Every year the list is different. We don’t do categories, we don’t fill in forms, we don’t count votes. We just pick our brains and everyone else’s for the coolest, newest and unexpected superlatives in the Beehive State. Every year we surprise ourselves and are delighted at the discoveries. You too will be surprised and delighted. And, no doubt, disgruntled. Because we left out one of your favorites. Let us know.
Best Way to Explore Inner Demons, Red Mountain Resort’s Despacho Fire Ceremony – Okay, so you’ve been watching too many episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and are contemplating worship of the Dark Lord. Yikes. Here’s where can you regain and discover the courage to cast off those inner demons for good. Get your sorry soul down to the Red Mountain Resort and join in a Fire Ceremony. Also, the resort’s heavenly spa amenities like a nature-inspired salt scrub and agave body wrap couldn’t hurt. 1275 Red Mountain Circle, Ivins, 435-673-4905, redmountainresort.com
Best Little-known Champion Sport Arena, The St. George Area Sports Commission – In 2017, Alan Francis captured his 22nd world title, cementing his reputation as the greatest horseshoe pitcher of all time. Francis is from St. George, and he has the advantage of one of the best home courts in the country—the largest (and newest) Horseshoe Pitching facility in the Western U.S. The 30-court complex is in J.C. Snow Park. 300 E. 900 South, St. George, stgeorgesports.com
Best Art Residency in a Ghost Town, Shamble, Cisco, Utah- Cisco really is a ghost town, a classic Western railroad relic. Eileen Muza, an artist and the only resident, lives in a Winnebago parked by the shambles near Canyonlands. She’s gradually restoring the place with found objects. And she’s offering it as an artist’s residency. The artists will be provided with a $500 stipend, a private outdoor kitchen, and studio space in an old Winnebago camper with skylights and a private deck. Check out eileenmuza.org
Best Restaurateur Relocation, Kathie Chadbourne Goes to Kanab – The beloved eccentric restaurateur who brought us Avenues Bistro and created the Avenues Bistro on Third, has moved her unbridled enthusiasm to Kanab. Kanab is becoming an interesting destination (see p. 50); part of it is Chadbourne’s Peekaboo Canyon Wood-fired Kitchen. Chadbourne’s new place is vegetarian, but cocktails and a cool patio provide their own spiritual umami. 233 W. Center St., Kanab, 435- 689-1959, peekabookitchen.com
Best Street Food Without a Street, Magnolia Street Food – It’s a food truck going nowhere. Parked in Boulder, Utah, the blue bus offers all kinds of locally sourced picnic foods—breakfast, sweet potato, picadillo, mushroom and all kinds of other yummies stuffed into burritos, plus sodas and sides. Eat at the picnic table or take it on the road. Anasazi State Park Museum, 460 N. Highway 12, Boulder, 801-643-3510, magnoliasstreetfood.com
St. George Pistachios – Who knew? The warm, high desert climate in Southern Utah is perfect for pistachio trees. The Red Rock Pistachio Orchards—20 acres of trees—are in Hurricane, just west of Zion National Park. Harvested, sun-dried, salted and roasted, the nuts are packaged and sold directly. rpistachios.com
For more of our Best of the Beehive winners click here.