THE BEST WAY
, United offers nonstop service to St. George, and Delta offers connecting service (change of planes). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $194. To Salt Lake City, Delta, Northwest and Southwest offer nonstop service, and Delta, Southwest and United offer connecting service. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $146.
WHERE TO STAY
Boulder Mountain Lodge, Utah 12, Boulder; (800) 556-3446, www.boulder-utah.com. This handsome, contemporary wood lodge on Boulder Mountain has a hot tub overlooking a bird sanctuary and a stylish grill restaurant; doubles range from $72 to $162, depending on the season.
Bryce and Zion National Parks have historic lodges and cabins; Zion Lodge is open year-round; doubles start around $154; Bryce Canyon Lodge is open April 1 to Oct. 31 with doubles starting about $125; for information contact Xanterra, (888) 297-2757, www.xanterra.com.
Butch Cassidy's Hideout Motel & Cafe, 339 S. U.S. Highway 89, Circleville; (435) 577-2008, www.butchcassidyshideout.com. The small, shipshape motel and cafe are popular with ATV riders headed for the Paiute Trail; doubles from $58.
Desert Pearl Inn, Highway 9, Springdale; (435) 772-8888, www.desertpearl.com. The stylish and welcoming motel on the banks of the Virgin River north fork near Zion National Park has a laundry, swimming pool and gift shop with cafe; doubles start at $98.
Lodge at Red River Ranch, Highway 24, Teasdale; (800) 205-6343, www.redriverranch.com. The lodge just west of Capitol Reef National Park was converted from an old stagecoach station. It has 15 elegant guest rooms full of Western antiques and boasts a hot tub, fly-fishing on the Fremont River and a charming restaurant; doubles from $160.
Ruby's Inn, 1000 S. Highway 63, Bryce; (800) 468-8660, www.rubysinn.com. The inn, founded around 1920 at the entrance of Bryce Canyon National Park, is a Best Western hotel that is favored by families, thanks to recreational offerings including an indoor pool, national-park tours and horseback riding; doubles from about $70, depending on the season.
WHERE TO EAT
Balance Rock Eatery & Pub, 148 S. Main St., Helper;(435) 472-0403. A homey bar-restaurant with antiques for sale and pool tables; $10 to $15 per person.
Boulder Mesa Restaurant, Burr Trail, Boulder; (435) 335-7447. Known for burgers and pie; $10 to $15.
Bryce Canyon Pines, Highway 12, Bryce; (800) 892-7923. A motel with a friendly restaurant renowned for it blueberry banana cream pie; dinner for one about $20.
Oscar's, 948 Zion Park Blvd., Springdale; (435) 772-3232. Serves huge burgers and burritos; about $10 to $15.
Rim Rock Restaurant, 2523 E. Highway 24, Torrey; (888) 447-4676. For steak, chicken and chops with a great view of Waterpocket Fold; $20 to $25 per person.
WHERE TO SHOP
Cowboy Collectibles, 57 N. Main St., Panguitch; (435) 676-8060. A trove of Old West memorabilia, including cowboy bath towels for $25 a set.
Escalante Outfitters, 310 Main St., Escalante; (435) 826-4266. Has a terrific collection of books, maps, outdoors apparel and gear.
Helper Antique Mall, 115 S. Main St., Helper; (435) 472-8883. A grandma's attic of old Utah collectibles.
M&S Turquoise, 53 E. St. George Blvd., St. George; (435) 628-2514. Sells traditional Southwestern silver and turquoise jewelry at cut-rate prices.
Robbers Roost Books, 185 W. Main St., Torrey; (435) 425-3265. A good source of books on the history, culture and geography of southern Utah.
TO LEARN MORE
Utah Tourism; (800) 200-1160, www.utah.com.