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The Ultimate Greater Zion Meeting Planner’s Bucket List

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St. George, Utah is home to both innovative meeting spaces and vast outdoor retreats. Unlike other professional conferences and events, attendees are provided with countless opportunities to play and explore. Guests of Greater Zion can attend conventions at world-class venues, as well as participate in fun, off-site activities (all in the same day).

When you’re attending a meeting or convention in the Greater Zion and St. George region, the outdoor calls loudly and it can’t be ignored. Did you know that while attending your convention, you’re only 45 minutes from Zion National Park and even closer to the other local gems? You can’t cross a location off your bucket list when all you saw was a conference room, so when Greater Zion is your meeting destination, don’t forget to leave time for exploration. Hit all the best attractions and plan a group outing led by local outfitters and guides ­— it’s sure to elevate your next meeting!

Although meetings mean business in Greater Zion, there’s no better place to experience unlimited adventure. Explore our top-10 recommendations to make your next event unfortgettable.

1. Zion National Park

This is a given. You will be blown away by the views and there are hikes perfect for families with little ones (lower pools) up to the Angels Landing for the adventurous ones.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park

2. The Vortex

This 2-mile roundtrip hike is a local hidden gems, worth adding to your trip itinerary. The trail features incredible views, unique Navajo sandstone, and an oasis including a tiny beach with trees, otherwise known as The Bowl. Even better, this trail is pet-friendly! Though it’s not so stroller/small children friendly so plan accordingly. 

3.  UTV Rides at Sand Hollow State Park

Little known fact? There are sand dunes in Greater Zion, and riding them is sure to deliver an unforgettable time. Check out local adventure companies for machine rentals, helmets, and even a guided tours so you don’t miss out on anything.

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Sand Hollow State Park

4. Broadway-Style Show at Tuacahan Amphitheatre

This is an absolute must if you are here between May and October. This outdoor amphitheatre is nestled amidst stunning red rocks, offering attendees unparalleled panoramic views of the Southern Utah desert. Check the calendar of events for up-to-date show schedules and tickets.

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Tuacahan Amphitheatre

5. Snow Canyon State Park

In a word, Snow Canyon is breathtaking. Just a quick 20 minutes from downtown, you do not want to skip this bucket list item while you’re here. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the petroglyphs!


Snow Canyon State Park

6. Kid-Friendly Attractions

Beat the heat at the splash pads located in St. George’s town square, next to the Children’s Museum. It’s a guaranteed hit and the perfect way to cool off in the summer months. Looking for additional parks and outdoor activities for the whole family? Check out the new bike park at Snake Hollow and the Thunder Junction All Abilities Park. Your kids will love it. 

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Thunder Junction All Abilities Park

7. Local Festivals

With exciting local events happening daily in St. George, you’ll want to check out the local calendar. St. George has several annual events including the St. George Street Fest, Hurricane Peach Days, and the Washington County Fair + Rodeo — all great events to get a taste of the local culture. Check out the calendar for more details.

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Dixie Roundup Rodeo

8. Kayenta Art Village

If you’re feeling artsy, the Kayenta Village is a community of artists who come together to create a space for people to learn and create art collaboratively. Their annual street painting festival happens every April and is a great way to experience local art firsthand.

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Kayenta Art Village

9. Hike Dixie Rock

While in the area, you might notice people referring to ‘Dixie’ quite a bit — Dixie Rock, Dixie State University, etc. There’s a reason for that! The word “Dixie” was adopted into local vernacular as a result of Mormon pioneers settling the region with southern crops of cotton. St. George eventually became known as “Utah’s Dixie.” The hike  up Dixie Rock is quick and easy but the view of town is absolutely worth it and you might even see some rock climbers! 

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Dixie Rock

10. Outdoor Adventures for All

No matter what you’re interested in, St. George and Greater Zion probably have it. From hiking, mountain biking, canyoneering, boating to cliff jumping, horseback riding, ATV riding, and more, there’s something for everyone. Discover a comprehensive list of guides and outfitters that can help you through your first experience to make sure it’s a good one and a safe one.

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Mountain Biking Paradise Rim

Plan the ultimate meeting getaway in St. George and Greater Zion.

Don’t have time to explore them all while you’re here on business? It sounds like you’ve got your next family vacation planned for you and it’s a win-win for everyone. They get to experience Greater Zion first-hand and you get to finish checking everything off your bucket list.

There are plenty of places across Greater Zion to whet your whistle with some lovely adult beverages. Due to the nature of it, most of the cocktails are served up alongside some mighty tasty food too. Check out these places to imbibe and feast – responsibly, of course.

Hive 435 Tap House

Located in downtown St. George, the Hive boasts the largest selection of tap beers in Southern Utah, but also hand-crafted cocktails. All of them pair well with their live music offerings and gourmet pizzas or sandwiches.

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Station 2 Bar by Zion Brewery

This renovated fire hall is the perfect spot to enjoy the Utah-crafted beers of Zion Brewery. Try a flight to taste multiple beers or a sip a pint while relaxing in their outdoor spaces, lounging on the second floor or while shooting pool on the third floor. (See their sister location at Zion Canyon Village in Springdale.)

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The Office Lounge

Claiming to be one of the best-kept secrets in St. George, dip into this hotel bar and restaurant for craft cocktails, wines, and beers. Play pool, grab a burger, relax in a great atmosphere, and tell everyone  “I’ll be at ‘The Office.’” See if that flies when you’re on vacation in Greater Zion.

George’s Corner

Offering a peek into the past, George’s Corner offers a full gamut of cocktails, beers and wines, but still mixes drinks behind “the Mormon Curtain.” A full menu compliments this long-standing, multi-level establishment that’s open for breakfast, lunch or dinner.


The go-to place for a craft cocktail. Their mixologists work overtime, playing with the perfect ingredients and methods to make you some fabulous concoctions that rival those of the kitchen. And there’s no question, the cocktails and nosh are a match you can’t miss.

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Guru’s Sports Bar & Grill

Sports. Bar. Truly. TVs plaster the walls of this sports-loving establishment. Stop in for a game or simply to rehash your golf game or epic adventure. Standard pours, potions, and pints come from the bartender, along side upscale bar noshes like wings, mozzarella sticks, burgers, ribs and more.

Painted Pony Restaurant

Romantic or casual – or the perfect mix of both – this downtown St. George destination serves up some delightful sips. Enjoy them at the bar, in the dining room or on their tree-top patio – a kid-like, but very adult experience, especially with a cocktail in hand.

The Bit and Spur

Favorites like the Prickly Pear Margarita are showcased on this saloon and restaurant’s menu in the middle of Springdale, just outside of Zion. Toast to a fabulous day of exploration with some Southwest food and selection of margaritas, beers, wine or even mocktails.

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King’s Landing Bistro

From a Watermelon Mojito to an Espresso Martini, the variety of crafted, seasonal drinks at this Springdale restaurant rivals nowhere else. Backyard to Zion National Park, this fine-dining and sipping experience can’t get any better, offering all your senses something to remember.


Balcony One

High quality liquors and fruits decorate the cocktails coming from this bar and restaurant in Virgin, featuring American-Mediterranean Cuisine. At the bar or on their patio, or the restaurant, try a Moscow Mule, Jalapeno Margarita or a seasonal special like the Gin Empress Summer Blossom.


Café Sabor

This Mexican-food favorite finds their chips and salsa pairing well with anything that comes from behind the bar. Multitudes of flavors of margaritas, including peach, accompany other standard concoctions, draft and bottled beers, and wines. Watch for the drink specials too.

Xetava Gardens Café

Set among an art village, there’s artistic flare evident in the house-made sangria, the prickly pear spritzer, drunken iceberg and other cocktails of this American café. These lovely beverages (and nonalcoholic mixtures and espresso drinks too) are served breakfast, lunch or dinner in the comfort of their cozy space or under a canopied patio.

Anasazi Steakhouse

While your steak, chicken or buffalo is cooking on a lava rock or your fondue is simmering on your tabletop, indulge in a specialty cocktail at this unique dining destination in St. George. Toast to a special occasion or simply celebrate another wonderful day in Greater Zion.

Written by Jennifer Broome

Avoiding the crowds in Zion National Park

A National Park road trip makes for a memorable summer vacation. But you need a timed-entry reservation to visit some of the most popular parks this summer. Travel journalist Jennifer Broome joins us from Greater Zion with five tips to visiting popular national parks and avoiding crowds.

While spending several days exploring Greater Zion, I wanted to share my 5 tips to visiting popular national parks and avoiding crowds. Zion Canyon is the most popular area in Zion National Park. The majority of visitors only go there. But there’s so much more to see and that’s the case with other popular national parks. Here’s what you need to know before you go if you’re planning a summer road trip to a popular national park.

Zion National Park

TIP 1: Plan Ahead, Reservations Required in Advance

Start planning your trip by visiting the website of the national park you’re going to. It’s your go-to spot for information including any alerts that are in effect such as trail closures. For popular parks like Zion, Rocky Mountain and Yosemite, reservations are required in advance. Each timed entry reservation is a little different. In Zion, you need a reservation for the shuttle in Zion Canyon. You don’t need one for the rest of the park. In Rocky Mountain National Park, there’s a two-entry reservation system. If you want to visit the Bear Lake Corridor including Moraine Park, you need a specific reservation for that area. For the rest of the park a timed entry reservation is required 9a-3p daily starting Memorial Weekend. In Yosemite, your timed entry reservation is good for three days. Two parks are using a vehicle registration reservation system this summer. In Glacier National Park you need a timed entry reservation for Going-to-the-Sun Road. Acadia National Park has a timed entry reservation system sunrise on Cadillac Mountain. Each park offers advanced tickets differently. For example, at Zion National Park, tickets are release twice a month at 9 a.m. and if there are any unreserved slots, last minute tickets are released at 5 p.m. the day before. You have to make reservation in advance on This is also where you go for campsite reservations and any ranger-led activities such as walks, talks and educational programs that may require reservations. If you miss out on reservations, private shuttles and guided adventures are ways you can get into parks without making your own timed entry reservation.

TIP 2: Book Unique Stays and Excursions in Advance

If you snooze, you lose on accommodations from luxury resorts to glamping accommodations to even campsites. Book lodging, excursions and even dinners ahead of time. Glamping and RVing are super-hot again this summer. Sites like can help you get a campsite or even an RV rental. Double check cancellation policies just in case your plans change. For last minute accommodations, I use, Airbnb, and Hotel Tonight apps. and are great sites to snag a site at sold-out campgrounds. Adventure guide companies are booking a month or more in advance. I went on a sunset ATVing tour with Mad Moose Rentals at Sand Hollow Resort and loved every second of my guided adventure. Book early for unique adventure experiences. If you’re staying at a resort, take advantage of the activities they offer. At Red Mountain Resort, I spend some time wandering along hiking trails, walking the labyrinth and taking a wellness MELT class.

Under Canvas Zion
Under Canvas Zion

TIP 3: Trade Popular Park Places for Lesser-Known Gems

If you go where the crowds don’t go that means less waiting in line and more time enjoying nature. In Zion National Park, the Narrows and Angels Landing in Zion Canyon are extremely popular. Trade Zion Canyon for Kolob Canyons or Kolob Terrace. Both areas offer scenic drives and miles of trails with far less people on them than the trails in Zion Canyon. Do your research with a guidebook, on the national park’s website or even call or email the national park you’re going to and ask questions. When I go to a national park for the first time, I always ask rangers for their favorite hikes, scenic spots and lesser-known gems. While visiting Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park in April, I used the new National Park Service app for the first time and loved it. I also used it in Bryce and Zion National Parks this month. You can save the guide for the national park you’re going to for offline use. It’s a wonderful tool filled with a wealth of information. It’s worth the download and saving parks for offline use before you enter a park.

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TIP 4: Timing is Everything

July and August are the busiest months for popular national parks. Summer and early fall weekends are busiest. If you can visit mid-week, you’ll have less crowds in summer as Tuesday through Thursday is less busy than Friday through Monday. I also suggest either getting up early or enjoying the park in late afternoon or early evening. The early bird gets the worm for parking spots, plus beat the heat and crowds. You can also be a sunset chaser as park crowds dwindle in the evenings. Dawn and dusk are magical times in national parks.

TIP 5: Take Your Turn in the Park Then Explore the Region

State parks, national forests and other federal lands are next to or near popular parks. These are often mountain biking meccas, off-roading havens and lesser hiked trails. Adrenaline junkies can do activities like rock climbing, canyoneering and ATVing. Soft adventure enthusiasts can enjoy activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, or hiking. While in Greater Zion, I went kayaking at Quail Creek State Park, enjoyed a walk along part of the 32 acres of beach at Sand Hollow State Park and got a great geology lesson at Snow Canyon State Park as I wandered across lava flow fields and petrified dunes. I also visited Grafton Ghost Town for a history lesson and did a late day hike in Water Canyon, a remote and lesser visited canyon in the region.

Red cliffs jutting up into a blue sky.

A Couple of Extras:

Don’t Overpack Your Itinerary: Leave some open space in your schedule to explore something you find out about during your trip. Ask locals for their favorites.

Three things I have in my car: Extra water and snacks, flip flops or sandals, and a towel or wipes.

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Aerial view of the Zion National Park entrance

Aerial view of Springdale the Zion National Park entrance

We have been cooped up for longer than anyone could imagine and your attendees are going to want to stretch their legs and spread their wings. No destination is better equipped for this new world than Greater Zion.

Located in southwest Utah, Greater Zion is home to one of the country’s premier national parks; Zion National Park, but the region is so much more than its namesake attraction. After a few days here exploring our vast spaces and original venues and activities, your group will leave feeling as if they can move mountains.

Meeting in Greater Zion is a momentous experience for any group. No other place in the world has the rich combination of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, history and culture.

Your attendees will relish the experience as they hike iconic trails in Zion such as Angels Landing and The Narrows. Over the course of your event, they will also discover pristine golf courses, arts and theater, and eclectic dining.

The best part is that members of your group will always feel safe and comfortable in Greater Zion. No planner can use all of the space Mother Nature provided—however, we invite you to try! Imagine a once-in-a-lifetime event without a backdrop riddled with skyscrapers, but rather picturesque mountain peaks and red rock plateaus , trails as far as the eye can see and a sky unharmed by big-city lights and pollution.

Explore the many reasons this region will rejuvenate your group and position it to conquer the new frontier of doing business.

rock climbing in snow canyon state park

Rock climbing in Snow Canyon State Park

More Than Just One Park

Zion National Park, the third most visited national park in the United States, is the premier attraction, but Zion is only the beginning. Four state parks including Sand Hollow, Gunlock, Quail Creek, and Snow Canyon, as well as a multitude of year-round recreational lands set the stage for a burgeoning mountain biking scene, scenic and challenging play at 13 top-rated golf courses and more.

Snow Canyon State Park may sometimes fly under the radar but you don’t want to overlook this gem. Towering sandstone cliffs make you feel small, and rolling petrified sandstone dunes make you feel like you may have gone to a whole new planet. One of the most intriguing hikes in Snow Canyon is the Pioneer Names Trail, where you can observe the names etched into the rock by early Mormon pioneers. Groups will gain a new perspective here and discover their inner creativity to do their jobs better when returning home. Consider a walking meeting at the park, complete with a landscape drawing session. Feel free to throw in a related movie night featuring “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “Hondo” or “Jeremiah Johnson”—all filmed in Snow Canyon.

Tuacahn Center for the Arts, which is set amid a stunning red rock backdrop deep in Padre Canyon, features a 90-foot stage with a 2,000-seat amphitheater. Tuacahn is home to Broadway-style musicals with elaborate sets and costumes, seasonal concerts and other special performances. Where else could you see Belle dance with the Beast in such dramatic fashion? When looking for a wow factor for an opening or closing reception, there are few better options.

Tuacahn Center for the Arts

Tuacahn Center for the Arts

Great Outdoors

A hike in Zion National Park is a great way to explore Greater Zion, but it is hardly the only method. Planners are encouraged to take advantage of the many unusual excursions unique to our destination to gain a true sense of place and appreciation of what Mother Nature bestowed upon us.

Ditch the spa and go au naturel with a red sand facial courtesy of a UTV ride at Sand Mountain, an open riding area for ATVs, UTVs, Jeeps and dirt bikes. Sand Mountain provides 15,000 acres of perfectly sculpted dunes for your group to explore. The red sand is a truly memorable backdrop for Sand Hollow Reservoir. This local favorite and nearby Quail Creek offer boating and other water recreation in a spectacular setting.

Off Roading at Sand Hollow State Park

Off roading at Sand Hollow State Park

Is your organization trying to navigate a challenging path? (Whose isn’t?) Help your attendees overcome any tough road by having them maneuver iron-rung ladders and safety cables of the via ferrata, home of the famed Angels Leading Ledgewalk and Eye of the Needle. Translated from the Italian phrase meaning “iron road,” it dates back to World War I, when soldiers needed a safe way to navigate the rough mountain ranges of Europe. Guides and outfitters ensure the experience is one in which you will live to tell the tale—adding bragging rights to anyone not fortunate to be at your event.

A View of the Venues

While planners will surely want to take advantage of the open spaces and famed outdoor adventures, groups will be wowed by the surprising number of hotels, outfitters, restaurants and other unexpected venues. A planner’s chance for creativity hardly ends with the many excursion and teambuilding activities available. Even the meetings, when your groups get down to business, will have a unique feel.

The Dixie Convention Center in St. George is the region’s premier convention facility. With more than 100,000 square feet of meeting space, it can host up to 5,000 attendees—and with a list of amenities as tall as Angels Landing. The convenience factor includes six hotels within a five to 10-minute walk of the facility. Nineteen meeting rooms allow for events to be broken into small groups for productive intimate gatherings and to easily maintain social distancing. Top-of-the-line audiovisual equipment and internet capabilities dial up the options for hybrid events and the on-site catering company, Heritage Catering, is ready and capable to tackle your unique request

Dixie Center Meeting Space

Dixie Center meeting and venue space

Attendees can mix business and pleasure with on-site activities like skeet shooting, pickleball, paddleboarding and more at Holmstead Ranch Resort, home to many stellar training facilities. Boardrooms with views of Dixie National Forest inspire big thinking and dreams that, when combined, lead to innovation to thrive as the world evolves. The Pavilion hosts up to 180 for dinner and 200 classroom-style at this venue, which can serve as a home base for corporate retreats and/or off-site meeting space for business groups.

Under Canvas Zion is an opportune destination for a retreat. This safari-inspired glamping destination is a haven of solitude in the American Southwest, surrounded by views of soaring sandstone cliffs and majestic red rock. It is available as a total buyout (80 to 250 people) or for smaller groups of about 30 attendees.

Entrada Country Club features iconic views of the natural black lava flows, the limestone mountain of Snow Canyon State Park and the magnificent red rock cliffs that make St. George so ideal for your next group gathering. Planners can schedule a round of golf at the David McLay Kidd Course, which recently underwent a major renovation. The event lawn hosts up to 300 guests—an ideal way to hold an outdoor reception. There are also ballroom facilities and several meeting rooms complete with views hard to compete with.


Outdoor meeting space at the Entrada Country Club

Of Note

Greater Zion also has six conference hotels, each with approximately 5,000 square feet of meeting space for trade shows, banquets, conventions and retreats. Another 20-plus properties provide unique on-site meeting space. For smaller meetings and off-site events that offer a wow factor, Cable Mountain Lodge and SpringHill Suites in Springdale are particularly notable with 360-degree views of Zion National Park and their flexible and unexpected meeting spaces.


Outdoor meeting space at Springhill Suites

The culinary scene in Greater Zion is as eclectic as it is delicious. Local breweries like Station II Bar by Zion Brewery and Silver Reef Brewery are recommended to quench a taste for the southern Utah experience.

With temperatures averaging about 90 degrees from June to September, and 61 degrees November through February, Greater Zion is a year-round destination. Almost as hard to believe as the out-of-this-world agendas planners can build is the convenience factor.

Greater Zion is easily accessible with major access points along the Interstate 15 corridor. The region is located approximately 100 miles north of Las Vegas and a 90-minute drive from Harry Reid International Airport. St. George Regional Airport is located six miles southeast of St. George with nonstop flights to and from key hubs such as Salt Lake City, Denver, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Dallas-Fort Worth. Greater Zion is the best of all worlds. A meeting here will truly feel like a breath of fresh air for your attendees, who will leave here recharged and ready to lift mountains for your organization. And best of all, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime event that no attendee will ever forget.