Looking for a pleasant day trip while visiting in St. George? Try Cedar City, an easy 50-mile drive up the I-15 freeway. Different in many ways from nearby St. George, Cedar City’s elevation is much higher, the population is much smaller and the weather is much cooler, but the people are just as nice and there’s plenty to see and do.
Also known as the “festival city” as the home of the renowned, Emmy award winning Utah Shakespearean Festival, a visit to Cedar City would not be complete without a walkabout on the campus of Southern Utah University where The Bard’s works come to life throughout the summer theater season. Even if there is nothing on stage, the grounds are amazing, including a completely new theater complex opening in the summer of 2016.
The Iron Gate Winery, a one-of-a-kind business in southern Utah located at 102 N. 200 West, offers tastings, tours of the wine production area, and sales of world-class wines made in Cedar City from grapes sourced from some of the finest California, Oregon and Washington vineyards. The first and only winery and tasting room anywhere in this part of the state is open during the spring and summer each Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. while in the fall and winter months, the winery is open the same hours but only Thursday through Saturday.
A tour of Frontier Homestead State Park (formerly known as Iron Mission State Park) will provide visitors with up-close displays of turn-of-the-20th century pioneer artifacts, including horse-drawn vehicles and agricultural implements, a variety of craft demonstrations, rotating art exhibits, interpretive lectures, and guided tours. An iron industry exhibit displays a town bell, the only known artifact from the original foundry, as well as other items of interest including several historic cabins, a large collection of horse-drawn farm equipment, and a replicated pioneer household.
Another stop you’re certain to enjoy in nearby Cedar City is an easy one-mile hike to the Cascade Falls overlook on Cedar Mountain. While this is considered a hike nearly anyone can manage, the trail elevation is about 8900 feet in altitude … and it is accessible only in the summer months when there is no threat of snowfall.
You are also certain to enjoy a drive – generally best seen from June through October – through the Dixie National Forest and Red Canyon State Park to Cedar Breaks National Monument, a natural amphitheater, stretching 3 miles across and about 2,000 feet deep. Remember though, for those who find it difficult to breath at high elevation, the rim of the amphitheater is over 10,000 feet above sea level.
You can always return to Cedar City If you haven’t crossed everything off your to-do list, but the best thing about daytrips is coming back at the end of the day to your comfortable and affordable home-away-from-home at St. George Resort Rentals or Five Season Vacation condominiums. Register online today at stgeorgeresortrentals.com for accommodations at the St. George Resort Rentals or laspalmasresortcondos.com for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums. We’ll be waiting for you!