Best of Utah Valley Reader’s Choice

Aaron Nelson - Provo River

The results have been published for the Utah Valley Reader’s Choice Awards and Provo has been named 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in quite a few categories! We’ve been ranked #1 for best downtown area, the City Center Temple as the #1 most attractive building, #1 for the best Skate Park, #1 for the best Recreation Center, and the #1 best place for kayaking, canoeing, fishing, jogging, and walking. Provo is an amazing place to live, work, learn and play. Thank you to everyone who voted for Provo’s amazing amenities and natural wonders.

Check out the full list of awards below:

  • 1st – Best Downtown Area – Provo
  • 3rd – Best City to Live In – Provo
  • 2nd – Best Place to Propose – Provo Canyon
  • 3rd – Best Scenic Drive – Provo Canyon
  • 1st – Most Attractive Building – Provo City Center Temple
  • 2nd – Best Wedding Location – Provo City Center Temple
  • 2nd – Best Farmers Market – Provo Farmers Market
  • 3rd – Best Library – Provo Library at Academy Square
  • 3rd – Best Police Department – Provo Police
  • 2nd – Best Local Fall Event – Provo Pride Festival
  • 1st – Best Skate Park – Provo Recreation Center
  • 1st – Best City Recreation Center – Provo Recreation Center
  • 2nd – Best Health Club/Gym – Provo Recreation Center
  • 2nd – Best Swimming Pool – Provo Recreation Center
  • 1st – Best Kayak Spot – Provo River
  • 1st – Best Canoe Spot – Provo River
  • 1st – Best Walk Path – Provo River Trail
  • 1st – Best Fishing Spot – Provo River Trail
  • 1st – Best Jogging Area – Provo River Trail
  • 2nd – Best Hiking Trail – Provo River Trail
  • 2nd – Best Place To Walk Your Dog – Provo River Trail
  • 3rd – Best Family Entertainment Venue – Covey Center for the Arts

Expedia names Downtown Provo as one North America’s Coolest

Photo by City Home Collective

A recent article published on the travel website Expedia.com lists Downtown Provo as one of the coolest in North America! With Utah Lake to the west, Y Mountain to the east, and Brigham Young University to the north, downtown Provo is both historic and eclectic. Students and travelers alike pore over the shelves in search of literary gems at Pioneer Book, and every Thursday the Provo Food Truck Roundup fills the streets with good eats.

Find your chill: Chocolate gets a bad rap as indulgent and “sinful,” but the Taste chocolate factory gives downtown Provo its heavenly scent. Follow your factory tour with a healthy drink from Ivie Juice Bar and go from naughty to nice.

A total of 19 cities made the list, including Cancun in Mexico, Old Pasadena in California, Boston in Massachusetts, Grand Junction in Colorado and Tarrytown in New York.

So what’s their criteria for coolest downtowns? One-of-a-kind dining options, local arts venues, unique shopping experiences, fascinating historical sites, and access to urban greenspace. You’ll find some of your favorites and a few unexpected gems, and a locally loved place to hit “refresh,” so pack your fabbest street style and get ready to visit some hot cities with cool downtowns.

Check out the whole ranking here. And the Daily Herald’s article here.

Provo #5 Top City for Working Parents!


Provo has been ranked the #5 best city for working parents!

SmartAsset wanted to find the best cities for working parents. So they ranked 464 of the largest U.S. cities using nine factors, including the unemployment rate, the average high school graduation rate and the violent crime rate. They also looked at household income, average childcare costs, housing costs and average commute time. To learn more about how they conducted their analysis, read their data and methodology section.

Provo has moved up several spots since Smart Asset released the 2016 edition of their analysis. Last year, Provo ranked as the ninth-best place for working parents. In a year, its unemployment rate fell from 2.7% to 2.5%. Its violent crime rate dipped slightly and the average commute time in the city dropped from 18.4 minutes to 17.6 minutes.

The average high school graduation rate in Provo remains below the national average. But local schools have made progress. The graduation rate is now 72%, up from 69% in our 2016 study.

Provo #1 Best City for Successful Aging

The Milken Institute has ranked Provo #1 for the Best City in the Nation for Successful Aging! Provo has drawn many older residents in recent years because of our healthy, engaged lifestyles and safe environment. With ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, including Utah’s five national parks, Provo-Orem fosters an active, healthy culture while low drinking and smoking rates boost its health profile. The area is home to Brigham Young University, with its opportunities for engagement and learning. Provo also offers good options for social support and faith-based engagement and boasts optimistic residents and high rates of volunteerism. A healthy economy provides employment opportunities for people of all ages. According to Milken, Provo residents live healthy and active lifestyles, there is learning and enrichment in our vibrant economy, and there is safety, security, and a sense of community. See more of the ranking details below:

Healthy living

  • Active population fighting off disease: low rates of diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s’
  • Binge drinking a rarity; few smokers
  • Population 65-plus living mostly at home; many caregivers

Curious minds

  • Learning options: enviable college enrollment rates
  • More than 90 percent of older people hold high school degrees
  • Service-oriented: high levels of volunteerism among older adults
  • Tech-savvy: Internet used by eight in 10 older individuals

Vibrant economy

  • Working life: high employment growth, low unemployment
  • Hang out a shingle: expanding small-business sector
  • Low poverty among older adults
  • Sharing the wealth: one of the smallest income inequality gaps

Safe, supportive neighborhoods

  • Low crime and car-crash rates
  • Public transportation improving: strong special-needs options

Provo #4 Best City for Millennials


Provo has been ranked the #4 best city for Millennials!

Millennial Personal Finance ranked the top 150 cities for Millennials in the United States and came up with unique ranking metrics in order to determine, which of the 500 cities reviewed were truly the best.

This report used a total of 6 metrics to determine the overall score given to each city. The metrics included Unemployment Rate, Percentage of Residents Within the Ages of 25-34, Cost of Living, Future Job Growth, Transportation Costs, and Crime & Safety.

Check out the whole ranking here: www.millennialpersonalfinance.com/best-cities-millennials

Provo #4 Best Economy #17 Best City for Small Businesses

Provo Best Economy

Provo’s economy has been ranked #4 in the nation in a recent study by ValuePenguin. To determine the best cities in the country for small businesses, ValuePenguin looked at 11 data points from eight reputable sources. To determine the best cities for small business ownership, they analyzed factors relating to taxes as well as the economic and the business environments. They then combined all of these three categories and ranked them from the best to the worst. Overall, Provo was ranked #17 best city in the nation for small business owners.

You can check out the full ranking here: https://www.valuepenguin.com/best-cities-small-business#nogo

Provo is #3 Hottest Housing Market for 2017!


Provo has been ranked #3 Hottest Housing Market for 2017 by Zillow!

Zillow looked for places with quickly rising home values, low unemployment rates and strong income growth to determine which markets would heat up over the next 12 months. Provo — one of three Utah markets on the list — has the lowest unemployment rate of the 10 hottest markets at 2.7 percent. Home values in all three Utah markets are expected to appreciate more than 4 percent in 2017.

Check out more of the ranking here: http://zillow.mediaroom.com/2017-01-06-Nashville-is-Zillows-Hottest-Housing-Market-for-2017


Provo #2 Best-Performing City!


Another ranking for Provo! The Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The components include job, wage and salary, and technology growth. According to the Milken Institue, Provo is the #2 Best Performing City in 2016.

Provo nearly eclipsed San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara for the top spot, tying for second in the 2016 Best-Performing Cities index. Technology has been the primary source of Provo’s economic performance. Highly trained millennial talent from the East and West Coasts are attracted to Provo’s lower housing costs and a recreation-rich environment.

Check out the ranking here: http://www.best-cities.org/bestcities.taf?type=large-cities-slideshow

#1 Most Entrepreneurial #1 Self-Employment Hub in America


Two new rankings for Provo! According to Lawn Starter, Provo City is the #1 Self-Employment Hub in America and the #1 Most Entrepreneurial metro in the Nation by Smart Asset.

For thousands of residents of the Provo metro area self-reliance takes the form of self-employment. In fact, Provo is the No. 1 large metro area in the U.S. for reliance on self-employment income, according to a LawnStarter analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Provo also claimed the top spot in the ranking of the most entrepreneurial small and mid-size places. More than 18% of businesses in Provo were launched between 2012 and 2014 and 6.79% of employees work for a new business. It ranks first for both of those metrics. Plus, a whopping 76.2% of businesses in the area are classified as a small business (meaning there are less than 10 persons employed by the business).

Reach Provo


ReachProvo.com recently posted an article about a Polygraph study that examined Provo’s Kickstarter activity compared to other cities across the U.S. The findings were incredibly positive, and Provo even got specific mention in their analysis. Provo has around 115,000 people but in terms of number of projects with over 1,000 backers, it looks like it should be the population of Indianapolis or Miami. The city’s community is engaged with every sort of project that its creators launch.

Out of the 240 Provo-based projects examined in the article, 17% of them were music projects. The most backed Creator was Jenn Blosil, followed closely by Parlor Hawk’s 2013 AlbumJohn Allred’s Forest Eyes is the third most backed music project in the City.

Out of the three Utah cities analyzed in the article, Provo supported the highest percentage of music projects. This strong showing on Kickstarter shows that Provo truly is the #CityOfStarts.

You can read the entire study here and check out Reach Provo’s article here: http://reachprovo.com/music-news/news-provo-ranked-among-cities-most-supportive-of-kickstarter-projects/


Past Rankings

Reach Provo

ReachProvo.com recently posted an article about a Polygraph study that examined Provo's Kickstarter activity compared to other cities across the...

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