Located in southwest Utah, just under an hour from the entrance Zion National Park, you’ll find the beautiful town of St. George, Utah. This town is full of things to do, making it a fantastic basecamp for year-round adventure.
Once home to Ancestral Puebloans, and later Southern Paiutes, St. George, Utah has become a modern day hub for day trips to nearby national and state parks. But this town is so much more than a gateway city!
With year-round warm weather, you’ll find beautiful red-rock mesas, waterways, family activities, golfing, spas, restaurants, shopping, and more outdoor adventure than you’ll know what to do with. There’s a reason it’s one of the fastest growing cities in the state! There is no shortage of things to do in St George, Utah.
DOWNTOWN ST. GEORGE
Anchored by a collection of historic buildings in the heart of downtown St. George — known as Ancestor Square — visitors here will find restaurants, art galleries, retail stores, and more.
Visit The Downtown Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon from May through October. You’ll find fresh produce, meat, cheeses, organic eggs, local honey, and soaps, lotions, jewelry and more. Local musicians can also be found playing here. It’s a great way to get to know the area, and support local businesses.
In downtown St. George, you can see some of the area’s historic buildings, including a sheriff’s home from 1877, and one of the oldest buildings in St. George — the Gardeners Club building, which was built in 1863. (It’s now a boutique!)
There are five amazing restaurants found in Ancestor Square, along with art galleries, and shops. The Brigham Young Winter Home and Office, which also features a museum about the foremost Mormon pioneer, is also found here.
KAYENTA’S COYOTE GULCH ART VILLAGE
Need some downtime in between all your outdoor adventures? This art village, located in the nearby town of Ivins City, is an art lover’s paradise. This unique area includes patio dining, artist studios, and art galleries, as well as an art center offering classes in painting, ceramics, and more.
Visitors to the Kayenta Art Village, also known as the Coyote Gulch Art Village, can walk through the Desert Rose Labyrinth and sculpture garden while here, or learn about plants native to Southern Utah at the Kayenta Desert Arboretum.
The art village also features the outdoor Cabaret Theatre, which presents an array of music and theater productions, lectures, and more.
LITTLE BLACK MOUNTAIN PETROGLYPH PARK
There is no shortage of amazing outdoor activities to experience in and around St. George, and Little Black Mountain Petroglyph Park is one of them.
Technically — this park is in Arizona, but it’s only a quick 30 minute drive from St. George, and totally worth the trip. So what is it? An easy, 1-mile hike will take you to see more than 500 petroglyphs representing 6,000 years of human habitation. How cool is that? You’ll see the rock art on the cliffs and boulders that surround the base of a 500-foot mesa.
The different designs include spirals, circles, plants, baskets, turtles, lizards, and bear paws. Some experts think constellations have been drawn here that may have been part of a calendar.
This amazing area is definitely worth the visit.
RED CLIFFS NATIONAL CONSERVATION AREA
Set roughly 8 miles north of town at the edge of the Mojave Desert, the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area features landscapes combining the desert, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau.
Offering a mixture of flora and fauna from these areas, the conservation area includes three basic regions: the Upland Area, the Lowland Area, and Snow Canyon State Park.
The Upland Area is more biologically durable, allowing off-trail travel and primitive and established camping. The Lowland Area is a fragile environment, meant to protect species — like the threatened desert tortoise, birds, and reptiles. Hiking in the Lowland Area is only allowed on established trails.
Snow Canyon State Park has many trails and dunes to explore on foot, bike or horseback. There’s a campground here that’s surrounded by ancient lava flows and red Navajo sandstone, for an amazing experience.
With 130 miles of non-motorized trails, visitors can enjoy exploring the area without damaging the habitat. The Red Cliffs Recreation Area and the Red Cliffs Campground are part of this national conservation area.
Pioneer Park is one of the best parks in St. George for rock climbers and outdoor enthusiasts. This rustic park is situated at the southern-most part of the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. The 52-acre park is set amid endless red rocks, and is filled with hiking trails, wildlife, and plenty of opportunity for exploring.
Numerous hiking trails can be found at Pioneer Park, including popular hikes to Boy Scout Cave, the Arch, and the Crack. Take a hike to Dixie Rock, also known as the Sugarloaf, for stunning views of downtown St. George, White Dome Nature Preserve, Zion National Park and Arizona!
Here, you’ll find trellis pavilions, picnic tables, fire rings, barbeques, and an amphitheater — so you can make a day of it.
SNOW CANYON STATE PARK
Located within the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, Snow Canyon State Park offers a diversity of plant and wildlife species not seen anywhere else in Utah. Here, you can see vegetation like narrow-leaf yucca and creosote bush, and spot animals like quail, roadrunners, gopher snakes, kit foxes, and coyotes.
This state park was created in 1959, but it has a long history of human use. Experts believe that people could have been in Snow Canyon by 500 B.C.! In modern times, this park has been the site of Hollywood films, such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Snow Canyon State Park is a desert park that features beautiful red Navajo sandstone, with an overlay of black lava rock. Two recent volcanic cones can be found near the head of the colorful canyon. It’s a great place to climb, explore, and adventure.
Hiking, camping, photography, and viewing wildlife are popular activities at Snow Canyon. With 38 miles of hiking trails, over 15 miles of equestrian trails, and a paved, 3-mile walking/biking trail — there are many ways to explore this amazing park.
Climbing is a popular sport here, and whether you’re experienced or a beginner, there are several outfitters in the area that can help you have an amazing climbing experience in Snow Canyon.
Ready for some desert camping? Camp in one of 31 individual, year-round campsites, including 14 RV sites with water and electric hook-ups. Camping with the sandstone cliffs as a backdrop? Yes, please!
RED HILLS DESERT GARDEN
The Red Hills Desert Garden is a great place to visit for both adults and kids. You won’t just find plants here — you’ll also find fish and…dinosaur tracks!
Opened in 2015, this garden is Utah’s first desert conservation garden. At almost 5 acres, the garden features 5,000 water-efficient plants. You’ll find everything from succulents and cacti, to flowering trees — like the Arapaho crape myrtle and the Mexican redbud.
In addition to the plants, you’ll also find a 1,150 foot stream stocked with fish. The fish featured here are native and endangered — like the Woundfin and the Desert Sucker. You’ll love the fish viewing area, which is located inside a replica slot canyon.
Throughout the garden you will see several boulders, that were found locally, that contain dinosaur tracks that are over 200 million years old. Follow the dinosaur tracks printed on the sidewalks to find these amazing boulders. This is an especially great activity for the kids in your group.
ST. GEORGE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Looking for the perfect rainy day activity for your kids? Check out St. George Children’s Museum!
Following the museum’s motto to, “Discover, Imagine, and Create,” guests are encouraged to play, interact, and explore the museum at their own paces.
At the museum, you’ll find 12 exhibit rooms that visitors both young and old will love. In the Kids at Work exhibit, guests can lift barrels with pulleys or simulate and earthquake. At The Farm, kids can gather eggs and “milk” the cows, and at the Grocery Store, kids can collect their groceries and check out at the realistic cashier’s desk. Climb a triceratops at Prehistoric Place, or battle a dragon in the Magic Castle.
No matter what your kids are interested in, there is sure to be something here they’ll love.
ST. GEORGE DINOSAUR DISCOVERY SITE
Imagine living on a farm, deciding to level a hill on your property, and while doing so…you discover a thick sandstone layer covered in dinosaur footprints! That is exactly what happened in 2000 at Johnson Farm, and it’s now the home of the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site.
The discovery of footprints and thousands of fossils at Johnson Farm turned out to be the best Jurassic track site in western North America.
A museum on the property opened in 2005, and visitors can experience a 200-million-year-old ecosystem that was once home to dinosaurs, fish, plants and more. You’ll see the actual fossils and tracks, along with life-sized models of prehistoric animals here. Check out the swimming dinosaur tracks, running dinosaur tracks, and even a crouching dinosaur impression!
Watch volunteers and paleontologists at work in the fossil-prep lab, or let the kids play in the Dino Park outside — which includes a sandbox and a “Walk Through Time” exhibit.
There are a total of 17 different tracks at the site. Can you find them all?
ST. GEORGE UTAH TEMPLE
The St. George Utah Temple cannot be missed. Completed in 1877, the St. George Temple is a beautiful, bright white monument that was the first dedicated temple in Utah. It remains the oldest one still used by the church.
Here, you can stroll through the stunning grounds, or stop in the St. George Utah Temple Visitors Center. The Visitors Center is open daily, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
SAND HOLLOW STATE PARK
Outdoor lovers, this one’s for you! Sand Hollow State Park is filled with outdoor activities. You’ll find boating, fishing, and diving at the Sand Hollow Reservoir, sand dunes to explore in an off-highway vehicle on Sand Mountain, and camping in a campground or on the beach. It’s no wonder this 20,000 acre park is one of the most popular in the state.
Located 15 miles east of St. George, one of the best features here is the Sand Hollow Reservoir. Perfect for diving, fishing, boating, kayaking, and paddle boarding — this beautiful reservoir is a must-visit. Visit the Dive Shack at Sand Hollow for scuba and snorkeling gear and classes. They’re open from May through October, and have everything you need for a successful trip to the reservoir. (Maybe they can tell you where the old bus, skeleton, and plane are hidden inside the waters of Sand Hollow!) The Beach at Sand Hollow offers kayak and paddle board rentals, as well as food and snacks.
Ready for a day in the sand? Off-highway vehicle enthusiasts love Sand Hollow State Park because of the 15,000 acres of sculpted dunes found on Sand Mountain. You can rent ATVs and UTVs at the Beach at Sand Hollow, and spend the day (or week!) exploring all the dunes here.
Can’t get enough of Sand Hollow State Park? Let’s set up camp! You can find full hookup camping sites in the Westside Campground, or you can stay right in the action by driving your off-highway vehicle to the dunes at the Sandpit Campground.
WESTERN SKY AVIATION WARBIRD MUSEUM
Aviation lovers and history buffs will absolutely love the Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum.
At this St. George museum, you can learn about vintage military aircraft, known as “Warbirds.” Learn about the aviation history and the role aircraft played in WWII, and discover the danger pilots faced during wartime.
Several planes are on display in the hangars here, and they are constantly working to preserve and restore the planes for the educational benefit of future generations.
While visiting, guests can climb into a plane for “pilot” photos, and maybe even see a mechanic working on the planes. Admission is FREE, but an individual donation of $2, or family donation of $5 is suggested.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO UTAH
- YOUR UTAH VACATION
- UTAH NATIONAL PARKS: Road Trip! 10 Epic Days To Explore the Mighty 5
- GLAMPING UTAH: 18 Best Spots For Outdoor Adventure
- BUCKSKIN GULCH: Tips & Tricks for Navigating Utah’s Best Slot Canyon
- MYSTIC HOT SPRINGS: A Chill AF Experience For Hippies, Free Spirits…and Families
VACATION RENTALS IN ST. GEORGE
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