St. George lies in southwest Utah, just above the Arizona border. Located within easy reach of Zion National Park, Dixie National Forest, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Snow Canyon State Park, and Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Area, this area’s prime for hiking, climbing, and exploring the red rocks for which Southern Utah is known. When you need a place to bed down between nature outings, check out these top St. George vacation rental locations.

1. Winchester Hills

If you want to surround yourself, quite literally, with nature, stay at Winchester Hills, St. George, a community located between Snow Canyon State Park and Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. Catch the trailhead to the Yellow Knolls hiking trail, or take your children to the Red Cliffs visitor center for a look at all the local wildlife. The rare Mojave Desert tortoise, Gila monster, and chuckwalla are among the many reptiles that hang out on the red sands and rocks. With 62,000 acres of space, there’s plenty of hiking, biking, and exploring to be had. After soaking up nature, relax with a game at The Ledges Golf Club in Winchester Hills and grab a bite to eat.

2. Entrada

Just on the other side of Snow Canyon lies Entrada, St. George. This neighborhood abuts the red rocks, offering hiking practically outside your back door. Take the kids up to the Snow Canyon State Park Johnson Canyon Arch for a scenic experience – and a little exercise – then heads over the Petroglyphs, a collection of ancient wall drawings located in the seams of two cliffs. For a less strenuous workout, head a few minutes south to Lava Flow Trail.

3. Paradise Canyon

Like Entrada, Paradise Canyon is nestled in Snow Canyon. Unlike Entrada, it’s only a few minutes from Red Hills Parkway and Interstate 18, making it a great place to grab a vacation rental for easy access to the whole metropolitan area. Better yet, trailheads go from Paradise Canyon right to Snow Canyon for an area threaded with hiking and biking trails. Take the kids hiking to Miller Spring, or opt for a more challenging experience on Chuckawalla Climbing Area. Afterward, hop on I-18 and head south for a night on the town.

4. Ivins

Although Ivins is part of metropolitan St. George, this bedroom community is situated far enough northwest to boast an almost rural feel. The Snow Canyon State Park, Paiute Reservation, and Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Area lie just beyond the suburb. Take advantage of your close proximity to Snow Canyon and explore the hiking trails or the Santa Clara River. Head north a few miles for a day trip at Gunlock State Park, complete with a reservoir, camping, and swimming.

5. Downtown

Downtown St. George has the distinction of being only a few minutes from the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. It boasts a number of eateries, museums, and shops. Visit the historic St. George Tabernacle, marking the center of the city, or stroll along Tabernacle Street for some tasty eats at Cappelletti, Twentyfive Main Cafe and Cake, and Bentley House. Both the St. George Children’s Museum and St. George City Art Museum are only a few blocks away (albeit in opposite directions) for an educational afternoon out.

6. Middleton

To the northeast of downtown is Middleton, which nestles up against the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. If you don’t lean toward golfing – there is a stately course, Green Spring, nestled between rock arms of the Red Cliffs – you can go hiking. Allow the kids to expend their extra energy at Slick Rock Park or 2450 East Park, which feature walking trails, or head downtown for some dinner.

7. Washington

Situated just east of Middleton, the town of Washington is part of the St. George metro area. Washington, like Ivins, is a little more spread out and a little less urban, so opting for a rental here gives you a bit more privacy while still allowing you quick access to the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. Better yet, you’re within a few minutes of Sand Hollow State Park, a cozy reservoir perfect for taking a cooling swim or tooling around in the family boat.

8. La Verkin

If you want easy access to all the nearby state and national parks, stay in La Verkin, a town half an hour from downtown St. George, but big enough to offer a range of vacation rental options. The town lies between the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area and Zion National Park. Zions is known for its majestic cliffs and scenic hiking trails. Head north for an hour and spend a day at Bryce Canyon National Park or Dixie National Forest. When it’s time to head back to La Verkin, stop at the Stage Coach Grille for good food that you don’t have to prepare.

9. Bloomington

Bloomington is in southern St. George, the perfect spot for relaxing at a number of golf courses such as Bloomington, Southgate, and Bloomington Hills. Venturing a few minutes to the north takes you downtown for a night of good food and entertainment, and heading a few minutes south takes you to Arizona. If you have a hankering to walk the Strip of Las Vegas, it’s only a few hours away.