Although it’s not pricey like a big city, Moab is still a destination town, and its prices sometimes reflect its knowledge that visitors aren’t always on a shoestring. But if you are? Trust me, you can still afford to visit Moab for $50 a day. Really! Here are some tips and tricks to getting around, out, and about Moab while still tightly hanging onto your money.
Where to Stay
Nope, can’t really do a hotel stay and then expect anything else to happen on this sort of budget. However, Moab does have a few decent options if you’re not extremely picky about your lodging.
It’s not fancy, but it’ll do the trick of keeping your budget low, low, low. Save your dollars for playtime instead of a silly old room! If you don’t mind dorm living, you’ll only fork over $9 a night at the Lazy lizard. That, my friends, is a serious bargain.
Throw down $24 to throw down your tent for the night. That’s half your daily budget, we know…but it can be done! Tip: most tenters bring and cook their own food. There’s a very nice City Market grocery store in Moab to help out with all your simple culinary needs.
For $25/night, you can pitch a tent. That’s a bit pricey for some tenters, but this place offers clean bathrooms, a playground, convenience store, and pool. Not many campgrounds offer amenities like that, so camp on in style–and on a budget.
What to Do
You can see one of the country’s more stunning national parks for a mere $25/vehicle, for up to seven days. Yes, that includes your entire family. Hike, rock scramble, take photos, make memories, and enjoy it all at an almost-free price tag. World-famous Delicate Arch is a great crowd pleaser. The Junior Ranger program can entertain and teach your young ones, and Private Arch is an easily-reached yet less-visited trail for when you need some escape from all the other tourists.
Yes, once again it’s only $25/vehicle for up to seven days. Catch sunrise at Mesa Arch, explore the backcountry on the Big Spring to Squaw Canyon Hiking Loop, or peruse ancient, cryptic rock art in Horseshoe Canyon.
For $5, you’re in. For $10, your whole family’s in. Check out local historical exhibits, looming dinosaurs, and plenty of ancient Native American artifacts.
Have bike, will pedal? The renowned Slickrock Trail is gorgeous, challenging, and free. Roll on, happy cyclists.
Where to Eat
You can really go big on a meal in Moab. But there are indeed some less spendy, although no less tasty, dining options out there. Of course, you can also plan ahead and prepare most of your meals yourself. However, if you do go out to find cheap eats, here’s another tip: order big and save the leftovers for lunch the next day. Now, that’s penny-wise thinking.
Breakfast here is fast, crazy cheap, and wildly good. They use local and organic ingredients, and it all combines for yumminess.
You can’t lose with pizza. Here, it’s quite reasonable, quick, and definitely tasty. Bonus: they will deliver to your in-town hotel!
Why? You can get a Ribeye Steak for $16.99. ‘Nuf said. Ok, you can also snap up a delicious lunch for under $10.
This is a family-friendly joint, and it won’t kill your bank account. Hearty meals with a twist, great beer, and a casual ambiance can cap off your budget-conscious day.
photo: Lost Albatross/Flickr