June 14, 2016

Four Restaurants in National Parks

  • By: Lauren Walser

For good food in a beautiful setting, head to a national park. We give you three such dining options in the Summer 2016 issue of Preservation. Now, here are four more old buildings within national park boundaries where you can grab a bite to eat while taking in spectacular views.

Ptarmigan Dining Room at Glacier National Park

photo by: Dave Hensley/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Ptarmigan Dining Room in Many Glacier Hotel at Glacier National Park.

Ptarmigan Dining Room

1 Rte. 3, Glacier National Park, Babb, MT 59411

855.733.4522 | glaciernationalparklodges.com

$$$ | American

On the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake in Glacier National Park sits Many Glacier Hotel. Opened on July 4, 1915, the five-story lodge was built by the Great Northern Railway and designed to look like a Swiss chalet as part of a push to establish Glacier National Park as the “American Alps.” Today, the secluded, National Register-listed hotel (a member of Historic Hotels of America) features 215 rustic guest rooms and provides easy access to the area’s numerous outdoor activities, including hiking, horseback riding, ranger programs, boat cruises, and wildlife watching.

Inside the historic lodge, there’s the Ptarmigan Dining Room. A major renovation several years ago restored the restaurant’s historic features and original design concepts, like its stone fireplace and wrought iron trusses. Diners there can eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner in this lakeside eatery, which offers sweeping views of the park’s peaks and vistas. Popular dishes include the bison chili burger and smoked Montana trout. And there’s a large selection of Montana microbrews available, too.

Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room

photo by: Courtesy Historic Hotels of America

Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room at Crater Lake National Park.

Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room

565 Rim Village Dr., Crater Lake, OR 97604

888.774.2728 | craterlakelodges.com

$$$$ | American, Northwest

At 1,943 feet deep, Oregon’s Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. Resting on a dormant volcano that once stood 12,000 feet tall before erupting nearly 8,000 years ago, Crater Lake is surrounded by cliffs and fed entirely by rain and snow. Visitors have been flocking to the vibrant blue water and surrounding old-growth forests since Crater Lake National Park was established in 1902. And since opening in 1915, Crater Lake Lodge (a member of Historic Hotels of America) has been the park’s premier lodging facility. A massive renovation in 1995 revived much of the hotel’s historic fabric.

The Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room features stone walls, a stone fireplace, and big windows looking out onto the park—a perfect atmosphere for enjoying the regional menu items, like Pacific Northwest Clam Chowder, Northwest Style Citrus Duck, or the Oregon Rack of Lamb.

The Inn Dining Room

328 Greenland Blvd., Death Valley, CA 92328

760.786.2345 | furnacecreekresort.com

$$$$ | American, Southwest

In the vast, untouched landscape of Death Valley, The Inn at Furnace Creek sticks out. Designed by prominent Los Angeles architect Albert C. Martin, the sprawling inn, situated at the mouth of the Furnace Creek Wash, features a red tile roof, local stone detailing, a stucco exterior, and dramatic archways, arcades, and towers. Landscape architect Daniel Hull designed lush palm gardens and water features around the property. This elegant lodge was the vision of the Pacific Coast Borax Company as a way to save its newly built Death Valley Railroad. And when it opened for business in 1927—with its tennis courts and swimming pool and nearby golf course—it was an immediate success. In 1933, Death Valley National Monument was established. And in 1994, it was declared Death Valley National Park.

The Inn Dining Room inside the National Register-listed hotel (a member of Historic Hotels of America) bills itself as fine dining in one of the world’s most remote settings. Diners can look out the windows at desert salt pans and the Panamint Mountains beyond.

The Inn at Furnace Creek Dining Room

photo by: Courtesy Historic Hotels of America

The Inn Dining Room in The Inn at Furnace Creek at Death Valley National Park.

Red Rock Grill at Zion Lodge

photo by: Courtesy Historic Hotels of America

Red Rock Grill in Zion Lodge at Zion National Park.

Red Rock Grill

1 Zion Lodge, Springdale, UT 84767

435.772.7760 | zionlodge.com

$$ | American

When it was established in 1919, Zion National Park became Utah’s first national park. Five years later, Zion Lodge, a rustic wooden structure, was designed and built by Gilbert Stanley Underwood, the American architect behind so many of the National Park Service’s visitors facilities. Standalone cabins were added around the property a few years later. The original wooden lodge was destroyed by a fire in 1966, and though it was rebuilt 100 days later, much of its original rustic look was lost. A 1990 remodel restored the original design.

Zion Lodge today is a member of Historic Hotels of America and has 76 rooms, six suites, and 40 historic cabins. It also offers the only places to eat within Zion National Park. The lodge’s main dining room, Red Rock Grill, is a cozy wood-and-stone restaurant featuring an open terrace and stunning views of Zion Canyon. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—perfect for fueling up before and after a hike.

$ = Value, $10-19 per person

$$ = Moderate, $20-29 per person

$$$ = Expensive, $30-39 per person

$$$$ = Splurge, $40+ per person

Lauren Walser headshot

Lauren Walser served as the Los Angeles-based field editor of Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about art, architecture, and public space, and hopes to one day restore her very own Arts and Crafts-style bungalow.

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