Monday, December 1, 2014

Guest Post - A Perfect Southern Utah Adventure


Hi, I'm Kendra from the blog The Things I Love Most!  I'm excited to be blogging here at A GAL NEEDS...! I am also really excited to be a part of this Blogging Roundup of 14 Utah Blogger sharing 14 Utah Adventures! I love Utah!  I was actually born and raised in Utah County, but moved to Southern Utah with my husband and children about 8 years ago!  We absolutely love it here, and are tempted, sometimes, to never move back. (Although we still really love Utah County). We have learned to love the heat and don't really like snow very much anymore, except for when we are visiting!

When we first visited Southern Utah to see if we wanted to live here, we fell in love with it right away! It's kind of the best of both worlds in my opinion.  We have amazing Red Rock, Beautiful Pine Valley Mountain not far out of town, and if you want snow in the winter you only need to drive a half hour north to Cedar City!  When most people think of Southern Utah they think of the big places like Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.  Both of which are amazing places and if you haven't ever been there, you totally need to go! Today I am going to share with you some great places to visit if you were going to go to St. George for a weekend and wanted some fun things to do as a family or even just as a couple!
  • Pioneer Park - (aka Dixie Rock) - This isn't a park with a playground, it's a big 52+ acre area with some great hikes, picnic tables, amazing views and more.  My favorite view is when you get on top of the Dixie Rock and you can see the whole valley, including the spectacular St. George Temple. There is a really cool slot canyon to climb through that's kind of hard to find but it is well worth the search.  Ask someone you see if they know where it is!  This area is free.

  • Snow Canyon State Park - This is a hidden gem in Southern Utah. You could camp here and spend days.  I've done most of the hikes in this park! Our favorite place to go here is the sand dunes! The kids have so much fun playing and rolling down the big hills of sand! They also have fun biking paths and some great hikes you can do with or without kids.  Make sure you find the caves, they are really cool, but not easy to do with children. This place is amazing because you see red, black and white rocks all blended together!  There is a fee to enter the park unless you have a state park pass.
  • Red Cliffs Recreation Area - This place is amazing, and only a couple miles away from my house! We love to go here and let the kids play!  It's a great place to camp, hike, rappel, and when there is water flowing, a fun place to play in the pools at the end of the hike!  There is a $5 fee for day use.
      • Oak Grove - If you need to get up in the mountains and enjoy a cool evening out of the St. George heat this is the place to go! It gorgeous and very peaceful! There is a $5 fee for day use.
      • Pine Valley Recreation Area - We love to camp, hike and go to the reservoir up in Pine Valley. We recently camped up there in October and the weather was great! The retirement town is nestled in the mountain of Pine Valley. If you go, make sure you visit the church there.  The architecture is amazing! There is a day use fee, and it is only open from May to October each year. 
      • Kanarraville Falls Hike - This hike can be done with children although you may not be able to go all the way to the top unless you have some tough people to carry the kids up the hard part, which is what my husband and our friends did. .  The hike is mostly in water, which was about shin deep on me.  At the top are some fun natural watersides and really amazing slot canyons that you walk through.  There is a parking fee of $10, but it is worth it!
      • Oak Grove - If you need to get up in the mountains and enjoy a cool evening out of the St. George heat this is the place to go! It gorgeous and very peaceful! There is a $5 fee for day use.

      • The Virgin River- We love to go down to the Virgin River and let the kids play. There are lots of place to enter the river.  It's free and fun!
      • Warner Valley Dinosaur Track Site - We always take our friends that come visit to these awesome dinosaur tracks!  My kids love to sit in them and imagine what it was like when dinosaurs lived on the earth!  It is free and a very short hike to the tracks.

      If you aren't in the mood to hike all weekend, St. George has some great parks, and some amazing splash parks.  Here is a link to all of them!  Our favorite park, when it's not busy season, is the St. George Town Square with a fun man-made river, carousel, children's museum, library and fountain, also visits Judd's old country store and get some yummy soup and old fashion candy!

      There are also some great lakes to visit that don't cost too much that are both about 15 miles outside of St. George in the Hurricane area!
      • Quail Creek State Park - There is a place that you can walk down in the parking lot to avoid paying the state park fee. They don't mind.  Mostly the fee is for boaters and campers.  The beach here is more rocky, so if you don't want sand all over in your car, then this is the beach for you!
      • Sand Hollow Lake State Park - I love this lake, but my husband hates red sand all over inside our vehicles so we don't go here as often, but when we first moved down here we were there every weekend in the summer
      There are a lot of places to camp, but if you aren't very excited to camp our favorite hotel is the Holiday Inn Express in Washington.  They have very nice rooms, serve a great breakfast, and have a nice pool!

      I would advise that if you are planning a St. George weekend trip, check the St. George City Calendar to make sure it isn't a busy week. St. George holds a lot of big races, and the Senior Games each year The city is very packed during these week. There are plenty of weeks throughout the year that are perfect to come!





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