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St. George, Utah


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St. George, located in the southwest corner of Utah, has become a prime vacation destination because of its warm climate and close proximity to unmatched scenery and recreation. Known as the place “where the summer sun spends the winter,” St. George lies within 45 minutes of Zion National Park and is within easy driving distance of other top scenic and recreation destinations, including Grand Canyon National Park and Lake Powell. St. George is southern Utah’s largest city, boasting approximately 120,000 residents in its metropolitan area. Over the last two decades, it has consistently ranked as one of the nation’s fasted growing cities. It has become a popular retirement community, as well as a respite for those seeking a second home, especially residents of northern Utah looking for a quick getaway to warmer weather during the winter.
Named for Mormon apostle George A. Smith, St. George was established in 1861 when LDS church president Brigham Young sent down over 300 families from the Salt Lake Valley to colonize the area and grow cotton, earning the area the nickname “Utah’s Dixie.” Early residents faced many hardships, chief among them were flooding when there was too much water and drought when there was too little water, due to the area’s arid climate. When cotton failed, settlers turned to other agricultural products, including fruit and cattle. Soon after its establishment, St. George residents began construction on two magnificent buildings that stand today as a testament of their determination to make the desert blossom: The St. George Tabernacle (finished in 1875) and the St. George Temple (finished in 1877). The first temple constructed west of the Mississippi River, the St. George temple is the oldest LDS temple in continuous use.
St. George is home to Dixie State College, a two-year college within Utah’s higher education system. Boasting a student body of approximately 5,200, the school also offers some four-year programs, including information technology and business administration. A major contributor to St. George’s cultural scene, the college hosts many theatrical events, concerts and conferences throughout the year. In addition to Dixie State College, the city’s arts offerings include the St. George Musical Theater and many annual events, including the St. George Arts Festival, held every Easter Weekend. St. George has also become a shopping destination. It boasts the Zion Factory Stores, which feature over 30 factory outlets offering merchandise at bargain prices, including Levi’s-Dockers Outlet, Rue 21, Dress Barn, IZOD and Eddie Bauer.