I have been dying to go to Utah for a few years now and I finally was able too! Thank you lockdown since I can travel to places in the USA that I’ve been wanting to go without sacrificing my paycheck. I could of course take the vacation time but honestly I don’t think it’s worth it right now. I am digressing though, I want to stay at the Amangiri so badly but I am not balling that hard just yet. This trip was super unplanned and it was extremely fun. I don’t recommend doing this trip unplanned though if you have a list of things you want to hash out that are pretty important when it comes to visiting the land of Zion National Park.
Before I go through the week and all the fun stuff that we did I have to say this was the most spur of the moment decision to go to Utah. A few weeks ago my uncle had said he and his family were going at the end of the month. We thought okay cool and that was the end of that. I had been looking for a few days how we could get to the Maldives since it’s one of the few places that remains open to American tourism. RIP all my vacation plans.
Fast forward to Sunday before we leave and my mom is on the phone with my grandma trying to convince her to go on vacation with us to Turkey since it is open for American tourism and we have our visa and our whole itinerary from when we were supposed to go a few months before. My grandma declines and tells my mom well why don’t you crash on your brother’s vacation…. if you know my mom then you know she didn’t need any more convincing.
So we call my uncle and he says he spend the night in Vegas and that we should catch up with him and stay the night. Now we all have work and responsibilities so we couldn’t just get up and leave that same day although I can assure you we totally would have. We cancelled all our things for the week and started to pack!
THE WEEKENDER FILES GUIDE TO HURRICANE
Monday: Wake up at 8 a.m. and the drive there was incredible considering there was absolutely not traffic at all. We made it to Vegas around noon and caught up with the fam. We spent some time at the outlets buying a few last minute things for our trip and then we were on our way to Utah!
We stayed at the Sand Hollow Resort which is in Hurricane, Utah and is only 2 hours away from Vegas. The trip allows you to go through three states in the same day not bad at all! Once we dropped of our things at the resort we took some time to lounge by the pool and then went to pick up some groceries.
We stayed in separate rooms and we booked a double suite…..let me tell you the surprise that we got when we realized it was a huge one bedroom apartment with a full kitchen and washer/dryer. A total game changer when you can bring home clean clothes after a long vacation!
Tuesday: We’re just getting our bearings and getting used to the extreme dry heat of Utah and we spent the morning in the pool and then went just outside the resort in the late afternoon to check out the Beach at Sand Hollow. It’s a manmade lake with reddish orange sand that makes you feel like you’re on another planet.
We had booked dune buggies for 6 p.m. thinking it would be cooler and getting a bit darker around that time. Let me tell you this was not the case, it was still very very hot but it was so much fun! We went up the canyon to the “top of the world” and ended our dune buggie adventure by driving through the water at the beach. The water felt so cold because it is so hot out but really the water is around 85 degrees. We were drenched in water but the heat quickly dried us up.
Wednesday: Like I said our trip was super last minute and we didn’t get a chance to book the shuttle at Zion National Park so we could get up the mountain and go to all of the places where everyone typically takes photographs like the narrows all the way at the top.
We stayed on the Pa’rus Trail since this was our first time and we did have little ones with us. We still were able to wade in the water of the Virgin River and caught a glimpse of deer up close!
Thursday: Another relaxed day by the pool until about 4 p.m. when we rented some golf carts and drove around the golf course which has absolutely incredible views and is partially built into the canyon. Honestly it was beautiful and looked and felt like I was on the Cars ride at Disneyland.
We had been talking about doing star gazing a few days before but it wasn’t happening anywhere near where we were nor was it the season apparently. We got so incredibly lucky though because the Astronomy Club was doing free stargazing for those staying at the resort! Let me tell you this was so unexpected and it was an amazing experience because we were able to see the planets aligned with the moon! It was beautiful and I wish I had gotten a photo of the other planets and not just the moon.
Friday: Last day and we’re on our way out but not before we make another stop in Vegas for food and some more shopping!
THE QUICK GUIDE
+ where we stayed: Sand Hollow Resort – this resort is great for families and if you love golf the course is incredible and has stunning views of Zion in the distance and the red rocks in the other direction.
+ where we ate: the area is not very populated but the city isn’t too far from the resort, we went to Smith’s marketplace (it’s a Kroger brand), Walmart and Target. We didn’t just eat in our apartments though, we did venture out when we were in Zion and we also ate at the Resort’s restaurant The Grille. While you’re in Zion of course some places are closed because of the Coronavirus but Porter’s is super good! On our last day night we went to the Resort’s restaurant and let me tell you definitely share a pizza or two they are enormous and we ordered that and basically one of everything on the menu since we were a large party but it was way toooo much food. So heed my warning just get the pizza it was absolutely incredible! The Grille views are also just as incredible you get sweeping views of Zion National Park in the distance.
+ what we did: Zion National Park – we stayed on the Pa’rus Trail because it is easy and we missed out on the shuttle to get to the top of the park and go through the Narrows. If you’re planning on doing all of that be sure to either get there at park opening or get your tickets the month before.
We rented Dune Buggies at the resort with Mad Moose Rentals and let me tell you it is so much fun and you get all sandy and you can finish off your ride by cooling off at the lake.
Stargazing – we were incredibly lucky to be at the resort at the exact moment where this was going to happen. If you can do it there are other places where you can do this such as at Bryce Canyon.
Golf Cart – we rented a golf cart and took a drive through the canyon and the beautiful golf course. A rental is only $25 and you pretty much can take it out all day but we only took it out for a few hours because the heat is death.