If you can look beyond the chain restaurants, you will find that Cedar City, Utah has its funky side.
Most people come to Cedar City for ready access to the National Parks of southern Utah.
Cedar Breaks National Monument is a stunning park just outside of town, and Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park are within striking distance. The outdoor recreation opportunities are outstanding, whether hiking in the spring, summer and fall, or skiing, snowboarding, and tubing in the winter.
What to Do in Cedar City
Beyond the abundant outdoor recreation opportunities, Cedar City boasts some fun cultural events. Cedar City calls itself Festival City USA, so check before you go to see if any special events are happening.
Cedar City’s most famous festival is the Utah Shakespeare Festival held every summer on the campus of Southern Utah University. This professional theatre festival hires equity actors and features contemporary productions as well as traditional Shakespeare plays performed in a replica of the Globe Theatre.
The best kept secret about the Shakespeare Festival is the free outdoor pre-show entertainment called the Greenshow.
The Greenshow is an re-creation of Elizabethan street theatre, with period refreshments and a crafts fair to boot.
There is also a post-show Cabaret every Thursday night throughout the summer season. Company members from the festival put on a variety show at The Grind coffeehouse on North Main Street.
Acts include singing, dancing, instrumental music, impressions, skits, improv games, magic tricks, poetry, bird calls, and juggling.
Off the Cuff Comedy Club
On Friday nights, check out the local comedy and improv club, Off the Cuff. Many of the performers are students in the theatre department at Utah State University.
Historic Cedar Theatre
Another great year round venue is the Historic Cedar Theatre. Movie tickets are just $3 for children under 12, and $4 for adults. This theatre was established in 1914, and restored in 2012, bringing some vitality to the downtown area.
Kannaraville Slot Canyon
Twelve miles south of Cedar City is is a beautiful slot canyon and a popular hiking area. The Kannarville slot canyon offers waterfalls, slides, and beautiful red rock scenery. You can find details of the hike here.
Where to Eat in Cedar City
The Centro Pizzeria serves just one kind of food but does it very well. The fresh ingredients are straight from that morning’s farmers’ market and the pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven. The food here reminded me of the famous Two Amy’s in Washington, DC.
Old-Fashioned Soda Fountain
If it’s lunchtime, you can get ice cream for dessert at the old-fashioned soda fountain in Bulloch drugstore in the center of town. There are not too many traditional soda fountains left, so I am always happy to find one.
Where to Stay in Cedar City
Our favorite place to stay is the Best Western Town & Country Inn in the center of town. We’ve gotten this hotel on Priceline for $38 to $48 per night.There is an indoor swimming pool and hot tub in the courtyard, and a nice free breakfast. We found the rooms on the indoor corridor to be most comfortable.
Another hotel we got on Priceline was the Crystal Inn, a Utah chain. We paid $62 on a weekend night during the summer Shakespeare Festival. The best thing about this hotel is the large outdoor swimming pool which is heated all winter long. The rooms here are a bit larger than the Best Western but not as up-to-date, and the location and breakfast are not as good, IMHO. They run a shuttle bus up to the ski areas during the winter.
The newer hotels are located south of town across the highway from the massive 24-hour Walmart. There’s a Comfort Inn, Springhill Suites, and Holiday Inn Express.
Have you been to Cedar City? I’d love to hear any tips you might like to share!
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