Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in St. George, UT

  • Published 2023/01/18

The historic city of St. George in southwestern Utah is a beautiful travel destination that won’t hurt your travel budget.

With sweeping views of red rocks and the heinous Pine Valley Mountains up north, the city offers breathtaking views.

More than that, the city’s outdoor recreational possibilities are infinite!

From world-renowned state parks like Zion National Park to religious institutions like St. George Utah Temple, tourists come by St. George in Washington County to enjoy a range of leisure amenities.

Its warm climate year-round also adds a nice touch to every traveler’s experience.

To fully experience the city and its wondrous landmarks and points of interest, here are 15 free things to do in St. George, Utah:

Let Your Kids Cool Down by the Splash Pad at Historic Town Square

People at the Historic Town Square splash pad

Kit Leong /

Set within the heart of the city on South Main Street, St. George’s Historic Town Square is surrounded by historic buildings like St. George Library and St. George Tabernacle.

It features family-friendly amenities, including shade pavilions, splash pad fountains, and grassy grounds.

A carousel at the Historic Town Square

Kit Leong /

Many families come by with their little ones, hoping to cool down by the fountains and the streaming river right within the park’s property.

There’s also a carousel on site, but a ride comes with a fee.

If you’re in luck, you might just get to join free community events, like Summer Movies on the Square, while within St. George’s Historic Town Square.

An animal sculpture with a mural at the Historic Town Square

Kit Leong /

Take Photos of the Dinosaur Statues at Thunder Junction All Abilities Park

Travel back in time to the Mesozoic era when dinosaurs roamed the earth when you visit Thunder Junction All Abilities Park.

This seven-acre park takes playtime to the next level with its Jurassic-themed setting of “Dinosaurs in a Desert Oasis.”

Among its facilities are an eye-catching volcano that “erupts” at intervals, a climbing wall, and a scale train that you and your loved ones can ride for free.

This park offers accessibility for every kid, regardless of ability or skill.

Walking around the park, you’ll find the ground covered in soft-surfacing features for those with limited mobility to move around more freely.

Thunder Junction All Abilities Park is on South Dixie Drive.

Climb the Top of Dixie Rock at Pioneer Park

Aerial view of Pioneer Park

Kit Leong /

Situated on Red Hills Parkway, Pioneer Park is your go-to spot for a sightseeing journey.

Spanning 52 acres, this community park features the best of St. George’s red rock landscapes.

It offers trellis pavilions, scattered picnic areas, and hiking trails that connect the park to other preserves and attractions.

People on top of Dixie rock at Pioneer Park

Edward H. Campbell /

There are also fire pits and rings for your grilling preferences.

But what makes Pioneer Park stand out among the rest of the parks in St. George is its unique rock formations and the famous Dixie Rock.

Accessible year-round, this park offers a short hike for the whole family and a pleasant reward at the top: a panoramic view of St. George.

Hikers at Pioneer Park

Kit Leong /

Explore St. George Utah Temple Visitor Center

At South 300 East, St. George Utah Temple Visitor Center serves to remind the community of the temple’s origins of the same name.

While the temple’s dedication was in 1877, the plans for this institution started way back.

In 1870, Brigham Young convinced local church leaders to help build the first temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in South Utah.

Flash forward to years later, and a visitor’s center has been erected within the temple itself.

It showcases the temple’s important milestones through interactive displays and exhibits.

Don’t miss a free tour of St. George Utah Temple Visitor Center during your trip.

See the Historic Fighter Jets at Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum

An aircraft at Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum

Tomás Del Coro from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have an affinity for vintage aircraft and engines?

You should visit Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum!

This quaint aircraft museum offers an astounding fleet of planes you can climb and get inside.

Learn more about the struggles of the aerospace industry, as well as the pilots, most especially during the war.

This museum is a memorable stop in St. George or before leaving the city.

You can find Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum within the city’s airport on South Airport Parkway.

Admire the Lava Rocks on Your Hike across Temple Quarry Trail

With a route that’s simple and straightforward, the Temple Quarry Trail is easily a family-friendly spot that most tourists visiting St. George never miss out on.

It spans over two miles, an ideal length for hikers of all ages and expertise levels.

This historic trail is famous for being a transportation pathway for the Utah Cotton Mission Pioneers back in the day.

Whether you come by Temple Quarry Trail during spring or winter, a majestic view of Pine Valley Mountain awaits you.

Along your route, keep an eye out for small lava rocks protruding from the trail.

For a special hiking experience, stay until sunset and watch the scenery slowly turn dark.

You are in for an outdoor surprise at this trail on top of Airport Road.

Smell the Flowers at Red Hills Desert Garden

Cactus area at Red Hills Desert Garden

Kip Robinson, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Red Hills Desert Garden offers an extraordinary floral escapade.

It is not only a tourist attraction in St. George but also Utah’s first interactive conservation garden set within a desert landscape.

Opened in 2015, this site houses over 5,000 desert plants, as well as a stream that’s home to local and endangered fishes.

Flowers at Red Hills Desert Garden

Kip Robinson, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See cypresses, cacti, water-sustaining flowers, and other shrubberies that you won’t find in any other arboretum.

For a prehistoric feel, come by the boulders and see the dinosaur tracks at least 200 million years old.

Red Hills Desert Garden is on East Red Hills Parkway.

Marvel at Contemporary and Traditional Artworks at the Sears Art Museum

Have space in your itinerary for an art adventure?

Then visit Sears Art Museum!

Within Dixie State University, this gallery has offered free access to its exhibits since 2004.

Each year, it showcases six exhibits with varying themes and styles.

What makes this art museum even more fascinating is its presentation of contemporary and traditional art within its collections.

From theme-specific panels to university artwork showcases, there’s always something new at Sears Art Museum that many can look forward to every month.

Get your art inspiration from this unassuming art center on South University Avenue.

Explore the Historic Brigham Young Winter House

Exterior of Brigham Young Winter House

Kit Leong /

In St. George, you can enjoy both a religious and historical expedition at some sites, such as the Brigham Young Winter House.

Situated on West 200 Street, this restored 19th-century house was where the pioneer of the first Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints resided.

He lived at the residence from 1870 up to 1877.

Facade of Brigham Young Winter House

Ben P L, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There’s also a built-in office within the property that served as a meeting place for Young and several other church leaders, where they talked about preparations for temple ordinances.

Learn about the history of the religious community during its early settlement stages through a guided tour of the place.

Tours around the Brigham Young Winter House are free!

Enjoy Live Entertainment at St. George Streetfest

One of St. George’s long-awaited monthly festivals is the St. George Streetfest.

Celebrated every first Friday of the month, this festival offers a wide array of attractions and activities open to the public.

Listen to local bands and artists as they make the streets more lively with music.

Other possible attractions include a beer garden, bounce houses, and walls for climbing.

St. George Streetfest invites everyone to its festivities on Main Street.

Decipher the Petroglyph Images at Bloomington Petroglyph Park

Daytime view of Bloomington Petroglyph Park

Kit Leong /

St. George never runs out of rock art-related sites that everyone can explore.

At Bloomington Petroglyph Park, uncover a unique cultural heritage through archeological discoveries.

Spanning five acres, this rustic park features large rocks carved with petroglyphs.

The Anasazi people used to tell stories through rock carvings, and you can still appreciate this beautiful culture today at Bloomington Petroglyph Park.

Rock formations at Bloomington Petroglyph Park

Kit Leong /

Examine petroglyphs of people and animals from boulders carefully settled all over the property.

Secluded and peaceful, this park is right in the middle of a pleasant neighborhood, making it a hidden jewel in the community.

To get to Bloomington Petroglyph Park, drive along West Navajo Drive.

Petroglyph images at Bloomington Petroglyph Park

Kit Leong /

Check Out Artifacts and Relics at McQuarrie Memorial Museum

Within North 100 East, McQuarrie Memorial Museum offers a one-of-a-kind historical excursion through antique displays.

With over 2,000 pioneer histories and 1,500 artifacts, this site offers an immersive journey to Washington County’s past.

Completed and dedicated in 1938, the museum served the community through the ownership and dedication of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.

From personal relics like dolls, clothing, and patchwork quilts, to photographs of pioneer people, there is much to explore and uncover at this site.

McQuarrie Memorial Museum is an admissions-free museum, but donations are welcome.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Take Photos of the Art Installations at Kayenta Art Village

Desert arboretum at Kayenta Art Village

Beavermouse /

Have you ever seen a village that’s only filled with galleries and art displays?

If you haven’t, you should visit Kayenta Art Village in Ivins!

This village features an arts center, a theater, restaurants, and other arts-focused establishments within an intimate setting.

Be inspired by the massive display of fine art and pottery at Zia Pottery Studio and Juniper Sky Fine Art Gallery.

If you prefer public art installations, check out Lyman Whitaker Wind Sculptures.

Moreover, drop by The Kayenta Desert Arboretum & Desert Rose Labyrinth for a new perspective on landscaping.

Kayenta Art Village is on Coyote Gulch Court, which you can reach in 20 minutes by car from downtown St. George.

Adore the Eccentricity of the Art of the License Plate Tower

Within Utah, there are lots of eccentric public art you can take photos of, such as the License Plate Tower in Washington.

It’s an 81-foot-high pole that’s composed of old license plates from all 50 states of America.

Spearheaded by artist Kimball Gardner, the pole has a tray for people to donate more of their old license plates.

Don’t forget to pass by this structure for photos outside St. George.

The License Plate Tower is on East Washington Dam Road, approximately 10 minutes from downtown St. George.

View the Petroglyphs at Anasazi Ridge

Close view of the Petroglyphs at Anasazi Ridge

kojihirano /

Anasazi Ridge is your best option for a cultural and nature expedition near Santa Clara.

Only an 18-minute drive from St. George, it’s an easy trail that spans 2.4 miles.

Despite its smooth-graded gravel path, this site is famous for its old rock art sculptures.

Procession panel petroglyph at Anasazi Ridge

Colin D. Young /

Explore the hidden locations of well-preserved petroglyphs—or rock carvings—scattered all over the trail.

Some may only be viewable by climbing large boulders, so be careful.

To get to Anasazi Ridge’s trailhead, head to West Old Highway 91 and turn left on Santa Clara River Reserve.

Spiral symbol the petroglyph at Anasazi Ridge

sumikophoto /

Final Thoughts

St. George is not your usual city, and its uniqueness is highlighted in its galleries, museums, and hiking trails.

Most of the city’s striking attractions are free!

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly adventure, keep in mind these free things to do in St. George, Utah.

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