(ABC4) – Heading south for the spring and summer? Spending time in St. George is a popular pastime for many folks in Northern Utah. The locals in the southern part of Utah have done a great job building a place that many enjoy visiting, not only when the weather is warmer, but all year around as well.

If you’re headed to the red rock region of the Beehive State, here are some idea for fun things to do in the St. George area:

Take a spin on an ATV

Navigating the sand dunes and red rock terrain of Southern Utah can be a challenge for many types of vehicles, but not for an ATV or UTV 4-wheeled vehicle. Not sure where to go for the best views? A couple of places that rent these all-terrain vehicles in both St. George and Hurricane also provide guided tours of the areas, taking customers on trips to the most scenic and social media photo-worthy spots. Water is provided as well for all these tours because chances are, it’ll be a little toasty. ATV rental and tour places like Dixie 4 Wheel Drive, Mad Moose Rentals, and Southern Utah Adventure Center are worth checking out.

Hit the beach or take a dip

While Utah is a landlocked state with no path to the ocean, it’s still possible to lay out on the sand and soak up the sun on a beach in Southern Utah. Sand Hollow Reservoir is a popular spot to take in the sun and splash in the water at the same time. When you’re done cliff diving or cruising around on your vessel of choice, throwing down a blanket on the shores and working on a tan is a great way to spend a day in the sunshine.

Discover ancient life

Courtesy of St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm

Southern Utah holds some of the largest collections on earth of dinosaur fossils and discovery sites. The St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm houses thousands of dino footprints that provide a fascinating glimpse into how these prehistoric giants moved and lived in the area millions of years ago. The museum is extremely family-friendly, meaning that these amazing scientific discoveries won’t come across as dry (pun intended) as geology can sometimes be.

Golf, golf, and more golf

Courtesy of St. George Chamber of Commerce

The only thing that the St. George area has more than grains of red sand are golf courses, or so it seems. The contrast between the emerald green of the links and the pink, orange, and reds of the surrounding landscape is nothing short of stunning. With about a dozen or so courses all within a short drive, you could play a lifetime’s worth of top-notch golf in a very short amount of time in Southern Utah. Fore!

Take a stroll downtown

Downtown St. George’s Ancestor Square is the interaction of history, arts, and the best food in the city. The Square consists of 12 buildings, half of which were originally built by the area’s first settlers, including the Sheriff’s Office and the Jailhouse, which was erected in the 1870s. George’s Corner Restaurant is known for serving “Especially Good Food,” as their sign says. Benja Thai and Susi is also a yummy spot, along with The Painted Pony and a Utah favorite, The Pizza Factory.

Catch a show

Coutesy of Tuacahn Amphitheatre

As always, the outdoor theater at Tuacahn Amphitheatre has a great lineup for 2021. The season will kick off on May 7 with performances of Beauty and the Beast through October 23. Annie, School of Rock, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Million Dollar Quartet will also be delighting audiences during the warm summer months as the house celebrates its 25th season. The outdoor market there on Saturday mornings look like a great way to pass the time during the daylight hours.

Hit the hiking trail

(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

Of course, the real showstoppers in Southern Utah are the breathtaking views in nature. Zion National Park is one of the marquee attractions in the area with tons of international travelers visiting each year to take it in. The slot canyons, arches, and massive sandstone rock features have to be seen to be believed. Snow Canyon State Park is also a great visit, along with Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. There are many other amazing national parks and destinations in Southern Utah, too many to list in this small overview.

Whether you’re planning a weekend escape or looking for a summer’s worth of family-friendly activities, the possibilities are endless in Southern Utah. Just a short drive from the Salt Lake Valley, or an even shorter drive from Las Vegas, the St. George area is worth the trip.