The South Rim has so much to choose from, you’d be hard pressed to explore it all in the course of the normal vacation. With historical sites, natural wonders, trails and tours galore, you should never find yourself without something to do.
Let’s face it, you came for the views and you’re not likely to be disappointed. The South Rim Viewpoints are amazing places to stop and gawk at the natural beauty surrounding you. A shuttle runs the rim along Desert View and Hermit’s Rest drives assuring you won’t miss out for lack of transportation. If you’ve got limited time, read up a little before you get there. While Mather Point is the most visited, it’s only because it’s the first place you come to. There are better spots for sunrise, sunset and viewing the river below. Still, there’s hardly a bad vista to be had and with so many to choose from, you’re bound to be awed by the majesty and drama of the Grand Canyon.
There are 9 historical buildings at the Grand Canyon. each with its own unique history and aesthetic. Several of famed Grand Canyon architect, Mary Coulter’s buildings are found here including Hopi House and Indian Watchtower. Others include the old railway train depot and the first lodge to house high-end tourists at the Grand Canyon, El Tovar. Kolb Studio is a renovated building housing an art studio and there are many more, each telling a different piece of Grand Canyon history.
Tusayan Museum/ Tusayan Ruin is another wonderful attraction. It houses a wealth of Native American historical artifacts, some over 4,000 years old, and gives visitors and idea of what pueblo life was like more than 800 years ago. The footprint of a village stands outside the museum. Guided or self-guided walks through both the museum and ruin area available daily and free of charge.
Market Plaza is where you’ll go to accomplish all you need to let go and relax. There’s a general store that houses the clothes and extra items you forgot or didn’t know you’d need, a deli to outfit your day’s hike, a bank to fund your souvenir shopping, a post office to get those postcards out before you leave and a cafeteria to fill you up after all those errands! The shuttle stops here making it convenient to the extreme for anyone needing to top up on supplies or a great starting place for those in for the day and needing to get to some desired spots.
The South Rim Visitor Center is most folk’s first stop inside the south gate. Boards of information run the length offering a variety of information about the Grand Canyon, where you are, and what to do. A bookstore provides a wealth of information about any Grand Canyon topic you find yourself fascinated by during your stay.