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Small towns near Canyon is the most searched among tourist visiting Utah’s National Parks.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and the Grand Canyon National Park are dramatically different. Yet, when united, this majestic trio tells the grand saga that is the earth’s history.
Millions of visitors trekked to these national parks to discover the wilderness of these landscapes, preserved and protected for future generations by the National Park Service.
Bryce Canyon National Park is an ever-changing landscape of soaring pinnacles, bottomless chasms, lofty woodlands, and forests of stone. Despite its name, this wild panorama of sand, stone, and sky is not a canyon.
Instead, it is a natural amphitheater formed about 16 million years ago by the movements of the earth’s crust. The park’s name comes from Mormon pioneer Ebenezer Bryce, who began ranching in 1870.
The Bryce Canyon has multiple viewpoints that are easily accessible.
- Yovimpa Point, the highest viewpoint in the park
- Spectacular view at black birch canyon
- The natural bridge viewpoint at elevation 8627 ft
- The last viewpoint at elevation 9112 ft and Rainbow Point
- Canaan peak at the grand staircase Escalante viewed from campsite visit
- Sunrise point and Sunset point and also watch Thor’s Hammer and
- Inspiration point at elevation 8100, the big formation is supposed to be called the sinking ship, and the view is unbelievable.
So, when tourists in millions come here every day, they mostly prefer to stay in the small towns as these small towns are close to the national parks.
These cities also provide Utah’s best hotels and lodges. These national parks are the reason why the small towns are now developing, and some even provide the best tourism and hospitality services.
Let us now see some of the best small towns which you may consider staying at.
Midway town is just a few miles away from Heber City, Utah. It is a cute little quaint town located southeast of salt lake city. There is a cafe Galleria here, and they have little houses. They organize an October feast every year.
The houses are adorable and well-maintained, and some are often very old; the streets are pretty clean. There is a hillside memorial up there where you can drive or hike or horseback ride.
Mount Timpanogos is well visible from here, and the mountain surrounds the city and gives a 360-degree panoramic view. Also, there is a Deer Creek reservoir. Outdoor activities you can do here include skiing, camping, and riding, mainly provided by Wasatch Mountain State Park.
2. Heber city
Heber City is the cutest little town in Utah southwest of Salt Lake City. On the main street, one can find several good restaurants for eating. There is an old hub restaurant, and the best shakes and ice cream are found in Granny’s Dragon.
The Chicks cafe has got the best food in the town, the best bacon, eggs, sausage, and ham. Then there are big old hash browns where you get sausage ham, bacon, and eggs, or toaster scones, which are delicious. There are old strip malls taco joints, and branch house grills.
Although it is a small town but is quite expensive, other outdoor activities offered by the town are skiing, golfing, swimming, and riding.
It is one of the historic towns of Utah and nature has a lot to showcase in this small town. Let us start with the Kodachrome Basin State Park. It exhibits unique colors with the movement of the sun.
A little distance from Kodachrome Basin State Park is the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, a popular spot for water sports.
Next is the mesmerizing view of the hoodoos of the Bryce Canyon. Suppose you are driving to a gas station or a water dumping station at Silver Eagles on highway number 12, from here, you can head towards the campsite of Bryce Canyon National Park and Panguitch Lake.
The mere view of Panguitch Lake will make your day. Go there, relax, capture photos, catch fish, and enjoy the scenic beauty.
Another not-to-miss thing is the Quilt Walk Festival which offers some unique entertainment. From the main street, take a right and enter the cute little area of the town, and you get to see the old Firehouse Antique, a thrift store, Kenny Ray’s restaurant, smokehouse cafe, and Henry’s drive-in.
The main road of this town is also included in the National Register of Historic Places.
It is Utah’s one of the prettiest small towns surrounded all over by the Zion national park. The cliff rows and the gardens along the Virgin River surrounded by the Zion National Park are in themselves a sight to watch and naturally welcome people from all over the world.
This town is a town of gift shops, hotels, and inns, and all these mostly cater to the tourist footfall of Zion National Park.
One can find the best hotels here with a view of the state park. It is one of the finest places for hiking, camping, and wildlife watching. Once there, you can visit the ghost town, galleries, and other state parks nearby.
It is a small town on the edge of the Dixie National Forest at 4471 feet.
A resort privately owns the Crawdad Canyon rock climbing park. Crawdad Canyon offers many outdoor activities and catching crawdads, which are abundantly available throughout all seasons. However, it is a paid service, and they also offer kits to catch crawdads.
The best pies are available here and are of different kinds. The most ordered fruit pies are apple pie and strawberry rhubarb. The most liked cream pies are the banana cream pie, coconut cream pie, sour cream pie, and many more.
It is the largest city in eastern Utah. The Arches National Park and the Canyonlands National Park welcome a lot of tourists every year. The La Sal mountains are a great base for mountain biking, hiking, and camping. The Colorado River, located here offers the best river rafting experience.
Many restaurants serve food from worldwide, from Thai to Italian Mediterranean, or Hispanic, Moab has everything for you.
The Apache Motel is one of the best places to stay. It offers accommodation on all budgets. Shuttle services are available to visit the national parks, and no public transport is available.
It was once Utah’s capital city and is one of the most historic towns in the state. The oldest piece of government property in Utah, i.e., the Statehouse, still stands there. This town is now popular for the preservation of antique architecture and excellent hospitality. Outdoor activities include ATV riding, golfing, and fishing.
The Cove Fort, Hermit’s Cabin, Little Sahara Recreation Area, Meadow Hot Springs, and the famous Statehouse State Park Museum are places to visit. In case your appetite keeps calling, make sure to visit Cluff’s Car Hop Cafe for burgers or Costa Vida Cafe for tacos and burritos, 5 Buck Pizza for Pizza or wings, and Iceberg Drive-In for shakes, fries, and sandwiches.
Kanab is located north of Arizona and is very close to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park. The local highlights here are the pink coral dunes, Lake Powell, Red Rock Wave, and the little Hollywood museum.
Here you can do loads of outdoor activities like ATV riding, horseback riding, camping, river rafting, hiking, and much more. It is impossible to do justice to this place in just one trip. It has a lot of accommodation options here to choose from.
This southern Utah town is located such that it is exactly halfway between St. George and Lake Powell. The city was founded in the 1870s by Mormon pioneers.
Main attractions include the Frontier Movie Town & Museum, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Moqui Cave, and a long list to go.
9. St. George
St George is a town located in southwestern Utah and is one of the fastest-growing towns in Utah. It is just 90 minutes from Las Vegas and is visited by tourists to see the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. The Snow Canyon State Park is a view to watch.
Other highlights of this small town include the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site, St. George Children’s Museum, desert room, science room, arts and crafts room, Pioneer Park for its picnic areas and walking trails, and iconic Dixie Rock – a huge red rock.
10. Bryce Canyon City
This city is the closest to the east entrance of the Bryce Canyon National Park. Once you visit this city, get ready to explore the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park. The haunting and beautiful sight of this canyon is eerie and silent.
The best to stay in this town is the Ruby’s Inn and the Bryce Canyon’s main lodgings. The city has a lot in store for you, like horseback riding, mountain biking, ATV rides, and helicopter tours.
For some hearty American food for the foodies out there, do not forget to explore and try the Foster’s Family Steakhouse, Barn & Grill, and Bryce Canyon Pines Restaurant.
Torrey is designated as the happiest city in the US. This town is situated at the base of the Rocky Mountains and is a perfect holiday destination. It is a municipality in Colorado just a little away from Denver.
Torrey is a tree-lined small town and is the gateway to the Capitol Reef National Park. Rim Rock Restaurant is the most preferred place to eat, drink, and enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of Capitol Reef.
Several lodges are available here, including Boulder University Inn, Holiday Inn ExpressBoulder, SkyRun Vacation Rentals, and more. These places are very convenient and provide great hospitality.
Blanding is a southeastern Utah town settled by the Mormon settlers. It is set between Lake Powell, Bridges National Monument, and Arches National Park. You can either go biking in the Abajo Mountains, hiking in Mule Canyon, or challenging ATV trails in the valleys and plateaus.
Local sights include Hovenweep National Monument, Cedars State Park Museum, Huck’s Museum & Trading Post for its impressive artifacts, and the Dinosaur Museum.
In case you have an hour or two, drive to the Goosenecks State Park, where the views of the San Juan River are extremely stunning.
Monticello of Utah has the best outdoors. It is a tourist paradise for its famous Four Corners Area, where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet. This point offers many sports options like ATV riding, biking, camping, rock climbing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and swimming.
Some great festivals organized here are the Monticello-to-Canyonlands Triathlon and the San Juan County Fair & Rodeo.
The town’s public swimming pool features a climbing wall, a water basketball hoop, and an eight-foot waterslide. The Hideout Golf Club is famous for its 18-hole course. Hotel A Piattatella, Villas Celia, and Hotel Minera are the luxury hotels you can opt to stay at.
14. Cedar City
It is located a few miles south of Salt Lake City. Cedar City is a combination of arts and adventure and is a perfect stopover for road trips. However, it is not easy to drive after you cross both the Dixie National Forest and the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park.
The city’s downtown area has quaint shops, art galleries, antique stores, and coffee houses.
The Neil Simon Festival and the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival make the city stand out. These festivals feature puppet shows, musicians, and singers.
The new upcoming restaurants offering delicious wood-fired pizzas, grilled meat, and seafood dishes are worth mentioning.
15. Park City
It is located in the western state of Utah. Park City was once a silver mining town and is now a ski area in America. Once you are here, the must-do list includes the Historic Main Street, Victorian mining cabins, galleries, shops, restaurants, and bars, and the open-air Park Silly Sunday Market.
Moreover, this is not the end, and the showstopper sights include Park City Museum, The Dungeon: Park City’s Territorial Jail, and the Utah Olympic Park. The Sundance Film Festival, a 10-day event that exhibits films from across the world, is a must-visit if you happen to visit in January.
Now that you know the best towns near Bryce Canyon, what’s stopping you, break all chains, grab your visa and passport, and get ready to find yourself in these small towns or say more into nature’s lap.
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