Thursday, August 2, 2012

Road Trip and a Few of My Favorites in Moab, Utah

Every spring we take a motorcycle trip with some friends to Moab in southern Utah.  Today, I thought I'd share some of my favorite Moab lodging, dining, and activity picks with you.

We usually stay in a townhouse at the lovely Moab Springs Ranch.  The warm, modern three bedroom/three bath condo (with 2 car garage) provides more than enough space for us and two other couples to stay comfortably.  There is a fantastic, fenced, park area with huge trees and hammocks, a heated pool and hot tub, a pond, and a shallow wading "river" that is perfect for cooling off on a hot day.  We like to prepare at least one or two meals at the condo, and usually end up grilling something delicious and eating on the deck as the sun goes down.

I am also quite fond of the Red Cliffs Lodge just outside of Moab, which is especially great for those who prefer a hotel setting.  Rooms and cabins are spacious and have gorgeous views of the Colorado River and Moab's signature red rock cliffs. The Lodge offers a number of activities, a restaurant, and onsite Castle Creek Winery.

I was sad to hear that one of my favorite Moab restaurants, Desert Bistro, has recently moved away from their location at the Moab Springs Ranch.  It was so nice to be able to walk down to the restaurant from our condo; an alfresco dinner under strands of twinkling lights was a most pleasant way to enjoy an evening.  The food is delicious and service is top notch (especially with Tatiana as your server).  This one's definitely a splurge!  It looks like their new location will be opening soon on Main Street.

Moab Coffee Roasters inside the Lost River Clothing Company building on Main Street has the most delicious homemade chai I've ever tasted. Everything at this little coffee shop appeals to me--the unique and very knowledgeable owner/barista, the hand drawn coffee bags, the fresh coffee beans roasted in-house, the creamy gelato, and of course, the chai.

Other dining favorites include Miguel's Baja Grill for Mexican, Moab Diner for breakfast, and Moab Brewery for a decent beer and pub fare.

The real draw of Moab is its incredible variety of outdoor activities.  With two national parks--Arches and Canyonlands, camping, hiking, world-class climbing, rafting on the Colorado River, mountain biking on the Slickrock trail, off-roading, and more, there is really something for people of all ages and fitness levels.

A few of my favorite outdoor activities include:

  • Visiting Arches National Park and hiking to Delicate Arch (pictured below).  There are two hikes to choose from, an easier one for families with kids that allows you to view the arch from a distance, and a more strenuous one that gets you up close to the arch.  Whichever hike you choose, you will be in awe of the scenery!
  • Exploring the area by motorcycle.  Beautiful routes include the La Sal Mountain Loop Road, the Dead Horse Point Mesa Scenic Byway (state route 313), and the Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway (Highway 128--fantastic views of the canyon and the river!).  
  • Taking a picnic and going down the Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway (Highway 279).  There are a number of picnic areas along the way, with amazing views of sheer red cliffs, dinosaur tracks, and Native American petroglyphs.  Look up and you may catch a glimpse of a climber dangling high up on the cliffside!    

Moab's Main Street offers many interesting galleries, clothing shops, bookstores, gift and souvenir shops, cafes, and outdoor outfitters to explore.  I always like to buy local notecards when traveling, and I managed to find some beautiful ones by artist Serena Supplee and photographer Tom Till .

Have you visited Moab?  What are your favorite things to do there?

Please visit Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Traveler's Sandbox  and Friday Daydreamin' at R We There Yet Mom to see many wonderful travel photos and stories from around the world!

Disclosure: I do not post sponsored links or accept paid insertions.  All places are mentioned here because I have personally experienced and enjoyed them.