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Living in Salt Lake City
A comprehensive guide about living well in Salt Lake City
Having been labeled the least stressed city in the United States by CNN in 2014, Salt Lake City offers a relaxed lifestyle that appeals to many expats. With its long hot summers and snowy winters, life in Utah's capital will suit those looking for a varied climate and a lively urban community.
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Life in Salt Lake City
Transportation in Salt Lake City
Expatriates planning on working and living in Salt Lake City will be pleased to know that the city has a very good transport service. The public transport system is comprised of a bus service, light rail service, and a commuter rail line, which helps thousands of people reach their place of employment every day without the stress of busy traffic.
For people who prefer more eco-friendly travel, cycling is a brilliant alternative, since Salt Lake City is an incredibly bike-friendly community. Most streets have designated cycle lanes, and those without have Green Shared Lanes instead, which are designed to offer a greater degree of safety for cyclists traveling in lanes that are shared with motorists. Salt Lake City has a published bicycle map to help its cyclists find their way around, and also runs the GREENbike scheme, which enables people to hire a bike, either on a short or long term basis, whenever they need a ride.
For those who need to travel longer distances by car, Salt Lake City has wide roads laid out in a grid system, with streets marked by their name and coordinates, making the city incredibly easy to navigate. There are five main interstates, connecting each side of the city, which can become relatively congested during peak times. These include the I-15 running north to south and the I-80, which runs east to west and passes the international airport just 6 km (4 miles) west miles of Downtown.
Culture and Leisure
Salt Lake City offers a huge range of cultural attractions for expats to enjoy in their spare time. It has a number of museums that will appeal to both adults and children, including the Natural History Museum of Utah, the Church History Museum, and an art, science and technology museum called Leonardo. It is also home to the Clark Planetarium and the Utah Museum of the Fine Arts.
There are a number of classic movie theaters in the city, which also host parts of the Sundance Film Festival each year. Expats living in Salt Lake City can expect to spot movie stars and film buffs throughout the city during January every year when this independent film festival takes place.
With the Wasatch Mountains on the east side, life in Salt Lake City for many expats involves regular trips to the slopes during the snowy winter months to enjoy winter sports, such as snowboarding and skiing. During summer, many locals explore the beautiful mountainous land by climbing, hiking, and mountain biking.
As for tourist attractions, Salt Lake City has a lot to offer. Expatriates can visit a number of monumental sites from the 2002 Winter Olympics which were hosted in the city, or enjoy a relaxing day out at the International Peace Gardens in Jordan Park. Of course, it is also essential to take a trip to the Great Salt Lake, the largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere and the city’s namesake, which lies just east of the main city.
Safety and Security
Although CNN voted it one of the most stress-free places to live, it also stated that the biggest stress factor in Salt Lake City is the risk of being a victim of crime. It does have a higher than average crime rate with an estimated one in 12 people being a victim of violent or property crime when living in Salt Lake City.
However, this shouldn’t put expats off this beautiful city; there are lots of safe residential areas where you can find your ideal home. Suburban areas on the outskirts of the city, such as Cottonwood Heights and West Jordan, tend to be the safest places to live.
Some areas in Downtown, such as Pioneer Park and Rose Park, should be avoided unless major public events are happening, in which case the areas become safer due to an increased police presence. In the case of an emergency, call 911. If you’d like to report a non-emergency crime you can call (801) 799-3000 or complete an online report.
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