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YOUR ZION + SOUTHERN UTAH ADVENTURE

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All the Best Things to Do in Springdale, Utah – Gateway To Zion National Park

Most national parks have a little town with hotels, places to eat, and shopping and for Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah is just that place. You can’t visit Zion National Park without stopping in Springdale!

Visitors to Zion will find plenty of awesome things to do in Springdale, Utah, as well as fantastic places to stay, lots of shopping, and great places to eat . Though the population of Springdale is super small (only around 600 people actually live here), the town plays a big role as the gateway to Zion National Park.


Where is Springdale Located?

Springdale, Utah sits right at the entrance to Zion National Park, and you go straight through the town to get to the west entrance of Zion.  You can even walk from Springdale right into Zion.


Getting Around Springdale

While it’s easy to walk around most of Springdale, there’s also a convenient free shuttle that runs through town and connects with the Zion National Park shuttle. The shuttle is such a wonderful way to get around and explore all the things to do in Springdale, Utah.



The Springdale shuttle runs daily from March through November, and you can find detailed info about Springdale shuttle hours and stops here.


Where to Stay in Springdale

Springdale is an amazing home base for visiting Zion National Park, and you’ll find lots of lodging options here. Here are my top three favorite spots to stay in Springdale:


CABLE MOUNTAIN LODGE

If you want to stay as close as possible to Zion, you literally can’t get closer than Cable Mountain Lodge! The park entrance is just a 3 min walk from the lodge, so you can stroll right past any traffic backups to get into the park and walk right in the pedestrian entrance. Plus, you won’t have to worry about parking!


Beyond the amazing location, Cable Mountain Lodge has some awesome amenities as well. The pool is awesome on a hot day in the desert, and you can see the stunning red rock walls of Zion in the distance while you’re splashing around. And let me tell you, The Spa at Cable Mountain Lodge is absolutely worth the indulgence, especially after a few days of hiking and exploring in Zion.


FLANIGAN'S INN

Only about half a mile from the entrance to Zion, Flanigan’s Inn is a fantastic place to stay in Springdale. From terrace rooms to suites to private villas, you can find the perfect accommodation option at Flanigan’s to fit your family or group when visiting Zion.


The family-owned inn has an outdoor hot tub and pool to relax in and enjoy the views, and there’s also a nature trail on the property and a really cool hilltop labyrinth to explore. Deep Canyon Spa offers a variety of rejuvenating treatments, too.


CLIFFROSE LODGE

Another wonderful spot just an easy walk down the road from Zion is Cliffrose Lodge. The rooms and villas are lovely, and the grounds are absolutely gorgeous with a well-tended botanical garden right on the property.


Five Petals Spa offers a special escape for a massage or a facial, but the real gem at Cliffrose Lodge is the riverside pool and hot tub. Sitting right on the edge of the Virgin River, you’ll get seriously jaw-dropping views while you soak.


And here are my honorable mentions for a couple other great places to stay in Springdale:

  • Desert Pearl Inn  Great location along the Virgin River and an easy walk to Springdale attractions and the Zion park entrance.

  • Springhill Suites - Modern rooms and amenities, just a little bit farther from the park entrance (about 1.5 miles) but easy to hop on the shuttle.


Where to Eat in Springdale

For such a small town, Springdale has a surprising amount of amazing places to eat! These are my top go-to restaurants when I’m exploring all the things to do in Springdale, Utah.


WHIPTAIL GRILL

Everything is amazing here! Whiptail Grill serves fun twists on traditional Mexican food, like goat cheese chile rellenos (my absolute fave!) and spaghetti squash enchiladas. Of course, you can also get tasty tacos and burritos, and they have excellent burgers on the menu, too.


ZION PIZZA & NOODLE CO

If you’re in the mood for pizza, you definitely won’t be disappointed here. The signature pizzas are seriously so good, and the salads are also great. Quench your thirst in the beer garden, which features a long list of drafts from local Utah breweries and other favorites from farther away.


OSCAR’S CAFE

You can’t beat the breakfast burritos at Oscar’s Cafe…both the pork verde and black bean green chili are an excellent way to start a big day of hiking in Zion. They also have pancakes and french toast if you have a sweet tooth. The lunch and dinner menu is extensive, but I swear by the shrimp tacos!


MEME’S CAFE

Famous for its crepes, which include both savory and sweet options, MeMe’s Cafe is a wonderful spot for lunch in Springdale. The sandwiches are truly something special, especially if you love pork…choose from a Hawaiian, Cubano, BBQ pork, and more!


You also can’t go wrong with all these other yummy choices:

  • Hangry Goat  This brand new spot features great barbecue sandwiches along with awesome views of The Watchman formation while you eat.

  • Cafe Soleil  Convenient cafe to grab a snack before heading into Zion National Park.

  • Deep Creek  Organic, locally sourced breakfast and lunch options including quinoa bowls, smoothie bowls, and sandwiches.

  • Switchback Grille  Splurge on a fancy dinner at this contemporary American steakhouse with incredible seafood, too.

  • King’s Landing  Treat yourself to an incredible seasonal meal with amazing specialty cocktails at this upscale bistro.

  • Bit & Spur  Enjoy an eclectic menu ranging from sweet potato tamales to roasted poblano mac & cheese to chicken mole at this modern saloon, or get a casual snack at the backyard taco shack.


TOP COFFEE SPOTS

  • Deep Creek  My personal fave to get my caffeine fix is this adorable cafe with delicious specialty lattes and more.

  • Canyon Coffee  Grab a coffee or a chai latte here to get energized for your day in Zion.

  • Perks at Cable Mountain  Located right outside the park entrance, you can park at the Zion Visitor Center early in the morning and then walk over and get a coffee.


LOCAL TIP: Springdale also has two grocery stores, Sol Foods Supermarket and Happy Campers Market. While they are convenient when you are heading into or out of Zion, that convenience comes with a price…literally. They are both super expensive! I recommend heading to the nearby town of Hurricane and hitting up Walmart, Lins, or Davis in for groceries if you want to save some money.


Things to Do in Springdale, Utah

While the big attraction here is obviously Zion National Park, you shouldn’t miss these fun things to do in Springdale, Utah, too.


Rent E-Bikes from Zion Outfitters

If you haven’t tried e-biking, I highly recommend it, and Springdale is the perfect place to give it a go. Head to Zion Outfitters, a gear store right at the entrance to Zion, and rent an e-bike for the day. Once you get your bike, start pedaling on the Pa’Rus Trail which runs from the Visitor Center along the Virgin River to Canyon Junction.


You can continue biking through the canyon, and it takes about 30 minutes to get from the Visitor Center to the end of the canyon at the Temple of Sinawava.

Local tip: Zion Outfitters offers 30 e-bike reservations per day (except on holiday weekends) with additional e-bikes available on a first-come/first-serve basis. Make a reservation online if you want to guarantee that you get a bike!


Check out my blog post with lots more info about e-biking in Zion here!


Play Around at Springdale Town Park

Since most people are distracted by Zion, the Springdale Town Park is a local secret that I love! There’s so much to do here, with pickleball courts, volleyball courts, tennis courts, softball fields, frisbee golf, and a playground. Plus, you can chill out in the gazebo or have lunch at the picnic tables (there’s a grill, too). And, of course, the views from here are amazing.


Hang Out at George Barker River Park

As you might expect from its name, George Barker River Park sits on the Virgin River in Springdale. One side of the park features picnic tables, grills, and plenty of grass to set up a picnic blanket.


On the other side of the river is Marj Bonner Dog Park, where you can let your furry friends run and play off leash. And everyone will enjoy splashing in the river here, especially when it’s hot!


Hike with a View

While the most well-known trails are obviously in Zion, you’ll find some nice easy trails right in Springdale, too. One of my favorites is a great little hike that starts at George Barker Park and takes you up to a beautiful vantage point of Springdale and the surrounding cliffs. It’s only about a mile round trip, and the views are incredible! 


Stop into the Springdale Library

A great rainy day destination or an escape from the heat, the Springdale Library offers something to keep the whole family entertained for a while. The staff is friendly and welcoming, and this truly might be the most beautiful library location you’ll ever see, with the sandstone walls of Zion rising just behind it.


Stroll the Shops in Springdale

It’s totally worth spending an afternoon walking around Springdale and checking out the shops. Here are a few to make sure to pop into:

  • Bumbleberry Gift Shop  This cute gift shop is also a bakery, so you can get both souvenirs and sweet treats here.

  • Hoodoos General Store  We love the grassy area outfront of Hoodoos. Check out the gift shop, then get an ice cream and sit on the lawn for a bit. The store also has a deli inside if you get hungry.

  • Zion Prospector– Gaze at all the beautiful rocks, gems, and fossils from both Utah and around the world. You can definitely find a unique souvenir here!

  • Zion Rock & Gem  From breathtaking large crystals to smaller but equally gorgeous gems, you could spend all day here exploring the selection of amazing rocks. The prices for souvenirs are also the best in town.


Peek at the Art Galleries

You might not expect it, but there are lots of great art galleries in Springdale! Check these out to appreciate the local talent:

  • DeZion Gallery  This wonderful gallery showcases local Southwestern artists and is on a mission to make art accessible to as many people as possible.

  • David J West Gallery  Photographer David J. West displays stunning photos of Zion and the Southwest in his gallery.

  • Worthington Gallery  This gallery is housed in a historic pioneer home and features the work of over 40 local artists in a variety of mediums, including kinetic wind sculptures.

  • Sorella Gallery  A small gallery with beautiful photographs, gorgeous art glass, and lots of creative pieces.


Take some time  to explore this charming town that welcomes travelers to Zion National Park. As you can see, Springdale is far more than just a parking lot for the park. Nestled in the shadow of the iconic red, white, and pink striped cliffs, Springdale feels like an extension of the park itself.


With plenty of entertainment, shopping, restaurants and lodging options, you will find that Springdale is a great place to spend some time on your visit to Zion National Park. I hope this blog post helps you make the most of that stop.



Happy Adventuring,

Arika




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