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Where to Stay in Bryce Canyon in 2022 | Best Areas

Where to Stay in Bryce Canyon in 2022 | Best Areas

The choice of where to stay in Bryce Canyon depends on many factors, but the most important one is the proximity to the area’s main attraction: the Bryce Canyon National Park.

The park is surrounded by a lot of towns, which all offer different things. Some are bigger, and some are smaller. On the one hand, the smaller ones, which are close to Bryce Canyon Park, lack accommodation options and restaurants.

On the other, the bigger towns are further away from the park but offer a wider variety of hotels and food-related options. So, the choice is quite obvious. If you want to stay close to the park, choose one of the smaller cities, like Bryce Canyon City, Hatch, or Tropic.

But, if you prefer quality or even luxury accommodation and good food, the bigger towns like Panguitch and Escalante are the better choice for you.

Where to Stay in Bryce Canyon

What do we talk about when we talk about Bryce Canyon? The magnificent National Park, of course, and its otherworldly, almost alien beauty. But we also talk about the wider region, full of mainly small and quite interesting Western American towns, as well as the many natural beauties that surround them.

The main attraction that is central to our guide is Bryce Canyon Natural Park. If we want to describe it truthfully and in a few words, it is pillars of red, orange, and white, encompassed by the bluest and clearest skies that you’ll see in your whole life.

The park’s main draw, however, is its “hoodoos,” which are unusually shaped rock formations that sometimes resemble other things. So, in Bryce Canyon Park, we can see Thor’s hammer or Queen Victoria created by the spontaneous and mysterious sculpting of Mother Nature herself.

The second attraction is the sky. During the day it’s the purest blue you’ve ever seen, and during the night it becomes so full of stars that the park highly suggests “stargazing” as one of its most characteristic appeals.

The surrounding towns have a distinct western aura. They’re full of different restaurants — mainly grills and diners — cozy accommodation options and souvenir and antique shops.

Also, there are some quiet museums you can visit, which are usually of two kinds. They’re either natural museums about the geological history of the area or pioneer museums, which tell the history of the people who built the place.

All in all, Bryce Canyon National Park is a rather peculiar place, all about nature, food, and early American history, but nonetheless captivating. Just make sure you take a car so you can hop from town to town and see everything that the area can offer.

The 5 Best Parts of Bryce Canyon

The small towns around Bryce Canyon are usually lightly populated, located near or on the highways, and their identity is closely related to the park. The bigger towns are denser and have a lot more going on, aside from the park itself. Proximity or urbanity — the choice is yours.

  • Bryce Canyon City: Located on the margins of Bryce Canyon City, it’s the right place to be if you want to stay as close to the park as you can.
  • Hatch: Located on the distinctive Highway 89 and between two famous national parks, it’s an obvious choice for lovers of rough and rugged western beauty.
  • Panguitch: The biggest of all the towns in the area with the best downtown, it makes for the perfect exploration base without sacrificing comfort.
  • Tropic: Unique by virtue of its location, close to not just Bryce Canyon but other parks as well.
  • Escalante: Here, you’ll find the best and the most luxurious accommodations in the area and a great variety of restaurants, but it’s furthest from Bryce Canyon Park.

Bryce Canyon’s Best Areas and Hotels

The Bryce Canyon area is not huge, and it’s fairly well connected. The proximity of the cities to Bryce Canyon National Park is never more than an hour, even in its farthest parts. But, the residents of the smaller towns can literally look at the hoodoos inside the park from their windows.

Also, they’re considerably cheaper. Having that in mind, for nature enthusiasts and those who don’t want to spend their money on accommodation and expensive food, the smaller towns are definitely the places they would want to spend their vacation.

Bryce Canyon City, Hatch, and Tropic are great places to do precisely that: save money and spend a lot of time in the park. The bigger towns — Panguitch and Escalante — are further away, especially Escalante.

Both of them are quite suitable for visitors who want to have it both ways: have an adventure and make their stay more luxurious and comfortable. Obviously, this type of visitor must be ready to pay a little more for their choice.

Taking all of that into account, each of the areas and towns has other distinct and unique draws, and we’ll tell you all about them to help you further fine-tune your choice.

1. Bryce Canyon City

Bryce Canyon City, formerly known as Ruby’s Inn, is a fairly small town (with a population of 198 people) adjacent to Bryce Canyon National Park. Everything in this small and interesting city is connected to the park. A good start is to visit the Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center.

Here, you can ask for directions and information, use the restrooms, replenish your drinking supply, or use first aid. Also, check on their store and their exhibits — there’s a fine bookstore inside the visiting center, and their small museum is quite nice.

After that, the beauty of the Bryce Canyon National Park is the only thing you should concentrate on. Hiking is the primary activity, as Bryce Canyon’s largest appeal is its rugged nature and its beautiful vistas.

There are a lot of hiking options with different levels of difficulty, and here’s a brief classification from the easiest to the hardest:

  • Half a mile long, Sunrise Point to Sunset Point is probably one of the easiest hikes but offers sights that can be compared even to its most difficult counterparts.
  • The iconic Navajo trail is moderately hard and around 1.3 miles long. It’ll take you an hour to cross it, and it offers the view of one of the most famous hoodoos, Thor’s hammer.
  • Queen Garden Trail is 1.8 miles long and will take a little more than an hour of your time. It offers a chance to hike amongst the hoodoos and see the Queen Victoria hoodoo, which uncannily resembles the legendary queen.
  • Rim Trail, with its 5.5-mile-long track, goes around the entire amphitheater and is famous for catching the sunrise. Just make sure you have three to four hours.
  • Finally, the 8-mile-long Fairyland Hoop is the “Everest of Bryce Canyon.” It’s as rewarding as it’s hard — just make sure you bring sufficient amounts of water.

In the end, after a long and tiring day full of sightseeing and hiking, make sure you visit The Lodge in the center of the park. Most of the tracks begin there anyway. At the lodge, you can find both accommodations and food.

Things to Do

  • Hiking is the first and obvious choice; it’s just what you do in Bryce Canyon. See the hoodoos, the amphitheater, the unusual rock formations like Queen Victoria and Thor’s hammer, or just enjoy the one-of-a-kind rugged atmosphere.
  • It may sound like a cliche, but the starry skies at Bryce Canyon are out of this planet. They are so famous that they are included in tourist guides. Find a good spot during a hike or while camping and enjoy the intricate art of the stars above.
  • Have a bite. The number of options in Bryce Canyon and the adjoining Bryce is not very high, but the places that are there are worth the time. The barbeque is particularly famous, and most places are family and pet friendly.
  • Go camping. Forget the accommodations and the restaurants and completely immerse yourself in the sublime nature of Bryce Canyon. There are two campgrounds that are inside the park: North Campground and Sunset Campground. Either north or south, it’s up to you/

Where to Eat

  • The Lodge at Bryce Canyon Restaurant is the only restaurant that’s actually in Bryce Canyon. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and mostly concentrates on healthy food and local products. Also, it serves vegetarian, vegan, and non-gluten options.
  • Cowboy’s Buffet & Steak Room at the center of Bryce City is a family-oriented western-style American diner, offering steak, ribs, seafood, and chicken. It’s especially famous for its 11 o’clock Ruby’s Country Breakfast, consisting of two eggs, hashbrown potatoes, toast of your choice, and your choice of bacon or sausage.
  • Ebenezer’s Barn & Grill, also in the center of Bryce, offers steak, seafood, and other barbeque dishes, with an option for vegans and vegetarians. Most of the time, it has live music with great local bands.

Bryce Canyon City Budget Hotels

  • Bryce View Lodge is a five-minute ride down from the park. Offers decent rooms with a coffee maker and cable TV. The location is its strongest side.
  • Bryce Canyon Resort is located around five miles from the entrance to the park. The greatest perks of the hotel are its outdoor pool and great view.

Bryce Canyon City Mid-Range Hotels

  • The Lodge at Bryce Canyon is the only hotel inside the park. It offers 70 motel rooms, 40 western cabins, and 4 rooms within the lodge itself. Both the lodge and the cabins are historically interesting and significant since they were designed in the 1920s. It also has a great dining room, which is open to everyone, and an interesting souvenir shop.
  • Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn is a great mid-range hotel close to Bryce Canyon Park (1.6 miles). It offers an outdoor pool, and some of the rooms have jacuzzis.

Bryce Canyon City Luxury Hotels

  • Best Western PLUS Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel is as luxurious as it gets in this area. It has a great location, nice access to attractions, a gym, and a swimming pool. Ebenezer’s Barn and Grill is also on the site of the hotel.

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2. Hatch

Hatch is a small town with a grand population of 127 but a big soul, a great location, and an interesting history. Founded by Mormon pioneers in their search for a permanent home in 1872, when they joined the Mammoth Creek and Sevier River in one city, it has grown little in the following years.

Today, it stands as one of the smallest cities in the whole of Utah. So, why should you stay in Hatch? The first reason is because of its unique location. The town is settled on the scenic Highway 89 between the two great natural wonders of Utah: Bryce Canyon national park on the east and Zion National Park on the west.

It’s especially suitable for the visitors of Bryce Canyon because it’s only 27 miles away from its hoodoos, which amounts to around 30 minutes by car. As Bryce Canyon is probably a one-day experience, Hatch is a great place to settle you and your family.

But Hatch does offer some exciting things on its own. If you’ve already visited Bryce Canyon and are still starving for natural scenery, go to Mammoth Cave, some ten miles from the city’s center.

It’s a limestone labyrinth with over 400 miles of natural wonders and maybe the world’s longest cave system. However, claustrophobic people may want to skip this adventure. For history buffs, the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum in Hatch offers a great experience.

The main exhibits and artifacts of the museum are connected to the saved memorabilia, craftwork, and everyday objects of the Mormon pioneers from the 19th century. If you’re a fan of the pioneer history of America, this is a place for you.

Finally, you can go fishing, hiking, or riding. The nearby Sevier River is a great way to relax and catch a tasty lunch. The area is full of hiking opportunities, and some of the hotels offer organized tours. Or just enjoy some scenic driving on Highway 89 and enjoy the view.

Things to Do

  • You must visit Bryce Canyon because the national park, with its hoodoos and natural amphitheaters, is undoubtedly the greatest attraction in the area. Also, it’s quite close to Hatch — only 30 minutes away by car.
  • Learn something about the early Mormon (and non-Mormon) pioneers in this area from the Daughters of Utah Pioneers museum, with its rich and interesting setting. You’ll see everything: from early pioneer bric-à-brac and craftsmanship to whole carriages and everyday objects.
  • Go to Mammoth Cave and explore the beautiful and rich tunnels that span all over (or under) the area. Join some of the tours and learn about both the geological history of the caves and the history of the caves as an institution.
  • Enjoy the rugged nature of the Hatch area. You can do everything: join some hikers on their tour through the region, go fishing on the Sevier River, or drive through the unforgettable Highway 89 and enjoy the scenery.

Where to Eat

  • Galaxy Diner is a nice place with a distinctive 50s look that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Bacon and eggs and gravy to open the day, burger as the main course, and fish and chips for dinner.
  • The Outlaw is a classic American saloon with a great variety of drinks and food. It’s especially famous for its grill, a large selection of whiskeys, cocktails, and local brews, and a specific western-themed interior.
  • Sevier Coffee Co. has a great selection of coffees and quick snacks, mainly sweets and breakfast foods. It’s a nice place to hop in between activities and have a coffee and an ice cream.

Hatch Budget Hotels

  • Hatch Station Bryce Canyon is a nice place for budget travelers. Situated in the middle of Hatch, it offers rooms with flat TVs, air conditioning, and room service.
  • Galaxy of Hatch Between Bryce & Zion, as the name says, boasts that it locates itself between the two great national parks. Designed in a biker fashion with striking visuals is truly one of a kind place. The rooms are both air-conditioned and have great views and flat-screen TVs.

Hatch Mid-Range Hotels

  • Mountain Ridge Cabins and Lodging, with free parking, free Wi-Fi, and a perfect location, is a great place to stay. It also has separate sitting rooms and many options for organized activities.
  • The Riverside Ranch Motel and RV Park Southern Utah is both a motel and a parking ground, located on the outskirts of Hatch and 30 minutes away by car from Bryce Canyon. Great scenery and place, it offers cozy rooms with refrigerators and microwaves.

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3. Panguitch

Panguitch is one of the best places you can stay in near Bryce Canyon. Small in size but at least 15 times bigger and more populated than Bryce Canyon City or Hatch, it offers the best opportunities for accommodation and restaurants in the whole area.

It also has a better location than the other small towns in the area, being very close to Bryce Canyon National Park, Dixie National Forest, Panguitch Lake, Panguitch Lake, and Cedar Breaks National Monument.

The first attraction, again, is Bryce Canyon. Half an hour’s drive from Panguitch, the out-of-this-world National Park is practically in front of your steps. You have time to enjoy the park as many times as you want since the drive is so short.

Just 20 minutes to the southwest by car lies Panguitch Lake. People who are visiting Bryce Canyon Park in the summer months usually come here to relax. You can camp, boat, kayak, or fish by the lake, or just have a walk and enjoy the scenery.

The famous Dixie Forest is also nearby, a place with beautiful landscapes, cliffs, canyons, and plenty of little lakes. It is as beautiful and marvelous as Bryce Canyon. Further on the road lies Cedar Breaks Monument (and the National park), which is also a marvel to behold.

You can also stay in downtown Panguitch. The center of the city is full of old and beautiful buildings which are worth seeing and a lot of cozy motels and hotels at budget and mid-range prices where you can sleep over.

There are plenty of small-town shops for souvenirs and antiques — cowboy, pioneer, or Native American — and a respectable variety of restaurants where you can eat. Just don’t expect anything luxurious because you won’t find a high-class hotel in this town.

Things to Do

  • Visit Bryce Canyon because it’s only half an hour away by car. Take a stroll through the otherworldly beauty of the national park and the small streets and restaurants in Panguitch.
  • Go to Panguitch Lake — you can boat, fish, kayak, or ride a horse through the low scenery around the lake. Also, you can set up a camp and spend a night outdoors.
  • Drive to both Dixie Forest and Cedar Breaks Monuments since both are quite close. You are here anyway, so an hour’s ride plus is not a big deal.
  • Stay in Panguitch downtown and do some quality shopping or eating. The festivals in the city are quite nice, too — the Annual Quilt Walk and the Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally — and you should visit them if you have the chance.

Where to Eat

  • Cowboy’s Smokehouse Cafe is a classic American barbeque, with especially good ribs, pulled pork, and baked potatoes, but it also offers a variety of wines and beers. It’s basically located in the center of Panguitch.
  • Kenny Rays is another classic American diner with a cozy interior, great service, and a killer pie. Also, it has a variety of vegetarian and vegan options.
  • Big Fish Family Restaurant offers fast food, grill, and a well-stocked bar. The service, the burger, and the chicken wings are awesome.

Panguitch Budget Hotels

  • Days Inn by Wyndham Panguitch offers rooms with a refrigerator and coffee machines. The Inn’s best qualities are its cheapness and the great location.
  • Best Host Inn comes at a really low price and is located in the outskirts of the city. That’s why its offerings are small: a mini refrigerator and microwave in every room.

Panguitch Mid-Range Hotels

  • The Panguitch House, located near Cowboy’s Smokehouse Cafe, offers hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs. The garden in front of the facility is also very nice.
  • Two Sunsets Hotel in the absolute center of Panguitch offers both great location and great rooms, equipped with flat-screen TVs and coffee machines.

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4. Tropic

Tropic is a beautiful small town in Southern Utah, surrounded by sublime natural beauties on all sides. It basically exists in the shadow of the monumental Bryce Canyon Park and the view of the gigantic rock formation it offers.

t has a population of around 500 people, placing it between Hatch and Panguitch in size. All in all, Tropic is a nice stop for natural beauty lovers. The proximity to the different landscapes in the area is its strongest side.

These are the most famous ones:

  • Bryce Canyon National Park is basically in front of its door — a 10-15 minute away by car and the first must-see if you are staying in Tropic.
  • Kodachrome Basin State Park is the next in line, only 20 minutes away on the south. This park is especially suitable for geology enthusiasts since its multicolored rock, rock chimneys, and many strata and layers offer a 180-million years of visible earth history.
  • Anasazi State Park, just a little further away, is the best place for Native American history fans. It’s the home to the ruins of the Anasazi tribe village and also has a museum.

In close proximity are also Zion National Park, Dixie National Forest, Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument, and many others. They’re all an hour or an hour and a half away at most, so the interconnectedness of Tropic is quite superb.

All in all, Tropic is a decent place to stay if you want a nice location and great food. The accommodations are quite limited since you’ll find good-enough budget and mid-range hotels. But for those who are looking for more luxurious options, Tropic is not the right place.

Things to Do

  • Visit the national parks in close proximity to Tropic: Bryce Canyon National Park, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Anasazi State Park, Zion National Park, Dixie National Forest, and Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument.
  • Grab a bite in some of the best restaurants in the area. Tropic offers many choices, and the aficionados of barbeque, classic American, Mexican, and Italian cuisine will be quite satisfied with the options.
  • Go fishing in the Tropic Reservoir and Pine Lake since they’re full of fish. While you’re there, you can take part in other water-related activities, such as boating.
  • Check the Natural History Museum and the Tropic Town Pioneer Museum. The first one is full of rich geological and natural history of the whole region. The second offers various artifacts and stories from the pioneer history of the places nearby. Both are interesting and informative.

Where to Eat

  • The Stone Hearth Grille has a great view and beautiful interior. The menu is flexible, depending on the season, but the main stress is on the local cuisine and a respectable variety of vines. Also, there are vegan and vegetarian options.
  • i.d.k. Barbecue is a classic American barbecue with different combinations of smoked meats, burgers, rubs, sweet chicken, sandwiches, and pulled pork. The restaurant has outdoor parking and offers takeaway.
  • Showdowns Restaurant is a steakhouse and a bar with reasonable prices and tasty food. The place offers live music and takeaway and a variety of different beers.

Tropic Budget Hotels

  • Bryce Pioneer Village offers free Wi-Fi, as well as rooms with cable TVs and air conditioning. The location is quite good since it’s a 20-minute drive to Bryce Canyon National Park.
  • Bryce Country Cabins has both great rooms and outdoor space. The rooms come with free Wi-Fi, refrigerators, and air conditioning. There’s an outside children’s playground and a barbeque facility as well.

Tropic Mid-Range Hotels

  • Bryce Trails Bed and Breakfast is a 3-star B&B with free Wi-Fi and parking, air-conditioning in every room, a lounge area, and a library on the premises.
  • Bryce Way Retreat is also a 3-star holiday home with a great interior and a nice location some 20 minutes away from Bryce Canyon National Park. There’s a great cooking space inside the home with an oven.

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5. Escalante

If the proximity to the canyon is not much of an issue for you, and you’d prefer to stay in a more urban environment, Escalante is your best choice in the vicinity. It’s a few miles further than the other places on the list, but it’s still fairly close to the main attraction in the region – Bryce Canyon National Park is just an hour away.

On the other hand, it offers the best accommodation compared to the other areas in our guide, even better than the considerably bigger and more populous Panguitch.

If you’re interested in national wonder and hiking, you should definitely visit Bryce Canyon Park, but you definitely can’t miss two more things: Escalante Petrified Forest State Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

The first one is fairly close, just to the north of the city. Here you can see fossilized plants and animals over 100 million years old. There are great examples of petrified trees and dinosaur remains that will surely fascinate people interested in paleontology.

The second one is a little further, on the south of the city, and it’s a true marvel to behold. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument boasts amazing nature, cultural Native American Heritage, and fossilized remains, so fans of both history and nature will surely find something according to their tastes and interests.

But the thing that definitely helps you pick Escalante is accommodation and food. It’s a small but fairly developed city that offers great choices in food and hotels. It’s basically the only place in the wider proximity that has luxury hotels as an option.

Also, there are a lot of options concerning food in Escalante, which makes it comparable to Tropic, the former place on our list. There are grills, hot dogs, pastries, Mexican food, and pubs where you can have your breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Things to Do

  • Visit the neighboring National Parks. Bryce Canyon Park, Dixie National Forest and Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument, Zion National Park, and Escalante Petrified Forest State Park are nearby. Fans of paleontology and geology will have a blast.
  • Enjoy the food. Due to its urbanity and wide range of accommodations and restaurants, Escalante is a great place to grab a bite. Just choose what you want to eat — grilled meat, pastries, or Mexican food.
  • Make sure you go to the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center in the center of the city. Here you’ll find all the information you need about the neighboring flora and fauna, and also, if you like, visit the nice museums inside the facilities.
  • Go hiking. On this side of the map, there are many places where you can have a great hike and look at some animals. We recommend the Slot Canyon, the Lower Calf Creek Falls, or the Devil’s Garden. They are all quite unique.

Where to Eat

  • Mimi’s Bakery & Deli is a nice place to have an early breakfast before you start with your daily activities. It has all kinds of baked stuff, sandwiches, and salads.
  • Ranch Dog Kitchen is the definite place if you are up for hot dogs. There are regular ones with mustard and ketchup, a variety of sauces and toppings, but also vegan and vegetarian options.
  • 4th West Pub is the place where you go drinking and snacking. It has a great bar with more than 30 different types of beer and California-style nachos and tacos.

Escalante Budget Hotels

  • Canyons Of Escalante RV Park, aside from the parking place for RVs, offers clean, air-conditioned rooms and free Wi-Fi. The patio in front of the rooms is a definite bonus. All in all, a decent budget place.
  • Cowboy Country Inn is slightly more sophisticated than Canyons of Escalante because its rooms have a flat-screen TV, microwave, coffee machine, and refrigerator, in addition to air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. It’s a five-minute ride from Escalante Petrified Forest State Park.

Escalante Mid-Range Hotels

  • Ponderosa Inn offers different types of facilities in its rooms, such as microwaves, flat-screen cable TVs, and hair dryers in the bathrooms. Also, some of the rooms have a seating area, and there’s a designated barbeque area on the premises.
  • Escalante Yurts, with its quite specific, round accommodation units, is definitely a unique place to stay. The units have all the facilities suited to its mid-range status and also offer a great mountain view and free parking. Continental breakfast is prepared every day in the tented camp.

Escalante Luxury Hotels

  • The Inn of Escalante-Adults Only is a four-star hotel with soundproof rooms and balconies that have a beautiful mountain view and satellite TVs. Its only downside (or upside) is that the hotel is only available to adults, so couples usually prefer this place.
  • Canyons Bed & Breakfast is another four-star hotel in Escalante with great service, a garden, and a designated barbeque area. There’s also a 24-hour lounge on the premises.

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So, Where Should You Stay in Bryce Canyon?

If you’ve thoroughly researched the area and still don’t have the answer to the question of where you should stay in Bryce Canyon, here’s a short recap to clear your mind.

Bryce Canyon City is the place for you if you want to spend a lot of your available time near or in Bryce Canyon National Park. You should keep in mind that the place was not made for a long-term stay because it lacks a lot in terms of accommodation and restaurants.

Hatch is a typical small western town literally located on a highway. It is really close to Bryce Canyon Park and has a lot to offer both in relation to natural beauty and local pioneer history. However, it doesn’t offer many places to stay or eat either.

Panguitch offers the most balanced picture of all the cities in the area. Both urban and close to the park, it has a great location, a lot of natural beauties close by, and a hell of a downtown with things to do and events to experience.

Tropic is an interesting combination of great location and food options. Also situated on a highway like Hatch, and also small and lightly populated, it has a great variety of restaurants and nice proximity to all the natural beauties.

Finally, Escalante is both the most urbanized city in our guide and the farthest away from Bryce Canyon Park. It offers the best accommodations in the area, with a great variety of luxury hotels.

However, whichever location you choose, you’ll be greeted with gorgeous scenery, friendly locals, and more things to do than you’ll be able to accompish on your trip. So make sure to schedule extra time to soak in all the sights!