Seniors Check Out The Festival City

Cedar City Sign - Festival City USA

Cedar City, The Festival City, is 250 miles south of Salt Lake City, and 180 miles north of Las Vegas on Interstate 15. Senior travelers will find Cedar City, with a population of just over 29,000, located at the mouth of Coal Creek, with 10,000-foot mountains to the east and a vast desert area to the west.

Cedar City is home of Southern Utah University, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Utah Summer Games, the Neil Simon Theatre Festival, and other events. Seniors, take your pick from two dozens free things to see and do in Cedar City.


Cedar City is in the southeast Great Basin, and is about 20 miles north of the northeastern edge of the Mojave Desert. Its elevation gives it a cooler and less arid climate vis-à-vis nearby Dixie, but it retains its cultural ties to St. George—the two cities, for example, share a daily newspaper.

 Seniors Find An Old Iron Works Town

Cedar City was originally inhabited by the Paiute Indians and was founded in 1851 by Mormon pioneers. Henry Lunt and his men were sent to the area to build an iron works fort known as “Fort Cedar.”

A settlement began with the arrival of a group of 35 men from Parowan, 20 miles northward, to establish an iron works. They were organized and traveled in two militia companies–a foot company and a cavalry company–under the direction of Henry Lunt.


Small cottonwood log houses were built fort-style at the western base of the hill. In 1826, mountain man and fur trader Jedediah Smith traveled through the area exploring a route from Utah to California. The iron works closed in 1858, though iron mining continued in the area until the 1980s.

Seniors Enter Gateway to National Parks


The completion of a railroad connection to Cedar City in 1923 established the area as a tourism gateway to nearby Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park.

In addition to Cedar Breaks National Monument, Cedar City continues to be a center of tourism, commercial development, education and the arts in southwest Utah. Fun events are on-going throughout the year. Seniors may see paragliders near Cedar City, a great spot for updrafts in the Utah Mountains.


TripAdvisor notes that Cedar City is home to the Iron Mission State Park. Senior history buffs enjoy Southern Utah University Museums and Galleries. The Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument and Dixie National Forest are a few minutes drive away. Two popular  celebrations include the Groovefest American Music Festival and SkyFest.

Senior visitors, take a stroll through the Historic Downtown District and visit the Old Post Office, The Rock Church and the Union Pacific Railroad Depot. Enjoy your visit to this historic and scenic city. -jeb



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