02 Mar 2021
Discover Arts & Culture in Cedar City, UT
Visit Cedar City · Brian Head Spring Itinerary
*Cover Image by Wyett Larsen @strategylaboratories
Beyond the staggering outdoor recreation opportunities that surround us, Cedar City is home to a vibrant and diverse arts scene that you might not expect to find in southern Utah.
Spend the day exploring several art museums and galleries or catch a show by one of our talented performing arts groups. An evening spent in Historic Downtown allows visitors to experience the arts up close in Cedar City. From vibrant murals and locally-owned shops to art museums and local galleries. All with the added benefit of incredible dining and drinks all within walking distance. No matter how you plan your trip, you can’t deny that being able to enjoy world-class art and entertainment against such a stunning backdrop is truly a unique experience.
Explore the itinerary below then start planning your weekend getaway.
Morning | After arriving in Cedar City, take some time to explore the arts in Historic Downtown. Start with a walk on Center Street. Within the 10 minute walk from Main Street to the Beverly Center for the Arts, home of the Utah Shakespeare Festival, you’ll find five murals. Each done by a different artist in varying styles. You can find a list of these murals and directions here.
Explore the Character and Sculpture Gardens at the Beverly Center, snap a selfie with Shakespeare himself, and round off your morning with a visit to the Southern Utah Museum of Art. The museum opens at 11 am. After taking in the exhibits head back to downtown to browse the selection of art and handcrafted items available at the Artisans Gallery. We’re sure you’ll find a new statement piece to fall in love with!
Before leaving Historic Downtown, don’t forget to grab a bite from one of our incredible local restaurants.
Afternoon | Spark creativity with an afternoon outdoors in Thunderbird Gardens. No need for a long commute, because this recreation area is even within city limits. Full of stunning red rock formations, sweeping hills striated with shades of red and orange, and some great hidden gems throughout it’s a popular spot for mountain biking and hiking. And a beautiful location to discover the landscapes and vibrant colors that draw artists to southern Utah.
Before setting out for Thunderbird Gardens stop by Color Country Art Supplies. The owner is a great landscape artist and a great resource for location ideas to paint. And their selection is always amazing.
For bonus views, hike along the Thor’s Hideout trail to find unique views and unusual rock formations. This Cedar City favorite is a moderate 3.6-mile trail that climbs some switchbacks through red-rock country to a stunning view of Cedar City and a special rock formation that you won’t want to miss. For a bonus hike the .3 miles extra to Thor’s Lookout for another surprise view and unique rock formation!
Evening | Stroll the beautiful campus of Southern Utah University on their Art & Sculpture Stroll. The campus is full of beautiful landscaping, buildings, and artwork that make it the perfect place for an evening stroll. While you’re there keep an eye out for any architectural details and adornments that stand out and may help you complete the Campus Scavenger Hunt.
Dinner| You’ll find a wide variety of restaurants and cuisine styles available in Cedar City that are sure to hit the spot! Whether you split a pizza between friends, opt for flavorful Thai dishes, or go with a more classic option of burgers and fries, you’ll find it here.
Morning |Start the day off with breakfast and coffee from one of the incredible local spots in Historic Downtown! Whether you go with a coffee and an authentic New York Bagel from Bristlecone, or a tea and fruit-covered waffle from The Grind, it’s sure to be a great start to the day.
Afternoon | Ready for an afternoon trip to Zion National Park? An extremely popular haven for artists and adventurers alike, Zion National Park and the surrounding area are stunning and the perfect dose of inspiration. Grab tickets for the shuttle ahead of time to hike within the scenic canyon. Or use your personal vehicle to drive through the park and the Mount Carmel Tunnel. On the east side of the park, the Canyon Overlook trail offers spectacular views of the surroundings.
Once you’re done exploring the park, don’t miss the many shops, galleries, and dining options in the town of Springdale! The Springdale visitor center is full of great souvenirs to remember your trip and the David J West Gallery is a must-see while in the area. This gallery features the photography of Zion National Park and beyond that is sure to leave you speechless.
Evening | Relax with an evening in the city. Visitors can find dining, shopping, art, and entertainment in Historic Downtown, as well as a vibrant arts and culture scene. Order a treat from a local spot to enjoy as you check out the boutiques and local shops, finding the various vibrant murals along the way, as you explore downtown Cedar City. Find a new favorite decor statement piece at Artisans or Kolob Gallery. Expand your to-be-read list with a visit to Main Street Books. Or enjoy an Ironport soda (described by some as a spiced cream soda) from the vintage soda fountain at Bulloch Drug as you shop.
Morning | On your way home take a detour to visit one of Cedar City’s best natural wonders, the Parowan Gap. With over 90 panels and 1,500 figures, the Gap is believed to be one of the most concentrated collections of petroglyphs in the west and one of the most accessible. This collection of ancient artwork is a site you won’t want to miss.
The Parowan Gap is 13 miles north of Cedar City via Hwy 130.
After you’re done, take the scenic route through Parowan and get one of their famous cinnamon rolls as a treat for the drive.
Plan a Return Visit This Summer:
One of the oldest and largest Shakespeare festivals in North America, The Utah Shakespeare Festival is a must for any visit to Cedar City. Eight plays are presented in repertory each season in three theaters, including the outdoor Engelstad Theatre, which is a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The 2022 season will run from June 20 through October 8.