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.
Located in the southwestern part of Utah, on the Arizona border, is the nature-abundant city of St George. With several state and national parks within close proximity, as well as the surrounding Mojave Desert, it’s clear that St George is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.
Even those who have lived in the city for a decade would agree they haven’t experienced all that St George 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 St George, 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.
St George 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.
Snow Canyon State Park is located in the 62,000 acre Red Cliffs Desert Reserve and is a 7,400-acre picturesque park nestled amongst sandstone cliffs and lava. Boasting majestic views, it’s foundation sought to protect the desert tortoise and its habitat. Activities range from hiking, wildlife viewing, camping, and multiple offerings from the ranger program.
Located about 15 miles east of St. George, the Sand Hollow State Park rests on 20,000-acres. Sand Hollow is one of Utah’s most visited parks, with its numerous opportunities for recreational activities. Most popularly used as a destination for locals to off-road, the dunes also offer breathtaking views. The opposing vivid blue from the water and the red sandstone create an optimal setting for camping, hiking, or riding an off-highway vehicle.
Spanning 60,000 acres just north of St. George, Utah, the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area creates a unique juxtaposition of various desert ecosystems. With rare species and a stunning landscape, the mixture of flora and fauna local to this area is impressive. Keep an eye out for the protected desert tortoise, or the even more rare silver-dollar-sized baby tortoise.
Open to the public in 1986, Quail Creek State Park possesses warm waters and a more temperate climate than the surrounding areas. Due to this mild weather, campers, hikers, and boaters can enjoy the beauty this state park offers year-round. You can rent kayaks, paddleboards, and water carpets at DIG Paddlesports for a more remarkable adventure.
Zion National Park’s rare flora and fauna will capture your imagination as you follow paths where so many have walked before you. Zion boasts stunning canyons, sandstone cliffs, deserts, and forested mesas. Over 80% of the park is designated wilderness, ensuring the land’s protection that has remained practically untouched. Hike, climb, or simply sit back and take in its inexplicable beauty.
Still need to get your nature fix? If you’re craving seeing even more of the beautiful scenery that surrounds St George, then there are also plenty of hiking and walking trails for you and your family to enjoy.
The Petrified Dunes Trail, a short one-mile trail located in Snow Canyon State Park, takes visitors through former sand dunes. This moderate trail affords hikers exquisite views of Navajo sandstone and leads to numerous additional trails and pathways.
A popular destination for hikers, bikers, and runners, the Whiptail Trail spans the bottom of the Snow Canyon State Park. Labeled as easy, this 6-mile hike rises 500 feet in elevation. The beautiful scenery makes the 3 miles one way and 3 miles back the perfect day for anyone looking for a stroll through nature.
St George 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!
The Black Bear Diner’s St. George location prides itself on their friendly staff and extensive menu. With its beautiful rustic decor, you’ll feel at home as you enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Black Bear Diner serves breakfast all day and has enough variety to provide you with precisely what you’re looking for.
Sakura Japanese Steakhouse provides visitors with an authentic Japanese experience, offering options like Sushi and Hibachi. With a staff of highly qualified and experienced chefs, you can be sure your meal will be delicious. Sushi chefs will cook before your eyes, making your meal both entertaining and tasty.
This family-owned restaurant offers quality service and food. Rib & Chop House provides generous and beautifully presented portions of award-winning ribs and certified beef. Their extensive menu will ensure that you find the perfect selection for your tastes.
Cliffside Restaurant, winners of countless awards for their dining experience, serves lunch and dinner in an upscale but casual atmosphere. With spectacular views of St. George, you’ll enjoy the elegant cuisine and atmosphere.
Viva Chicken, a family-owned restaurant, specializes in Peruvian Rotisserie, specifically Pollo a la Brasa. With a menu packed full over fresh and flavorful meals, this trendy and healthy spot will be sure to keep you coming back.
George’s Corner is in Ancestor Square, part of the historic downtown area of St. George. Serving American cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this spot is casual, lively, and offers both vegetarian and vegan options. If you’re looking for a great sandwich, try the lamb burger! Enjoy a specialty cocktail and live music on the weekend, then wander through the historic shops and parks nearby.
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 St George’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!
The Thunder Junction All Abilities Park, located inside of Tonaquint Park, prides itself on offering accessible and fun-filled features. This dinosaur-themed park features a water area, a volcano splash pad, and a train on a 2,700 foot track.
The St. George Children’s Museum, a decade-long fixture in the St. George community, encourages guests to thoroughly engage as they explore the twelve exhibits. Designed with interaction and communication in mind, both old and young folks enjoy discovering, using imagination, and creating as they engage in play. Admission is $5/person, and children under two are admitted for free.
What should you do in St George once the sun goes down? We’re glad you asked! Here are our suggested night-time attractions.
Fiesta Fun Family Fun Centre offers endless fun for the whole family. Activities include bowling, bumper cars, laser tag, and mini-golf cart. Enjoy arcade games and refuel with delicious food from the Barre Grill.
A gem of the South Utah region, the Tuacahn Amphitheatre and Centre for the Arts serves the community as a cultural center. For 25 years it has produced over 60 musical performances and over 200 concerts. Located less than 20 minutes from St. George, this entertainment experience is unlike others.
What can you do in or around St George 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.
The Rosenbrunch World Wildlife Museum provides visitors with the opportunity to fully appreciate all that the natural world has to offer. With over 300 taxidermy animals, visitors can immerse themselves in a world of discovery as they learn about each individual animal’s habitat via an audio presentation that can be accessed on smartphones. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for children 12 and under.
Looking to get the most out of your time spent within the city of St George? 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 St George that won’t cost you a cent.
Brigham Young, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lived in St. George, Utah, in the late 1800s. He stayed in this home during the winter months. Today, this home serves as a historic site and is open for tours guided by missionaries. You can learn about Brigham Young’s life and the role he played in the creation of the southern Utah settlement.
Nestled in the heart of downtown St. George, Town Square Park is bordered by beautiful historical buildings. You can walk and explore the water features, sit and have a picnic, or enjoy the multiple free events that occur in the town square. There are restrooms, and the Town Square serves as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Dinosaurs are alive in Southern Utah! The St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm boasts real, preserved dinosaur tracks, five life-sized models of prehistoric animals, a working fossil preparation lab, rotating exhibits, and an interactive park where you can enjoy a picnic lunch. With admission at only $8 for adults and $4 for kids, this is an affordable way to step 200 million years back in time.
While a botanical garden might be the last thing you would imagine finding the desert, the Red Hills Desert Garden is an escape not to be missed. The nearly five-acre garden features wide, meandering paths that wander amongst 5,000 water-efficient plants; stop at any of the gathering areas or activity zones to learn more about the foliage, or simply to rest on a swinging bench and take in the views. A 1,150-foot stream stocked with native and endangered fish species adds to the feeling of Zen. And if you’ve never seen a desert tortoise in real life, you’re in luck! There’s a tortoise reserve right next to the garden.
Alright, by now you’ve probably been on your feet all day exploring the sights and delights that St George 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.
St. George Massage strives to tailor massages to each individual client’s needs. Their excellent customer service, utmost respect for customers, and care for holistic wellness have made it a fixture of the local wellness community. In this calming atmosphere, clients of all ages can receive excellent care and services.
St. George Med Spa cares about providing clients with the confidence that they need to feel like their best selves in their own skin. With over 45 collective years of experience, the staff at the St. George Med Spa offers a variety of services to smooth your skin and give you a more youthful glow.
If rejuvenation for you is less about deep relaxation and more about sweating it out, then you’re in luck. St George is home to some of the highest-rated gyms and yoga studios within the region. It’s time to get physical!
Driven by a great passion for fitness, Vasa Fitness offers an inclusive environment for people of all levels and identities to work towards their fitness goals. Their numerous amenities include exercise equipment, classes, a swimming pool, and KidCare. You can enjoy your workout and join a community that will support and motivate you on your fitness journey.
Be Hot Yoga strives to bring joy, wellness, and good feelings as they challenge visitors with hot yoga and an array of additional classes. Be Hot Yoga provides classes that will center your mind and strengthen your body, including Pilates, Barre, and Kettlebell classes. This inclusive and holistic approach to fitness will leave you feeling energized.
Looking to fulfill your wanderlust by heading outside of the region for a day? You could spend decades within St George 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.
Less than a 2 and half hour scenic drive from St. George, the Grand Canyon National Park awaits. This national icon spans 1,902 square miles. Millions of years of geological history is exposed in the colorful strips in the rock walls. The views are unparalleled, making this one of the most famous and beloved natural attractions in the United States.
Salt Lake City rests at the bottom of the spectacular Wasatch and Oquirrh mountains, located a four hour drive from St. George. This urban setting, nestled in nature, offers stunning views as you explore the local restaurants and attractions. Salt Lake provides access to endless activities and top-quality restaurants.
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 St George that you can enjoy today! What are your favorite spots in St George? Send them our way to [email protected] or by tagging us on Instagram @rvshare and using the hashtag #rvsharelocal.