What are the best things to see and do in Moab?

Lisa Church

Many of the most memorable experiences in Moab, Utah, involve getting outdoors. While there are many activities to choose from, these are must-dos:
 
1. Explore the national and state parks. Moab is home to parks with breathtaking views and striking geologic features including Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park Spend the day hiking along the many short or longer trails located within the parks.
 
2. See ancient Indian rock art. Petroglyphs and pictographs painted by Fremont and Anasazi tribes can be found along the sandstone cliffs that border both sides of the Colorado River near Moab and in Sego Canyon near Thompson Springs, about 30 miles to the northeast.
 
3. Go off road. To really have a full backcountry experience, we suggest you take a guided tour of trails and dirt roads with one the area’s several tour companies. Off-road enthusiasts flock to the area in late winter for the Easter Jeep Safari.
 
4. Take a raft trip on the Colorado River. Float the “daily” stretch of the river on a half- or full-day outing, or, for the more adventurous in spirit, take a guided whitewater rafting trip through Westwater Canyon or Cataract Canyon, which both boast world-class rapids and stunning scenery.
 
5. Hike at sunrise or sunset. Start the day with a sunrise hike to one of the many scenic vistas in Arches or Canyonlands, or close out the day with a sunset trek. In either case, be sure to bring your camera to capture the once-in-a-lifetime colors.

  • On November 15, 2012
    Lisa Church answered the question: Lisa Church

    What are the best cultural events in Moab?

    Moab is known for its adventure sports and activities, but the town is also home to several well-known cultural events held throughout the year.
     
    The Moab Music Festival, held annually in late August and early September, brings world-class classical musicians to perform in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings. The festival’s signature Grotto Concerts take place in a natural grotto along the Colorado River several miles downstream from Moab. Concertgoers, musicians and even a grand piano are transported by jet boat to the site for an afternoon of music followed by a reception with gourmet food and wine.
     
    The three-day Moab Folk Festival, held the first weekend in November, features traditional and contemporary folk artists performing at indoor and outdoor venues.
     
    In the fall, the PleinAir Moab art festival brings artists from throughout the region and the U.S. to paint in the outdoors. During the event, artists can be found working on the streets downtown, along trails and streams, and in canyons and parks throughout the area. The event culminates in an art auction.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Lisa Church answered the question: Lisa Church

    What is the best thing to bring home from Moab?

    After your trip to Moab, Utah, you’ll probably be heading home with a new sense of accomplishment from having successfully paddled down the Colorado River or hiked up Intrepid. But if you’re seeking a more tangible souvenir, we suggest you peruse the handmade jewelry crafted by local and regional artisans available at several shops throughout downtown. Moab is also home to a wide variety of art galleries featuring original photography, sculptures and paintings by Moab artists.
     
    Or stop by Lin Ottinger’s rock and fossil shop on North Main Street if you want to take home rock or dinosaur bone souvenirs that were collected in the area.
     
    The downtown shops also offer a wide variety of souvenir clothing, hats, bumper stickers and postcards.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Lisa Church answered the question: Lisa Church

    What are the best Moab food experiences?

    Many people come to Moab seeking outdoor adventures like hiking or rafting. That kind of workout leaves you hungry for some hearty food and fortunately there are many places in Moab that offer satisfying fare. Here are the best food experiences in Moab:
     
    1. Chili cheeseburger. For everyday dining, Milt’s Stop & Eat is a must. First opened in 1954, this traditional diner serves up classic and specialty burgers and other diner fare, but their signature is Milt’s  chili cheeseburger. 
     
    2. A Love Muffin. The Main Street bakery gets its name from its creative and delicious muffins, with flavorings like ginger, chocolate and bacon and blueberries. Its other specialty is massive sandwiches ideal for any time of day; favorites include the banh mi and the sausage breakfast sandwich.
     
    3. The Mother of All Burritos. Miguel’s Baja Grill offers tasty Mexican food in an open-air dining room. Miguel’s is known for its MOAB (mother of all burritos), fish tacos and excellent mole.
     
    4. Wake Me Up Wakame. You’ll find a great breakfast and lunch experience at Eklecticafe, where the décor perfectly matches the name. It serves some of the best coffee in town as well as the signature Wakame huevos rancheros, homemade quiche and a different decadent cheesecake every day. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.
     
    5. Gourmet quesadillas. Keep your eyes open for the bright yellow Quesadilla Mobilla truck. Owners Carrie and Steven specialize in making fresh, filling and original quesadillas like one filled with apples, cranberries and cinnamon; spicy sweet potatoes or the Enchanted Chicken. Many visitors consider this the best place to dine in all of Moab.
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  • On November 15, 2012
    Lisa Church answered the question: Lisa Church

    Where is the best nightlife in Moab?

    Several bars and restaurants in Moab offer live music and dancing, primarily on weekends. For a more intimate experience, visit the Vista Lounge at Buck’s Grill House, or the Blu Pig, where local and regional musicians perform throughout the week. Blues and R&B are often on tap at the Blu Pig, while the Vista Lounge features an eclectic array of music.
     
    Frankie D’s Bar & Grill often features live entertainment ranging from rock to disco and hip-hop to blues. The Rio Sports Bar typically offers dancing to a DJ’s mixes or live bands on weekends. Finally, for an authentic Moab experience, visit world-famous Woody’s Tavern, where live music and brews have been a staple since 1962.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Lisa Church answered the question: Lisa Church

    What is the best way to see Moab in one day?

    If you’re interested in seeing Moab, Utah, in just one day, the best way is by taking a tour of the town and then driving to one of the national parks. After breakfast, stop by the  Moab Information Center at Main and Center streets, where knowledgeable National Park Service personnel can offer information and advice about the parks and area. The center also offers free screenings of a short film that highlights the geology and unique features of the region.  Next, stroll down Moab’s Main Street to experience the town’s sights, sounds and local flavors and visit a variety of shops and restaurants.
     
    After lunch, hop in the car and head to the backcountry. It’s possible to see both Canyonlands and Arches national parks in one day by making short stops at the main features of each park. However, to really become immersed in the experience of the parks, it is recommended that visitors plan to spend at least one day in each area separately.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best places to eat in Moab?

    Several locally owned restaurants in Moab offer fine dining using locally grown produce and meat when available, and excellent libations. Here’s a short list for the best places to eat in Moab:
     
    1. Jeffrey’s Steakhouse and Ghost Bar. Head here for melt-in-your-mouth cuts of American Wagyu beef along with a variety of lamb, pork, fish and chicken entrées. And the restaurant’s extensive wine list assures the perfect pairing for any of the dining choices.
     
    2. The Desert Bistro. While they specialize in meaty fare like beef, pork, lamb and fish, why not explore the menu’s more eclectic offerings like elk and rabbit sausage. , Pasta dishes and vegetarian offerings round out the main fare and fresh, local produce is used in season.
     
    3. Buck’s Grill House. You’ll find a blend of American and Southwest flavors in a wide variety of entrées that include wild game such as elk and rabbit, along with beef, chicken, fish and pork. Several vegetarian dishes are available, along with burgers and salads.
     
    4. Sunset Grill. As the name suggests, the views here are spectacular: Sunset Grill is perched on a cliffside overlooking the Moab Valley. But the restaurant – the former home of Charlie Steen, the “Uranium King” — also offers a fine filet mignon and steaks, along with a wide variety of lighter fare.
     
    5. Sabaku Sushi. Yes, there’s great sushi in the desert — one of the secrets is having the fish flown in daily from Hawaii. The other is the inventive chef who creates traditional dishes as well as others with a Southwestern flair. The Sandstone Crunch roll filled with salmon, avocado and serrano chile that’s deep-fried and topped with panko crumbs and eel sauce is a standout.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best places to stay in Moab?

    Moab is mostly filled with mid-range motels and bed-and-breakfast establishments, but a few in the region stand out as excellent choices for visitors. Here are the three best places to stay in Moab:
     
    1. Sunflower Hill Bed and Breakfast. Located in the heart of downtown Moab, Sunflower Hill features 12 rooms in two restored buildings — an original ranch house and the garden cottage. The inn offers a swimming pool and hot tub, gardens and plenty of large shade trees. A breakfast buffet starts the day, and other amenities, including snacks and evening refreshments, are also included. 
     
    2. Red Cliffs Adventure Lodge. The lodge offers a quiet retreat in a peaceful river setting, Located about 14 miles northeast of Moab on Highway 128, the lodge features suites and cabins, many located on the along the Colorado River bank. Furnished with solid log furniture, the spacious rooms have a contemporary western feel that’s also bright and comfortable. Red Cliffs has a full-service restaurant in the main lodge as well as a winery on the premises. Horseback riding is available at the ranch, and the concierge can arrange most any type of available activity through local outfitters.
     
    3. Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa. If you’re looking for a quiet retreat setting, then head for Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa just off Highway 128. You’ll find large cabin rooms and suites with river or mountain views furnished in “cowboy chic” décor — several rooms feature fireplaces. Sorrel River also includes a full-service spa, offering a wide variety of massages, facials and body treatments. A swimming pool, gym and horseback riding are available, too. The River Grill Restaurant serves meaty upscale American fare like cherry-pasilla-rubbed buffalo filet in the main lodge. The resort’s adventure concierge can arrange activities with local outfitters.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Lisa Church answered the question: Lisa Church

    What are the most popular outdoor adventure experiences in Moab?

    Visitors travel to Moab to enjoy a wide range of outdoor adventures. Hit the outdoors and try one of these experiences:
     
    1. Mountain biking. Since the 1980s, mountain bikers have flocked to the area to test their skills on the challenging terrain of the Slickrock Trail, the Porcupine Rim trail and the nearby La Sal Mountains. In recent years, local trail groups have worked with government officials to develop a system of non-motorized trails that will eventually connect Moab directly to many popular biking areas.
     
    2. Off-road driving. Off-road driving is also a popular activity for Moab visitors. The annual Easter Jeep Safari draws thousands of off-road enthusiasts for the event’s week of guided trail runs on more than 30 backcountry routes in the region. With trails ranging from minimal to extreme difficulty, the event gives drivers of all skill levels a chance to see the backcountry.
     
    3. Whitewater rafting. Moab is home to a number of river companies that offer trips on the Colorado and Green rivers. Book a half- or full-day trip, or take a multi-day river adventure for a longer stay in the wild.
     
    4. Backcountry vehicle tours. Several outfitters offer guided Hummer or Jeep tours that cross through a wide variety of terrain. Some outfitters also provide overnight or multi-day camping and vehicle combination tours.
     
    5. Hiking. Lace up your boots and hit Moab’s scenic backcountry on foot. The Arches and Canyonlands national parks feature many scenic hikes that take you past awe-inspiring sandstone formations. It’s even better at sunrise or sunset; just be sure to pack your camera.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Lisa Church answered the question: Lisa Church

    What are the best things to do with kids in Moab?

    While some of the outdoor experiences near Moab are best suited for adults, families with children will also find plenty to see and do. Here are the best things to do with kids in Moab:
     
    1. Rafting on the river. The Colorado River is one of the most storied in the U.S and its renowned for its rafting adventures. Most river outfitters in Moab offer river excursions suitable for adults and children.
     
    2. Become a Junior Ranger. Stop by the Visitors’ Center at Arches or Canyonlands national parks for a Junior Ranger booklet filled with fun activities to help kids learn about the parks. Kids who complete five or more exercises earn a Junior Ranger badge and certificate. “Explorer Packs” that include binoculars, a naturalist guide and an activity guide can also be borrowed from either park. Just be sure to return it at Arches or Canyonlands before heading home.
     
    3. Visit dinosaur tracks. The Copper Ridge sauropod dinosaur track way located about 23 miles north of Moab features the fossil tracks of a brontosaurus (now known as an apatosaurus) as well as those of carnivorous dinosaurs of varying sizes. 
     
    4. Go back in time. The Museum of Moab in the heart of downtown offers information and insight into the town’s pioneer and mining history, early inhabitants of the region and the geology of the region. A special display highlights the dinosaurs that once roamed the lands near Moab.
     
    5. Ride a bike. Moab offers bike trails that offer fun and a little bit of challenge too for cyclists of every age and experiences level. Despite the name, Intrepid Trail and Bar M Loop are perfect for kids and even parents pulling baby trailers.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Lisa Church answered the question: Lisa Church

    What are the best things to see and do in Moab?

    Many of the most memorable experiences in Moab, Utah, involve getting outdoors. While there are many activities to choose from, these are must-dos:
     
    1. Explore the national and state parks. Moab is home to parks with breathtaking views and striking geologic features including Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park Spend the day hiking along the many short or longer trails located within the parks.
     
    2. See ancient Indian rock art. Petroglyphs and pictographs painted by Fremont and Anasazi tribes can be found along the sandstone cliffs that border both sides of the Colorado River near Moab and in Sego Canyon near Thompson Springs, about 30 miles to the northeast.
     
    3. Go off road. To really have a full backcountry experience, we suggest you take a guided tour of trails and dirt roads with one the area’s several tour companies. Off-road enthusiasts flock to the area in late winter for the Easter Jeep Safari.
     
    4. Take a raft trip on the Colorado River. Float the “daily” stretch of the river on a half- or full-day outing, or, for the more adventurous in spirit, take a guided whitewater rafting trip through Westwater Canyon or Cataract Canyon, which both boast world-class rapids and stunning scenery.
     
    5. Hike at sunrise or sunset. Start the day with a sunrise hike to one of the many scenic vistas in Arches or Canyonlands, or close out the day with a sunset trek. In either case, be sure to bring your camera to capture the once-in-a-lifetime colors.