25 Best Things to Do in St George (UT)

Source: Wikimedia / City of St. George | Public Domain

St. George was settled in 1861 as a center for the cotton business which led to the city’s nickname, “Dixie”. Nowadays, the city is one of Utah’s fastest-growing cities and a warm-weather retreat. 

Located in a valley between the Colorado Plateau and the Mojave Desert, St. George is a popular destination for those who want to explore the red rock mesas and lush waterways. In fact, the city is known for its year-round outdoor recreation and proximity to several national parks, including Zion National Park and Grand Canyon.

Interactive Map of 25 Things to Do in St George (UT)

Source: Map data @2020 Google

1. Zion National Park

Zion National Park
Source: Flickr / Stuart Seeger | CC BY 2.0

Opened n 1909, Zion National Park is Utah’s oldest park as well as the most visited. It offers an excellent structure for hiking, with options from easy to very difficult levels. Or simply for a relaxing walk through sandstone cliffs, crystal clear rivers, and wooded valleys.

The main area for visiting Zion National Park is Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. To get to know it, you need to board a bus from the park, at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, which passes through 9 stops, where the attractions and the entrances to the trails are located. And for those who are driving, another interesting area to visit is the Zion-Mount – Carmel Highway.

2. St. George Utah Temple

St. George Utah Temple
Source: Flickr / slashvee | CC BY-ND 2.0

In 1877, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints built the stately Mormon temple, St. George Utah Temple, with a visitor’s center and services for church members only. There is nothing like being in a holy place at peace. Besides, the grounds are beautiful with paths to walk on and flowers to smell.

The visitor center itself features plenty of informational activities and movies about the extensive Mormon history in Utah. Not to mention the historical exhibits and great interactive displays for all ages.

3. Sand Hollow State Park

Sand Hollow State Park
Source: Flickr / Niemand für Polyphemus | CC BY 2.0

Sand Hollow State Park is a red sandstone park offering boating in a reservoir and off-highway vehicle riding on Sand Mountain. It is inserted in beautiful scenery with warm water, and soft sandy beaches. Hiking trails are well labeled and there are many ATV trails as well. At the gate entry, ask the staff to point to you where you can jump off the rocks into the Sand Hollow Reservoir.

Some parts along the sands have rough branches and moss, so be careful. Along the parking lot is a launchpad for boating activities such as jet ski rentals and fishing. You can also drive your car down to the sand on certain parts. But make sure your car can handle it. 

4. Tuacahn Center For the Arts

Tuacahn Center For the Arts
Source: Wikimedia / AdamRC98 | CC BY-SA 3.0

The nonprofit Tuacahn Center For the Arts is an outdoor amphitheater featuring plays and concerts with canyon views and smaller indoor theaters. Surrounded by the gorgeous Red Mountains of the City of Ivins, it is only a short drive from St. George. And as you see the majestic beauty of the Red Cliffs coming closer you will become speechless. You will be able to watch the performances from any angle since all seats are good and there are cool water features as you walk up to find your seat. 

Even if you go during the day for a visit, just walking around and enjoying the peace and beauty of the surroundings will feel great. There are also a café and a snack bar on-site.

5. Snow Canyon State Park

Snow Canyon State Park
Source: Flickr / Joanna Poe | CC BY-SA 2.0

Offering trails for hiking, climbing, and horseback riding Snow Canyon State Park is a scenic spot located amid dunes and sandstone cliffs. At the entrance of the park, they provide you with a map of the area and all the hikes. There are petrified sand dunes that are great for the kids to run around on, lava tubes to home into, slot canyons, and an arch you can hike to.

Whether you climb to the top of the Upper Galoot, hike the Hidden Pinyon trail, or go down Jenny’s Canyon, you are in for a treat at Snow Canyon State Park. Besides, Pioneer Name is a perfect first “walk” for those with little kids and as a bonus, it is always shaded.

6. Fiesta Fun Family Fun Center

Fiesta Fun Family Fun Center
Source: Unsplash / zhan zhang

Featuring a lot of different activities for all ages and tastes, Fiesta Fun Family Fun Center is the main amusement center in St. George. The center features laser tag, bowling, mini-golf, bumper boats, go-karts, batting cages, and an arcade. Besides, Fiesta Fun counts with Barre Grill, a snack bar serving appetizers, pizzas, smoothies, and more.

Overall, this is an amazing place to take the family if you get a chance. The mini-golf course is well organized, and they change the games in the arcade room occasionally. So, you are not always seeing the same arcade.

7. Thunder Junction All Abilities Park

Thunder Junction All Abilities Park
Source: Pixabay / genielutz

Featuring play equipment, a dinosaur-themed garden, and train rides, Thunder Junction All Abilities Park was created so that all abilities would be able to use it. Plus, everything is wheelchair accessible. The park features a splash pad, large play toy slides, and more. Besides, there is a great little train that takes kids on rides.

There is even a large volcano that shoots a stream and makes unique sounds every 45 minutes or so. The two epic zip lines are for sure one of the highlights of the park.

8. St. George Children’s Museum

St. George Childrens Museum
Source: Wikimedia / 42856 | CC BY-SA 4.0

Offering interactive and hands-on exhibits for all ages, St. George Children’s Museum features a play farm, grocery store, and science room. This place is wonderful for kids to learn, experience different things, build and use their imagination. There are several different areas with themes from science and dinosaurs to art and music.

The staff is always changing things up so no two visits are alike. However, the kids’ favorite exhibits stay as the main floor is geared towards the younger crowd and the lower level is very STEM-centered.

9. Red Cliffs National Conservation Area

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area
Source: Flickr / Bureau of Land Management | CC BY 2.0

Divided into upland and lowland sections, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area is a protected area famous for its red-rock cliffs. There are many options for hiking trails and if you like wading through water while hiking, this park is perfect. Also, you will find some nice little waterfalls with opportunities to take a dip all along so go prepared with a swimsuit!

At Red Cliffs, there are essentially three big waterfalls. The lowest one actually has a fun spot for jumping off a cliff. The second one also has opportunities for cliff jumping, as well as a fun ascent with a beautiful view. The last waterfall is where most people end the hike as it is hard to go up to. The important thing is to go prepared with water and be smart to not hike too far in the heat.

10. Brigham Young Winter Home

Brigham Young Winter Home
Source: Flickr / Ken Lund | CC BY-SA 2.0

Brigham Young Winter Home is a restored 19th-century home of Mormon pioneer Brigham Young, featuring period furniture and art. This is a great historical experience for those interested in the history of Utah and its connection to the Mormon religion. 

The tour offers lots of great information and access to missionaries for any additional questions you may have. And during the tour, you will learn why St. George has this name and check all the original details of the house. The home and grounds themselves are absolutely lovely and great for a walk and photos.

11. Pioneer Park

Pioneer Park-3
Source: Flickr / Ken Lund | CC BY-SA 2.0

The rocky 52-acre Pioneer Park features the famous Dixie Rock, views of the city, hiking, a botanical garden, BBQs, and a covered pavilion. This is an outstanding local park that provides a nice area to walk and climb on rocks.

Offering views of St. George downtown, White Dome, Zion National Park, and Arizona, Pioneer Park has several hiking trails. There, you will have access to the Boy Scout Cave, slot canyons, and the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. So, enjoy and go hiking where there are hidden rivers in this park which is a great place to camp, hike, and have fun with the family.

12. Kayenta Art Village

Kayenta Art Village
Source: Flickr / Pom | CC BY-SA 2.0

As the name indicates, Kayenta Art Village is a small village 20 minutes from St George with an artistic vibe to it. The village has magnificent shops full of amazing photography, postcards, pottery, jewelry, gifts, home decor, and delicious dining.

Some of the popular attractions there include Whitaker Studio, Gallery 873, Center for the Arts at Kayenta, Datura Gallery, and more. Overall, this is a great place to walk around and observe the art in the desert, and just enjoy the stillness of it all.

13. Red Hills Desert Garden

Red Hills Desert Garden
Source: Wikimedia / Kip Robinson | CC BY-SA 4.0

Located in Pioneer Park, Red Hills Desert Garden is St. George’s botanical garden. The park covers a 5-acre preserve with more than 5,000 desert plants, a stream, a replica slot canyon, and dinosaur tracks. Red Hills Desert Garden has several miles of paved and gravel trails intersecting a beautiful Desert Garden. 

There, you can admire many species of cactus and other desert plants. The gardens are landscaped beautifully with raised beds, bridges, steppingstones over streams, a waterfall, and even a manmade slot canyon. There is also a fishpond with windows for you to take a closer look at the fish and several swing chairs to enjoy the peace and solitude.

14. Town Square Park

Town Square Park
Source: Flickr / Ken Lund | CC BY-SA 2.0

With an urban design, red rock fountains, and nice artwork displayed, Town Square Park is almost like a water park for kids right in the middle of St. George. There are lots of water features to play in, trees for shade, and a big field if you want to kick a ball around. However, the park’s highlight is the carousel. Although, you have to be 3’6″ tall to ride it alone or you can ride with a parent if you are under that height.

The park also features a fun lazy river and a splash pad in very nice and clean grounds. You can rent bikes right in front of the park. And head to the Children’s Art Museum or the Washington County Library, which are right next door.

15. Quail Creek State Park

Quail Creek State Park
Source: Flickr / Willem van Valkenburg | CC BY 2.0

Popular as a camping destination, Quail Creek State Park has a recreational reservoir for boating, fishing, swimming, plus picnic tables. There are two boating docks and rentals for kayaks and jet skis. The Quail Creek Reservoir itself is very calm and swimming is allowed, although not by the boat launch area.

Overall, it has a beautiful scenery with a sandy beach area to soak in the water which by the way has the perfect temperature for the summer heat. But beware of the ground squirrels, they will eat any food left unattended. So, keep your food locked up!

16. Rosenbruch World Wildlife Museum

Rosenbruch World Wildlife Museum
Source: Wikimedia / Eddie Maloney | CC BY 2.0

Rosenbruch World Wildlife Museum is a unique museum with dioramas of over 300 animals representing every continent, plus a souvenir shop. The displays include animals from all over the world. Most all of them have a description and are organized by region, with a description of the region. This is a nice place to check out and see something cool while getting a little break from the heat in St. George. 

At first, all the animals are a little spooky, but the exhibits are very cool, and some are even interactive. They also offer a recording audio to listen to while you are exploring the museum. This audio tour is very informative and tells great stories about the animals. 

17. Gunlock State Park

Gunlock State Park
Source: Flickr / Thure Johnson | CC BY 2.0

Gunlock State Park features a recreational reservoir open year-round for swimming and boating amid red rock scenery. Other activities offered at the park include kayaking, water-skiing, jet-skiing, and camping. Although the reservoir is small, it is beautiful with some unique rocks on the far side to explore and paddle around. You will also find beautiful cacti and lots of fun critters like lizards and cottontail bunnies.

In the spring the reservoir fills to the point it flows over a natural spillway through a red rock spill area and it is beautiful. Just walk the dam about a quarter-mile to the far side to find this spillway.

18. Jacob Hamblin Home

Jacob Hamblin Home
Source: Flickr / Ken Lund | CC BY-SA 2.0

The rustic 19th-century Jacob Hamblin Home was owned by Mormon pioneer Jacob Hamblin and it is now a popular touristic attraction in St. George featuring guided tours. Jacob Hamblin was Southern Utah Indian Mission president and lived on this site from 1863 to 1868.

The tour takes about 20 minutes and you do not need to be a Mormon to appreciate the history of the place and the fascinating character Hamblin was. The house itself is gorgeous and they display a few of his pieces and artifacts from his actual lifetime. Besides, there is a small orchard which is especially beautiful in spring and summer.

19. St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm

St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm
Source: Flickr / 5of7 | CC BY-SA 2.0

St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site is a natural history museum focused on prehistoric animals and the 200 million-year-old ecosystem they lived in. The museum features five life-size models of dinosaurs. Not to mention a working fossil preparation lab where you can watch as the staff prepares fossilized fish and plants. Make sure to watch the 12-minute video explaining a bit more about the excavations and findings around St. George.

Despite its small size, this is a very impressive museum with some amazing exhibits, friendly staff, beautiful murals, and well-organized pathways. Even the gift shop has some great items including fossil replicas, books, puzzles, toys, posters, and much more.

20. Ancestor Square

Ancestor Square
Source: Flickr / Ken Lund | CC BY-SA 2.0

Ancestor Square is the center of the incredible St. George Historic Downtown surrounded by beautiful mountains that you can see for miles and miles. The old buildings are amazing, and the history is wonderful. There are also delicious restaurants such as the Painted Pony and the casual Pizza Factory. Besides, there are great stores including the traditional Annie’s Vintage Garden gift shop.

If you are looking for something to do, take a walk up and down the streets at Main and St. George Blvd and admire all the sculptures, artwork, and parks.

21. Little Black Mountain

Little Black Mountain
Source: Flickr / Raymond Shobe | CC BY-SA 2.0

At the border between Utah and Arizona, the Little Black Mountain is a great place to see petroglyphs with very little physical effort to reach them. With simple walking trails, you can explore the area and admire the interesting rock formations from many different angles. The petroglyphs themselves are top-notch and you can walk right up amongst them.

If you have some time, this historical landmark is not too far off the main road and it is definitely worth the drive. You do not even need an off-roading vehicle because the gravel is so even.

22. Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum

Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum
Source: Flickr / Jeremiah Roth | CC BY-SA 2.0

You can smell all of the stories when you walk the concrete steps and into the house where the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum is located. The displays and collections tell the story of Southern Utah, St. George, and the Mormon church. The walls are completely full of fascinating artifacts, pictures, and historical treasures.

There you will also learn how the pioneers lived and see everyday objects that they used. Make sure to chat with the docents and feel inspired by the pride the community takes in their heritage.

23. Red Cliffs

Red Cliffs
Source: Flickr / Todd Van Hoosear | CC BY-SA 2.0

Red Cliffs is a straightforward mall with nationally known chain retailers, department stores, and casual eateries. Some of the most popular stores are Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, JCPenney, and Dillard’s department store. Although there are many other stores to explore at Red Cliffs.

Overall, this is a great place to shop, with lots to choose from and there is always a sale going on. Besides, they are always doing fun stuff like providing coloring pages for kids as well as events and drive-in movies throughout the year.

24. The Outlets at Zion

The Outlets at Zion
Source: Wikimedia / City of St. George | Public Domain

The Outlets at Zion is an open-air mall with familiar chain stores, outlets, and independent boutiques. There are also many casual eateries like Outback Steakhouse, Panda Express, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Chuck A Rama, and more.

Parking is not too hard, but the parking lot is tricky to navigate like any strip mall. Just watch out for people and you will be okay. Also, it is easy to walk from one side of the strip mall and down to the other end to see everything. If you are visiting St. George for the shopping, this is a good place to stop by.

25. George’s Corner Restaurant

Georges Corner Restaurant
Source: Unsplash / Fidel Fernando

The former Big Hand Café from the 1930s and 1940s is now the comfy George’s Corner Restaurant serving burgers and other pub grub along with regional beers. The building itself is an important piece of St. George’s history since it was built at the only stoplight in town at the time. 

Overall, George’s Corner Restaurant has great food with a fun atmosphere and each dish tastes like it was made with love. In this part of Utah, it can be hard to find a place that puts so much time and thought into its meat-free items. But George’s makes its own in house black bean patty and it is fantastic. The most popular dishes include fried chicken and sweet potato fries.