A quiet town . . . Retirement community . . . Leisurely lifestyle . . . Warmly restful.
All have been used to describe this southern community and might suggest a rather sedate, laid-back lifestyle.But, do-nothing days in a town called Utah's-answer-to-Florida are a choice not mandatory.
In the past decade, St. George has done as much to promote activity as any town in the country.
Available are fitness programs, hikes, walks, runs and bike rides. People can golf, fish, camp, explore and learn to play tennis. They can get involved in organized programs or plan do-it-yourself adventures.
The Dixie Center on the Dixie College campus. The multi-use center, notes Jim Ash, executive director, is used for sporting, entertainment and convention purposes . . . with main-arena seating for 5,200 and main-floor space of 9,400 square feet, enough to hold everything from concerts to rodeos.
It also has a fitness center, tennis courts and swimming pool that are open to the public.
Among the most popular activities at this time of the year are the aerobic classes, weight training and swimming.
"Especially popular are the water aerobic classes. It's something we started last summer and has become very popular," he notes.
The center was built with the idea of offering school, community and public programs. Travelers have found the center an away-from-home fitness club, complete with workout equipment, free weights, aerobic instructors and running room, including the nearby Dixie College track. Cost is only $2.
Golf is another growing resource. There are, within the St. George area, as many golf courses as there are in the Salt Lake City limits - seven public and one private.
Open to the public are Twin Lakes (9 holes, par 27, 1,001 yards), South Gate (18 holes, par 70, 6,093 yards), St. George Golf Club (18 holes, par 73, 6,728 yards), Green Spring (18 holes, par 71, 6,717 yards), Sunbrook (18 holes, par 72, 6,800 yards), Dixie Red Hills (9 holes, par 34, 2,564 yards), and Green Valley (9 holes, par 27, 1,050 yards). Bloomington (18 holes, par 72, 6,948 yards) is the only private course.
Because of the moderate temperatures, the courses are open year-round and all are within easy access of the town. No course is more than 15 minutes from another.
Fees range from $4 for nine holes at Twin Lakes to $22 for wintertime play at Sunbrook, one of two new courses.
Organized hikes through April and early May are also planned. They are free and are led by Bart Anderson, a local naturalist. They include a six-mile hike from Indian Cave to Johnson Arch on April 13, a five-mile hike to the top of Spring Mountain on April 20, a four-mile hike to Welcome Spring on April 26 and a seven-mile hike to Hurricane Mesa on May 4. All four are considered moderately difficult. On May 11 there will be an easy four-mile hike to Taylor Creek. The last scheduled hike will be a strenuous 25-mile hike from rim to rim through the Grand Canyon. More hikes will be planned later in the summer. For information call 628-6200.
Fishing is a good choice, especially now. Quail Creek has been good for trout and small bass; Sand Cove near Enterprise has been good for trout, and fishing is expected to improve at Gunlock and Baker. All within easy access from St. George.
Camping is another option. Nearby are such scenic wonders as Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park and Snow Canyon State Park.
Mountain biking is an up and coming activity in this area. There are, as one rider expressed, more trails to ride "than a person would ever have time enough to ride."
There is a virtual spider-web of trails out on the desert flatlands. One popular ride is into Snow Canyon. There also happens to be a bike rental shop near the mouth of the canyon - 2nd Mile. Rates are $3 an hour, $12 for 1/2 day and $20 a day.
St. George has also become a center for spring softball leagues. Included would be the Dixie Classic (April 5-6 for slowpitch and 12-13 for fastpitch) and the Spring Fling (April 19-20 for slowpitch). Two more tournament are slated for May.
April and May are active times in St. George. That's because St. George in the spring is warmly restful and leisurely, and active.