If you think that all there is to Utah is the Wasatch Front, it’s time to set your sights to the south. In fact, St. George, Utah, is utopia for outdoor adventurers, cultural enthusiasts and relaxation seekers alike. And since it’s a mere four-hour drive from Salt Lake City, St. George is the perfect place to escape for a quick weekend. But when you realize the seemingly endless list of things to do and see in the area, you’ll likely decide to extend your stay.
Hit the rocks at Pioneer Park
If it’s the great outdoors you seek, you’ll love Pioneer Park. A true rock climber’s paradise, you’ll have your pick of peaks to practice on or conquer entirely. From the top of Dixie Rock, you’ll get some spectacular views, including downtown St. George, Zion National Park, White Dome and even Arizona.The park is conveniently located on the border of town on Red Hills Parkway.
Get a little Shakespearean
You’ll see why parting from Southern Utah is such sweet sorrow after you attend the annual Utah Shakespeare Festival. Founded in 1961, the festival is held 45 minutes from St. George in Cedar City. It runs from June through October, so you’ll have plenty of time to partake of the fun. This year’s schedule is available on bard.org. The Utah Shakespeare Festival headquarters is located at 352 West Center Street in Cedar City, with various theaters and festival shops located in and around the main office.
Go back in time
Just as you’ll be tempted to do from now on, Brigham Young himself spent winters in St. George. The winter home, located in downtown St. George on the southeast corner of 200 North and 100 West, was settled by Young in 1869. The home is now restored and open to the public as a historical museum. While you’re visiting the homestead, take a look around the neighborhood; you’ll find a plethora of beautiful pioneer homes in the vicinity, some of which are also open to the public.
If relaxation is your primary motive when visiting Southern Utah, you’ll love the selection of amenities available. From resorts nestled on golf courses like the Inn at Entrada to four-diamond hotels and day spas like the Green Valley Spa, there’s no place like the desert to unwind. Lay by the pool or relax through a Swedish massage — all under the beautiful St. George sky. The Inn at Entrada is located at 2588 Sinagua Trail in St. George, while the Green Valley Spa is at 1871 W Canyon View Dr.
The desert sun means a suitcase full of shorts, swimsuits and sunglasses — or simply a credit card and a trip to the Outlets at Zion, located at 250 Red Cliffs Dr. in St. George. With a number of outlet stores, including fashion and apparel, shoes and accessories and even food and snacks, you’ll find your discount-shopping stride in St. George.
Entertain the kids
Kids love St. George, and it’s not just for the sunshine, swimming pools and wealth of outdoor activities available. The St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm is one of Utah.com's recommended attractions — and for good reason. Kids will love experiencing scientific study first-hand by learning more about St. George’s original inhabitants. The Discovery Site is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and is located at 2180 East Riverside Drive in St. George.
Check out Tuacahn
If you can't make the Shakespeare Festival or don't want to split up your trip between Cedar City and St. George, check out a play at Tuacahn in St. George. Located at 100 Tuacahn Dr., it offers a plethora of professional plays on stage performed under the cool evening sky. You can see more info, a schedule and play times here.
A journalism graduate from Brigham Young University, Kristen has experience writing in a variety of fields, including art and culture, health and fitness and financial and real estate services. Kristen has written for USA Today, SFGate and the Knot.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company