The Sands Of Mars by Arthur C. Clarke
As Clarke says in the introduction to this edition, the book was written in 1951 - years before probes were ever sent to Mars. As a result, the book was written based on common expectations which did not always turn out to be accurate.
In this book, space missions more than a few hundred kilometers beyond Earth didn't happen until there were "atomic rockets". The first manned flight to the Moon didn't happen until the 1970s (a few years off) and missions to Venus and Mars started by the 1980s or 1990s (quite a few years off). Mars is seen as having some native "plants" (they use sunlight, but don't photosynthesize using CO2). It also sounds to me as if he thought it would be somewhat warmer than it is...
The story is about a writer traveling to Mars. He had written some SF about space flight in the past and is supposed to be writing non-fiction articles about his trip for various magazines. So far, Mars has a limited human population - its biggest "city" has 2000 people. Efforts are being made to attract more people there to build up the economy and society there.
The writer is the only passenger on the test voyage of a spaceship which was built to be the first passenger ship for visitors to Mars. The first quarter of the book is about the trip to Mars. A couple of unusual things happen on the way and we are presented with a picture of space travel. In this story, the atomic rocket only accelerates the ship for a small fraction of the trip at the beginning and decelerates for a small fraction at the end. Most of the 3-month trip they are coasting and the people inside have zero-G.
Once he arrives at Mars, there is only so much to see. A domed town of 2000 people is the central hub. There are hints of something hidden. We get to see what a colony on another planet might be like before it develops enough to be self-sufficient. Development is at that stage where Mars is aspiring to have an economy that is not dependent on Earth, but Earth is reluctant to invest the necessary resources to allow that as soon as the people on Mars want.
When the writer is flown to another settlement on Mars, their plane is forced down by a sandstorm which damages the engines. While trying to find a way to get rescued, they discover a new kind of Martian plant and the first known form of Martian animal life.
Over the course of his experiences on Mars, the writer becomes more attracted to the new Martian society and becomes interested in being a part of it.
This is not a fast-paced or action-oriented book. Perhaps in 1951 the climax would have gotten tech-inspired "Wow!" out of the reader, but that's probably not so likely today. This could mean some readers today will find it dull, I didn't. But it is more appropriate for readers or moods when a relatively tranquil story is preferred. There is some problem-solving in the book, but probably not that you will find challenging. Small settlements on Mars are certainly still a future theme, but not far enough into the future for some readers today. (In recent years, I think we have seen a revival of space exploration / colonization stories taking place within our solar system. Perhaps the same readership will appreciate The Sands Of Mars.)