Deciding where to stay and eat on your Southwest USA Road Trip can be more daunting that planning the route itself. I’ve outlined the places I recommend, with a few budget and hotel options. For your reference, here was our route:
Zion National Park – Bryce National Park – Page, Arizona (Antelope Canyons, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell) – Grand Canyon National Park – Sedona, Arizona – Scottsdale, Arizona
Zion National Park
Where to stay in Zion National Park:
Budget options – Camping:
Hotel option: Cliffrose Lodge and Gardens Hotel
If you are staying in a hotel, I highly recommend Cliffrose Lodge and Gardens for a few reasons. The road through Zion National Park to the various trailheads is restricted to vehicles with permits only. This means you aren’t able to drive in yourself.
There is a free shuttle that will take you into the park and stops at all the major points of interest. Cliffrose pretty much shares a parking lot with the main station where the shuttle begins. If you choose to stay elsewhere, you will need to take two different shuttles in order to get to and from the hotel into the park. The luxury of being able to hop out of bed and wander over to the shuttle stop, and then immediately head back to our hotel after a long day was incredible.
The Cliffrose hotel also has two pool areas with hot tubs overlooking Zion National Park. There are BBQ’s to use, and some of the rooms have their own kitchens. This is great for when you are exhausted and just want to cook something easy and relax!
Another hotel option: Flannigan’s Inn, located just down the road from Cliffrose
Where to Eat in Zion National Park:
Cafe Soliel for Breakfast
- We loved Cafe Soliel for a quick, filling breakfast before exploring. It is centrally located right beside the main shuttle station.
- Great for post hike beers and guilt free fried food.
Spotted Dog Restaurant
- Located in Flannigan’s Inn, a nicely decorated restaurant with big glass windows, lots of food options and good service.
Grocery shop: Sol Foods
A note on Liquor Stores
If you’re wondering where to buy liquor in Zion National Park, there is really only one place to do so: Switchbacks. They close at 8pm, so don’t get there at 8:01pm and get an evil eye from the store clerk (speaking from experience…). They are closed Sundays.
If you are really jonsein’ for a bottle of wine, some restaurants will cork your bottle at dinner, so you can have a glass and take the rest of the bottle back to your hotel to enjoy over the course of your stay.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Where to stay in Bryce Canyon National Park:
Bryce Canyon doesn’t have as many options hotel wise. We stayed at Ruby’s Inn Best Western. The walls are paper thin, and while it’s nothing fancy, the location is very central and a popular choice amongst travellers. For a great resource on the best campgrounds near Bryce Canyon National Park, check out this post by Lana Law.
Where to Eat in Bryce Canyon National Park
My best advice? Pack your own breakfast and lunch for the day. There aren’t a ton of healthy, high quality options in Bryce Canyon.
If you do need to eat at a restaurant, here are a few local favourites:
Cowboy Ranch House at Bryce Canyon Resort
Ruby’s Inn Cowboys Buffet and Steakroom
- We ate here off the regular menu. Nothing to write home about but convenient for dinner. There is also a convenience store attached that has a few grocery items. You could definitely piece a meal together with the supply there!
Where to stay in Page, Arizona
You can camp for free in many areas, but you’ll need to plan for access to facilities. If you’re in a camper van, Walmart parking lot allows you to set up shop there overnight.
Page Lake Powell Campground is also a great option!
Hotel Option: La Quinta Inn and Suites
We stayed at La Quinta Inn and Suites and loved it. It is perfectly located, the staff were friendly, and there was a complimentary hot breakfast. Depending on the time of year, they have a great cancellation policy. We ended up only staying one night in Page instead of our original plan to stay two, and we were able to get a full refund the day of (as long as we did so by 6pm!).
Where to eat in Page, Arizona
El Tapatio Mexican restaurant
- Great margarita’s and enchilada’s
Safeway & Walmart
- There is a Safeway and Walmart in town, so its easy to grab something quick and cheap for breakfast, lunch or dinner (especially if you are on a budget!).
Grand Canyon National Park
Where to stay in Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon can easily be explored in a day if you are just interested in hitting up the popular viewpoints. I prefer hiking up mountains versus down into canyons, so Zion, Bryce and Sedona peaked (pun intended) my interest more. If you do want to spend more time in the Grand Canyon, most people stay in Tusayan, 7 miles south of Grand Canyon Village. For a full list of places to stay, check out this post.
Where to eat in Grand Canyon National Park
RP’s Stage Shop
Homemade build your own sandwiches and delicious iced tea. Pop in after exploring the National Park on your way out of town!
Where to stay in Sedona
I recommend booking an Airbnb in Sedona. There are so many cute options, like this amazing little yurt!!
Where to eat in Sedona
- This restaurant is famous for amazing Mexican food, and the waitlist is proof. It was almost a 2 hour wait when we arrived, so we opted for another fan favorite:
- Stop in for margaritas, freshly made bruschetta, and a patio with some of the best views in Sedona.
Places to Stay in Scottsdale
To end your trip with a fun pool party scene, book the W.
If you are in a large group, you can’t go wrong with an airbnb. I recommend staying in Old Town!
We ended up using hotwire for a lot of hotels on our travels so that we could be flexible with our dates. We made a few itinerary changes along the way so this was super handy. Plus, we were able to score some discounted rooms by booking last minute. We got Doubletree Hotels Scottsdale-Paradise Valley, which had a killer pool and was in close proximity to Old Town (where all the bars and restaurants are).
Where to Eat in Scottsdale
- One of the best restaurants in Scottsdale. Great atmosphere, in the heart of Old Town and, has something on the menu for everyone
- The Mission
- Great Mexican food and margaritas (can you tell I love Mexican food?!)
If you head out on a Southwest USA Road Trip, I’d love to hear about it! Let me know the route, and if you found any local gems along the way! There are so many ways to do this route, but I hope you enjoyed reading more about the stops we discovered along the way!
READ NEXT: The Ultimate Southwest Road Trip
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