14 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in St. George, UT
St. George is a lovely, modern city, and well positioned in Southern Utah near the Arizona border. Its latitude and elevation allow for a favorable climate, with relatively warm winters compared to the rest of Utah.
Many people use St. George as a base or a starting point for trips to nearby parks, most notably Zion National Park, less than an hour away. The city is also within easy striking distance of some fabulous mountain biking trails, particularly at nearby Hurricane.
But St. George has some interesting tourist attractions worth exploring within the city limits. Families will find interesting parks and children's activities, especially during the summer months.
The city's Mormon influence can be seen in the monuments and historical buildings. And, in the surrounding area, you can see glimpses of the city's natural and cultural history, from dinosaur tracks to petroglyphs.
For ideas on what to see and do, have a look through our list of top attractions in St. George.
1. St. George Utah Temple
Occupying a complete city block, this impressive and imposing building is a must-see in St. George.
Work was begun on the temple in 1872 and finished five years later. Only members of the Mormon faith are permitted in the temple, however, there is an on-site visitor center open to the general public.
The grounds of the temple are open and feature many mature and beautiful trees and flowering plants, which are particularly beautiful in spring.
The temple is easily located from anywhere in town due to its shimmering white appearance. Up close, the building is massive, more than 110,000 square feet inside, rising up to a peak of 175 feet.
Address: 250 E 400 S, St. George, Utah
2. Pioneer Park
Perched high above downtown St. George, Pioneer Park is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. An ideal family outing, many people come here to enjoy a picnic or barbecue in the sheltered picnic areas.
The park covers 52 acres, much of which is dominated by red rock landscape. Walking trails wind through the boulders and across flat areas and numerous slot canyons, which can be safely and easily explored by those of all ages.
Other interesting places to visit are a historical pioneer cabin and Boy Scout Cave. For those looking for great city views and a bit of solitude, it's easy to find scenic areas and lookouts a short stroll from the parking lot.
3. Hiking Trails
Most visitors to St. George only think about nearby Zion National Park when it comes to hiking, but in and around St. George, you can find all kinds of great hiking trails without the crowds.
One of Utah's great undiscovered treasures is nearby Snow Canyon State Park. Located just 20 minutes from St. George, this park offers a full range of geological wonders, from lava tubes to red cliffs and petrified dunes.
You'll find an assortment of amazing trails offering spectacular views over the canyons and volcanic landscapes, or winding through a slot canyon.
Other scenic areas for hiking can be found at nearby Sand Hollow State Park and right in the city at Pioneer Park. Also worth exploring are the trails in the Red Cliffs Recreation Area, a wide-open area with options for hikers and horseback riders. For a complete look at hikes in the area, see our article on the best hikes near St. George.
4. Sand Hollow State Park
Sand Hollow State Park, encompassing the Sand Hollow Reservoir, is one of the largest and most popular state parks in Utah. It's also one of the best lakes in Utah and to top it all off, it's home to one of the best beaches in Utah.
The landscape here is unlike anything else you'll find in Utah. Giant sand dunes drift down to the crystal-clear water, forming a beautiful orange-hued beach. In the distance, snow-capped mountains round out the scene.
The park covers 20,000 acres and offers all kinds of recreational opportunities. One of the most popular things to do is driving through the dunes in off-road vehicles. Boating and sailing are also incredibly popular, and many people come to simply lounge on the huge beach. Other options include hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
Camping is available in two formal campgrounds with full or partial hookups. There is also a primitive camping area with no facilities. This is one of the best places to camp near St. George, which is only a 20-minute drive away.
Official site: https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/sand-hollow/
5. Brigham Young Winter House
The Brigham Young Winter House is a perfectly preserved home used from 1873 to 1876 by the President of the Mormon Church. He came to St. George to ease his arthritis, which was aggravated by the cold winters in Salt Lake City, and also to supervise the building of the St. George Chapel and Tabernacle.
Inside the home, you will find original furniture used and built by Brigham Young along with other period pieces from the late 19th century. Admission is free, and the guided tours are informative and interactive. The tours offer insight into the lifestyle of this man and the way of life during this time period.
Address: 67 West 200 North, St. George, Utah
Official site: https://www.lds.org/locations/brigham-young-winter-home?lang=eng&_r=1
6. St. George Children's Museum
The Children's Museum is housed in a historic building near downtown St. George. Once you step through the front doors, you and your gang of youngsters will find 12 rooms full of interactive and fun exhibits.
Exhibits vary but include areas like a music room with all kinds of instruments to try, a farm room where you can milk a model cow, and even a room recreating the Oval Office.
In summer, a visit to the St. George Children's Museum can be combined with an afternoon at the splash pad next door at Town Square Park for a full day of fun. Admission is free on the first Thursday of each month.
Address: 86 South Main Street, St. George, Utah
Official site: https://www.sgchildrensmuseum.org/
7. Town Square Park
If you are traveling with young children and are looking for a fun, free way to pass an afternoon, Town Square Park is just the spot. Here, you will find an immense splash pad, a lazy river, and a variety of other water features sure to provide endless hours of entertainment on a hot sunny day.
If your little ones tire of the water, there is also a historic carousel they can ride for a small fee. The park is surrounded by some of St. George's most historical and beautifully restored buildings, including the Tabernacle. The park offers free Wi-Fi and has electrical outlets for those needing to connect and recharge.
Address: 175 East 200 North, St. George, Utah
8. Red Hills Desert Garden
Red Hills Desert Garden is a spectacular garden showcasing the flora of the surrounding countryside. The garden is filled with more than 5,000 plants, some so brightly colored, they almost seem to glow against the backdrop of the red soil and rocks.
Plant descriptions are displayed on metal stakes placed along a walkway winding through the garden and crossing over a slow-moving stream containing endangered native fish species. You can also see 200-million-year-old dinosaur tracks and a replica slot canyon.
The garden is located off Red Hills Parkway to the right of Pioneer Park. If you have time, you can easily combine a visit here with a stop at Pioneer Park.
Address: 375 E. Red Hills Parkway, St. George, Utah
Official site: https://redhillsdesertgarden.com/
9. Kayenta Art Village
A short drive from St. George will bring you to the scattering of homes in Kayenta and the Kayenta Art Village. Here, you will find art galleries, a spa, studios, and an outdoor café.
The area where the shops are is pedestrian-only and is a stress-free area to wander through for a morning or afternoon. The village is a pleasant spot to look for unique items and grab a light lunch or coffee on the covered patio.
Official site: http://www.kayentautah.com/the-community/kayenta-art-village/
10. Little Black Mountain Petroglyphs
If you are up for an outing into the desert, the Little Black Mountain Petroglyphs offers an interesting and fun destination. A short walking trail leads around huge boulders revealing well-defined petroglyphs.
While the drive out here takes some navigating, once here, the site is easy to access, and the carvings are right at the side of the trail. The place has an end-of-the-road feel to it, and in all likelihood, you'll have the place to yourself.
The site is located south of St. George, off East River Road. Once East River Road turns into a dirt road, you will continue on, following sign posts, for about 3.5 miles to the site.
Note that ATV trails intersect with the main dirt road, so be sure to stay on the main road.
11. St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm
Dinosaurs once roamed this area of Utah and at the Dinosaur Discovery Site, you can see exactly where they walked. Thousands of fossilized dinosaur tracks have been found here, at the site of an Early Jurassic Lake.
The site contains a large collection of tracks from various creatures from this period, including the swim trails of fish and the tracks of insects. In the exhibition center, you can see life-size representations of the dinosaurs that made the tracks, along with murals of their environment.
Address: 2180 East Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah
Official site: https://utahdinosaurs.org/
12. Quail Creek State Park
Just a 15-minute drive north from town is Quail Creek State Park. Here, you'll find a whole host of recreational opportunities, including fishing, swimming, stand up paddleboarding, and boating. Don't worry if you don't have your own equipment, rentals are available.
If you are looking for a low-cost accommodation option and want to be near town, the campground here is a good option and one of the best campgrounds in the St. George area. Sites can be booked online up to four months in advance on a rolling date basis.
Note that if you are bringing your own boat, you will need to provide proof that it has been decontaminated for Quagga mussels.
13. Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum
St. George is home to one of the best aviation museums in the state, the Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum. This museum has an exceptional collection of fighter jets, with a specific focus on the MiG jets built in the Soviet Union, China, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.
These rare jets are in good condition and if you choose to do so, you can climb into the cockpit and imagine you are piloting one of the supersonic machines. On permanent display are seven aircraft, and on occasion two more are also on show. Some of the planes are in flying condition, and some are permanently mounted.
In addition to the planes, various memorabilia are also on display, including flight suits, uniforms, and other gear. Admission to the museum is free, although a small donation is always appreciated.
Address: 4196 S. Airport Parkway, St. George, Utah
Official site: http://www.westernskywarbirds.org/home.html
14. Judd's Store
For a unique experience while exploring central St. George, stop in at Judd's Store. You can't miss the façade of this 110-year-old retail establishment – it's weathered wood front and antique gas pump are dead giveaways.
Founded in 1909, Judd's claims to be the oldest retail store in town, according to the owner. Inside is a wide assortment of sodas in glass bottles, all kinds of candy sure to make your kids whiny with a sugar high, ice cream, and other snack food.
Looking for something to accompany all the sugar you've ingested? Grab a table either inside or on the patio out front, and chow down on one of Judd's light lunches – options include sandwiches, nachos, and homemade soups.
Address: 62 W Tabernacle Street, St. George, Utah
Where to Stay in St. George
Luxury and Mid-Range Hotels:
- Handy to Snow Canyon State Park, The Inn at Entrada is a luxurious hotel complete with spa services to soothe away any sore muscles from your daily expedition.
- Near Pioneer Park, the Inn on the Cliff has a large outdoor pool and rooms with stunning views out over St. George and beyond.
- A good mid-range option is the Best Western Plus Abbey Inn Hotel & Conference Center. This is a large hotel with an outdoor pool. It's located close to major access roads and is near the Hungry Bear Restaurant, a local favorite. Located farther south is the popular and pet-friendly, La Quinta Inn & Suites.
- New to the hotel scene in St. George is the Tru by Hilton St. George. This trendy property has smaller, but well-equipped rooms with all the latest amenities. A very good breakfast is included, and common areas feature an outdoor deck area & pool. Inside are games and a pool table.
- An independently owned and operated property is the Chalet Motel. Rooms have recently been renovated, and units with three beds are available, making it handy for families.
- If you are traveling with a pet, both the St. George Inn and Suites and the Comfort Inn Saint George North are good options. A free breakfast is included with the room rates, and both hotels have outdoor pools.
Best Time to Visit Saint George, UT - Historical Climate Averages
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