44. Heber, Utah
|AT A GLANCE|
|Median Home Price||$270,064|
Affordability is key in fast-growing Heber. Prices in nearby Park City, site of the Sundance Film Festival, have put it out of reach for many people, who instead opt for the small-town feel of Heber, just 17 miles away.
But it’s also the high quality of life that many newcomers find appealing. Kristy Wilson, with her husband and five boys, moved from busy Layton, Utah, in 2014. “The thing I love the most about Heber is how family friendly it is,” said the 31-year-old mom. “I’ve never lived anywhere that I’ve felt so much community love. Anyone here would help anyone out.”
The town is known for its annual cowboy poetry festival and the Heber Valley Railroad, which started carrying passengers and freight in 1899 and today takes passengers on scenic train tours, including the popular "North Pole Express" run around holiday time. The historic downtown, with its many red sandstone buildings, is thriving and dominated by local stores.
But growth does come with a price; residents may soon vote on a bond to pay for two new schools and a community pool.—Julia Lyon