Several years ago, I took a friend to the south rim of the Grand Canyon on Thanksgiving Day. We hiked in the snow near Hermits Rest, then bellied up to the no-reservations Bright Angel Restaurant for cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey -- basically, the Thanksgiving works. The canyon-view window table didn't hurt either.
After all, doesn't food always taste better after you've been playing outside all day? Especially when you don't have to cook it yourself. And just maybe this is the right year to start a healthier family tradition of exercise, not overeating. So, take a look at these scenic national park dining rooms, most of which don't require reservations:
- Grand Canyon National Park, AZ: Arizona Room and Bright Angel Restaurant, both at the Bright Angel Lodge (South Rim)
- Mesa Verde National Park, CO: Metate Room at Far View Lodge
- Yosemite National Park, CA: Mountain Room at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls (Yosemite Valley); Wawona Dining Room at the Wawona Hotel
Photo: Grand Canyon National Park (Michael Connolly, Jr. & Sara Benson)