My mom moved to Utah this past August and I finally got around to planning a trip out to see her a few weeks ago.
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect; I had never been to Utah before nor had the desire to visit. However after spending two days in Moab, I was more than pleasantly surprised! The food was scrumptious, the people were sweet, and the landscape was gorgeous. I can’t wait to return!
Here’s the lowdown on our trip — from where we stayed to what we ate:
Where to Stay During Your Trip:
If you’re looking for something cheaper, try Hotel Moab. We stayed here and had zero issues! They beds were comfy and the rooms are refinished.
Willing to spend money? Check out the Red Cliff Lodges close to the Colorado River with stunning views. I’ve heard nothing but great things!
Jailhouse Restaurant in Moab, Utah
What to Do on Day 1:
Luckily, Moab wasn’t lacking in the food department. They offered healthy fare, baked goods, organic and vegan options at most restaurants. Here are my recommendations for your first day in Moab:
Hit up Jailhouse Restaurant for an early brunch. I highly recommend trying their pesto omelette! Absolutely to die for and hearty enough to fill you up until later in the afternoon.
Another great option is Love Muffin Cafe as sometimes Jailhouse can be a little busy. They serve seasonal, organic meals. Love, indeed!
After you eat breakfast, pack up for a day of hiking! But first, don’t forget to stop at Sweet Cravings and grab a sandwich or some goodies for the hike. I recommend the veggie wrap and banana bread (of course).
Next, head to Arches National Park for a beautiful day of hiking! Arches is located 5 miles away from the center of Moab, so it’s pretty quick to get to. There a variety of things to do at Arches (4-wheeling, biking, swimming, etc) but by far my favorite is hiking and exploring the area yourself. It costs about $25 dollars to get into the park for one car, but it’s well worth it. There are plenty of trails and areas to stop for a picnic. I think I could have spent an entire week in the park — that’s how big it is.
Upon arrival, the State Park Trooper will provide you a map of the area and you can decide which trail you’d like to do. I recommend the Primitive Trail at Devil’s Garden if you’re up for a good workout. It’s about 7.2 miles roundtrip — but be warned it isn’t for the faint of heart. There will be plenty of heights and uphill climbs, but also a few spots to rest and enjoy a snack.
Not interested in a grueling hike? Don’t worry, there are plenty of other trails to check out via the Arches Visitor Guide, too!
What to bring on your hike: A friend, map, lots of water, snacks, sunscreen and bug spray.
My mom and me in Arches National Park
I have to say that Arches is one of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever been to. And honestly, the rock formations are simply fascinating. Put this on your bucket list!
After spending the day out in the sun (hopefully!), I recommend heading back to town for a casual dinner. After all, no one wants to eat a fancy dinner after hiking 8 miles.
A great option for dinner is the Peace Tree Juice Cafe, which isn’t just juices. In fact, they have some fabulous menu options that I highly recommend including the Big Green Sandwich, peanut butter wrap and my favorite, the STUFFED acorn squash. Seriously delicious.
The sandwiches + wraps come with blue corn chips at the Peace Tree Cafe
If you’re still hungry after dinner and feeling the need for a sweet treat, stop at Crystal’s Cakes and Cones for an ice cream cone!
What to Do on Day 2:
Start the day with a hearty, hippie breakfast from Eklecticafe. They have wonderful outdoor seating, so be sure to bring a jacket if you tend to get cold easily. Favorites here include the banana pancakes with pecans and giant breakfast burrito stuffed with pinto beans and rice.
They also have an assortment of delicious cookies and weird items for purchase inside. Definitely worth checking out!
Tony on our hike
During the day, you have several options:
Head to Dead Horse State Park, another favorite for hiking!
Go paddle boarding, river rafting, or kayaking on the Colorado River. More details here.
Spend the day in town, checking out the cool little shops on the main road.
Go horseback riding down the beautiful desert trails.
Trust me, you won’t be lacking options!
At night, head back to town and enjoy a nice fine-dining experience at Desert Bistro. They’re quinoa salad with figs is on point so don’t miss it!
Thanks for checking out my travel guide to Moab, Utah! I hope this inspires you to take your own adventure.
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