Dixie State University students come from all over the country, and it is a common refrain that there is nothing to do in St. George.
Outdoor activities are the most commonly listed means of entertainment, yet other students insisted there were more things to do here if one digs deeply enough.
Alex Lopez, a freshman general studies major from Los Angeles, said if he wants to find entertainment, he has to leave town for bigger cities like Las Vegas, but added that he does not travel outside of St. George often.
Danny Lopez, a media studies major and Alex’s twin brother, said his brother and him primarily spent time with friends to pass the time. He said he recognized that the main activity in St. George was outdoor recreation, but he was not particularly motivated by that pastime.
“We socialize is pretty much all we do,” Danny Lopez said. “I know there’s a lot of hiking and stuff, — kayaking, things like that.”
Kylyn Howe, a senior psychology major from St. George, said she enjoys going to movies, bonfires and off-roading. Like several other students, Howe said there was more to do in St. George than some students believed.
“I think there’s stuff to do here,” Howe said. “People don’t want to go and find it.”
Her advice for people who are new to the area is to Have an open mind and be willing to step outside of their comfort zone.
“A lot of people get stuck doing the same thing over and over again,” Howe said. “I say go and try new places and new things.”
The rugged, beautiful outdoor setting of southern Utah is appealing to Cameron Carlson, a junior integrated studies major from Bountiful.
“I go and explore and hike in nature,” Carlson said.
There are more city-oriented activities in Bountiful, Carlson said. Social activities are also significantly less than around the Salt Lake City area.
Carlson’s advice for newcomers to the area is to go enjoy nature.
“It’s the best thing available,” he said.
Zion National Park is a frequent destination for Kyle Plummer, a sophomore media studies major from Cambria California, and his roommates.
“We try to explore,” Plummer said. “We do a lot of photography too.”
Plummer said on Friday nights, they often go to places like Fiesta Family Fun Center and bowling alleys to find entertainment.
“There are a lot of cool things to do like that,” Plummer said. “The cool thing about them is a lot them are hole-in-the-wall places that you really have to look and find them, but once you find them, there’s a lot to do.”
Here is a list of suggestions for recreational opportunities:
St. George, Washington County and southern Utah are renowned as a world-class outdoor recreation destination. From hiking, climbing and canyoneering to boating, paddle boarding and caving, there is something for every outdoor enthusiast in the area. The DSU Outdoor Recreation and Adventure Center can provide gear rentals for a wide variety of outdoor activities, from kayaking to mountain biking.
World-famous Zion National Park is less than an hour from St. George and Snow Canyon State Park, the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve and Bloomington Cave are all less than half an hour away. .
With Utah’s strict laws regarding alcohol — you cannot order alcohol in a restaurant without also ordering food, beer above 4 percent alcohol content is considered liquor — coupled with a more reserved, family-oriented population, there is little in the way of clubs, bars and adults-only activities. However, there are decent spots to hang out, dance, socialize and even have a few drinks.
Jazzy’s Rock’n Roll Grill, the One and Only and Firehouse Bar and Grill are the main venues for adults seeking a nightlife typically found in other cities. George’s Corner and Jazzy’s have regular live music. Otherwise, it might be time to head south to Mesquite, which is 40 minutes away, or Las Vegas.
For those seeking the clean-cut version of entertainment, Fiesta Family Fun Center has a bowling alley, arcade, go-karts, bumper boats, miniature golf and laser tag at it’s St. George Blvd location. There is also Dinosaur Discovery Site, a wildlife museum and the Children’s Museum. St. George also has three movie theaters and two dedicated bowling alleys. There is also the Tuacahn Center for the Performing Arts, famous for its Broadway-style plays and concerts.