]Quaint, serene, picturesque, and full of small town quirk, St. George exists in a Utah-pian world of its own. Renting can be tricky and neighborhoods can be cliquey, but this guide is here to make your rental search a piece of cake. Eat up.
Cost of Climate
While St. George has some of the most pleasant weather in the fall, winter, and spring, the summers are brutally hot. With temperatures soaring over 100 degrees, the cost of cooling your home will go up as well. Of course, St. George is, among other things, the Patron Saint of skin diseases, so at least you'll have spiritual support with your sun burn should you choose to lay out during the dog days of summer. So, when the weather is good, open the windows and save money on your electric bill. Then, as Al Gore would say, "Put it in a lock box,” because you will need the extra savings for the cost of air conditioning from June through early September. There are also a few apartments, mobile homes, and house rentals to choose from that are all-bills-paid.
There are two fluctuating populations in the city of St. George: college students and retirees. College students settle into their apartments just before the fall and spring.The retired crowd shows up in early winter to escape the harsh weather a little further north, then these "western snowbirds" return home for the summer, before that 100-degree weather rolls into town.
The Church of Latter-day Saints is the predominant religion, and as more and more families, retirees, and other transplants with big-city-life-sickness move into town, at least a few could benefit from some advice about living among the Mormon culture. First off, do not walk into town with a suspicion of this religion, of its exceptionally polite people, its old temple, and the rumors of multiple marriages. That's just not a good attitude for making friends.
Second,get ready for some strict liquor laws. There are no liquor aisles in the grocery stores, there are no streets lined with bars, and there is no beer stronger than 3.2%. And, while it is not necessarily a law, all of the restaurants and bars & grills that serve alcohol will insist that you order food along with it. The point is to keep people from catching a buzz in public. So, if you want to get tipsy, plan on doing it in the comfort of your own home. Or, head on down to Las Vegas for a night and let it all hang out – where, for the night you can pretend you're in St. George. Then, return to your less gluttonous, peaceful city for a nice, quiet day of hangover-nursing.
Neighborhoods in St. George
The north side of town is your neck of the woods if you prefer affordability over prestige, and diversity over the typical white-bread, family-driven, suburban-style neighborhoods common in St. George. The area just north of Sunset Boulevard is known as the Dixie Downs. Here, you will find inexpensive house rentals, along with a few mobile homes.
There are plenty of parks, a riverside biking trail, and lots of pedestrian trails and bicycle routes that meander through the neighborhood. There aretons of great Mexican food places. There is also a small shopping center nearby.
North of the Dixie Downs, you will find a more rural environment, where communities are separated by miles of raw nature. Small, exclusive neighborhoods are centered around world-class golf courses, and the vast wilderness of Snow Canyon State Park is right at your door step. Just southwest of Snow Canyon Park, you will find the Tuacahn Amphitheater, a roofless theater set at the bottom of a 1,500-foot cliff, which makes for a very inspiring backdrop, and even more inspiring special effects, as actors scour down in harnesses, fireworks bursting overhead, and daredevils slide down the cliff side.
Central St. George is a mix of old and new. Downtown is historic and quaint, with a few small shops, family activities, the constant sound of children in the street and the occasional resonating sound of the St. George Tabernacle bell going off. The area around Dixie College is where you will find a lot of students, as well as doctors and nurses working at the nearby medical center. This is where all the shopping is, with the nearby Red Cliff Mall and the Skyline Shopping Center for all your shopaholic needs. It is also here where you will find the city's parades, along with the popular First Night in town square, where musicians, poets, storytellers, dancers, actors, puppeteers, and artists come together in a big, beautiful showcase of St. George culture. Surrounding areas, such as the Middleton neighborhood, are full of new construction apartments and houses, along with several modern parks and hiking trails.
The south side of town is basically free from crowds, with suburban living among the landscape of the Mojave Desert. The Green Valley Resort and the numerous golf courses bring lots of older tourists to the neighborhood, but it is usually just a good area for enjoying peace and quiet.
Most people need a car to survive here. There is the SunTran, which provides four bus routes, however, it is very difficult to line up all the activities in life along just these four routes. There is also a great trail system for pedestrians and cyclists, but this way of getting around would be painful on those 100-degree days experienced throughout the summer. Those with cars are going to see most of the traffic along I-15, the only interstate that runs through the city. St. George Blvd. also enjoys congestion, being the major east-west route through town.
You Are Ready
Armed with the nuances of renting and navigating the city of St. George, you are now ready to begin apartment hunting. Good luck and happy hunting!
-By Katy Comal