Nestled in the burgeoning college town of Cedar City, Utah, lies two gems of accessible leisure travel: Cedar Breaks National Monument and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Limited mobility is not a problem at either venue, and there’s every reason to go.
In July 2023, my husband Lou and I, together with our caregiver Josh, took in the remarkable beauty of western Utah as well as two superb Shakespeare performances over the course of a two-day visit to Cedar City.
Here’s what we recommend:
Where to Play
Cedar Breaks National Monument
A very pretty, half hour drive from Cedar City, Cedar Breaks National Monument is a welcomed breath of fresh air, quite literally. At an elevation of 10,000 feet, accessible view points lookout over colorful geological formations and abundant alpine vegetation. During summer months, wildflowers carpet the area.
During our July 2023 visit, Point Supreme Overlook was closed because it was being given a loving overhaul. Check here for park updates. We drove on to the alternate lookout, which was still mind-blowing and wheelchair accessible.
Utah Shakespeare Festival
Play on! After a global plague and a monarch change, we headed back to live theatre for the first time since 2019. At the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the magnificent acting, clever stage craft, and glorious costuming for Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream demonstrated that the hiatus did not lower the exceptional quality of performances one iota. Both plays proved that the festival is still on its A-game – on-stage anyway. When it comes to accessibility, however, we still hit a few minor glitches.
Compared to four years ago, we were delighted to see remarkably more audience members, and even staff, attending performances using mobility devices at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. It’s an auspicious sign of accessibility for all.
Traveling with a disability can mean having to alter plans unpredictably. My energy levels were such that we hoped to swap tickets for an alternate performance. Luckily, we could. Noah D. at the boxoffice happily exchanged the tickets. We appreciated the festival’s flexibility. Noah also enabled us to check out the actual seats in the outdoor theatre so I could decide whether I’d be more comfortable in the theatre seat or my wheelchair. Great guy.
Okay, what still needs work: In any theatre, wandering, pre-show audience members and special seating arrangements can make navigating a mobility device challenging. Uniformed ushers were cheerful, plentiful, and dutiful when approached, but as noted in our 2019 festival visit, they did not offer to ease passage. To read more click here.
At the gift shop, we could not enter via the ADA ramp for the two performances we attended. Aubree Rasmussen, Guest Services Manager, ensured us that the ADA gift store ramp would be cleared for accessibility moving forward.
Where to Stay
Two hotels, both alike in accessibility,
In fair Cedar City, where we lay our heads…
While visiting Cedar City, we’ve stayed at the following two hotels, which are located across the street from one another and a ten-minute drive to the Shakespeare Festival.
There are accessibility pros and cons with each.
Ask for Room 225 at the Courtyard Marriott. The hotel offers accessible rooms with roll-in showers, but from what we saw, those rooms are smaller. Room 225 is more spacious with two queen beds and a pullout sofa, perfect for traveling with a caregiver or family travel.
There is an accessible tub with a foldout bench in Room 225. Unfortunately, the length of the shower hose barely extends far enough to reach the person sitting on the bench.
Whoa, talk about clanky. Each room has its own A/C unit built-in and exposed within the room. Luckily, the weather cooled down enough at night that we could turn the unit off completely.
The indoor hotel pool has a mobility pool lift. However, when we called to book our stay and confirm there was a pool lift, the hotel staff was unaware that the lift was inoperable.
While we were there, hotel management tried to fix the pool lift, but was unsuccessful. Instead, they compensated us for the inconvenience.
1294 South Interstate Drive,
Cedar City Utah, USA, 84720
There’s plenty of room to roll around in Room 104 at La Quinta. The accessible room has one king-sized bed with space enough for a roll-in cot. We stayed very comfortably in Room 104 while traveling with a caregiver.
Really great. Pool lift was operational at the time of our visit.
There was only one drawback to Room 104: the noise. The room is very conveniently located on the ground floor near a side-exit door. We heard the door bang shut every time a guest went in or out.
1377 S Main St.
Cedar City, Utah 84720-3734
See Something? Say Something.
Accessible travel for people with disabilities is big business. Speak with your dollars, your vote, and your voice to let commerce know what’s working, and what’s not.
Special thanks to Josh Martinez for his input and transcription for this article. Most of all, we thank him for being a wonderful traveling caregiver companion.
And, as always, thanks to my husband and life’s co-adventurer, Lou.