St. George used to be a tiny, ho-hum town, but in recent years it has grown to be not just a stop on the way to Las Vegas or Southern California but a unique destination all its own. It’s the perfect spot for outdoor recreation and it’s definitely on our #travelingbands bucket list several times over.
If you’re heading to St. George soon, make sure you check out some of these cool places!
Zion National Park
Only an hour from St. George, Zion National Park is one place we always visit when we’re in southern Utah. There are so many opportunities to adventure – from hiking the infamous Angels Landing or one of the other incredible trails, to rappelling through the Subway, to horseback riding along the Virgin River. If you’re heading out for a day hike, we highly recommend the Narrows.
Snow Canyon State Park
Enter the gates of Snow Canyon and you’ll immediately feel like you’re on another planet. Nothing compares to the geography of this state park and there are several different hikes that will give you totally separate experiences. This is also a great place for mountain biking and camping. Our favorite thing to do is climb underground into the lava caves equipped with flashlights and glow sticks.
Sand Hollow State Park
St. George summers can get hot, and the best escape is a nearby lake or reservoir. Sand Hollow, a blue body of water framed by brilliant red rocks, is picturesque and perfect for cooling off. Rent a paddleboard or hang out on one of the sandy beaches. You can usually find us cliff jumping on the northwest side, as long as the water is high enough.
Red Cliffs National Conservation Area
This lesser-known park is a hidden treasure if you know where to look. Red Cliffs has everything from a 1,200 year old trail used by explorers to dinosaur tracks, and you could easily make a day out of it. One trail you can’t miss is the Red Reef trail, especially if you go in the spring or early summer when it’s filled with water.
Benja’s Thai and Sushi
Recently, St. George has started to get even more of a food scene, but one that has been around forever is Benja’s. It’s always a toss up whether to order the sushi or the pad thai (hint: just get both). We stop here almost every time we’re in St. George because it really is that good.
This is another classic, and a must on every single trip to southern Utah. Rigatti’s Pizza is amazing – we recommend the one with pesto and chicken – but they’re breadsticks and marinara dipping sauce is to die for. If you haven’t tried it yet, you better hop in your car and head there.
Twenty Five Main
This cute little cafe has by far the best cupcakes in the city, as well as fresh food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Stop by after a hike or during a stroll around the historic downtown for a delicious flavored lemonade, because they have the best we’ve found.
More Places You Need to Know About
You can’t miss this St. George landmark – a huge rock overlooking the city with the word “Dixie” painted on its face. You can actually climb on top of Dixie Rock and take in the view – just park nearby and head up the steps and bridge placed for your convenience.
This is our favorite place to hang out for the whole family to enjoy during the summer. The park has a splash pad and a lazy river for kids to play in, and there’s often live music. The St. George Arts Festival is held here every year, as well as movies under the stars and several other activities.
A short drive north of St. George is the town of Toquerville, which is home to the rare oasis, Toquerville Falls. Make sure you have a car that can handle off roading – the long dirt road to the waterfall can be unforgiving – and then head out to this waterfall and swimming hole in the middle of the desert.
If you’re looking for a fun hike, but don’t want to spend all day, there are plenty of trails around the city. This particular web of trails can be accessed from several neighborhoods near Snow Canyon State Park, and is incredible for both hiking and mountain biking. There are a few rock formations to hike to and some small natural arches can be spotted along the way.
Next time you’re in St. George, make sure you try out some of our suggestions and let us know when you do! For more information on trails in St. George and around the state of Utah, download our Guide to Utah’s Best Hikes by Season – it will tell you everything you need to know.