SOUTHERN UTAH – Well, Dixie, the weather has officially turned a corner and the forecasts are filled with that familiar annual visitor: the sweltering summer. But don’t resign yourselves quite yet to toiling and boiling under the overbearing sun — alternatives abound. We’ve compiled an incomplete list of the amenities that our beautiful region has to offer in the way of beating the heat.
- Never pass up an opportunity to enjoy our cities’ public spaces — our tax dollars at work. Have a go in the Splash Pad in St. George’s Town Square Park.
- Get some tickets for today’s Splash Festival, which is being held at the Washington City Community Center from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Whether you choose to swim in one of the inside or outside pools, you’ll cool off just fine.
- In St. George, take advantage of the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center — no sunscreen required!
- Don’t forget our natural water sources. Fish, float, boat, wade, or sunbathe at a nearby reservoir: Sand Hollow, Quail, or Gunlock. Or visit a beach along the Virgin or Santa Clara River.
- Eat out or go shopping at one of the area’s premier commercial centers. If you’ve got guests in town, why not take them to your favorite restaurant … or try a new one?
- Enjoy some evening entertainment at the Tuacahn Amphitheater, or escape the heat during the day by attending a Megaplex Theatre Matinée.
- Peruse the Coyote Gulch Art Village at Kayenta, near Ivins.
- Meet your neighbors and support your local farmers at one of Southern Utah’s farmers markets.
- You might try spending your afternoon with family or friends at one of the area’s climate controlled bowling alleys. They even have coolers for your hands!
- Get yourself to a higher elevation, where the air is thinner and the breeze is more refreshing. Spend the weekend camping at Bryce Canyon National Park, take a day trip to Cedar Mountain, do some mountain biking at Brian Head, or have a picnic on Pine Mountain.
- Hike in the shade: canyoneer the Narrows in Zion National Park or tromp around Hell’s Hole near Ivins.
- The best way to get out of the sun is to go underground. Have a field day spelunking at the Snow Canyon Lava Tubes in the state park. Bring a flashlight.
- Average temperatures in Southern Utah, State Climatologist Robert Gillies said, were cooler five decades ago. So, open up the air vents and welcome in a cool blast from the past. At the end of a hard day of work or play, find a shaded location, kick off your shoes, and dance to The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Sixties-era ode to summer. Once you’ve worked on your moves, mark out Tuesday evenings to participate in a weekly community dance atop the Old Water Tank in St. George.
This is what we’ve come up with. Readers, add your own ideas below.
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