From meeting new people to experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells – is there anything more exciting or rejuvenating than a break from the day-to-day mundanity? Traveling is an excellent way to immerse yourself in a new culture, setting, or way-of-life, but the best part is this: you don’t have to venture far from home to enjoy what this world has to offer.
Whether your journey takes you across your own city, to an unexplored part of your state, or even to the other side of the world, there’s no doubt you will still learn a lot about your surroundings – and yourself – along the way.
While the culture an hour away from your home might not be drastically different from what you’re used to, you can still gain a deepened sense of appreciation for where you’ve laid your roots. Plus, traveling locally has a lot of benefits:
More cost-effective. Local travel is certainly a budget-friendly way to explore! Many activities and parks are free or have a low cost of entry. For day trips, you can also pack your own meals to save.
Eco-friendly way to travel. Travel is hard on the environment, but putzing around your area is more sustainable than air travel.
Quick trips. Getting out locally means you can do it more often! Long weekend trips are a lot easier to take when the destination is a short drive away.
Easy to plan. Preparing your itinerary for a local getaway will likely save you some time and stress.
More convenient. Especially if you have little ones, sticking close to home may be much more convenient than far-off destinations. If you forget something, have an emergency, or need to cut the trip short, being closeby definitely has its benefits.
Nestled in Washington County in Utah is the city of Hurricane, which is pronounced "Her-ah-kun" by the locals. It received its name from Erastus Snow after a whirlwind blew the top off a buggy he was driving while passing through the region.
Historically, the city is known for its excellent farming, particularly with peaches, pecans and pistachio nuts. To this day, you’ll still find bakeries, cafes, and restaurants around the city celebrating specialty dishes featuring these ingredients.
Even those who have lived in the city for a decade would agree they haven’t experienced all that Hurricane has to offer, while for those new to the region – well, they’ve got a lot to look forward to as well.
Ready to discover the best of Hurricane, Utah? Let’s get started!
*Note: Some of the suggestions may not be doable due to coronavirus closures, but keep this list handy for when things start opening back up more! Be sure to check individual pages for specific operation details.
Hurricane isn’t all hustle and bustle! There are also plenty of state parks and national parks both within and surrounding the area, all of which provide a tranquil escape for those looking to surround themselves by nature.
Sand Hollow State Park is one of the most popular camping destinations here at Hurricane, because of its scenic views and natural beauty. Imagine blue skies and clear waters meeting red rock as the backdrop for your weekend. It’s the perfect place for bonding with the family and for restoring your mind. The park has two campgrounds plus a primitive camp area for tent camping and RVs. Other activities include ATV and Jeep tours, as well as fishing and hiking. Water sports like boating and paddle boarding are also popular.
The highlight of Quail Creek State Park has got to be the beautiful lake that is walking distance from most areas of the park. Thanks to the lake’s warm waters and the generally mild climate around the area, this beautiful local spot lures a lot of out-of-towners for fishing, boating, and camping. It’s particularly popular for the trout and bass fishing crowd.
Snow Canyon State Park is the best choice for travelers who want to get close to the beautiful red-rock country that southern Utah is so famous for. The most popular activity here is hiking and it offers trails of varying difficulty and length. There are more than a few trails that are safe and comfortable for kids too, so don’t be afraid to bring the whole family along.
If you’re looking for a smaller and less crowded state park, then Gunlock State Park is the best choice for you. It’s also located in red-rock country, giving you that special Utah ambiance, but with a lot less people for a more intimate setting. Gunlock State Park also has a small but beautiful lake where you can go paddle boarding and boating. The camping grounds aren’t as busy as the bigger state parks, but be sure to visit during the spring when the waterfalls are their most impressive.
Best known for its unique, pink-colored powder-fine sand dunes, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is a must-visit - especially since it’s quite close to the popular Zion National Park. This is a great place to visit for families with kids who will enjoy riding the dune buggies and going sand boarding. Keep in mind that it can get very hot in this park, especially during the summer, so be sure to bring a lot of drinking water.
This beautiful manmade lake was built right onto our gorgeous red sand dunes, which makes for silky soft beaches and unforgettable views! People from all around come to camp, or just day-trip and bring their water toys, dune buggies, and four wheelers. The water is clean and clear – and since we live in the desert we rarely have rainy days to spoil anyone’s fun. If that weren’t enough, the water is warm for most of the year!
Still need to get your nature fix? If you’re craving seeing even more of the beautiful scenery that surrounds Hurricane, then there are also plenty of hiking and walking trails for you and your family to enjoy.
Getting to Toquerville Falls can be a little bumpy (4x4 vehicles highly recommended) but it’s well worth the trip. The landscape is beautiful and there are lots of little critters running around for the kids to enjoy, like squirrels and chipmunks. There is also a second pool of water that the waterfalls feed into that’s deep enough for swimming, so why not bring your raft or floating tube along?
You’ll find the popular Cable Mountain Trail in Zion National Park, which is a comfortable drive from Hurricane. This 12.1 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail features a scenic river and is rated as a moderate hike. It’s most recommended to use during March through to October when conditions are more favorable for being outdoors.
Mollie’s Nipple is a mountain lava rock peak on the south end of town that looks like, well, a nipple! The out-and-back hike is only about 1.7 miles long, but it’s rated as difficult because it’s like climbing stairs for most of the way up the mountain. The hike takes about 45 minutes for the average hiker, but every step will be worth it once you get to the top and look out across both the Hurricane and St. George valleys, as well as into the Arizona strip. Zion National Park can also be seen, along with a great view of Pine Valley Mountain and Gooseberry Mesa.
Hurricane is home to a bustling and trendy dining scene, so there’s sure to be a restaurant, café, or diner to satisfy your cravings. If you’ve worked up an appetite after a long hike, or simply feel like treating yourself to a delicacy, then you’re in luck. Here are our top restaurant recommendations!
A barbecue institution in Utah, Lonny Boy’s are famous for their amazing ribs. They also have the cheesiest Mac ‘n’ Cheese you’ll find in the state, and the brisket sandwich is always spectacular. Lonny Boy’s is a few minutes’ drive from Zion National Park, so it’s practically tradition to drop by for lunch after spending the morning exploring. Be warned though, as the restaurant can fill up pretty fast and can be quite busy. Trust us though - it’s worth the wait!
If you’re looking for a less crowded option that’s also close to Zion National Park, we recommend Triple TJ’s Cafe. A quieter restaurant, TJ’s is a family-owned cafe with great food and great service. Locals love menu favorites such as the country fried steak and chopped steak. They also serve a mean rack of ribs, so if you want to satisfy that barbecue craving but aren’t into crowds, you can still get your fill at TJ’s.
Stage Coach Grille offers southern-style comfort food in great, big portions. They have a lot of go-to southern food items on the menu - the chicken fried steak and their house burger are always favorites. But the standouts of the menu are the steaks, especially the filet mignon. It’s hard to find a restaurant that can cook steaks to perfection, but Stage Coach always delivers.
If Mexican food is more your style, then Las Lupitas is your best bet. They have delicious food in big portions at affordable prices, making it perfect for family dining. The setting is also more casual, so you don’t have to worry when bringing young children with you. Locals highly recommend the enchiladas and the burrito!
Main Street Cafe is a small, intimate restaurant with a fresh outdoor dining area that’s nicely shaded by trees for a pleasant dining experience. The menu contains mouth-watering American food that’s delicious and filling at a good price. Many highly recommend the burgers, which are made from grass-fed hormone-free meat. Main Street Cafe is a great dining option for couples who are traveling through the area and it’s also a good place to catch breakfast.
This place is amazing! They are known for their coffee and pizza, but they also have some amazing sandwiches, smoothies, and gigantic cinnamon rolls. The River Rock’s backyard sits on the edge of a giant canyon and features outdoor seating, so if you’re looking for a beautiful spot to get caffeinated or grab a meal, there’s really no substitute.
After feasting and enjoying all that the hiking trails and state parks have to offer, you may be wondering: “what next?” Well, when it comes to Hurricane’s attractions and activities, you’re only just getting started. Here are some of the most fun things on offer in and around the city!
Looking to entertain some little ones? Or perhaps you’ve got some teenagers in-tow who are starting to get a little bored? Either way, these attractions will entertain both children, teens, and adults alike!
You can find BASH at Sand Hollow State Park in the South Beach area. It’s a retail and rental shop but it’s also a restaurant that serves American comfort food like char-grilled burgers. BASH is the perfect starting point for all kinds of water sports. You can rent paddle boards, kayaks, and jet skis, plus they also have your UTV rentals covered. It’s also located at an accessible spot, as most people just ride their UTVs from the store straight to the dunes.
Thunder Junction is one of our favorite parks in the Hurricane region because it’s free and funded by donors. Kids love it and the splash pad is a great way to cool off on those hot summer days. There are a lot of things to do in this park, even for adults, and it’s very spacious. The dinosaur theme is always a big hit with kids and the miniature steam engine replica will take you on a ride around the park for just $1.
What should you do in Hurricane once the sun goes down? We’re glad you asked! Here are our suggested night-time attractions.
If you’re a fan of theatre and musicals, then you should definitely spend a night watching one of Valley Theatrical Company’s shows. Their recent production of Hairspray was so much fun – the locals couldn’t stop talking about it! All their shows never fail to impress and it’s a great way to spend an evening with your family or friends.
Looking for a night of comedy and entertainment? The Rattlin’ D Playhouse offers some truly hilarious comedy and variety shows. The food is great, and the entertainment is always on point! The Playhouse’s setting and ambience is casual but also smaller, so the feeling is more intimate and personal.
What can you do in or around Hurricane that won’t cost anything more than a few dollars? The answer: plenty! Here are just two of our favorite attractions within the area that can be enjoyed on the cheap.
If you love golfing, don’t miss the chance to visit Sky Mountain Golf Course, publicly owned and operated by the city of Hurricane. It’s an 18-hole course with challenging shots that is set in one of the most beautiful, scenic locations in the country. It’s surrounded by the famous Zion National Park and the picturesque Pine Mountain Range. With its beautiful views, it’s also a great place to grab lunch.
For history buffs, the Valley Heritage Park Museum offers a look at some very interesting artifacts from the pioneer days. You’ll find out a lot about the history of Hurricane at this quaint museum, and the outdoor landscape is quite scenic too. This is a perfect place to visit if you need a break from much busier local spots.
Looking to get the most out of your time spent within the city of Hurricane? Whether you want a fun way to waste away a Sunday afternoon or a date idea that won’t break the budget – here are our most recommended things to do in Hurricane that won’t cost you a cent.
The Elephant Arch itself is a small sandstone arch that kind of resembles an elephant and its trunk. This is a good hiking trail for beginners and it’s also child-friendly and dog-friendly. You’ll get a great view of the red cliffs but be sure to bring a lot of water and stay hydrated, as the trail doesn’t offer much shade.
If you’re a dinosaur or paleontology buff, then this place is perfect for you. It’s a heritage site that has actual dinosaur track prints that have been preserved for millions of years. There are kiosks to guide you in finding the tracks but a lot of them are actually quite obvious and visible. It’s a fun and educational place to take the kids to, but best of all, it’s free to attend!
Alright, by now you’ve probably been on your feet all day exploring the sights and delights that Hurricane has to offer. If you’re craving some rest and relaxation, or even a bit of pampering, these are two of the best spas in the region.
Drop by ZionZen and indulge in a soothing massage. They have all different kinds of massage therapy to suit your individual needs, from Hawaiian Lomi Lomi and Ashiatsu, to sports massage and everything in-between!
Another great place to relax and unwind after a lot of physical activities is Zen Health and Wellness Spa. They also offer a wide range of massages, but they are perhaps most known for their gravity pods, which let you float, soak, and let your stress just melt away.
If rejuvenation for you is less about deep relaxation and more about sweating it out, then you’re in luck. Hurricane is home to some of the highest-rated gyms and yoga studios within the region.
PF 24/7 is a great option for working out if you’re just visiting the area because they offer a day pass option. They have all the amenities that you would expect from a gym plus they offer yoga classes. Their yoga instructors are highly trained, and they have classes for all skill or experience levels – whether you’re a total fitness novice, or someone who has been training for years.
If you’re more into group fitness workouts like Zumba and Pilates, then Revv Fitness is the gym you’re looking for. The groups are small, making them perfect for those who prefer a more one-on-one approach. The trainers all receive fantastic reviews from attendees, with many also praising the gym’s welcoming atmosphere.
Looking to fulfill your wanderlust by heading outside of the region for a day? You could spend decades within Hurricane without barely scratching the surface of all there is to do in this large city, but consider these day trips next time you fancy a new adventure.
If you’re visiting Hurricane, then you have got to take the time to visit Zion National Park. After all, it was the first designated national park in the state of Utah! You’ll experience a stunning display of nature, multiple outdoor recreational activities, and truly breathtaking views. Be warned though: you may just love it here so much that you choose to camp overnight, or for several days, instead!
The Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument offers a thrilling view in every direction, and the landscape is complete with arches, sandstone, and waterfalls. If you’re a Jurassic Park fan, then you’ll also be thrilled to know that it is the site for discovering hundreds of dinosaur bones! At night, you can also enjoy activities such as stargazing, as the area offers a spectacular and uninterrupted view of the night sky.
As a final reminder, some of these activities may need to wait until businesses fully reopen from coronavirus closures. However, there is still much to see and experience in Hurricane that you can enjoy today! What are your favorite spots in Hurricane? Send them our way to [email protected] or by tagging us on Instagram @rvshare and using the hashtag #rvsharelocal.