historic Main Street to delight in some gourmet options after an intense day outdoors.

There’s also no shortage of breweries and distilleries in Park City, a mountain town with a lively local brew scene. Park City is one of the best towns to stay in Utah for outdoorsy families and adventurous solo travelers.

👉 Pro Tip: Don’t know where to start? Try checking out top Park City tours so a professional can show you cool hidden Park City gems.

Pros of Staying in Park City:

  • Near top ski resorts
  • An outdoor mecca full of outdoor recreational activities
  • Plenty of accommodation options are available

Cons of Staying in Park City :

  • Hotels can be expensive
  • Far from other Utah tourist destinations
  • The weekends can be crowded

📚 Park City Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Skiing and Snowboarding
Google Map


View of the horses at the corral near the Capitol Reef National Park entrance
A horse corral just outside of the Capitol Reef National Park entrance near Torrey

👉 Best Area For Solitude | ✨ Best Torrey Hotels: Capitol Reef ResortCougar RidgeChuck Wagon Lodge

Utah visitors looking for a small-town experience removed from tourist crowds can find solitude in Torrey, southern Utah. The gateway town to Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey is surrounded by scenic red rock towers, country woodlands, and nature as far as the eye can see.

Unleash your inner cowboy with a stay in the western-style country town of Torrey. This tree-lined town sits at 6,830 feet and sports comfortable weather year-round, even when Moab (only 2 hours away) is experiencing triple-digit weather.

As one of the top places to visit in Utah, Torrey offers visitors nearby access to hiking trails in the national park or through the Fishlake and Dixie national forests. You’ll also find alpine lake fishing opportunities.

Stay off the beaten path at the Capitol Reef Resort, a glamping campsite in Torrey, or in a small western-style motel. You won’t find a more peaceful getaway anywhere else in Utah.

Pros of Staying in Torrey:

  • Peace and quiet
  • Few tourist crowds
  • Affordable accommodation
  • Close access to top hiking trails
  • Within driving distance of Moab

Cons of Staying in Torrey:

  • Far away from other Utah attractions
  • Not many amenities are offered
  • No cell service outside of the downtown area

📚 Torrey Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Solitude
Google Map


View of the Buckskin Gulch slot canyon at Wire Pass Trail in Kanab
The Buckskin Gulch slot canyon, a famous Kanab landmark

👉 Best Area For Desert Exploration | ✨ Best Kanab Hotels: Canyons Boutique HotelCanyons LodgeRed Canyon Cabins

Classic American Southwest landscapes can be found in Kanab, a town surrounded by postcard Navajo Sandstone. Also known as “Little Hollywood,” Kanab boasts abandoned Western movie sets around town that are top tourist attractions today.

Kanab is only one hour from both Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon NP and is the perfect place to stay for travelers who prefer a peaceful retreat over a busy, congested town. 

Kanab is also the best place to set up base camp for exploring Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, an Indigenous desert park with top Utah hiking trails, archaeological sites, and fun slot canyons. Adventurous travelers should visit Buckskin Gulch in the area, the longest and deepest slot canyon on the planet.

The small town offers plenty of rental, hotel, and camping options. I recommend bringing your tent, a sleeping bag, and a sleeping pad to camp under the southern Utah summer night sky. 

Pros of Staying in Kanab:

  • Close to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks 
  • Few tourist crowds
  • Plenty of uncrowded hotel options
  • Little city noise

Cons of Staying in Kanab:

  • Far from major city amenities
  • Few entertainment options
  • Off the beaten tourist path

📚 Kanab Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Desert Exploration
Google Map


Panoramic view of the fall foliage in the Snow Basin landscape
A display of fall foliage in the hills outside of town

👉 Best Area For Remote Adventures | ✨ Best Ogden Hotels: Alaskan Inn and SpaTru by Hilton OgdenHome2 Suites

One of Utah’s fastest-growing tourist cities, Ogden has slowly developed into an outdoor mecca for every kind of outdoor enthusiast, from mountain biking fans to expert skiers and avid horseback riding visitors.

The downtown area of this outdoorsy northern Utah city sports outdoor outfitters like Arc’teryx and Salomon and invites visitors to take a break from the ski slopes and spend an idyll afternoon shopping for the next expedition.

Just north of Salt Lake City, the many accommodation options of Ogden are within walking distance of the town’s historic art deco architecture and delicious eateries like Slackwater Ogden.

If you’re not in town to ski, then the best time to visit Ogden is in the summer when the weather warms to the perfect temperature. You’ll get a ton of outdoor activities like rock climbing, hiking, and boating in the reservoir.

Pros of Staying in Ogden:

  • Close to top Utah ski resorts
  • Many outdoor recreation activities are available
  • Away from big city crowds
  • Many amenities are available

Cons of Staying in Ogden:

  • Farther from national parks
  • Less to do in town compared to Salt Lake City
  • Freezing temperatures in the non-summer months

📚 Ogden Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Remote Adventures
Google Map


View of the buildings at Downtown Provo during dusk
Downtown Provo during dusk

👉 Best Area For Relaxing on the Lake | ✨ Best Provo Hotels: Hines MansionSundance Mountain ResortHyatt Place Provo

This charming brick city is one of northern Utah’s top metropolitan gems. Just south of the Utah capital, Provo sits right on the Utah Lake shores and offers many fun, family-friendly summer activities. 

Provo is in the heart of Utah Valley and famously claims one of the most stunning backdrops in the Wasatch Mountains, the 11,752-foot Mount Timpanogos. Provo is a great place to set up base camp if your goal is to climb some of the state’s highest mountains. 

Spend a hot summer day floating down the picturesque Provo River or hire a Provo guide and go for the wild ride of your life, white water rafting down the roaring river. 

If you’re looking for a more relaxed stay in Provo, there are more laid-back city activities to do at your own pace. Visit one of many downtown museums like the Brigham Young University Museum of Art, have a picnic at Evermore Park, or purchase a $20 day pass and spend the day reading by Utah Lake.

Pros of Staying in Provo:

  • Close to high-altitude hiking trails
  • Right on the lake shore
  • Many outdoor activities are available
  • Plenty of accommodation options
  • Near Utah’s biggest airport

Cons of Staying in Provo:

  • Experiences high summer crowds
  • Farther away from other top Utah activities
  • Accommodation options can be pricey

📚 Provo Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Relaxing on the Lake 
Google Map

Tips for Staying in Utah

Stay Near National Parks or Monuments

Scenic view of the formations at the Courthouse Towers area in Arches National Park
Courthouse Towers area in Arches National Park

Utah’s national parks are one of the main draws to the state. Stay near one of the five national parks like Arches National Park or top monuments like Bears Ears and the Grand Staircase Escalante for early access to the top hiking trails and park attractions.

Pack Hiking Essentials

Outdoor activities like hiking are undoubtedly Utah’s top attractions. Don’t forget to pack the hiking essentials for your upcoming trip to Utah like hiking boots, hiking socks, a sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a reusable water bottle, and a daypack.

See my full Utah packing and gear checklist for more.

Consider Camping

View of a yurt with a scenic view of the rock formations in the background
A yurt with a scenic view in Goblin Valley State Park

While treating yourself to a luxurious hotel in Utah can be rewarding, I recommend camping in the Southwestern state for a more intimate experience. There are thousands upon thousands of campsites in Utah, some completely free and primitive and others that are higher-end and everything in between.

Do One Activity Out of Your Comfort Zone

Closeup view of the wheels of a 4x4 car at an off-roading trail
Hell’s Revenge off roading trail in Moab

Utah is an outdoor activity mecca with loads upon loads of fun things to do. I recommend doing at least one thing outside of your comfort zone while in town, whether that’s rock climbing, canyoneering, backpacking, camping, or rafting.

Try Staying at a Rental

If you’re staying in Utah for an extended period, try staying in a vacation rental for a more comfortable stay. Oftentimes, you’ll have an entire rental home to yourself, making your vacation feel more like home. Check here for some top Utah rentals.

Look for Pet-Friendly Hotels

A white labrador near the cliff in Dead Horse State Park
A happy pup in Dead Horse State Park

If you’re like me and you value your pets like family, I have some good news for you. You’ll be happy to know that Utah offers many pet-friendly hotels and rental options, meaning your four-legged friend can go on some epic desert adventures with you.

Stay Off the Beaten Path

Top tourist destinations are great to check out at least once if it’s your first time in Utah but I recommend staying off the beaten path for a more holistic Utah experience. While there may be fewer accommodation options available, there will always be ample country for backcountry camping. 

FAQs About Where to Stay in Utah

What part of Utah should I stay in?

You really can’t go wrong staying in any of Utah’s top areas but you definitely want to check out St. George, Springdale, Salt Lake City, and Moab. Torrey and Park City are also up-and-coming areas to stay in Utah.

What is the prettiest part of Utah?

Zion National Park, Kanab, and St. George are the prettiest parts of southern Utah, and Park City and Moab are the prettiest parts of northern Utah.

Where should I stay when visiting Utah National Parks?

Stay in St. George or Springdale while exploring Zion and Bryce national parks and stay in Moab while exploring Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef national parks.

What are the best Salt Lake City neighborhoods?

Downtown, Capitol Hill, The Avenues, Liberty Wells, and Wasatch Hollow are some of the top Salt Lake City neighborhoods to stay in.


That’s it for this where to stay in Utah guide! For more inspiration, check out our epic list of things to do in Utah!

(Featured Image Credit: Radomir Rezny / Shutterstock)

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