Travel Diary: Tusayan, AZ

Roan turned 29 in January, and since we practice giving each other the ‘gift of traveling’ instead of tangible things, we agreed to drive 500+ miles to Arizona for his post-birthday celebration. We left at 5:30AM on a Friday, and arrived in Tusayan, AZ after about ten hours (with several stopovers), where we booked a hotel for the weekend.

Tusayan is a young town near the South Rim entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park. It offers various hotel accommodations, campgrounds, RV parks, a selection of restaurants, and National Geographic IMAX entertainment. The town also offers once-in-a-lifetime helicopter and flight experiences over the Grand Canyon. Outdoor enthusiasts (i.e., hikers, mountain-bikers, and horseback-riders) usually stay in Tusayan to explore the Kaibab National Forest surrounding the town. The Grand Canyon Airport, located just minutes from Tusayan’s hotels, shops, and restaurants, is the fourth busiest airport in Arizona.

Roan and I checked in at the Canyon Plaza Resort, a 3-star hotel that wasn’t fancy, but was enough to give us a good night’s sleep for the entirety of our stay. It was a stone’s throw away from the National Geographic Grand Canyon Visitor Center and several other restaurants and shops. Roan took the wheel the entire time, so I let him sleep for three hours upon check-in, while I switched between watching TV and researching on where to eat on our first night.

I came up with two options, but I left them for Roan to decide. He chose steakhouse over pizza place, so off we went to Big E Steakhouse Saloon. It was right across our hotel; we could’ve walked instead, but opted to drive because the wind chill was piercing. Did I mention that it snows in Tusayan? It does, and it only makes sense since it’s 6,000+ ft above sea-level. Anyway, the over-all vibe of the steakhouse reminded me of Pioneertown, and it’s kind of interesting that they have a huge digital screen, showcasing a mini-presentation about the Grand Canyon, while you dine. Roan and I may or may not have jotted down a few things to note for future reference…

These are all I’m going to share about our first night in Tusayan for now. I don’t want to mislead you or anything, but this post sort of serves as an introduction to the highlight of our trip, which obviously is the Grand Canyon itself, so do keep an eye on SCATTERBRAIN in the next few days to follow along with more of our adventures in Arizona!

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