Insider tips: Planning a trip to Moab
Making your way out to Moab? The stunning scenery of Utah makes for the perfect outdoor adventure. To help you make the most of your trip, we've enlisted the help of the travel experts at Archaeology Travel. Read the tips below for your next visit.
What should I do on my first trip to Moab?
The most striking thing about Moab is the red rock landscape. The shapes and canyons really are something out of this world. At the top of my list of recommendations for any first time in Moab is to explore the two national parks on the town’s doorstep. Of course, there are so many ways you can do this. But for me, sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park and sunset at Delicate Arch in Arches National Park take a lot to be beaten.
What are some hidden gems to see in Moab?
The canyons and geological features are vast and striking, offering insight into the history and heritage of Moab. They also hold earlier signs of life on earth, as well as the signs of earlier humans in this part of the US. Often literally hidden amongst the rocks. At a number of places, you can see the fossilized tracks of up to 100 different kinds of dinosaurs that lived here around 66 million years ago. A little bit closer to us in time, some around 1,000 years old, are the petroglyphs and pictographs of the ancestors of Native Americans. Nothing beats seeing these sites in person.
How much time should I spend in Moab?
If seeking adventure and history in the great outdoors is your thing, then Moab is definitely the place for you. To get a feel for the area around Moab, four or five days is a good start. That is not to say you would not be able to see a lot in two days, or that you would be bored by day six. Exploring these landscapes takes time. Whether it is a day trip hiking to see the rock art in Horseshoe Canyon, or white water rafting on the Colorado River.
What food is Moab known for?
Moab has a wide range of very good restaurants, serving food from all over the world. From Mediterranean-style cuisine to sushi, Thai to Italian. But the most common style of cooking is Southwestern, a mix of Native American, Hispanic and cattle-country Anglo. Grilled dishes are the order of the day, served with corn, beans, squash, and, of course, chilies.
What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Moab?
Moab may be a small resort town, but it has a wonderful choice of accommodation styles to suit all budgets. Of course, there are some great hotels and B&Bs in the town itself. Even one, the Apache Motel, is on the national register of historical places. Surrounded by such stunning scenery, camping and glamping are very popular in the area. Or why not stay in luxury Western-style and choose a five-star ranch resort. This is the Southwest after all.
What is the best way to get around Moab?
There is no public transport in Moab. Shuttle services will take visitors to certain points of interest in the national parks and surrounding areas. And of course, many activities include pick-ups from your accommodation. By far the best way to experience Moab is with your own car or a rental vehicle.
What are the best months to visit Moab?
Both national parks are open all year round, but the most popular months in Moab are April to September. But everyone will agree the best time to visit Moab is in the spring. The cottonwood trees are getting their new shoots. The rocks are starting to get warm again. You can spend a day out without having to take into account extreme heat, or cold. And the crowds are still at work and school. Without a doubt, March to May.
What are the best neighborhoods for food?
As popular a tourist destination as Moab is, the town is not huge. You will certainly experience the small town-friendly atmosphere. Whether you want to dine in style or eat outdoors most of the best restaurants are in the center of town. There are many restaurants worth considering that are away from the town center. But even they are within an easy walk from the main hub of the town.
What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?
As a popular tourist destination, you will not be at a loss to buy souvenirs and good quality gifts in Moab. Of course, there are the gift shops typical of the American southwest. But Moab prides itself on its local arts and crafts scene. If you're looking for something special, you will have a lot of choices, from beautifully handcrafted silver and turquoise jewelry to genuine fossil fish and dinosaur bones. Downtown Moab is where it is at!