Thanks to a national competition to find the “Prettiest Painted Places in America,” people across the country are discovering what Utah residents have long known: the Beehive State has some of the most beautiful towns to be found anywhere.

Sponsored by the Paint Quality Institute, the “Prettiest Painted Places” competition has drawn three entries from Utah: Kanab, Midway and Park City.  

Over the next few weeks, the three Utah communities will vie with nearly 200 nominees from other states for regional and national honors, as judges with expertise in color selection, exterior painting, and home improvement review the entries, conduct additional research and make selected site visits. Finalists will be announced in late September, and the nation’s 12 “Prettiest Painted Places” will be revealed in mid-October.

“We feel there is no better way to demonstrate the importance of exterior paint color than to focus on these beautiful real-world communities that take so much pride in their appearance,” said Debbie Zimmer, color expert at the Paint Quality Institute.

“The places involved in our competition are a tremendous inspiration to us all, and by giving them recognition, we hope to instill in the public a better appreciation for the role exterior paint can play in protecting and enhancing the appearance of any home or building,” she said.

A wide variety of “places” have been entered in the competition – big city neighborhoods, tiny rural towns, historical districts, “Main Streets” and communities with exterior mural programs.

Nominees range from well-known places, such as Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Napa, California, to hidden gems like Vashon-Maury Island, Washington and Bell Buckle, Tennessee.

In case you’re curious, the names and locations of all of the nominees are posted on the Paint Quality Institute website at blog.paintquality.com.

Sketches of Utah nominees:

•Kanab: A historical hub in the southern part of the state where more than 100 movies have been filmed. The town’s colorful legacy includes Native American Indians and Mormon pioneers.  

•Midway: A Swiss settlement dating to the late 1800s, the tiny town originally won fame for its natural mineral baths, and today – for its beautifully painted homes and buildings.

•Park City: Long before it hosted the Olympic Games, the community was famous as a silver mining town with a lively and colorful past that today is reflected in the pretty painted homes and buildings of this eclectic small town.