Mar 18, 2012

Review of Zion National Park - Springdale, AZ

Rudy and I just got back from an awesome vacation to Zion National Park and Springdale, AZ.  I thought I would fill you in on the details of our trip in case you would like to visit.  I would highly recommend it!

Getting There:  We flew into Vegas and drove to Springdale.  It was a super easy drive and only 2.5 hours.

Where to Stay:  We absolutely LOVED Flannigan's Inn.  The staff was very accommodating and it is walking distance to all the restaurants and shopping in town as well as the park.  They also have a mountain top labyrinth on the property (and include spiritual tours) as well as a spa, pool and hot tub.  Each room has a TV and refrigerator.  They also offer Villas that have full kitchens.  Here are some pictures from their website.  I got a massage and it was incredible.  The downstairs of the main building has been converted to their spa.  It is so relaxing and serene.  You feel like you are a million miles away more than you already felt.

Rudy and Reed checking out the onsite tree house at Flannigan's.

Where to Eat:  We tried lots of restaurants while we were in town - most were winners, one was just is a little bit more information about our culinary adventures.

Spotted Dog Cafe - This is connected to Flannigan's Inn and was incredible.  The food was sooooo good and the service impeccable.  This was a bit on the pricey side, not outrageous by any means but more than the other options in town.  They have a chef, white linens, candlelight, etc.  It was worth the price and a great place to treat yourself to a special dinner We had these amazing mushrooms as an appetizer, I had the pear risotto dish and Rudy had lamb.  All with a great bottle of wine.

Mushrooms - we had this many in one dish!

 Rudy's Lamb
 Pear Risotto
Pizza and Noodle Company - This place had a good vibe and the pizza was okay.  The crust was good but the pizza itself didn't have too much taste.  It needed some garlic or pesto or something.  It could have just been the pizza we selected.  We met several people at the hotel that loved it.  So definitely worth a try.
Thai Sapa - This was so, so good and a walking distance from the hotel.  Great food and awesome service.  We noticed too that a steady stream of people came in saying things like "we eat here every time" "great to see you all again", etc.  I got a great tofu dish and Rudy had lamb.

Wildcat Willies - Springdale Utah
Wildcat Willies - Yes, we ate a place call Wildcat Willies.  When we were walking by we noticed people inside eating these amazing looking breakfasts so we stopped in.  I had a veggie three cheese omelet and Rudy had the Baja Sunrise.  My selection was very good, Rudy's was amazing.  I definitely had plate envy!  They have open mic nights and karaoke nights...I wish we could have been there for one of those!

Oscar's Cafe in the Springtime

Oscar's Cafe - This place stays open all year long when most other places close during the off season.  They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and have great service.  I ate breakfast there one morning when Rudy headed out to see Bryce Canyon.  I had their cheddar cheese pancakes.  Sounds weird but it was very good.  The cheese was subtle but definitely gave a good salty/sweet combination with the syrup.  Definitely would check this out!


Whiptail Grill - This one doesn't have a website for you to check out the menu but it was so good.  Two people at Flannigan's recommended it and it was AWESOME.  We got some great Mexican here.  We actually got our food to go so I could watch the Bachelor finale (I know, watching the Bachelor in Zion !?) but also so we could get Reed into bed early.  They have a great patio and a good casual vibe.

Cafe Soleil - This was a good little cafe to get coffee and breakfast or lunch.  I had a  breakfast burrito that was pretty good.  I would definitely say that Wildcat Willies and Oscar's was better if you compared my menu selections but I am sure other things are worth trying.  Their website isn't currently working.

Things to Do: 
  • Hiking and enjoying the park
  • Shopping
  • Polygamist Spotting - Just kidding - but kind of not really.  I kind of have this weird fascination and two of the largest FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) groups are near this area.  I read the book The 19th wife and got hooked.  So I was oddly excited when we saw a family at a local gas station.  
  • Painting
  • Drinking Wine - no vineyards but lots of nice patios for sitting and having a glass!
  • Beer tasting - several micro breweries in the area.  They even have one called Polygamy Porter with the clever slogan - "better ask your wife before you have one." or something like that.
  • Picnics
  • Spiritual journeys/yoga - this area is very zen...I am not into that stuff but can see why others travel here to do it.
  • Climbing 

It was a great trip...we really went big for Reed's first excursion!  Can't wait to get on the road time we will probably pick something in our time zone. :)

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