Below the rim of the Great Basin sits Utah's warm-weather retreat, the town of St. George. The stunning valley combines transitional land features from the neighboring basin and Colorado Plateau with the landscapes and wildlife of the Mojave Desert. Red rock mesas and lush waterways create the setting for one of Utah's fastest-growing cities. Today, that growth and unique setting translate to family adventures, luxury spas, extensive shopping, championship golf and nearby outdoor recreation assets unlike anywhere else. In other words, fishing, climbing, canyoneering, biking, hiking, ATV and more — all in the unbeatable climate of beautiful St. George, Utah.
Under the direction of Brigham Young, settlers worked to establish a cotton industry in St. George. While members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who were called to serve this mission faced many challenges (and the cotton industry never thrived), the town of St. George quickly established a reputation it holds today: a destination city throughout the year, but especially attractive for those looking to escape the winter chill of more northern latitudes. Of course, visitors interested in the area’s unique pioneer heritage can tour an old cotton mill, Brigham Young's winter home and the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Museum. The city's LDS Temple, the construction of which Brigham Young oversaw, is an historic architectural gem in the heart of St. George.
St. George has blossomed into a haven for people of all ages and interests looking for mild to warm weather and amenities such as golfing on one of dozens of courses, including the top-rated Entrada at Snow Canyon, and renowned destination retreats like Green Valley Spa and Resort and Red Mountain Resort and Spa. Climbers can seek out numerous intriguing sandstone destinations, including Snow Canyon State Park (see below), Pioneer Park, Green Valley Gap and Moe's Valley. Aside from all the great outdoor things to do in St. George, the dining options are plentiful as well. From the chic Zagat-rated Painted Pony to authentic Neapolitan-style pizza at Riggatti's, St. George has emerged as a top dining town in Southern Utah.
For families, the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm and St. George Children's Museum combine with a wildlife museum, nature center, aquatic center and multiple local hikes to petroglyph sites for a complete family getaway. St. George is also home to Dixie State University. The Southwest Symphony season runs October through May. The nearby Tuacahn Amphitheater & Center for the Arts stages theatrical and musical performances. Indeed, as a basecamp to Zion National Park, St. George offers plenty of cultural amenities to help expand your itinerary in southwest Utah once you've explored Zion.
Slideshow: St. George
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