01 Mar 2021
Spring Forward – A Weekend Adventure in Cedar City
Visit Cedar City · Brian Head Itinerary
*Cover Image by Tobey Schmidt
Surrounded by incredible outdoor recreation opportunities, Cedar City is the ideal getaway for those seeking an adventure. Planning a vacation that encourages you to get outside is easier to do if you have an idea of the trails, views, and attractions along the way.
Within a half-hour drive of Cedar City, you can find scenic wonders, disc golf courses, and cycling trails all from the comfort of your personal vehicle. With even less travel, an evening spent in Historic Downtown allows visitors to experience the arts scene 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.
Explore the itinerary below then start planning your weekend getaway.
Morning | Before setting off on a weekend of adventure, take some time to explore the arts in Historic Downtown Cedar City. 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 grab a bite for lunch.
Shakespeare Character Gardens at the Beverly Center for the Arts. Image by Tobey Schmidt.
Afternoon | Gather your gear and get ready for adventure 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. With numerous trails and even an 18-hole disc golf course, an afternoon of adventure here will only scratch the surface.
Start out with a 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 | Grab a snack, and fit in just one more adventure before dinner with a scenic drive through the north side of Zion National Park, Kolob Canyons. Less than a half-hour drive south of Cedar City on I-1, Kolob Canyons is a must-see spot in the area. With towering formations of rugged red sandstone against a blue sky, Kolob is a picturesque example of the southern Utah desert.
The short scenic drive is only 10 miles round trip with several interpretive roadside exhibits at various pullouts along the scenic drive.
Dinner| After a day of disc golf, hiking, and scenic drives, you’re sure to work up an appetite. 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 | For some afternoon adventure, rent bikes and gear from local outfitters, or bring your own, and get ready to hit the trails at Three Peaks Recreation Area! While advanced riders may want to take off on one of the more adventurous trails, the Practice Loop is a great start for beginner or intermediate riders. This 1.6-mile loop is a great way to build your skills and experience on the rolling formations. The loop gives the novice mountain bike rider a chance to practice all the necessary skills before heading out on more technical trails in the area. There are even instructional signs along the trail to assist the rider in improving their skill set!
For lunch, there are small covered picnic areas available throughout the recreation area that make a great spot to stop and refuel. When gathering your gear in the morning pack a picnic lunch or take-out from a local restaurant.
Evening | After spending two days taking in the outdoor recreation opportunities available around Cedar City, it’s time to 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.
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.
While out and about remember to Love Local by masking up, practicing social distancing, and staying home if you aren’t feeling well. #LoveLocalCC