Believe it or not, even though St. George Utah is in the west, things are more civilized than many folks from outside Utah think they are. Nobody here rides horses. At least not through town. And we don’t tie them up outside on Main Street. However, if you are a horse lover, there are miles and miles of trails you can ride on outside of the city. There are several stables in the area where you can rent a horse, or a horse and a guide at reasonable rates, and see some of the amazing backcountry that surrounds St. George, from the back of a horse.
You don’t have to be a Mormon, (member of the LDS church) to live here. Yes, Mormons settled St. George back in the 1800’s, but today, St. George is a booming city with residents of many ethnicities, beliefs, and skin colors. The early Mormon’s brought stage plays, concerts, singing, and outdoor activities into the area, and today we benefit from an even wider range of cultural opportunities.
There is a Shakespeare theater an hour north of St. George, in Cedar City. The Dixie State University produces plays and concerts. You can enjoy the St. George Arts festival with hundreds of artists from fourteen states, the art museum, several historical sites, or the free concerts at the tabernacle on Main Street. There are two local theatrical companies, the Brigham Playhouse, and the St. George Musical Theater.
You can find indoor and outdoor cultural activities all year long thanks to our mild climate.
Yes, you can quench your thirst in St. George. Utah is not a dry state, and Washington County is not a dry county. You can purchase beer and wine coolers at local supermarkets, (Yes, we have large supermarkets too, Smiths, Lin’s, Walmart, Albertsons. That’s in addition to our farmers markets and local markets) but to purchase wine and distilled spirits you need to visit the state liquor store.
We have two liquor stores in St. George, and a specialty wine store a few minutes up the highway in Hurricane. Many of our restaurants also have package liquor stores inside, so you can order wine or a drink and enjoy it with your meal.
If you decide to make SunRiver your home, all our events are BYOB with throngs of sociable residents to sit and enjoy yourself with. Those coolers on the golf carts here may hold water to keep golfers hydrated during the day, but during events, many of them are converted to traveling happy hour wagons.
Sorry, no dragons. St. George wasn’t named for the famous dragon slayer, but for an LDS church president whose foresight rescued early settlers from starvation.
Even though we are in a desert, we still have watersports. Both Quail Creek Lake and Sand Hollow Reservoir offer boating, fishing, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, and SCUBA diving. If you want something more challenging, the Virgin River runs through St. George and offers some river kayaking. For the truly daring and skilled, you can rock climb at numerous locations in and around St. George. About thirty minutes toward Mesquite are some world class technical climbing areas.
Although St. George began as an agricultural community, most of the people who live here are not farmers. We still have vibrant farming areas, but they are outside the city. Unless you choose to live next to a farm, you don’t need to worry that the neighbor’s cows are going to wander into your yard and trample your garden.
Speaking of which, yes, you can grow gardens here. We have two growing seasons, spring and fall. Our spring generally starts in February to March, and that’s a good time for cool weather crops. Good growing weather continues to about June, then it gets too hot for all but the most heat-loving plants. Then in September to October we have out fall growing season, and that lasts until about mid-December most years.
St. George gets some snow. Most years we average about one to two inches, but not all at once, usually spread out over the winter. There is the odd year when we may get up to six inches in one storm, about every ten to twenty years.
There really are a great many things to do here. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for in St. George or southern Utah, Las Vegas is an hour and a half away with all the clubs, glitz, glamour, gambling. Of course, if it’s casino action you’re looking for… no, you can’t gamble in St. George, that’s true, but you can in Mesquite, Nevada and it’s about thirty minutes away and freeway all the way.
Yes, you can still get to know people even if you don’t go to church. St. George offers many civic clubs, Elks, Kiwanis, Masons, Lions, Optimists, and more. If you’re moving into SunRiver, the community events give you social opportunities to mingle with and get to know a few hundred of your new neighbors on a regular basis. St. George and the surrounding city stage regular community events, movies, and street festivals. Almost every holiday will have some kind of social event to celebrate it.
Not even our police still ride horses. Except the Search and Rescue team. Law enforcement in St. George is enlightened and professional, whether you deal with the local police departments or the county sheriff. Response time is among the best in the nation, and their professionalism is unmatched. The departments here are small enough to still be friendly and sociable, and large enough that their officers are well trained and equipped.
All in all, living in St. George is not much different than living in other medium sized cities. With some notable exceptions. We have lower crime rates, less tolerance for offenders, and a cleaner city than many cities our size. St. George still maintains a small town feel with big city amenities.