On April 23rd, 2021 I married my best friend in a small ceremony in our hometown in Texas. Jose and I have known each other for a little over four years and our wedding really was the perfect day. We had a couple of different ideas for what we wanted to do for our honeymoon, but in the end we picked a fun filled five days exploring Arizona and Utah with a little bit of time in Las Vegas. This trip was definitely packed with activites and sight seeing, but we weren’t sure when the next time would be that we would have this amount of time to get away, so we did it all!
On Day One we flew into Las Vegas and got our rental car for the trip. Neither of us had ever been to the Grand Canyon in Arizona so that was our first stop on the trip. We headed to the South Rim of the Canyon and it progressively got colder and there was even some snow sticking to the ground as we were driving there. We parked and walked along the South Rim Trail and also Mather Point. OH big piece of advice!! Buy the America the Beautiful Park Pass before doing any sort of road trip that involves National Parks. This allowed us into several parks without paying the entrance fee, so it’s already paid for itself with just one trip. We also drove along the Grand View Point road and stopped at a couple of the different viewpoints to watch the sunset. We made our way up to Page, AZ for the night and after a very long day of travelling, we were tired and ready for bed.
Day Two we booked a kayak + hiking tour with Lake Powell Adventure Company. It was a 4-hour tour and we were pretty excited. The sun was shining and it was a perfect day on the lake. I had always seen pictures of the Lower Antelope Canyon, but pictures didn’t do it justice. The colors of the canyon are beautiful and it’s crazy to think that at times the canyon itself has water running through it. Our tour guides were great and I will say it was a lot of work kayaking back after exploring the canyon…we were pretty tired. If we went back we talked about how next time we would just rent jet skis and explore the lake and the canyon that way.
After our tour we headed over to BirdHouse for fried chicken for lunch and man it was good! We had worked up an appetite after the morning we had, so we enjoyed every bite. The iconic Horseshoe Bend was just a few minutes away from where we were in Downtown Page, AZ. This was another spot that I had seen so many pictures of, but it really was so much more in person to actually see it. We stayed the night at the Bryce View Lodge that night up in Utah so that we could get an early start the next day exploring Bryce Canyon.
Bryce Canyon has so many different options on how to spend your time there and what hikes and trails you can do. We had one in mind that we were going to do called the Navajo/Queens Garden Trail…but instead we went a little off schedule and did the Fairyland Loop Trail. It was quite a bit longer and more intense than I was expecting, but we had plenty of water and snacks, so we were prepared. There weren’t many areas of shade, so definitely bring ample sun protection and take breaks! We had also found out the week before our wedding that I was 6 weeks pregnant…so this was mind over matter for me to fully enjoy myself during the honeymoon and use all my energy to make sure we had a fun time! Once we finally finished the trail a few hours later, we realized we were still another almost 2 miles from our car and we had a tour booked almost 2 hours away that we literally had to speed to get to. Jose jogged the last 2 miles while I waited for him to come back and pick me up…bless his soul.
We had booked a Sunset ATV Tour at the Sand Hollow State Park with ATV and Jeep Adventure Tours out of Hurricane, Utah. We made it just in time to grab our gear for the trip and meet our tour guides. Jose and I were the only ones on ATV’s while everyone else was using the off-road vehicles. We were really excited for what was in store. We got to drive through the sand dunes, up hills and explore. The guides were really great and made the trip fun. It was a bumpy ride and your hand might get a little sore after using the throttle for gas after such a long time, but they did give us breaks. We got to see the sunset over the lake at the park and Jose and I both think this was probably the most fun part of the trip.
Our hotel for the next two nights was probably the nicest one so far on the trip. It was the Fairfield Inn and Suites Virgin Zion National Park. We weren’t too far from where we needed to be so that we could explore the park the following day. We bought shuttle passes through Zion Outfitters as a way for us to get in and out of the park. As soon as we had started researching for the trip and what we wanted to do, Angel’s Landing was a hike that Jose was pretty stoked about. This hike was intense y’all. You’re basically zig-zagging up the mountain back and forth, back and forth. It was very steep, but I highly recommend starting early in the morning because there were less people and the sun wasn’t fully out yet, so we were in the shade for parts of the hike. We took many breaks on the way up and made it up in a little less than an hour. Once up there, you can see views from every angle, so it was definitely worth the hike. Jose took a small breather and then ascended up to the actual Angel’s Landing while I stayed below at the lookout point. I didn’t mind resting and eating my snacks while he did the harder and riskier part of the trail. He was back a little after an hour and could’ve done it quicker, but you are dealing with crowds of people going up and down and trying to do so safely. The way down was a little easier and at some points we just jogged because that’s how steep it was.
We made it back down and found a bench near our shuttle pickup spot to rest for a little bit. It was getting close to lunchtime and I was definitely hungry. Jose was open to doing more hikes, but we agreed to go ahead and leave the park. You could probably spend 2-3 days each in Zion and Bryce Canyon honestly because there is so much to do and see! We found this really cute spot to eat lunch at called Balcony One. It had such a good atmosphere and they were really nice. The food was good and interesting too. We headed back to our hotel and took a little nap and then made our way over to their pool area to hang out. We ended up going back to the same restaurant for dinner because it was pretty close to our hotel and easy. We had a lazy night in bed watching a movie back at the hotel and got a good nights sleep after such a busy few days.
The next day we did consider doing The Narrows at Zion, which is where you hike through water for an extended period of time…but y’all…I am not the most agile on my feet and literally sprained my ankle stepping down from a bench in a sauna. SO to say I didn’t think I was prepared for that would be an understatement. We saw plenty of people doing it though and I definitely think it would be a fun experience! We decided to take our time and head back towards Las Vegas as it was our last day/night of our honeymoon. Jose had never been to Las Vegas before so I was excited from him to experience it a little bit. We stayed at The Cosmopolitan and it’s a reallllllly nice hotel! Jose made me try some trick at check-in where you hand them a $20 bill with your ID and credit card…it allowed us to check-in early and he upgraded our room to one higher up so we had a cooler view of the city.
We did some walking around downtown and checked out a big mall they had really close to our hotel. I got this cool milkshake from The Cereal Killerz Kitchen and it was yummmmmy! We had dinner reservations inside the hotel at Blue Ribbon. The service was great and we enjoyed our food a lot! It was a little weird to not drink any alcohol while on our honeymoon to celebrate or while in Vegas, but it still made for some great memories. After dinner we decided to do some gambling! I almost bet money on some basketball games and some boxing matches, but I literally had no idea what that entailed so I decided against it. We spent most of our time playing either roulette or blackjack. Jose got pretty good at blackjack and it was only his second time playing inside a casino. I always go into casinos with my “gambling money” which is money set aside that if I lost it all, it would still be okay. It’s worked out so far for me to where I still enjoy gambling whether I win or lose.
We had an early flight the next morning to head back to Texas, but we definitely made the most of our last night of our honeymoon. The trip itself went by so quick but every day was a new adventure and something that we will always remember. My goal is to see every US state at some point in my life and I’m about halfway there right now!
Have you done a small road trip in the US? Where did you go? What did you do for your honeymoon? We have a babymoon coming up in September so I’m excited about that trip too!