Hey y’all! I feel like I haven’t written a blog post in FOREVER! Feels good to be back and share some travel content 🙂 I love writing posts about my travel adventures and share with y’all about my experiences. If you didn’t know, Logan and I recently visited Arizona (Sedona in particular) back in January for our wedding anniversary. We don’t normally do outdoorsy trips because I prefer the beach or going to Europe but I had heard such great things about Arizona. One of the places on our list to check out was the Grand Canyon and we sadly couldn’t go because of a blizzard. So… we decided to give it another try and visit over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
This time around we decided to fly into Salt Lake City just because I wanted to check out a new city. We did 5 nights and 6 days for our trip and we were able to see so much! Let me know if you have any questions on our trip.
Salt Lake City
We stayed two nights in SLC, the first day we arrived and our last night before flying back to Atlanta. The first hotel we stayed at was the Kimpton Monaco and the last night we stayed at the Hyatt House Downtown. Both hotels were great and in a good location. The shopping was amazing there! Of course I visited Nordstrom and Forever 21 and got a lot of good finds. I recommend checking out City Creek Center Mall. As far as food goes we went to Settebello (pizza place recommended by a fellow blogger), Chile Tepin (amazing Mexican, I was obsessed!), White Horse Tavern (amazing buffalo cauliflower) and Pig and a Jelly Jar (yummy breakfast, try the Mexican scramble).
Parrillada from Chile Tepin, only $25!
Southern Utah and Arizona
We wanted to check out some national parks and popular canyons on our visit so we spent most of our time in Southern Utah. Since we had 3 national parks on our list, we bought the annual pass which was most cost effective based on our travel plans. We paid $80 for the pass, which lasts a year and gives you access to all the national parks. It was definitely worth it for us since it was about $30 per entry at each park.
Where We Stayed
We got the CUTEST Airbnb, I was OBSESSED! This was our first Airbnb experience and it definitely set the bar high for any future visits. We stayed in Orderville, Utah which is about 4 hours away from SLC. The closest town was Kanab, UT (20 mins), which is where we bought our groceries and went out to eat at times. The location could not be more perfect. I found this gem of a “tiny house” and I loved it so much! It’s basically a small neighborhood of tiny homes (6) and one of them was a treehouse! The house was soooo clean and it made me sooo happy. It had two king bedrooms, an ample kitchen and living room, fire pit, rooftop with swing chairs and a patio set, I mean what more can you ask for. I STRONGLY recommend it! I miss it hehe.
Grand Canyon North Rim
As I mentioned, we tried checking out the South Rim back in January but unfortunately the weather got in the way. The South Rim is the most popular and closer to Arizona. Because of where we stayed, we visited the North Rim. It was about 2 hours away from our tiny house. This was our first stop because we wanted to avoid the crowds before the weekend. The views were incredible! They also had a cute little saloon and a restaurant at the top that we checked out.
This has been on my list for soooo long! We were going to go last time as well but didn’t plan for it. Antelope Canyon is in Page, AZ which was an hour and a half away from us. In Page, they have so much to check out- Antelope, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, etc. Antelope Canyon is on private property and owned by the Navajo so you can only go with a tour guide. There are two canyons to check out, Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon. We checked out the Upper Canyon since that was strongly recommended. The two differences are that for the Upper Canyon it’s above ground and you can see the light beams coming through and for the Lower Canyon, that’s underground and there’s ladders and such involved. To see the light beams, the best time to visit is from 10:30-1pm. The tour company we used was Adventurous Antelope. We paid for the premium tour at peak time for the light beams and it was $75 per person. I recommend you book in advance because they fill up quickly. They also offer a photography tour, which is more intense for those with tripods and DSLRs etc. Once you get there, they take you off-roading on a truck to get to the location which is about 5-10 mins away. The Canyon itself is pretty narrow and super crowded. It was honestly breathtaking and SO BEAUTIFUL! It’s so crazy what nature creates! It was one of my favorite parts of our trip.
This was the farthest away from where we stayed but we cut up the drive by stopping in Page, AZ first. Monument Valley is at the very southeastern corner of Utah and about +2 hours away from Page, AZ. We wanted to visit here last time on our trip but it was way too far away from Arizona. Monument Valley is honestly in the middle of nowhere and people just go for the classic highway and surrounding monuments. While I loved it, I don’t think it’s worth the drive all the way over there unless it’s on the way to a destination! You have to pay $10-20 to enter the “park” and drive around the monuments.
I really wanted to catch the sunset here on our way back from Monument Valley, but we did not time it properly. We had about 2 hours to spare and we were ready to make it home. We did stop by just because the view is amazing and I loved it last time! We visited last time and the lighting was perfect and my photos were crystal clear! This time around it was harder to see everything because of where the sun was located but I strongly recommend checking it out earlier in the day.
Zion National Park
This was a must on my husband’s list and it worked out perfect because it was 20 mins away from our tiny home. I recommend spending at least one full day at the park. There are SO MANY different hikes and things to do. We went on the busiest weekend of the year so it was super crowded. We ended up parking in Springdale, which is the little town outside the park where all the lodges and restaurants are. There’s a free shuttle that takes you from the parking to the park entrance and then you take a different shuttle for the trails. I would recommend researching the trails and what you want to do/see since it’s a little overwhelming. The most popular trail is Angel’s Landing, which is 5.4 miles roundtrip and the one we chose to do. It’s definitely REALLY high up and steep, so if you’re scared of heights it’s probably not for you. Side note- 6 people have died at the peak of this trail 🙁 We also checked out the Emerald Pools hike but it wasn’t too impressive.
Bryce was on our way back up to SLC and I really wanted to check it out after seeing photos. The Canyon is incredible. I enjoyed visiting because the trails take you right to the bottom of the Canyon and there’s lots to see. We did about a 3 mile hike here and then made our way back up to SLC. It was one of my favorites to check out as well!
Since our flight out of SLC was later in the afternoon, we had quite some time to check out other places. We decided to check out Antelope Island, which was about 45 miles away, even though I heard there wasn’t much to see. We had views of the Salt Lake and were able to see some buffalo, which was pretty cool!
We got to do SO MUCH on this trip and we had so much fun together. There’s so much to explore in the US and glad we set time aside for this visit. If you have any questions about my trip feel free to comment below, I’m happy to help!
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