From Dead Horse Point State Park, it’s a 2,000-foot drop to the muddy Colorado.
Captivating trails lure gung ho hikers and cyclists to Moab, a southern Utah town of 5,000 some 100 miles from the nearest city. But even the most easygoing travelers find plenty of reasons to linger in this gateway to Arches and Canyonlands national parks. Area code is 435. discovermoab.com.
- Travelers gape at sights along Dead Horse Mesa Scenic Byway, which winds 18 miles to Dead Horse Point State Park and its famed Colorado River overlook south of Moab. Cyclists choose among mountain bike tracks that range from gentle to killer. 259-1370, discovermoab.com/byways.htm.
- Patrons at Sing Ha Thai Cuisine return for the intense flavors—green curry and ginger tofu—and for cool glasses of sweet, milky Thai iced tea. 92 E. Center St., 259-0039.
- Big and little kids can’t help pawing through the oddities at the Moab Rock Shop. Owner Lin Ottinger has been collecting fossils, rocks, and crystals for more than 80 years. Check out his casts of prehistoric mammal bones and ask him how the dinosaur Iguanodon ottingeri got its name. 600 N. Main St., 259-7312, moabrockshop.com.
- After rambling to spots called Devils Garden and Delicate Arch, you can order seafood rolls named after these and other local sites at Sabaku Sushi, the first raw bar here. Also on the menu is locally raised elk served as tataki, a platter of seared and sliced meat. 90 E. Center St., 259-4455, sabakusushi.com.
- Don’t need another souvenir T-shirt? Stop by Earth Studio to shop for handmade earrings and necklaces, garden vases, wall sconces, soaps, and whimsical bike-themed metal art. 31 N. Main St., 259-6445, earthstudiomoab.com.
- At the Love Muffin Café—where local and fresh are trademark boasts—patrons choose among seven kinds of breakfast burritos. Lunch? Try a Vietnamese pork sandwich. 139 N. Main St., 259-6833, lovemuffincafe.com.
- Savor the evening scene at up to 10 venues on the Moab Art Walk, held on second Saturdays, April to June and September to November. 260-0738, moabartwalk.com. The free Moab Arts Festival runs over Memorial Day weekend, May 25 and 26. 259-2742, moabartsfestival.org.
Photography by Carles Zamorano Cabello/Alamy (Dead Horse Point S.P.); courtesy of Michael Grindstaff/Wikipedia (town); courtesy of Lin Ottinger Rock Shop (exterior)
This article was first published in May 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.