Named after one of the first settlers in Tusayan, “RP” Thurston, RP’s Stage Stop evokes the days before the Grand Canyon Railway went through the town, and one of the only ways to travel to this area was by stagecoach. Affiliated with the Red Feather Lodge, this quirky establishment combines a well-curated gift shop with an Internet café and plenty of tasty fare. It’s a great place for a quick bite, or to linger on a hot afternoon.
RP’s Stage Stop Ambiance
Because RP’s Stage Stop is so dedicated to its history, you’ll find that a lot of the décor is intended to capture the early twentieth century culture of Tusayan. At the same time, there’s a playful element that means a lot of colors, Native American artwork, and plenty of delightful knick-knacks scattered about.
The shop is small and although most people tend to come in here to grab a bite to go, there are a number of tables for dining in. There are also several computers for customer use, which offer stable Internet access for checking maps, looking up tour times, etc. Of course, they also have WiFi for customers, so if you’ve got your own mobile device or laptop, you can connect to their network, too.
RP’s Stage Stop Food
The café itself is open relatively early in the morning year round (usually 7:00 am), and closing times vary depending upon the season but usually coincide with just about dinner time. So, although you can grab a sandwich for dinner, this is typically more of a breakfast/lunch spot. In fact, customers especially love their customizable (and very affordable!) breakfast sandwiches.
All of their sandwiches are made to order, and they also offer fresh, locally roasted coffee plus premium national blends. If you’ve got kids, or aren’t a hearty eater, you can also purchase half sandwiches any time of day. For those travelers picking up food to bring to the Grand Canyon, then one of their boxed lunches is a smart option: it comes with a freshly-made sandwich of your choice, chips in a variety of flavors, and a cookie. There is also a kid’s menu with items like hotdogs and simple sandwiches.
RP’s Stage Stop Details
This is a pretty casual environment, and you order all meals at a counter. You can choose to sit in their modestly sized dining space, or take your order to go. Visitors hoping to grab a quick bite in the morning while waiting for the Grand Canyon shuttle should be aware that wait times can be pretty lengthy in the morning hours, so be sure budget in plenty of extra time.
Another great complement to their dining options is their gift shop, where you’ll find everything from fun and funky souvenirs to hand-made Native American jewelry of the finest quality. You’ll also be able to purchase Navajo and Zuni handcrafts, plus plenty of wares made by artisans across the southwest. If you’re a guest of the Red Feather Lodge, show your room key for a 10% discount!
Tusayan is located just a mile from the south entrance to the Grand Canyon, and is a nice little town that offers lodging options and several dining venues. Some of the hotels you’ll find include the Red Feather Lodge (still owned and operated by the Thurston family, of RP’s fame), Canyon Plaza Resort, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, and the Grand Hotel.
If you’re looking for things to do in Tusayan, you’ll also find the National Geographic Visitor Center, which offers an amazing IMAX film several times daily, “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets.” They also boast informative exhibits, which provide a great introduction to the canyon. The Tusayan General Store is a fun local place to explore, as is the Grand Canyon Trading Post. Visitors can also hop aboard a few tours from Tusayan, including some from Pink Jeep and Papillon Helicopters.