Arizona | 36 Hours in the Grand Canyon

On our road trip from California to Colorado, we made a point to stop at the Grand Canyon. Because I had never been, and what’s a few hours out of the way. To be fair, the Grand Canyon is always out of the way, but completely worth it – in my opinion. We made the choice to stay two nights with the plans of catching a sunrise. I’m laughing even as I write that.. sunrise, me? But as plans often do, they changed and we caught a sunset. It was incredible!

We rolled in well past daylight, after stopping on the border of California and Arizona for the worst… THE worst Chinese food I have ever had. Listen, I get it. Chinese food is suppose to be bad, at least the good ones. I’m not talking about organic, locally sourced sesame chicken. My expectation was Chinese food, MSG included. But this was bad. B A D. And poor Brecken, it was his birthday dinner…..Ajax’s face tells the real story.

WHERE WE STAYED | Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn
Since we were enroute when we stopped at the Grand Canyon, we had two requirements when it came to a hotel. We had Roxann with us, so it had to be pet friendly, and we wanted it to be close to the park. Since being in the car was the name of the game while traveling, we didn’t want to spend a hour driving to and from the park. So we chose to stay in Tusayan and really, it was perfect. The room was clean and spacious, and there were more than enough restaurants and a Starbucks close by.

WHAT WE DID | Took in all the main viewing areas
Since we were in the area for less than 36 hours, we didn’t plan any excursions. Also, since we were there in March, who knew what the weather was going to be like. And then there were the two little dictators also on this trip…

We parked by the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, walked around the South Rim. We then took the Blue bus to the Village – it was super easy to figure out what bus and where you wanted to go. We walked around the area, ate a picnic lunch, and then both of our kids lost their minds.

This was a spot recommended at the Visitor Center specifically for watching the sun set and it was beautiful! If you stop in the Visitor Center, there are several spots recommended for sunset. We picked Yaki Point because it was the closest to the Yavapai Lodge Restaurant which was an easy choice for dinner. It had us in the park + there was loads of food options and the atmosphere was conducive to two wild toddlers.

The morning we left, we drove out on 64 around the east side of the Grand Canyon, and the views we saw… had I known that was there, I might have tried to catch a sunrise, or a sunset. They were awesome. While it’s hard to get a bad view of the Grand Canyon, from the little bit of time that I spent there, I think the views on that east side are remarkable.

Despite my kids not loving the Grand Canyon – and really, how much appreciation for a beautiful sight can a toddler give –  I was my first time and I wasn’t disappointed. We didn’t do anything cool, like hiking down into the canyon, or a helicopter ride, or biking around the rim – but with both the kids on this trip, the road trip when we were moving from California to Colorado, I think it was the perfect adventure. Seriously, Ajax’s favorite part about the Grand Canyon was the hotel pool and we even used we’ll turn around and go back to the Grand Canyon if you don’t behave once or twice. Listen, as parents you’ll use whatever works. (Right?)