St. George, Utah
St. George, Utah has been the vacation destination of choice for many Northern Utah visitors for years. Because of its warm climate, beautiful scenery, and close access to state and national parks, St. George is now becoming a popular vacation destination for many travelers nationwide and worldwide. Located 2,800 feet above sea level, St. George is surrounded by a collage of colorful scenery. The blue mountains, red sandstone, and black lava hills encompass the skyline.
St. George, Utah is located just 120 miles north of Las Vegas in the southwestern corner of Utah. Southern Utah’s average annual temperature is 61 degrees. The mild winter temperature and beautiful landscape make St. George a popular year-round golf destination. Per capita, Southern Utah offers more golf courses than any other location in the desert southwest. Along with 4 championship course, the St. George area has a total of 11 public golf courses within 15 miles.
St. George is not only known for its weather and golf but also embraces the arts at the Tuacahn
Amphitheatre. Hundreds of thousands have attended the Broadway-style musical productions over the years.
Snow Canyon State Park is literally 10 minutes away and is a haven for walking, biking, hiking or
picnicking. Zion National Park is visited by people from around the world and is just 45 minutes from
St. George is Utah’s Best
Those of us who live here already consider St. George Utah’s best city, but in early April it was made official following a tournament hosted by one of the state’s television channels and which began with 68 of the most populated cities in the Beehive State. In the course of several weeks of competition, thousands of voters cast their ballots for “favorites” including Salt Lake City, which entered the tournament as #1 large community or Hooper as the smallest city qualifying for the competition. In the end – and after weeks of polling – St. George beat out all comers to claim the title! To view, the article in its entirety clicks here.
We hope there’s no hard feeling among other cities, and we recognize fame is fleeting, but for the moment, St. George is basking in the accolade, enjoying the recognition and awesomeness of being named Utah’s best city in 2016! It’s no surprise to those of us who love Dixie, but it’s nice to have it confirmed by others!
St. George, Utah is a Great Place to Raise a Family
St. George, UT is on the Livability.com list of Top Ten Best Cities to Raise a Family. The selection, as an ideal hometown for outdoor-loving families, is based on a wide range of criteria, including quality of elementary and secondary school education, crime rate, the excellence of healthcare and strength of the economy. Additional points were given to communities which are walkable, diverse, have lots of parks, active sections for children in local libraries, low unemployment rates and short commute times.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt our ranking on this – and many other such lists – to have the spectacular Zion National Park, numerous beautiful red rock state parks, miles and miles of walking trails, and Dixie State University all within our borders.
St. George is a Great Place to Retire
Money.com did an article on the “Best Places to Retire for 2015.” St. George, Utah was definitely in this category and was even named ‘The Great Outdoors’ Winner! You can find the whole article here.
A couple interesting facts about retiring in St. George that was mentioned in the article were:
– 182 Miles of biking trails
– Average Property Tax is $1,542
– Median Home Price is $195,000
– Population over 50 is 32%
Over the last two decades, St. George has continued to stay in the running as an extremely popular retirement community here in the U.S. The St. George area also gets a number of retiring couples who come and spend the winter in St. George, Utah due to the mild winters; we like to refer to them as our ‘snowbirds.’
Top Ten of Nations Safest Communities
In 2015, lawstreetmedia.com placed St. George, UT in the 5th spot on its Top Ten Safest Communities in Metro Cities in America, a ranking we are proud to own. Of course, here on the I-15 freeway we have seen our share of arrests for drugs and throughout our metro area including all of Washington County, we have also experienced violent crimes, rape, and robberies, but all-in-all, we are pleased to say residents and visitors are safe to walk our streets, attend our events, hike our trails and enjoy our amazing outdoor lifestyle, anytime day or night.
Of course, as in any community anywhere in the world, residents and visitors need to remember to lock their doors at home and in the car, don’t leave cell phones, packages, purses and other valuables in plain sight, pay attention to your surroundings, carry water with you – especially during our triple-digit summer days – and, know your neighbors.
That said, remember you are vacationing in the nation’s 5th safest metro-city where neighbors take care of neighbors and visitors, help is only a shout away, and our uniformed officers are some of the best – and the nicest – in the business of crime prevention.
Springtime in the Desert (The Best Time to Visit)
“Show me one thing of beauty in the whole area and I’ll stay,” said pioneer bride Wilhelmina Cannon to her husband David. Longing for the green trees and rolling grassy hills of her childhood home in the Eastern US, Wilhelmina was not happy in the barren, stark and harsh desert of southern Utah, and had made up her mind. She would not – could not – endure another miserably hot, insect-infested, bone-dry summer in this desolate place.
With the probability of her carrying out her threat, David pleaded, “Will you stay if I can find one?” When she agreed, the young groom spent the remainder of the day roaming the desert until he happened upon some sego lilies, which he brought home to her. Happily, she accepted his offer, mentally unpacked her luggage and together they remained to become local leaders and parents of a prominent family.
Flowers are not always the first to come to mind when thinking about the desert. Instead, most people think of summer heat, sand, snakes, hila monsters and cactus, but our dry climates also contribute to a colorful blast of wildflowers during every Dixie springtime.
In addition to sego lilies such as David Cannon took home to his wife, Southern Utah’s early season flowers include such interesting species as spectacle pod, desert marigolds, Fiddleneck, elegant lupine, Palmer pensterom, firecracker pensterom, yellow evening primrose, pale evening primrose, globemallow, desert 4 o’clock, purple sage, indigo bush, and desert willow. Other blooming plants include prickly pear cactus and purple torch but they flower later in the season.
According to local park rangers and naturalists, the peak month for seeing wildflowers in bloom here in the St. George area, is April but blooms can be enjoyed as early as late March and as late as mid-May when the summer heat is upon us.
Desert wildflowers are usually easy to find along well-established trails, roads and even around parking areas, but you are asked to follow two simple rules of etiquette:
• Don’t get off the trail to get a better look or to take close-up photos.
• Don’t pick the flowers. Enjoy them but leave them where they are so others may also enjoy their beauty.
By late April, you can be certain our winter weather will be a distant memory, so bring your sunscreen, wear a hat and be sure to have bottled water to keep you hydrated in our dry desert clime.
Fall Time in St. George
As a community, we’ve survived our 155th triple-digit summer (only the last 35 or so with the wondrous blessing of air conditioning) and look forward to the numerous traditional events of the fall and winter months such as the St. George Marathon; Huntsman World Senior Games; the local hospital’s Jubilee of Trees fundraiser; Dickens Christmas; holiday-themed concerts, plays and lighting ceremonies.
But, for 31 gloriously spectacular autumn days, we will enjoy traditional clear blue skies and sunshine with temperatures ranging from the high 70”s to the high 80’s. At night, our “sleeping weather” will range from the mid-50’s to the low 60’s – down right cold for those of us who live in the desert for a reason!
The leaves have yet to turn red, yellow or orange – since in our high desert clime we need another few weeks for Mother Nature to step up – but Halloween decorations are beginning to appear in local stores and on neighborhood doors and windows. Pumpkins are for sale just about everywhere and children eagerly begin to consider “what I want to be” for trick-or-treating on October 31.
October is a gift here in Southern Utah given to us for our stamina, our fortitude, our staying power … and we are ready to open it and take pleasure in its contents!
Historic Downtown St. George
If history is your bailiwick, then downtown St. George is certain to make your eyes light up! Within a few blocks – an easy stroll on a spring day or a nice air-conditioned drive in the summer months – you will find such historic delights as the Old Washington County Courthouse with 18” thick walls, locally manufactured brick and mortar and hand painted artwork showcasing Zion National Park; and, the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum, where you’ll find countless pioneer artifacts and numerous friendly volunteers excited to show you their historic treasures.
Behind Ancestor Square – which has numerous pioneer structures and its own interesting history as well as wonderful gift shops and restaurants – you’ll find the winter home of Brigham Young, St. George’s original snowbird.
And, don’t miss a tour of the St. George LDS Tabernacle on the corner of Main and Tabernacle Streets, the exact center of St. George. You’ll also not want to miss seeing the Seven Wives Inn, including a secret room where early polygamist church leaders hid from federal agents; and, Green Gate Village (originally “Greene” Gate Village) which was the life’s work of Dr. Mark and Barbara Greene.
Together, they worked to move and restore old homes to the site which eventually became a popular bed-and-breakfast inn. While there, enjoy a tour – and a cold drink, sandwich or ice cream snack – of Judd’s Store, which for generations of children attending Woodward School (across the street and behind the Tabernacle) was their favorite place to spend meager lunch money or allowances for candy and other delights.
Even if you have already discovered the St. George Children’s Museum on Town Square, you may wish to take another look at the St. George Art Center, where it is housed. Originally known as the Dixie Academy – the forerunner to Dixie State University – this building has had some renovation work done, but its history is not hard to find.
You’ll want to see the St. George Opera House, Social Hall, and the St. George Art Museum, too … and don’t miss the Water Walk – especially when its hot outside. It’s a good place to cool down by dipping your feet all along the way!
The few blocks designated as Historic Downtown St. George also have scheduled concerts, a farmers market, lots of great eateries, such as the Pizza Factory, Pasta Factory, 25 Main Café, Bear Paw Café and several others as well as antique stores and art galleries where you can enjoy the chance to stroll and shop.
You can explore to your heart’s content with a map of the area obtained on the internet at www.sgdowntown.com or sign up for a St. George Live! guided tour where “real pioneers” will tell you their stories as you explore pre-turn-of-the-century public buildings and private homes.
While those early settlers who established this community in 1861 had to sleep in the back of their wagon, you can rent a comfortable air-conditioned vacation condo by registering for a week’s stay or a month of exploring Southern Utah’s historic treasures.
Lost in St. George? How to Navigate City Streets.
If you’re new to St. George, Utah’s system of streets, you may have already gotten lost trying to find an address which reads something like 1710 W. 3460 South or 420 N. 2730 West, but once you get the hang of it this system really does make sense.
In 1847, Brigham Young, Governor of the Utah Territory and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints suggested cities should be laid out in a grid system, after the pattern used in already-established cities in the Eastern United States, with “blocks of 10 acres and streets 8 rods wide running at right angles with twenty feet on each side is given to sidewalks.”
As a result of Brother Brigham’s “suggestion,” Mormon villages throughout the Utah Territory included open space for public buildings, a standard for spacing and setbacks of all other buildings and a central space of 10 acres for a town square. From a designated center point in every Utah community, major streets of 100- foot width radiate to the north, south, east, and west.
So a street situated one block north of Main Street in every Utah town is designated as First North or 100 North Street. A street east of the Tabernacle in St. George is known as 100 East and so on. An address like 212 East 550 North reflects a house number of 212 in the 200 East block of the street designated as 550 North. Whenever geography will allow, streets running north and south, east and west are parallel to each other.
Where is St. George’s center point from which all major streets radiate? The St. George LDS Tabernacle sits in the center of town on the corner of Main Street and Tabernacle Street (on the northeast corner of the city’s Town Square). The state highway we know as St. George Blvd. is actually 100 North (one block north of the Tabernacle). Get it? If not, your GPS can probably take you where you want to be.
Life in St. George
Life in St. George, for most residents, is pretty darned nice. We enjoy a clear blue sky and sunshine almost every day. We are generally safe from crime and natural disasters and can almost always find lots to do in the way of entertainment, outdoor activities, and numerous enjoyable community events. We have beautiful red rock scenery, several national parks, and monuments within 50 miles of our front door; an excellent healthcare community, a growing university campus, and Switchpoint, an all-in-one resource center for low-income, unemployed and homeless citizens, second-to-none in the nation. But we, like every other community also have our own idiosyncrasies, which make this our uniquely quirky hometown. Here is a short list to help your friends and family better understand why you enjoying vacationing here (even in July and August):
• You can get fry sauce almost anywhere.
• Mountain (and other words containing a “t”) is pronounced MOUNTAIN.
• A girl named Kevin pronounces it Kevin but spells it Caiphan.
• At least 75% of cars on the street are white!
• There are as many handicapped parking spaces as there are regular ones.
• You see “locals” put on a sweater when the outdoor temperature drops below 80.
• 100 degrees during the day is just about right … 70 degrees at night requires a blanket.
• It’s easier to get a tee time in the summer than in the winter.
• Everything is named Dixie.
• Half of those you meet have run the marathon at least once.
• There’s something fun/interesting/entertaining to do or see every day/night of the week.
• Most people wear a jacket in the movie theater.
• Someone calls you Brother or Sister.
• There are always runners and bikers on the road.
• You see homeowners using a broom to remove that rare skiff of winter white stuff because they don’t own a snow shovel.
• October is filled with people from all over the world.
• You go into a restaurant at 4 p.m. and it’s already full of dinner diners.
• People smile and wave.
• There are consequences to picking up a tortoise on the road.
• You may or may not be able to spell Tuacahn.
• You find the desert is another kind of beautiful!
• Wherever you travel, you’re likely to meet at least one person who’s been to St. George.
Why Come to St. George, Utah?
As vacationers here in St. George, knowing a little about our community will make your time here much more enjoyable. Whether you are retiring soon and just want to check us out or taking a getaway week to rest and relax, you can register online today for your beautiful, comfortable and affordable home-away-from-home at St. George Resort Rentals at stgeorgeresortrentals.com or laspalmasresortcondos.com for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums. We are here to make your Southern Utah vacation fun and memorable. We can’t wait to meet you or meet you again!