The Top Things to Do at the Grand Canyon

The Top Things to Do at the Grand Canyon

Getaway Staff

The Grand Canyon was carved with water out of uplifted rock from the Colorado Plateau. This wonder of nature has been bringing people to the region for thousands of years to visit and stand in awe of the beauty. The canyon stretches for 277 miles, it is 18-miles wide at its broadest point, and it reaches down for a mile before it reaches the Colorado River. When you visit, you'll need some things to do.


01El Tovar Restaurant

restaurants at the Grand Canyon

The El Tovar restaurant located in the El Tovar Hotel is the place people visiting the Grand Canyon go to for local food. It has a nice comfortable cocktail lounge where you can wait for your table. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The cocktail lounge is open from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily.


02Fresh Produce

eating in Grand Canyon

There’s only one place in the immediate Grand Canyon area where you can get fresh produce, and that is at the Market Plaza located next to the Yavapai Lodge. Here you can get your grocery supplies as well as hiking, camping, and rain gear. The market is open:

  • January 1st to March 22nd: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • March 23rd to May 23rd: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • May 24th to September 3rd: 6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • September 4th to October 21st: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • October 22nd to December 31st: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.


03Yavapai Geological Museum and Bookstore

bookstore Grand Canyon

To get a good sense of the geological history of the Grand Canyon, you should visit the Yavapai Geological Museum and Bookstore located at the Yavapai Point overlook. The museum has exhibits on the geology of the park as well as walking tours. The museum is open daily in the winter from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the summer season.


04Yavapai Tavern

Grand Canyon Arizona

You should head over the Yavapai Tavern when it comes time to grab a brew and get a bite to eat. The tavern is the place to try local craft beers from Arizona craft brewers, including:

  • Historic Brewing Company of Flagstaff, AZ.
  • Lumberyard Brewing Company of from Flagstaff.
  • Oak Creek Brewing of Sedona, AZ.
  • Four Peaks Brewing of Tempe, AZ.


05Many Come Just for South Rim

tourism Grand Canyon LucynaKoch / Getty Images

The main attraction at the park is the South Rim. From this vantage point, you can see vast wildflowers in the spring and the expansive views of the canyon during any time of year. When people think of the Grand Canyon, the view from the south rim is usually what they are thinking about. The south rim is open year-round.


06Bright Angel Trail

bright angel Grand Canyon Wirepec / Getty Images

The trail starts by the Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim, and it's six-miles until you reach the point where you can look out over the canyon and the Colorado River. The hike can be strenuous at times, and you need to be aware that Mules also use this trail, so you have to be careful at the narrow parts when passing each other.


07Music Festival

musical festival Grand Canyon

An activity that is drawing more and more people to the area is the Grand Canyon Music Festival that occurs during the late summer and early fall months. The offerings include chamber music, jazz, blues, quartets, and solo artists during different weekends. The concerts are typically held on the main stage at the Shrine of Ages in the park.


08The Best View in the Park

view Grand Canyon benedek / Getty Images

The best view in the park is considered by many to be Hopi Point where you can see many of the multi-colored fissures that dig down into the earth. As the sun passes overhead, the colors and shadows play off of each other to create new designs on the hard surfaces.


09The Best Coffee

coffee Grand Canyon

In order to start the day, you need to go to RP's Stage Stop Internet Cafe and Gift Shop in Grand Canyon Village to get a cup of coffee. The cafe also makes light food fair for breakfast and lunch. It is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


10Best Time to Visit

visiting Grand Canyon

The south rim of the park is open year-round, but the north rim is closed during the winter months. The best time to come is in the spring between March and May and the fall from September to November when the weather is temperate, and there is typically a low amount of rainfall.


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