Saint George was settled by Mormons in the early 1860's, sent by Brigham Young to plant and raise cotton in anticipation that it would become scarce after the outbreak of the Civil War. About 300 families, carefully selected to ensure the right number and combination of skills, were called to participate in the expedition. After the end of the war, cotton farming and processing was discontinued because they were not able to produce goods at competitive market rates. Some members of the community raised cattle and others grew alfalfa, slowly shifting the local economy toward agriculture. In 1880, the population of Saint George was 1,384. The population grew slowly as more land became available for agriculture through irrigation projects. By 1960, the population had grown to just 5,130. With the development of the interstate highway system and improved automobiles feeding the growth of tourism and "snowbird" migration, Saint George saw rapid population growth over the next five decades, rising to 72,897 in 2010.
Saint George has a desert climate with low humidity, generally clear skies, mild winters, and hot summers. Precipitation is just 8 inches per year. In the summer months of July and August, the temperature often exceeds 100 °F, dropping to the 60's at night. Winter highs are often in the 60's with night time temperatures dropping below freezing.
Most travelers to Saint George arrive by car, and have little need for public transportation. However, public transportation is available through SunTran, operating four main bus routes with over 60 bus stops citywide. The Saint George Municipal Airport was recently constructed and is served with flights to Denver and Salt Lake City. Over 65 miles of urban trails provide pedestrians and cyclists with easy and convenient passage through town.
Saint George, Utah receives a high livability score, with mild winters, plenty of sunshine, and a cost of living that is more than 8% below the national average. Utilities, transportation, and housing are among the most affordable expenses.
Saint George is part of the Washington County School District which is headquartered in Saint George. The city has four public high schools, five middle schools, four intermediate schools, and thirteen elementary schools. There are also five private schools in Saint George.
Dixie Regional Medical Center is a general medical hospital in Saint George. This hospital has been recognized for its high performance in heart failure treatments and procedures. If you’re planning a move to Saint George, it’s a good idea to know the medical resources available to you:
The median price for a home in Saint George is around $210,000 but you do not have to spend that much because attractive, family-sized homes are readily available at prices that are easier on the pocket.
Saint George is a tourism gateway, and that means there are plenty of options for guests seeking an overnight stay. More than 40 hotels populate the city, including name brands, privately owned properties, inns, and vacation homes. The Inn on the Cliff boasts dramatic views from its cliffside perch. The Inn at Entrada is hidden among ancient canyons and lava fields, creating striking scenery in any direction. The accommodations are large, comfortable, and nicely appointed. People who prefer the privacy of a B&B will enjoy the Seven Wives Inn, located in Saint George's historical district.
Saint George is regionally known for its culinary scene, ranging from elegant to eclectic. If you have a thing for donuts, the Fractured Prune serves them hot and fresh; you even get to design your own frosting. If a good pie is more your style, Crowshaw's Pies are the best, and they serve a mighty fine quiche as well. The Anasazi Steakhouse and Gallery combine a passion for art with the unique experience of cooking your own steak on a hot stone. If you just want to enjoy dinner without gimmicks or theatrics, try the Riverwalk Grill or The Painted Pony, two award-winning favorites among locals and tourists alike.
Some of the most dramatic beauty in the American West surrounds Saint George, drawing over 17 million tourists annually to the area. Saint George is a golfer's paradise, with top-ranked courses, outstanding views, and year-round near perfect weather. Hikers and mountain-bikers find endless trails to explore, and the area's canyons are a photographer's dream. Tours can take many forms, from balloons and bikes to jeeps and horseback. Sports competitions happen year-round in Saint George, including running, cycling, fishing, and more. Free outdoor music concerts run from May to September at local parks, and celebrations of all sorts occur throughout the year.