Throughout the pandemic, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.
For two very different experiences just 90 minutes apart, combine southern Utah’s Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park on a single road trip. Camping inside the parks can be great, especially during the shoulder seasons. But if a hot shower and comfortable bed sound appealing, book a dreamy Airbnb not far from the parks’ entrances. We rounded up some of our favorites, ranging from a tiny house with a killer hot tub to a solar-powered retreat on an apple orchard.
The Modern Home
This contemporary two-bedroom, solar-powered home (from $239), located on a 14-acre apple farm in Glendale, about 25 minutes east of Zion National Park and less than an hour southwest of Bryce Canyon National Park, sleeps up to nine. Come nightfall, a fire pit on the rooftop deck makes for the ideal hangout. The hosts also rent a collection of five tiny houses (from $103) on the property—perfect if you have friends joining you.
The Tiny House
You could sleep up to four in this one-bedroom tiny house (from $338), set on a 75-acre property on the outskirts of Virgin, about 20 minutes from Zion and two hours from Bryce, but it’s best suited for one or two people. You’ll spend most of your time outside, stargazing from beside the fire pit or soaking in the world’s dreamiest hot tub. Be sure to request fresh eggs from the chickens on-site to be delivered for your breakfast.
The Vintage Trailer
You’ll sleep soundly in this cozy, off-the-grid vintage trailer (from $111), situated atop a remote mesa about ten minutes outside Zion’s southern entrance. The camper, a renovated 1990 Fleetwood Wilderness, has a queen bed and a sofa sleeper. Bonus: your host, Shanti Hodges, founder of the organization Hike It Baby and co-owner of hiking outfit Wild Utah Tours, can offer just-right suggestions on where to trek and and what to explore within the park.
This second-story, two-bedroom apartment (from $332) is just steps from the southern entrance to Zion, in the town of Springdale. The loft is decorated in a Southwestern bohemian style, with colorful wall paint and eccentric art and bedding. The best part? It’s upstairs from Café Soleil, which serves the tastiest breakfast burrito in town.
Part of a glamping outfit called Wander Camp, this sleek canvas tent (from $104) comes outfitted with a king bed or two twins. Communal bathrooms are a short walk away. You’ll be off the grid—there’s no electricity, limited cell service, definitely no Wi-Fi—and located on a stunning plateau down a rugged dirt road, about 25 minutes from Zion.
Post up in one of these rustic and quaint cabins (from $150), less than a mile from Zion’s eastern entrance, and you’ll have easy access to the park but none of the crowds or bustle of staying right in town. The tiny, 400-square-foot wood-paneled accommodations have a queen bed, plus a sleeping loft.
Part of a vacation-rental complex called Nama-Stay, this laid-back lodging regularly hosts yoga and meditation retreats (there’s a dedicated space on-site). The newly added studio-size guest suite (from $195) is perfect for one or two people, but friends could stay in the neighboring properties. Located in downtown Springdale, it’s an easy walk to shops and restaurants.
The Whole B&B
Traveling with a group? This entire six-bedroom bed-and-breakfast (from $600) can be rented for up to 16 people. Located in Tropic, it’s just seven miles to the gateway of Bryce Canyon National Park. And like a real B&B, a hearty cooked breakfast comes included. The property was remodeled in 2020.
The Cliff House
This stunning newly constructed house (from $214) is perched on a cliff on a 160-acre ranch outside the town of Escalante, about an hour east of Bryce Canyon and two and a half hours from Zion. Built in 2019, the three-bedroom, 2,200-square-foot masterpiece sleeps up to ten and has striking views of the Escalante River and surrounding mountains from its rooftop deck.
A charming studio apartment (from $140) that’s part of a bed-and-breakfast inn now under new ownership, this pad in Tropic is ten miles from Bryce Canyon. Unlike a lot of properties in this area, the Wi-Fi is actually fast enough to work remotely from here. You’ll have your own garden entrance, a queen bed, and a loft that sleeps up to three comfortably.