With 10 golf courses in the area, St. George enjoys a reputation as Utah's winter golf capital. Greens fees are highest in the winter (rates noted here) and drop by nearly 50 percent during the hot summer months.
Red sandstone cliffs serve as the backdrop for Dixie Red Hills (1250 North 645 West, 435/634-5852, $20.50), the city's first golf course, built in the 1960s on the northwest edge of town; it's a nine-hole, par-34 municipal course.
Green Spring Golf Course (588 N. Green Spring Dr., 435/673-7888), just west of I-15 Washington Exit 10, has 18 holes (par 71) and a reputation as one of the finest courses in Utah.
Professionals favor the cleverly designed Sunbrook Golf Course (2366 Sunbrook Dr., 435/634-5866, $56) off Dixie Downs Road, between Green Valley and Santa Clara: 27 holes, par 72.
The St. George Golf Club (2190 South 1400 East, 435/634-5854, $33) has a popular 18-hole, par-73 course south of town in Bloomington Hills.
The Southgate Golf Course (1975 S. Tonaquint Dr., 435/628-0000, $33), on the southwest edge of town, has 18 holes. The adjacent Southgate Game Improvement Center (435/674-7728) can provide golfers with computerized golf swing analyses plus plenty of indoor practice space and lots of balls.
Entrada (2511 W. Entrada Trail, 435/674-7500) is a newer 18-hole private course that's fast on its way to becoming St. George's most respected. The Johnny Miller-designed course is northwest of St. George at beautiful Snow Canyon and incorporates natural lava flows, rolling dunes, and arroyos (dry riverbeds) into its design. Guests at the Inn at Entrada can get a package deal to golf here (from $120, includes lodging for two and golf for one).
Mountain bikers in the know come to St. George for winter, early spring, and fall, riding single-track trails and slickrock that's just as good as what you'll find in Moab. One of Utah's most spectacular trails is Gooseberry Mesa, southeast of Hurricane—a challenging but fun ride with both slickrock and single-track.
The Green Valley Loop starts at the Green Valley Spa (1871 W. Canyon View Dr.) and is mostly advanced single-track.
Less intense biking can be found at Snow Canyon State Park (1002 Snow Canyon Dr., 435/628-2255, http://stateparks.utah.gov), where the paved six-mile Whiptail Trail and the eight-mile gravel-and-sand West Canyon Road are open to bikes.
The outdoor public swimming pool (250 East 700 South, 435/634-5867, Memorial Day-Labor Day) features a hydro slide. Vernon Worthen Park (400 East 200 South) offers shaded picnic tables, a playground, and tennis courts. J. C. Snow Park (400 East 900 South) has picnic tables, a playground, and a dog park (but little shade). Pioneer Park overlooks the city from the north. Set in desert country just off Skyline Drive, it's a less developed park, with hiking trails and rock climbing.
St. George is home to two large spa resorts and recreation centers in gorgeous natural settings. The Green Valley Spa (1871 W. Canyon View Dr., 435/628-8060 or 800/237-1068, www.greenvalleyspa.com, $200-$395 per person per night) is a fitness, sports, health, and beauty spa with all-inclusive rates. Facilities include three pools, racquetball courts, a fully equipped gym with an array of fitness, yoga, and meditation classes, as well as tennis instruction, golf privileges, and hiking and climbing in neighboring canyons. There's also a whole catalog of beauty and rejuvenation treatments (which can be included in a package deal or tacked on at extra cost), ranging from massage, wraps, and aromatherapy to more spiritual renewals such as personal meditation guidance. Rooms flank a parklike pool and garden area. Three spa meals are served daily; they're included in the cost of most packages. Rates vary widely; summer is the least expensive time to visit.
Slightly less swanky, the Red Mountain Spa (202 N. Snow Canyon Rd., 877/246-4453, www.redmountainspa.com, $220 per person per day, double occupancy) focuses even more intently on outdoor adventure and fitness. It's located near Snow Canyon State Park, and morning hikes in the beautiful park are a highlight of a stay here. Facilities include numerous swimming and soaking pools, a fitness center and gym, tennis courts, a salon, a spa, and conference rooms, plus access to lots of hiking and biking trails. Prices include all meals, lodging, and use of most spa facilities and recreation; special deals are often available online. Spa services, including massage, facials, body polishing, and aromatherapy, cost extra.
© W.C. McRae and Judy Jewell from Moon Utah, 9th Edition