You’re finally doing it -- taking that once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to America’s grandest park. Whether you’re peering over the edge or watching the sun creep over its rim, seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time is something you’ll never forget. To make the most of this dream vacation, plan to spend the night in the park. Here are some tips for visiting the Grand Canyon:
Why You Should Stay Overnight: To begin with, when you stay overnight in the park you minimize the time it takes getting to the canyon. In addition, you’ll also avoid the crowds of cars heading this way. Not only does it make things more convenient, but staying the night also opens up a host of opportunities you can only enjoy on-site.
Where to Eat: From fast food to gourmet meals, this national park has a wide variety of dining options. After a long day of sightseeing, you’ll appreciate the good food and spectacular views the area affords. You’ll find everything from coffee shops and to-go food, family-style meals and gourmet establishments. If you can snag a reservation, make sure to dine in the iconic El Tovar Dining Room, an elegant but casual restaurant in the historic hotel of the same name.
What to Wear: When considering what attire is best for dining, the key is casual and comfortable. Whether you’re going to a family-friendly eatery or one of the more upscale restaurants the dress is relaxed. The only notable exception is the El Tovar where shorts are not recommended. You’ll also want to keep in mind that since the South Rim is perched 7,000 feet above sea level temperatures can be quite warm in the daytime and drop in the evening. That being said, you’ll want to bring along a light sweater in case the evening air has a bit of a chill.
Drink, Drink, Drink: Arizona has a dry heat that sucks the moisture right out of you. Even at nighttime it’s important that you drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
What to See: Begin your after-hours stay by searching out the many wildlife species, including herds of native deer, that make their home in the area. Then, be sure to catch the sunset over the South Rim. You’ll watch in amazement as the colors change and deepen, painting the landscape a mix of fiery red, burnt orange and golden yellow. And for the ultimate in fine dining, grab a picnic dinner from one of the park’s food stores and take a seat at one of the wooden benches dotting the rim to watch the display.
The Grand Canyon is just one of the stops on YMT Vacations popular National Parks of the Golden West Tour. This 14-day journey also features Yosemite Valley and Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and Arches National Park. To learn more, contact your travel professional or call YMT Vacations at 855-808-5045.