Cedar City is a surprising sanctuary of cool mountain air and world-class cultural attractions in astonishing proximity to the extensive outdoor adventure of Southwest Utah’s famous Mighty Five national parks. Cedar City is also known as "Festival City U.S.A.,” with a plethora of events taking place year round from free music festivals and downtown parades to touring bike races.
Cedar City’s energetic population fills its days with the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Theater Festival where one can experience live theater under the stars in Tudor-style Adams Theater. The rest of the time is spent dashing off to nearby national parks like Bryce Canyon and Zion, the expansive Dixie National Forest or Cedar Breaks National Monument.
Cedar Breaks National Monument, an astonishing natural amphitheater at 10,500 feet (3,200 meters), is home to curious wildlife and wizened bristlecone pines who've been hanging around since the last millennium. Fall asleep in the brisk night air under bright and infinite stars, the expanse of the Milky Way unfurling above you. Cedar Breaks’ night skies are some of the darkest in the country!
Southern Utah's slot canyons are not reserved just for extreme adventurers. Kanarraville Falls, just 10 minutes south of Cedar City, offers a moderate hike that is family friendly. While in the area, why not dip into the northern section of Zion National Park? The lesser-visited Kolob Canyons gives you all the dramatic red rock of Utah's most renowned park on a scenic drive with plenty of overlooks to fill your eyes and trailheads to get you on your feet and out into the sanctuary of Mother Nature.
Utah’s highest ski area, Brian Head Resort, is only 30 minutes from Cedar City and has over 630 skiable acres with two, lift-served tubing hills and an entire mountain dedicated to learning skiing and snowboarding. In the summertime, the resort transforms into a mountain biking mecca with some of the best lift served trails in the state.
Cedar City, Utah Highlights
Don’t leave without tasting
Navajo Tacos. Almost every local hamburger joint offers a tasty version of this traditional American Indian meal of fry bread, meaty chili, cheese, lettuce and sour cream.
Where locals go to relax
Hiking is the main activity in these parts. Over 40 different trails are within a half hour’s distance of Cedar City. Favorites include Cascade Falls, Kanarraville Falls, Bristlecone Pine and Alpine Pond.
Put these events on your calendar
Paiute Restoration Gathering (Mid June) Groovefest American Music Festival (late June) Utah Shakespeare Festival (July - October) Neil Simon Festival (mid-July to mid-August) Fire Road Bike Race (early July) July Jamboree Street Festival (mid July) Cedar Breaks Wildflower Festival (mid July) Iron County Fair (Labor Day weekend) Cedar Livestock & Heritage Festival (late October) Storybook Parade (Mid November)
You might be surprised by
Cedar City has its own winery. The IG Winery located in the heart of Cedar City’s Downtown District offers daily wine tastings paired with local cheeses and artisan breads.
The Frontier Homestead State Park Museum gives you a real slice of western life with their hands on activities and interactive displays. Explore wagons, a train caboose and even an old steam shovel. Hop up into the Wells Fargo Stagecoach for the perfect picture taking opportunity.
Your child will always remember
The Utah Shakespeare Festival nightly Greenshow (summer only) of music, dance and song in a Shakespeare theme is a favorite of locals and visitors. Children are encouraged to get up on the stage to take part – and the best part is the show is FREE. Older kids will appreciate the Bag Jump at Brian Head, the only place in Utah where you can jump from 30 feet (9.1 meters) into a big “pillow” of air.
Classic road trip
Take the Scenic Byway Loop. Starting in Cedar City, one can head up Scenic Byway 14 through wooded canyons with an amazing panoramic view into Zion, then north to the alpine heights of Cedar Breaks National Monument Scenic Byway 148, then descend into Brian Head Resort along National Scenic Byway 143, through red rock canyons to the desert range where ancient American Indian petroglyphs (rock carvings) can viewed, then back to Cedar City.
Downtown Cedar City is a small shopping district of local shops and eateries. Buy a classic 1960s handbag at Poser’s Place or a reclaimed wall hanging made of recycled neck ties at Recycle Consign & Design. You can even pick up a vinyl record from your favorite band at Groovacious Music Store.
Just want to indulge
A stop a Bulloch’s Drug Store in Downtown Cedar City is like a step back in time. Take a seat at the Old Fashioned Soda Fountain and order a Strawberry Malt, Iron Port or, if you are really brave, a Chocolate Coke.