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Utah's Scenic Byways

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Bug Brigade

Jan 11, 2014 - May 24 , 2014
Twice a month we offer visitors an opportunity to observe and handle live bugs to learn about these arthropods'…
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Chocolate: The Exhibition

Feb 8, 2014 - Jun 1 , 2014
From the tropical rainforest of ancient Maya, 16th century Europe, the Industrial Revolution, to the present day - the…
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HawkWatch: Birds in the Lab!

Jan 25, 2014 - May 31 , 2014
Join the HawkWatch crew and some of their fine feathered friends for the opportunity to observe live raptors…
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Living Legends

Jan 10, 2014 - Jan 11 , 2037
For more than 40 years, BYU students with a heritage of Native American, Polynesian and Latin American backgrounds have…
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The Center for Land Use…

Jan 24, 2014 - May 4 , 2014
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts commissioned the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), a Wendover/Los Angeles-based…
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Phun with Physics

Jan 13, 2014 - Oct 13 , 2014
Live physics demos like you have never seen before! What do balloons, bicycle wheels, liquid nitrogen, flowers and a…
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The Chickadee Society

Jan 9, 2014 - May 22 , 2014
Preschool Adventures! We invite you and your preschool age child to join the Chickadee Society here at the Natural…
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St. George, Dixie, Red Rock, Utah

St. George Overlook

Over the last few years, St. George has been ranked as one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. With its scenic beauty and close proximity to unparalleled recreation, it's no wonder.see more »

Southern Utah

... Definitely Unique!

Southern Utah is a land of unsurpassed beauty. Gorgeous! It is evident in the snow-capped mountains; in the towering fins of ruddy sandstone cut by erosion into bridges, arches, and strange "hoodoos" of stone; in dramatic faults where the earth twists, contrasting with gentle, rolling hummocks of "slickrock."  It doesn't really matter which scenic drive you take (but don't miss Utah's All-American Road - Scenic Highway 12); it doesn't matter from which St. George golf course you tee off, which backcountry guide you charter, which spa you escape to - it will be one scenic eyeful after another.  For mountain biking, river rafting, hiking, and four-wheeling, there are plenty of towns to be your home base. For soaring ribbons of stone and hikes through history: Arches National Park. For massive buttes and mesas, remote and forbidding dreamscapes: Canyonlands National Park. For geologic amphitheaters with spires all aglow in pink luminescent earth tones: Bryce Canyon National Park. For quaint historic fruit orchards framed by a fortress of red rock: Capitol Reef National Park. For looming Wingate sandstone walls guarding a pastoral Virgin River landscape: Zion National Park... Monument Valley! Lake Powell! Southern Utah is a dreamscape.

Southern Utah
An ancient spirit inhabits Southern Utah. You feel it in the remnants of Puebloan cultures; the Anasazi and Fremont peoples who lived out their lives in southern Utah from about AD 1 to 1300. Rock art and writings, the ruins of habitation sites, and sacred places are scattered across the area.

National Parks & Monuments
The major draw for many visitors to Southern Utah is Utah's five spectacular national parks: Bryce Canyon and Zion in the southwest, Capitol Reef roughly in the center of the state, and Arches and Canyonlands in the southeastern reaches. Southern Utah also has five national monuments: Cedar Breaks and the adventurous Grand Staircase-Escalante in the southwest; Rainbow Bridge, Natural Bridges, and Hovenweep in the southeastern side of the state. The southeast is also home to Glen Canyon, best known for the serpentine waterway of Lake Powell.

Southern Utah is a large, vast region. Easiest to understand if you look at it as two areas - southwestern, anchored by its largest city, St. George - and southeastern, anchored by Moab.

Anglo settlement in Southwestern Utah was accomplished by Mormon pioneers drawn to a long growing season and warmer climate, in contrast to the cold and snow of northern Utah. Mormon leader Brigham Young maintained a "winter home" in the city of St. George. These days, retirees enjoy the  area, along with ranchers, and those engaged in the tourist trade. Cedar City and St. George are hubs for entertainment, dining, and shopping. In its September 2007 issue, National Geographic Adventure Magazine dubbed St. George one of America's best "Wilderness Towns," based on the city's access to "forests, canyons and other wild places." St. George offers year-round golf. But when summer brings on the heat, you only need to drive until the desert rises and becomes a forest, or if you're willing, walk awhile into a canyon shadowed by towering cliffs.

Ironically, Southeastern Utah is the best place in the world to see the wonders of what geologists call the Colorado Plateau. This area was the last portion of the state to successfully be settled, and despite growing development, the spirit of this land will never truly be settled. The Abajo and La Sal Mountains rise above a multi-colored desert like mirages. Mesas built of sandstone representing the deposits of millions of years, may stretch unbroken for miles at a time, or stack and squat next to each other like oddly balanced steps. Here, it's not unusual for miles of sagebrush flats to erratically drop off into deep, narrow slot canyons. This is the "promised land" for hikers, mountain bikers, off-road vehicle users, and sightseers ready to be amazed.

Southwestern Utah Cities
Dubbed "Color Country" by Utah boosters, the southwestern part of the state is a region of exceptional beauty, encompassing both alpine and desert climate zones at vastly differing elevations. The area has forests, lakes, and farmlands punctuated by ancient red rock that has been buffeted by wind and sand, carved by rivers, and thrust up and apart by geologic forces deep within the earth.

Southeastern Utah Cities
In many ways, Southeastern Utah is a vast, open area filled with solitary places. In some of the better-known destinations, such as Moab, there has been a rush to accommodate the influx of visitors and new residents, with towns sprouting subdivisions, motels, gift shops, and fast-food outlets. Other places are proceeding with caution and waiting for visitors to discover them rather than clamoring to be found.

Filmed in Utah
Since John Ford's westerns immortalized the area in the late 1940's, movie-makers have been an ongoing fixture in Southern Utah. The Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission is the longest ongoing film commission in the world. A variety of films from John Wayne classics to 1994's City Slickers II, have been shot with a backdrop of remote redrock buttes, mesas and twisting canyons. It was near Canyonlands' Island in the Sky District - not the Grand Canyon, as most people assume - that Thelma and Louise took their final leap, and it was in Arches National Park that a young Indiana Jones discovered the Cross of Cortez in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  In 2010, two upcoming major Hollywood productions, John Carter of Mars and 127 Hours, "wrapped" in Southern Utah. 

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