While it may have a year-round population of fewer than 700 residents, with nearly all of the 3 million visitors to Zion National Park making their way through the South Entrance to the park, located in Springdale, the town has become a hub for tourists and outdoor lovers.
But Springdale, Utah is more than just a spot to hop on the shuttle into the park. The city offers a variety of attractions all its own. From delicious restaurants to art galleries to shopping, keep reading for the ultimate guide to Springdale, Utah
A Brief History of Springdale, Utah
Springdale and the area that is now Zion National Park was first occupied hundreds of years ago. It’s believed that the Anazasi people settled in the area around 500 A.D., and occupied it continuously until 1200 A.D. It’s likely that nomadic tribes hunted or gathered food even before that.
Early European explorers passed through the area in the late 1700s, though settlers wouldn’t begin building farms and towns until the mid-1800s. In 1862, a group of Mormon pioneers arrived in what is now Springdale and established a Cotton Mission at the mouth of Zion Canyon. While the town got its first post office in 1897, and a school and church over ten years earlier, it would remain a small agricultural community until around 1917.
By that time, roads in the area had improved, and cars could navigate to the town. In 1917, the first group of tourists arrived to visit the newly established Wylie Way Camp, one of the first tourist facilities in Zion. The park was declared a national monument, named Mukuntuweap National Monument, in 1920. From there, tourist camps, stores, and more began to spring up, and Springdale grew quickly.
Springdale, Utah Today
Today, Springdale, Utah is a popular destination, especially for outdoor lovers and those planning a visit to Zion National Park.
Hotels and vacation rentals in the city are ideal for those visiting the park. Because most of the park is only accessible via the Zion Canyon Shuttle system, you’ll need to park in Springdale and hop on the shuttle in order to get to most of the park’s trailheads, the Lodge, and many overlooks.
Staying at a vacation rental with a shuttle stop on-site, like Watchman Villas, makes it easy to get to the park without worrying about navigating traffic or finding parking first thing in the morning. This also allows you to go to and from the park throughout the day. Head to the park early for a hike, then go back to Springdale for lunch or to rest in your vacation rental before heading back into the park in the afternoon.
Shopping and Dining in Springdale, Utah
Staying in a Springdale, Utah vacation rental also makes it easy to explore the many shopping and dining options in the city in between visits to the park or in the evenings when you’re finished hiking for the day.
A variety of coffee shops and cafes serve up food and drinks to energize you before you head into the park for the day. After a long day of hiking and exploring, head to one of the many restaurants in the city. Fuel up on carbs at Zion Pizza & Noodle Co., dig into burgers or Mexican fare at the popular Oscar’s Cafe or try the tacos at the local’s favorite, Whiptail Grill.
If you want to take home a souvenir from your trip, the Springdale & Zion Canyon Visitor Center offers a variety of t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, and more. For something a bit more unique, visit one of the city’s art galleries for locally made pieces.
The town’s only grocery store, Sol Foods, has everything from hardware to snacks and is a great place to stop to grab some fuel to take on your next hike or to stock the fridge at your vacation rental.
Planning a Visit to Springdale, Utah
Whether you’re planning to visit Zion National Park or just looking for a fun and relaxing getaway, Springdale, Utah is the perfect destination. Easy access to the park and the shuttle system makes planning your days a breeze. Plus, the city is home to a variety of shopping and dining options, as well as activities to enjoy.
If you’re traveling with a group or just want to enjoy the comforts of home while you’re away, a Watchman Villa vacation rental is a great choice. Our Villas offer multiple bedrooms, full kitchens, washers and dryers, outdoor living spaces, and other amenities to make your stay more enjoyable.
Whether you want to unwind after a day of hiking or even plan a weekend in enjoying board games, movies, and home-cooked meals with your family, we have a vacation rental for you. Book your winter stay today and start planning your next visit to Springdale, Utah.