The Best for Your Bucket List in Bryce Canyon Country

When going on a road trip to Bryce Canyon Country, it helps to have the best of the best in your itinerary. If the residents love the business, you’ll love it too! Not to mention, you’ll get to experience life as a local in Garfield County, Utah while seeing unique scenic vistas like Bryce Canyon National Park and Escalante along the way.

2021 is the inaugural year for the Best of Garfield County awards. Nominations were submitted by the general public. Then, nominations were voted on from Oct. 4 to Oct. 31. The following are the gold and silver award winners in each of the following 11 categories.

Here’s an itinerary for the best of the best in Bryce Canyon Country.

The Best Places to Stay

Come get some rest and put the best to the test when you stay in one of the top accommodations in the following categories.


Canyon Country Lodge

Awarded gold for best hotel/motel, the Canyon Country Lodge has a modern and inviting atmosphere. Enjoy the luxury rooms, a full breakfast, a dip in the pool and even Tesla charging stations for your ride.

The Panguitch House

Named after the town it’s located in, The Pangtuich House — an adorable B&B — was awarded silver for best hotel/motel. Your new home away from home awaits in this historic, red brick building over 100 years old.

Alternate Accommodations

Escalante Yurts

If you’re looking to stay in something unique and outside the ordinary hotel, look no further. Escalante Yurts won gold for alternate accommodations for a reason. Visitors love the luxurious experience of glamping in Escalante, Utah.

The Lazy Ass Ranch Panguitch

On the other side of the county, The Lazy Ass Ranch in Panguitch is a 1,200 square-foot, rustic Airbnb cabin. This cozy two-bedroom cabin comfortably sleeps six people and has a fully stocked kitchen, a BBQ and fire pit ready for your summer stories to begin.

RV Park

Escalante Cabins & RV Park

For the outdoor enthusiasts who camp and road trip with their RVs, this one’s for you! The Escalante Cabins & RV Park received gold for best RV park. With cabins, vacation rentals, RV and tent sites, there are many options for any visitor.

Bear Valley RV & Campground Resort

Adventure is right outside your RV or tent door at silver award-winning Bear Valley RV & Campground Resort. With 36 pull-through sites, you can also stay in cabins, sheep wagons and teepees. The resort is perfectly placed for horseback riding and ATV rides with surrounding trails to choose from.

The Best Places to Eat

Once you’ve booked a place to stay, finding a place to eat is essential! After all, the foodie in us loves a fantastic feast along with a good Instagram-worthy photo. Add these to your Bryce Canyon bucket list.

Best Restaurant

Cowboy Smokehouse

Go for gold when you visit Cowboy Smokehouse located on Historic Main Street in Panguitch. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner with homemade recipes and large portions for your pleasure.

Big Fish Restaurant

Curb the craving for a good ol’ American burger at Big Fish Family Restaurant. Located in Panguitch and winning silver for best restaurant, visitors have raved about various style burgers from Hawaiian to blue cheese as well as the onion rings.

Best Coffee Shop

Wanderlust Cowgirl Coffee

Caffeine-craving travelers will love this drive-up option early in the morning. Wanderlust Cowgirl Coffee is made fresh daily for gold-status coffee and pastries before you head to the canyons.

Kiva Koffeehouse

Kiva Koffeehouse was founded in 1998 and designed to blend into the southern Utah landscape. The silver award may be for their coffee, but you don’t want to miss drinking in the stunning scenery alongside your delicious beverage.

Best Bar, Pub or Lounge

4th West Pub

With a motto for “Good Vibes Only,” this restaurant and bar in Escalante is a golden choice for a nightcap. Come visit, play pool and listen to music with an ice-cold drink and a quick bite.

Silver- Outlaw Saloon

Situated between Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, embrace the outlaw in this silver award-winning western bar. Sip what’s on tap, try a local brew and enjoy a unique dining experience with authentic decor and friendly service.

Best Food Truck

Georgie’s Outdoor Mexican Cafe

Strike gold when you stop by Georgie’s Outdoor Mexican Cafe food truck in Escalante. Serving delectable delights for breakfast, lunch and dinner, feast on fresh food with friends and family.

Papa Rog’s

Papa Rog’s is another food truck in Bryce Canyon Country serving the Panguitch and Circleville areas. They’ve been awarded silver for best food truck. At Papa Rog’s, your meal is made fresh with top-notch ingredients by Chef Roger Fullmer.

The Best Things to Do

With a good night’s sleep and a full stomach, you’re ready for adventure! Here are the best events to put on the calendar for your next trip to town.

Best Event

Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally

Look up to the sky and view hundreds of soaring balloons in the open skies of Panguitch. This gold-winning event is not one to miss and attracts visitors from all around to see balloons take off during the day and a balloon glow at night on Main Street. Running enthusiasts can also participate in the Saturday morning 5K run as the balloons float through the sky.

Moqui Motor Madness

The Moqui Motor Madness Show was created for those who want to showcase their pride and joy automobiles in Escalante. Drive along American Scenic Byway 12 and go back in time for a classic and silver award-winning event.

Best Guide or Outfitter

Excursions of Escalante

As Escalante’s first locally-based professional guide service, Excursions of Escalante is awarded gold for Best in Garfield County in the category of best guide or outfitter. Take a group and tour slot canyon hiking or canyoneering safely with a staff that provides a wide range of outdoor experiences.

Bryce Canyon EZ Riders

Looking for a new and unique way to experience the hoodoo view? Learn why Bryce Canyon EZ Riders won silver for best guide or outfitter when you take an electric bike down the Canyon 2 Canyon bike ride path. Feel the breeze as you speed along 17 miles of trail from Red Canyon to Bryce Canyon.

The Best Businesses to Shop

The last thing you want to worry about on our trip is your car breaking down or needing a quick repair of sorts. The following businesses are always here to help when you most need it.

Best Shopping and Retail

Escalante Home Center

The wonderful staff at Escalante Home Center is ready to go above and beyond to help you with any need, proving their status as a gold award winner in the best shopping and retail category. Visitors have said they have a great selection for a small town business and the quality of products are good as well.

Legacy Ace Hardware

With many stores around the world, this Legacy Ace Hardware is part of the community. As a silver award winner, you can find anything from paint, lawn, garden, tools and more. Come find a place with the “helpful hardware folks.”™

Business and Professional Service

South Central Communications

South Central Communications began offering telephone service to the rural areas of southern Utah in 1953. As the leading provider of high-speed internet and broadband services, they are the gold award winner for the business and professional service category.

Orton Tire

Road trips are made easy with the assistance and support from Orton Tire. Winning the silver award for business and professional services, the staff here can help with tires, tire repair and oil changes.

Congratulations to all of these amazing local businesses!

With this list of the Best of Garfield County in your pocket, you’re ready for a trip to Bryce Canyon Country! Download our travel guide and book your trip today.

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