St. George, Utah sits at the intersection of national parks, mountains, deep lakes, outdoor recreation and Western history.
With its mild climate, budding foodie culture and kicked back spirit, it’s a fun little city you’ve got to visit.
Located in the Greater Zion Region (https://greaterzion.com), St. George serves as a perfect base camp. There’s lots of golf, endless hiking choices, and national and state parks galore.
I headed to St. George recently, having zipped through on my way to other places in the past. This fast growing city has evolved over the years into a perfect centerpiece for the abundant sights of the area.
I flew from Boston to St. George Airport with a quick stop in Salt Lake City. I could have opted to fly to Las Vegas and driven from there – they say the hour and a half drive features remarkable beauty and is an activity in itself. Renting a car here is a must; you’ll want to dash around to all the region has to offer (and parking was never an issue).
The vibe of The Advenire (https://theadvenirehotel.com/) a Marriott Collection hotel that’s relatively new to the city, is one that’s distinctly St. George. I love the aesthetic: they call it “Modern Pioneer.” From the slate blue wooden slat walls in the hallways to the cozy rock fireplace in the lobby, it echoes and foreshadows the city and surroundings outside.
Their on-site restaurant Wood. Ash. Rye. is a local-sourced revelation. With signature cocktails and creative yet classic meal choices, they’re a top foodie choice.
It’s centrally located in the city’s Art District, meaning you can find lots to see and do. I found the city’s splash pad that takes the concept to a new level, and history like the nearby original jail and the St. George Utah Temple, said to be the oldest continuously operating Mormon temple in the world.
A smart first stop is the city’s innovative Greater Zion Visitor Center where you can not only see live species you’ll spot on trails, but get a sense of the vastness of the region coupled with guidance on how to take it on. Their interactive 3D map is a perfect starting point for any visit.
In town I find things old and new, like Thomas Judd’s Store (the oldest ongoing establishment in the city) and the IronMan World Championship statue at the roundabout at Tabernacle and Main Streets.
At the Xetava Bar & Kitchen in the Kayenta Art Village, small plates rule, and everything from the street corn quesadillas to my beautiful Italian margarita pleases. It’s high level food and drink, something the region is seeing more and more of.
Then there’s nature. St. George was founded by Mormon leaders with the intent of creating a cotton farming industry (thus, the nickname “Dixie” you’ll see all over). That effort failed, but slowly, guided by nature, the outdoor activity industry flourished.
Nearby – as in a few minute’s drive – you can head to famed Zion National Park, Snow Canyon State Park, play golf on oh-so-many courses including Copper Rock (https://www.copperrock.com/) and the new Black Desert (https://www.blackdesertresort.com/), as well as many others.
You can go fishing, take guided nature tours and even attend an outdoor concert in a setting that rivals famed Red Rock at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre.
And then there are the little things that make the visit big.
“No, really,” my semi-local friend told me as we pulled into Dutchman’s Market, more a gas station than a store, “This will be one of the best cookies you had in your life.”
It was. And those little surprise are all over – like the handmade creamsicle at Paleta’s (https://www.eatpaletasut.com/) in St. George.
Which brings us to a riddle:
A foodie, an outdoorsman and a historian walk into a town. Who gets to do what they want? Answer: Everyone. Because they chose St. George.