We had been itching for a little getaway so we decided to rent a car and drive a few hours south to Moab, Utah! I love living in Utah for the simple fact that you can drive a few hours and end up somewhere with completely different scenery. Moab’s red rock is gorgeous and it’s no wonder that people from all over the world come here to enjoy its beauty. Here are some of my recommendations, plus some added tips if you’re bringing along your baby!
STAY SOMEWHERE ON MOAB’S MAIN STREET
The town of Moab is pretty small so the majority of the hotels are located on Main Street. We stayed at the Homewood Suites by Hilton and were really impressed with this hotel. While it was lacking on outdoor pool, the location of this new hotel is perfect as it’s nestled into Moab’s quaint main street and provides access to all the local restaurants and shops. This hotel offered free breakfast and each room has its own kitchen so we were able to go to the grocery store and buy food for some meals which helped cut down on our costs.
Moab may have a Wendy’s and McDonald’s, but if you truly want to experience a place, you HAVE to eat local! We loved eating at Milt’s Stop & Eat, Moab Diner, and Zax’s--- All of which are kid friendly! I’ve heard SOO many great things about the breakfast food at Jailhouse Café but since we went in the off-season it was closed! Definitely planning on going there next time!
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK
Arches is known for getting super crowded, especially during the busy summer months, so arriving to the park as early as possible is a must. The park itself is open 24/7 but the visitor’s center is only open from 9am-5pm. We arrived around 8:30 and left the park around 2:00pm. Since we went during the off-season the park wasn’t as crowded however it seemed that most people follow a similar path since there is only one road big, long road throughout the park with some breakoff paths. We chose to visit Balanced Rock first, then went to the Windows section and Delicate Arch, followed by the Fiery Furnace section. My main advice with Arches is to take your time, enjoy the view, and pack a lot of snacks! There are no restaurants in the park so bringing a lunch, lots of water, and snacks is a must!
OTHER THINGS TO DO
Some of the other fun things we liked in Moab was that there is a walking trail that goes along the Colorado River, it’s gorgeous and is perfect for pushing your stroller around. Outside Moab is the Moab Giants Dinosaur Park which looks like so much fun for little kids!
We loved visiting Dead Horse Point State Park… the views are gorgeous and I’ve wanted to go here for a long time. BEWARE THOUGH... The drive out to this site feels SUPER long and it’s literally in the middle of no-where. Dead Horse is a state park and does offers other amenities like hiking and yurts you can rent but in my opinion if you’re not dying to see this view, I maybe would skip this option and spend additional time in Moab. This drive felt so long with our son and he got pretty restless through all the windy turns.
Some other things Moab offers are great hikes to Corona Arch, visiting Hole in the Rock, and doing all of the adventurous stuff like river rafting, sky-diving, and rock climbing.
TIPS FOR VISITING ARCHES WITH A BABY
BE REALISTIC WITH WHAT YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH
There are a ton of hikes in Arches that you can do, but be realistic with what you and your baby can handle. The infamous Delicate Arch is about a 2-3 hour hike with steep terrain and no shade so we opted out since this wasn't something we felt comfortable with. We stuck to the following hikes because they were only 15-30 minutes:
- South Arch
- Double Arch
- Balanced Rock
- Delicate Arch Viewpoint (beware this hike is longer than you think it is and can be pretty hard when you’re carrying a baby too!)
- Sand Arch ** OUR FAVORITE! So fun and kids will love all the sand!
There isn’t a lot of shade in the park so be sure to rotate between being outside to the car frequently so your little baby doesn’t get too hot or cold. When we went it was a little chilly so we would be outside for 15-30 mins. Then drive to our next location, 15-30 minutes, drive to our next location.
Also if you are breastfeeding or if your baby naps frequently make sure to take this into account for how long you will be at the park. Our visit took a little longer than expected since I spent time breastfeeding my son as certain stops and we let him sleep in the car for a while.
IT MAY BE OBVIOUS BUT… BUY A BABY CARRIER!
We had a baby carrier we got from Amazon when Kade was born and while it’s not one of the fancy hiking ones, it worked great for the time of year we were there. You will definitely want one of these as it makes hiking so much easier. If you plan to hike a lot, buying one of these hiking carriers may be a good option!
BRING EXTRA OF EVERYTHING
I swear babies have the best timing with things… like when they poop right after you realize you used the last diaper in your diaper bag! Since you’re off the grid in Arches, make sure to bring lots of the essentials since you won’t have access to public toilets, a sink, etc. I brought a bazillion diapers, lots of hand sanitizer, doggie bags to put diapers in so they don’t stink up the car! (probably one of my Favorite things in my bag!), stain stick if they have a blow-out, and lots of water.
I also love my Fawn Design diaper bag, which can double as a side bag and backpack. It was perfect to bring along for hiking and I love how many things I can fit into it when traveling.
Moab is so beautiful and has that small-town charm, it's definitely worth the visit!