Orem, Sandy make Money magazine’s list of the best places to live

(Photo Courtesy of August Miller/Utah Valley University) Astrid Tuminez, the new president of Utah Valley University, poses for portraits and speaks to students and others on the campus of Utah Valley University on Thursday, April 19, 2018.

According to Money magazine, Frisco, Texas, is the best place to live in the United States — and two Utah cities made the top 50.

Orem came in 13th, and Sandy is ranked 35th.

After poking a bit of fun at Orem for calling itself “Family City USA” (“corny, perhaps — but valid"), Money lauded the city for its “quality schools and day hikes easy enough for the little ones” and pointed to “a modest cost of living [that] enables residents to stash money away for the college fund.”

The proximity of Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University was singled out, along with ski slopes, outdoor concerts, food trucks and the senior center, “which offers Tai Chi and Zumba.”

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) According to Money magazine, Rio Tinto Stadium and the teams that play there — Real Salt Lake and Utah Royals FC — contribute to making Sandy the 35th-best place to live in America.

Sandy was praised for its outdoor activities — “downhill skiing, snowshoeing, geocaching, rock-climbing, and more” — and the fact that Real Salt Lake and Utah Royals FC make their home at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The story goes on to say that “Sandy also ranks regularly as one of the nation’s safest cities,” and praises the “district school system” that “educates more then 34,000 students and secured a $283 million bond last fall to fund renovations for several existing schools and the construction of a new elementary school.”

(It failed to mention that Sandy is just part of the Canyons School District, which also includes Midvale, Draper, Alta and Cottonwood Heights.)

The ranking, done in conjunction with Realtor.com, considered population, weather (clear days per year), income, high school graduation rates, home prices, commute time and projected job growth.