With more than 5 million annual visitors, Zion National park is the second most-visited national park in the country. For years, it has beat out iconic parks like Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, and even Grand Canyon National Park.
Nearly all of Zion’s millions of visitors enter the park through Springdale, Utah. Many also opt to stay in the small town that has gained a reputation as the Gateway to Zion. But while the town does offer a variety of services geared towards tourists, it might not be the best place to stay during your Zion adventure.
St George, Utah is one of the state’s best-kept secrets. Located less than an hour from the park, the city has far more to offer than Springdale. From hotels and shopping to a variety of other outdoor attractions, staying here can help you make the most of your next vacation.
Your St George hand surgery experts know a thing or two about what makes our city so special. If you’re planning a visit to Southern Utah in 2023, keep reading. We’re breaking down why St George might just be Utah’s best-kept secret, and why you should check it out this year.
Why St George is Utah’s Best-Kept Secret
When most people think about visiting Southern Utah, they think about seeing Zion National Park. But while this incredible national park is definitely a bucket list-worthy destination, there’s more to experience during your visit.
Staying in Springdale, Utah gives you easy access to Zion. But that access comes at a price. Staying a short distance away from Zion means enjoying a range of benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons St George beats Springdale as a base camp for your Southern Utah adventure.
One of the biggest reasons to consider staying in St George is the chance to get away from the crowds. The town of Springdale is home to fewer than 600 year-round residents. But during the summer months and around holidays, that number swells as the town fills with tourists. This can make getting around, dining out, and finding parking a challenge.
While St George is a destination for tourists, its larger size and higher year-round population mean that it’s far better equipped to handle the summer and holiday rush. Whether you’re shopping, dining out, or taking in some of the city’s other attractions, you’ll get to do so at a more relaxed pace than you could in busy Springdale.
A Greater Number of Hotels, Restaurants, Shopping, and More
With its larger size and year-round population comes another big benefit; St George has far more restaurants, hotels, resorts, shopping, and other tourist services available. You’ll find practically every kind of cuisine, in every format. Grab a quick fast-food breakfast on your way to Zion in the morning, and enjoy a relaxed evening out at one of the many high-end restaurants the city has to offer after a long day.
You’ll also find plenty of stores to pick up groceries and other supplies, as well as local shops great for grabbing some souvenirs from your stay. There are a wide variety of tour companies that operate out of the city as well. Whether you want to go off-roading in Sand Hollow State Park or take a guided tour of Zion, you’ll find a tour service for your adventure in St George.
More Access to Outdoor Destinations
Zion National Park might be Southern Utah’s best-known outdoor destination. But it’s far from the only one. The region is home to perhaps the most incredible collection of state, local, and national parks you’ll find anywhere in the country. Many of these are located within a day’s drive of St George.
Snow Canyon State Park, Sand Hollow State Park, and Quail Creek State Park are just a few of the parks located in and around St George. These parks rival Zion in beautiful landscapes, and even offer activities you can’t enjoy in the park, like off-roading and boating.
Beautiful Red Cliffs National Conservation Area borders St. George to the North. Covering more than 45,000 acres, this park is home to a wide range of landscapes, from deserts to plateaus and everything in between. You can even spot real dinosaur tracks and bone beds, preserved in layers of Navajo sandstone.
Speaking of dinosaurs, another popular attraction in St. George is the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site. This interactive museum is a popular destination for families and dinosaur lovers, and the perfect way to escape the heat of the summer or a chilly winter day.
The St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site isn’t the only year-round activity you’ll find in or near the city. With more than 7,000 feet of elevation change, St George truly has something to offer every day of the year.
Head just a short drive North to hit the slopes at Brian Head Ski Resort in the winter. But on the same afternoon, you can likely find a part of St George that’s enjoying a mild day that’s perfect for some hiking.
Planning Your Visit to St George
With a variety of hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals to choose from, more shopping, restaurants, and tourist services, access to some of Southern Utah’s best outdoor destinations, and great weather, there are plenty of things that make St George one of Utah’s best-kept secrets. If you’re planning a visit to Zion or any of Southern Utah’s other amazing attractions in 2023, consider staying in St George during your trip.
We’re more than just experts on visiting St George; we’re also passionate about serving the needs of our local community. As the leading experts in St George hand surgery, our staff specializes in treating a variety of hand and wrist conditions. We offer a full range of both non-surgical and surgical treatment options and work with our patients to get to the root of their pain or loss of motion to find solutions that help them get back to living pain-free.
If you’re suffering from pain in your hands or wrists, we can help. Book your consultation today to learn more.