SLC to Vegas (indirect) (Moab, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon)
Heading back out west for our summer vacation this year. Booked a flight into SLC, and will fly out of Vegas when we're done.
We enjoy a variety of cuisines, but will gravitate towards steaks and Asian foods. We aren't likely to try Indian or African. Our NJ/NY bias will lead us to mock the pizza and bagels, but we'll give 'em a shot if you say they are good.
I think most of our drives are reasonable, and we'll probably try to stop just for gas from one destination to the next.
Each place is 2-3 nights, so we'll have a chance to try multiple places. The plan now is to get some hiking done early, before it gets hotter. Breakfast may be a day of departure thing only.
Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions. Included is our route and hotel info. We leave July 14th.
NJ to Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City to Moab
Arches National Park & Canyonland National Park
Best Western Plus
Moab to Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon to Zion National Park
Zion National Park
Best Western Zion Park Inn
Zion National Park to Grand Canyon South rim
El Tovar Hotel
Grand Canyon to Las Vegas
In Moab, the Jailhouse Cafe is a fantastic spot for breakfast. Love the gingerbread pancakes with apple butter, but everything seems to be pretty wonderful there.
Don't know about breakfasts in Springdale (I think that is the name of the town where Zion is) because the last time I was there and not camping, I stayed at a delightful B&B called "Under the Eaves" that made yummy breakfast indeed.
The only restaurant in Springdale that we liked was called Oscars. All the sandwich places seemed to just serve the blandest of supermarket bread and cold cuts and it was all hardly worth the bother.
There's a zoo thing where you can pay to feed the animals. Just so you know, they then take those animals and let people shoot them for a fee. It's a free country and all, but I certainly was not pleased at the thought of paying to fatten up a trophy, especially for a hunter who was so lazy that he needed to have the animal brought to him to shoot. Ugh. The implication is that you are helping or protecting the animals and there is something VERY sleazy about it.
I don't recall anything near Bryce. Eat the scenery!
Great BBQ for dinner at Kaisers tonight.
We shared a 3 meat super combo plate and the sausage plate.
Pulled pork was super tasty. Needed some sauce, but was really tasty.
Ribs were tender, tasty and juicy. Great dry. Great wet.
Brisket was really a shock at how tender, tasy and juicy it was (see a theme).
Hot sausage was TTJ.
Sides: Baked beans, creamed corn were the best. Cole Slaw was good, as was mac and cheesse. Cornbread was good too.
If the drive from Moab to Bryce takes you through Escalante, stop at the Kiva Kafe for lunch (just east of town IIRC). Worth the stop for the view alone, and the food and coffee is good too! Then, when driving from Bryce to Zion, about 6 miles west of where you rejoin Highway 12 on your left hand side you'll see a gas station/motel/restaurant combination with a big stop that says BAKERY. STOP. GO TO THE BAKERY IN THE BACK OF THE CONVENIENCE STORE. BUY PIE. Blueberry if they have it. Eat it for desert that night. Trust me.
Man, I would not drive the extra four hours to hit the South Rim when the beautiful and much, much, much, much less crowded North Rim is so much closer AND COOLER since it's 1,000 feet higher!
If you do the North Rim, don't eat at the "quick service" cafe thing. The food in the lodge's Dining Room comes out of the same kitchen, offers more variety, and was cheaper & better than our previous day's lunch.
Oh yeah, then there's that incredible view of the canyon while you're dining, too.
What ever you do, do NOT eat at Baristas in Hurricane (Zion area) major tourist trap. For Zion/Springdale I would pass on the Bit and Spur - it was so so. Heard good things about Oscars, Parallel 88, and the Spotted Dog.. In St George you could try the Painted Pony, or Benja's Thai downstairs, both are in Ancestor's Square, and both have good food.