If you’ve ever considered making a trip to Utah, you may have already considered visiting St. George, the largest city in the southern portion of the state.
Especially popular as a winter destination thanks to its mild weather, the city boasts a unique location directly below the red rock cliffs of Utah’s southwest desert.
St. George’s location is one that’s perfect for lovers of the great outdoors, thanks to its close proximity to Snow Canyon State Park, Sand Hollow State Park, and Zion National Park.
The area draws in visitors from all over the world, and rightfully so. With cozy resorts full of comfortable amenities, delicious dining options, and small-town charm, staying in St George makes for an unforgettable trip!
If you’re planning a trip to St. George, there are a lot of potential activities you can add to your itinerary! Start you planning by including these 8 things to do in St. George:
Where To Stay in St. George
There are plenty of hotel and resort options in St. George, depending on the length of your stay and whether you want to spend time alone or get together with friends.
You’ll be able to choose from a wide selection of resorts in St. George, Utah, many featuring amenities like swimming pools, playgrounds, golf courses, and more.
Ideally, try to plan your itinerary before deciding on a hotel or resort. That way, you can choose a spot that’s in a convenient location based on the activities you have planned.
One thing every spot is sure to offer, however, is plenty of beautiful sunrises and sunsets!
Things To Do in St George, Utah
Exploring St. George, Utah will likely mean plenty of outdoor activities and some amazing photo opportunities in a picturesque setting.
But you’ll also find some great food and drink locations and unique architecture in the area as well! Here are the top 8 things to do in St. George:
1. Walk the Historic Downtown
Downtown St. George showcases the rich history of the city, with buildings inspired by old American and Mormon cultures.
At the center of the downtown hub is Ancestor Square, a pretty and walkable area featuring a variety of historic buildings. Many quaint restaurants and shops can be found in this spot.
There are also plenty of museums and other attractions nearby, including a pioneer museum and various art galleries.
2. Explore Zion National Park
There’s no shortage of state and national parks near St. George, but Zion National Park is in a class of its own.
From the stunning sheer red cliffs of Zion Canyon to the surprisingly lush green oasis of the Emerald Pools, the landscape of this gorgeous national park has to be seen to be believed.
The park is the perfect destination for fans of hiking, biking, backpacking, camping, and canyoneering.
Those that love a challenge will want to be sure to hike the 5-mile Angel’s Landing Trail along the Narrows, which climbs almost 1500 feet in elevation.
But there are plenty of easier, family-friendly hikes to enjoy as well, including the 1-hour Lower Emerald Pool Trail and the 1.5-hour Riverside Walk.
3. Try Some Craft Brews
Microbreweries have exploded in popularity recently, and while St. George was slow to pick up on the trend at first, a few local companies have now joined the craft beer scene.
Start your tasting adventure by stopping into Silver Reef Brewing Co. and sampling their rotating selection of seasonal and draft beer.
For those that prefer hard alcohol to beer, the company also features a distillery in the same location offering locally-distilled bourbon, rum, vodka, and brandy.
Then, head to Station II Bar, the recently-opened taproom owned by Zion Brewery, in downtown St. George. There, you can enjoy a taster, a pint, or even a full pitcher of any of Zion Brewery’s current on-tap beers.
Want to make a full day of brewery-hopping? Policy Kings Brewing in Cedar City, and Edge of the World Brewery just over the Utah/Arizona border are both less than an hour’s drive from St. George, as well.
4. Visit Red Hills Desert Garden
The unique Red Hills Desert Garden takes up almost five acres in St. George and is Utah’s only desert conservation garden.
Visitors will enjoy walking through the garden and discovering over 330 different varieties of desert plants. And kids will especially love examining the prehistoric dinosaur tracks found embedded in rocks found in the area.
The garden also features an 1150-foot stream stocked with native and endangered fish species, as well as a replica slot canyon and fish-viewing area.
The garden is free to explore and enjoy, making it a perfect way to spend a leisurely morning or afternoon in the city.
5. Swim at Sand Hollow State Park
One of the newer state parks in Utah, Sand Hollow State Park is about a 20-minute drive from St. George and one of the most popular state parks in the area.
The park covers 20,000 acres and is the home of the massive Sand Hollow Reservoir, making it perfect for both land and water recreation.
ATV fans will love driving over the 15,000 acres of stunning red sand dunes that make up Sand Mountain, and that same red sand provides a unique backdrop for those that prefer to spend their time boating, fishing, and swimming.
6. Take In the St. George Art Festival
St. George is a city that boasts an impressive number of live shows, theatres, art galleries, and museums. And since 1980, the city celebrates the many artists that call the area home at the St. George Art Festival.
Held in the Historic Town Square over Easter Weekend, the even attracts as many as 30,000 visitors each year and prides itself on being a family-friendly celebration of the fine arts.
The event is also a great opportunity to try food from some of St. George’s most popular restaurants, and even features a fun run with prizes for participants.
7. Palledin Balloon Excursions
A hot air balloon ride is an incredible experience no matter where you are, but it’s even more special when you’re cruising over Utah’s barren desert landscape and nearby mountains.
Not only does a hot air balloon ride offer the opportunity for some stunning above-ground photos, it also gives you the chance to help out as the balloon is filled with air and then see firsthand just how it flies.
Hot air balloons can’t fly in the extreme heat, so rides are only available between September and June. If you’re planning a winter vacation, this is one experience you’ll want to be sure to try.
8. Hiking in St. George
If you’re a hiking enthusiast, there’s no better home base for your adventures than St. George.
In addition to the already-mentioned Sand Hollow State Park and Zion National Park, the city is also a stone’s throw from the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, Snow Canyon State Park, and Dixie National Forest.
And each location offers incredible hiking opportunities that let visitors explore valleys, mountains, and stunning desert landscapes.
Hikes range from quick, kid-friendly walks to hours-long day-trip hikes to full overnight trekking experiences.
Research some of the most popular hiking trails in the area based on your skill level and plan a hiking adventure with views you won’t see anywhere else.
The beautiful views, outdoor experiences, and fascinating geological history of southern Utah are well worth a visit, and St. George’s location makes it a great home base for exploring the area.
St. George is also less than a two-hour drive from Las Vegas, so you could even plan a road trip from the glittering night life of the city to the barren desert landscape.
Just make sure to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the many historical, cultural, and natural attractions that St. George has to offer!