Reader Participation Day: Where's The Best View From A Dining Room In A National Park?

The view from the dining room at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Lakes National Park includes peaks in Glacier National Park, the U. S. "half" of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Glacier Park, Inc. photo.

As we've covered recently in the Traveler, there are restaurants in and near national parks that serve up some mighty fine food, but not all of them offer an outstanding view to go with your meal.

There are, however, some dining rooms where the scenery could be considered the ultimate complement to a memorable breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Examples include the view across Bartlett Cove toward the Fairweather Range from the Glacier Bay Lodge in Alaska or the mountain panorama from the Pisgah Inn, along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

What are your choices for the restaurants with the best "national park view"?


El Tovar

Yes, I love that view from the Prince of Wales. I also like the view from the dining room at the Many Glacier Hotel, as it looks out over Swiftcurrent Lake.

Mike and Rebecca have spoken true! I would add the Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim!!

Breakfast at dawn at the El Tovar after a snowstorm!

Any picnic table in Loop A at Norris campground in Yellowstone at sunrise while mist still floats over the meadow, a few elk are grazing and a trumpeter swan or two are browsing for algae in the stream.

I have sat and played cards one evening at the Prince Of Wales while drinking a nice cool beverage from the bar. Spectacular. I have also been at the North Rim at Grand Canyon and some choice picnic tables at Yellowstone. All great views. But I have too add the chuck wagon dinner at the Tetons. They took us in a horse drawn wagon to a spot where they had dinner waiting for us. It was only my family and a friends family in the wagon. Others rode horses. Our kids were too young to ride horses so we chose the wagon. It was a great memory with great views of the Tetons.

To tell the truth eating a meal at any of the Nat.park Lodges is a memorable experience....just being there is what makes it special.

Sipping a cool sarsparilla (root beer to some) while gazing out over ridge after ridge of blueish-grey mountians that seem to disappear into the distance from the restaurant at Skyland Lodge in Shenandoah National Park, particularly after double digit miles of AT hiking, is particularly refreshing.

Metate Room, Mesa Verde NP

On the balcony above the porte cochere at the Old Faithful Inn. The nice thing is you can get food at the Inn, or bring your own.

The cafeteria in the Old Faithful Lodge, too, for that matter.

Hmmm, no mention of the view from the Arizona Room down into the Grand Canyon on the South Room? Or of the pounding Pacific Ocean from Kalaloch Lodge??

I have to agree with gutz54 way to many to pick just one.

Off the topic some but a sack lunch sitting in a lawn chair can be just as memory filled.

Just you and the quietness of it all.

A happy 4th to all and the fredom to enjoy our great nation.

How about the lawn at Jordan Pond House, Acadia NP?

Now that makes me hungry/Never ending list!

The Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room is pretty well known for its view:

Now I've personally asked for a window seat at the Mountain Room at Yosemite Lodge:

The Old Faithful Lodge Cafeteria looks right on Old Faithful and costs less than at the Old Faithful Inn:

I can't find a decent photo looking out the window, but Hurricane Ridge at Olympic NP has a place to eat.

Now the place I will miss is the Volcano House snack bar. The view still exists, but apparently the new concessionaire tore down the wall and expanded the dining room by eliminating the snack bar. It's generally what I expect out of NPS concessions these days - to limit affordability and only reserve the best experiences for those who can afford it. I remember when one could buy a hot dog at the snack bar for $3 and enjoy a view as good as in the dining room next door.