Moab, Utah: A Local’s Guide for Eats and Sights
Post updated October 2018.
My family spent 2 wonderful years living in Moab, Utah. It’s such a unique place, just a small rural town out in the middle of nowhere that overflows with tourists coming to enjoy red rock country. From time to time I’ve been asked for recommendations for both things to do and restaurants to visit, so I’ve created a space for all of that information. Planning a vacation to Moab? Here’s what you need to know!
Where to Eat
Main Street is filled with lots of options, but in my opinion most of them are mediocre tourist traps. Still, good food does exist in Moab! Here are a few of our faves.
Miguel’s Baja Grill— My favorite Mexican food in Moab and the best margaritas in town.
Atomic Burger— Burgers, BBQ and more. Great outdoor patio too. Definitely one of our go-tos. A lot less crowded than other Moab restaurants.
Milt’s— A Moab staple famous for its burgers, fries and shakes, and our go-to quick meal out. Expect long lines during peak season, or be like a local and call ahead.
Susie’s Branding Iron— Classic country cooking, burgers and comfort food. Their fry bread with honey butter is a must! It’s a few miles south of town so it’s far less crowded than restaurants on Main Street.
Eklectic Cafe— An adorable cafe with typical breakfast and lunch fare that often has open tables when others have long lines.
Quesadilla Mobilla— Moab’s one and only food truck! Killer (and HUGE) quesadillas with a trendy twist.
Lops Pop Stop— A fun soda drive-thru kiosk with pretty much any (non-alcoholic) drink option you can imagine. We’re regulars. My favorite combo is their “Moab on the Rocks”.
Arches Thai— Fresh and flavorful Thai food!
Sabuku Sushi— Who knew you could get such great sushi so far from the ocean? I was skeptical at first, but this place won me over.
MoYo Moab Yogurt— Even though this is technically not ice cream, it’s still my favorite “ice cream” joint in town.
What To Do
Moab and the surrounding area have almost limitless options to keep you busy outdoors, depending on what you’re into— hiking, camping, biking, rafting, jeeping, climbing, etc. We’re mostly into hiking and since we have 2 small children, most of the hiking we’re doing right now isn’t too strenuous.
Here are some of our current favorite things to do around Moab:
Corona Arch— A relatively easy hike leading to an impressive arch (pictured above). Not nearly as crowded as nearby Arches. 1.5 mile hike one-way, 12 miles west of Moab on highway 279.
Fisher Towers— Up close and personal with stunning and unique rock formations. 2.2 mile hike one-way, 22 miles east of Moab on highway 128.
Canyonlands National Park— Canyonlands is huge, with 2 separate entrances for the mesa high above and the valley below. Lots of great viewpoints, easy hikes and more lengthy hikes. My favorites include Mesa Arch, Grand View Point Overlook, Cave Spring, and Big Spring Canyon Overlook. Island in the Sky District is 30 miles northwest of Moab on highway 313 and Needles District is 70 miles south of Moab on highway 211.
Negro Bill Canyon— An easy hike along the riverbed leading to Morning Glory Bridge (arch). We do this hike in the summer with our dog, and we all end up playing in the water. 2 miles one-way, 4 miles east of Moab on highway 128.
Arches National Park— No introduction necessary, I’m sure. If you’re coming to Moab, you’re probably already planning a visit here. Favorite hikes include Windows, Double-O Arch, Delicate Arch, and Park Avenue. 2 miles north of Moab on Highway 191.
Dead Horse Point State Park— Breathtaking views of the canyons below, similar to some of the views from Island in the Sky, but with a cheaper entrance fee and dogs are allowed. Not many hiking trails, but plenty of space to wander and scramble on the rocks. 33 miles northwest of Moab of highway 313.
Mill Creek Canyon— This is the most popular watering hole in Moab. The creek makes for great swimming and wading in the summer, and brave visitors cliff jump into the pool below the falls. Very crowded on summer weekends. 1 mile hike one-way (be prepared to get your feet wet), on Powerhouse Lane in Moab.
Hunter Canyon— An easy hike along the riverbed with canyon walls all around. Much less crowded than Negro Bill Canyon. 2 miles one-way, 7 miles west of Moab on Kane Creek Road (the last few miles are a well-maintained dirt road).
La Sal Mountains— Escape the summer heat! The La Sals can be as much as 30 degrees cooler than Moab in the summer. Scenic drive, mountain lakes and hiking. 15 miles south of Moab on La Sal Mountain Loop Road.
Ken’s Lake— This is where we spend our weekend evenings in the summer. It’s a small man-made lake south of town with a pebble beach. Also a great place for SUP. 12 miles south of Moab on Flat Pass Road.
Moab Giants Dinosaur Park— Walk amongst 100+ true-to-life-sized dinosaur replicas. It’s fun for both kids and adults! There’s also an indoor museum and large outdoor playground. 9 miles north of Moab on highway 191.
Rotary Park— This city park is a great place to enjoy a picnic or just relax in the shade. It also has a wide assortment of percussion instruments that are fun to play with. On East Mill Creek Drive in Moab.
Moab Canyon Pathway— Walk or bike along the Colorado river and across the footbridge, with beautiful views of the canyon. I take my nightly runs here. The bike path extends as far as Negro Bill Canyon on highway 128, and on highway 191 from Main Street in Moab, passed Arches National Park, to highway 313 (the turnoff for Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point). Parking lot at the junction of highways 191 and 128, 1 mile north of Moab.
I hope you enjoy your visit! If you have any questions or recommendations of your own, please leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.