Kids will enjoy exploring the magnificent 15-mile-long Zion Canyon and Checkerboard mesas at Zion National Park, part of the Southwest's Grand Circle of National Parks. For more information on Zion National Park, click here.
While you're there
Hike with the kids on the Weeping Rock trail, which takes about 30 minutes round trip, or sign up for one of the guided horseback excursions along the Virgin River (must be 7 or older; 220 pounds maximum) offered by Canyon Trail Rides. And while you're in the neighborhood, try to fit in a day trip to Bryce Canyon. It's only 78 miles from Zion, but it feels like another world, with its spectacularly beautiful horseshoe-shaped plateaus and whimsically shaped pillars of stone called Hoodoos. For more on Bryce Canyon National Park, click here.
Where to stay
Plan to overnight at Zion Lodge (from $159 per night) or Flanigan's Inn (from $129), a smaller, comfortable hotel with standard rooms and efficiencies that's within walking distance of the visitors' center at Zion.
* All hotel prices are approximate.
Around sunset, grab a table and relax on the patio at Bit & Spur, a bustling Mexican restaurant near the park entrance in Springdale, Utah. Order one of the fresh-fruit margaritas, and try the spicy chile verde pork stew or the sweet-potato tamales. There's also an affordable kids' menu that features tacos, cheese quesadillas, and plain pasta with butter and parmesan.
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If you like this destination, and are interested in a variety of other travel spots, feel free to visit the following websites:
You will find travel information for a number of agencies including Bureau of Land Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, National Park Service, and Bureau of Reclamation.