If you prefer adventures of the two-wheeled variety, chances are you already know all about Grand Junction’s allure and charm. But did you know that the Grand Junction area is home to 22 wineries? And there are seemingly unlimited amounts of lakes and waterways for kayak and SUP adventures? Grand Junction is one happening place to be during the summer season, and to showcase some of the epic offerings available to everyone from mountain bikers to music lovers, Visit Grand Junction is taking over our Instagram account for the week. Read on to learn more about what makes this Colorado city a must-visit this year, and be sure to follow along at @elevationout to see for yourself.
What is the main outdoor attraction that lures nature-lovers to the Grand Junction area every year?
Biking. Mountain biking and road biking on a variety of trails in addition to the magnificent cycling to be had at the Colorado National Monument. The area surrounding Grand Junction is widely recognized as a mountain biking mecca, and is especially popular during the spring and fall seasons. Check out the Lunch Loops/Tabeguache Trails System, 18 Road Trails, or Kokopelli Loops. In addition, Colorado National Monument’s 23-mile Rim Rock Drive is perfect for road biking in a truly breathtaking landscape, surrounded by towering red rock monoliths and panoramic scenic desert vistas.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Give us the scoop on the best places in town to fuel up in the morning.
Dream Cafe offers a fun and uniquely hip atmosphere to enjoy the breakfast you’ve been “dreaming about”. They have a wide variety of options ranging from deliciously distinctive Eggs Benedict and Specialty Pancakes (including a gluten-free option), to mid-morning Bloody Mary’s or sparkling Mimosas. Another excellent option is Main Street Cafe — a 1950s themed diner complete with neon signs, glossy photos and posters of icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis, hula hoops, poodle skirts and other 1950s memorabilia. With a wide variety of classic egg dishes and other breakfast favorites at reasonable prices, customers are sure to leave full and happy.
Grand Junction is known for having an excellent winery scene. How many wineries does Grand Junction have? And what is the best way to explore them?
There are 22 wineries surrounding Grand Junction, and our favorite way to explore is to rent a bike and ride between tasting rooms! The vast majority of Colorado Wine Country is easily accessible by bicycle. Enjoy a leisurely bike ride alongside vineyards and the Colorado River, while visiting several award-winning wineries for complimentary tastings along the way. This is a truly unique experience that allows you to experience the beauty and tranquility of the Grand Valley, while sampling some of the best wines in the state.
What about can’t-miss events?
Late summer and early fall are prime festival and event season in Grand Junction, with Colorado Lavender Festival, Palisade Peach Festival, Pork & Hops Challenge, Colorado Mountain Winefest, Tour de Vineyards and Tour the Moon topping the list. Another highly popular event in May is the Grand Junction Off-Road & Downtown Music Festival, which consists of both professional and amateur mountain bike races on the Grand Junction area’s extensive trail system as well as three free days of live music throughout downtown.
Tell us one thing that every first-time visitor to Grand Junction absolutely must do while in town?
A great way to explore the area that most visitors might not know about is to hop around our waterways. We have 300 lakes and two rivers in Grand Junction, so visitors partaking in paddleboarding, kayaking, rafting, or even Jet Boat Colorado on multiple waterways are sure to get a great look at a variety of our landscapes and most popular summertime activities.
Give us a few tips on how to blend in like a local.
Be ready to get outdoors! Whether it’s biking, hiking, golfing, rafting, stand-up paddleboarding, horseback riding, off-roading, fishing, or skiing (just to name a few) the locals live here for the outdoor lifestyle that is easily accessible. Visit Grand Junction’s downtown district to shop and eat like a local at a variety of unique gift shops, boutiques, antique stores, and restaurants. Also, from mid-June through mid-September, attend the downtown Grand Junction Farmers’ Market on Thursday evening, a popular summertime favorite with locals showcasing the area’s finest fruits, vegetables, and locally made products.