Expressions of human creativity, or art, stretch a multitude of boundaries in Grand Junction, Colorado. Local art includes delightful things to sip, delicious cuisine, fiber arts and intriguing public art interspersed throughout the city. There are a surprisingly vibrant array of things to do in Grand Junction as it shows its artistic side.
Tasting Traditional Wines from the Valley
One of the most popular things to do in Grand Junction is wine tasting. Fortunately, Colorado is home to some spectacular vineyards. The cool mountain air brings temperatures down in the evening, and over 300 days of sunshine easily ripens fruit to perfection. Most of the 22 wineries located in the Grand Valley, an area comprised of three cities—Grand Junction, Fruita, and Palisade—offer wine tours and tastings. Valley wineries source grapes from local vineyards to produce award-winning Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, Ports, and other varietals.
Any time of year is great for wine tasting in this sunny paradise, but for a special kind of fun, visit during the Spring Barrel Tasting in April and May or during the Colorado Mountain Winefest the third weekend in September. I enjoyed several Palisade CO wineries on my trip.
Check out Visit Grand Junction online to determine which wineries to visit along the Wine Byway. This 5- to 25-mile-long route gives visitors access to wineries, farms, and some of the area’s best fruit stands. Drive along the Byway for spectacular views of the Grand Mesa, or work off a few calories and rent a bike to discover the area. Another unique way to wine taste is on one of the Palisade Wine Country Float trips. Enjoy splashing and sipping your way down the river while getting a sun-kissed tan.
Enjoying Local Fruit Wines
All this sunshine creates a perfect environment for fruit orchards. Local artisans are creating an incredible variety of handcrafted fruit wines for consumption. St. Kathryn Cellars develops seriously delicious fruit wines that are nothing like the cloyingly sweet ones I have experienced in the past. With flavors like golden pear, strawberry rhubarb, and lavender, every guest is sure to find something to please their palate.
Discover Mead Made from Raw Orange Blossom Honey
Mead is growing in notoriety around the United States, and Glen Foster at Meadery of the Rockies produces a dozen flavors from raw orange blossom honey. These meads are light and crisp, yet loaded with taste. Visit and learn how mead is made. The process is incredibly interesting to watch, smell, and taste.
Wander Grand Junction's Downtown
Things to do in Grand Junction aren’t strictly limited to enjoy the wines. Downtown Grand Junction boasts quaint shops, delicious restaurants, and over 100 mixed-media works of art along Main Street. Step out into the inevitable sunshine and feast your eyes on some whimsical, profound, and even quirky art.
If you happen to be in the area from mid-June through mid-September on a Thursday night, do not miss the Farmers’ Market on Main Street. This market is a lively 15-week event with approximately 5,000 visitors each week. The fun never ends with interesting vendors, artisan craftsmen, talented musicians, and bounty from local farms. The local shops stay open, and restaurants beckon to hungry diners.
SunCrest Orchard Alpacas and Fiber Works specializes in fiber processing and producing beautiful alpaca goods like yarn, scarves, mittens, and other types of apparel. SunCrest uses their own full-service Belfast Mini Mill that is capable of producing felted sheets, rug yarn, batts, rovings, and a variety of yarns available in different sizes and colors.
Owners Mike and Cindy McDermott host trekking tours from April through October and fiber art classes from February through June. There are educational tours year-round where guests learn about the farm, fiber harvesting, and fiber processing production.
Grand Junction's Culinary Art
Of course, culinary art is one of the most popular pastimes when looking for artistic things to do in Grand Junction. Restaurants in town cover the gamut with a variety of ethnic eateries, fast food joints, and high-end establishments.
A standout during my visit was Bin 707 Foodbar where the owner and Executive Chef Josh Niernberg uses local and domestic ingredients to create seasonal Colorado cuisine. The restaurant’s vibe is casual and welcoming with plenty of plates for sharing. Bin 707 serves New American dishes that are both beautiful and scrumptious, and they offer a variety of ingenious cocktails, beers, ciders, and wines to enjoy with your meal.
Chef Niernberg creates dishes using a variety of meats and vegetables. The seared duck breast with bread pudding is sure to delight meat-loving patrons.
The Skuna Bay salmon with sautéed radishes and spring peas is a winner for fish lovers.
Grand Junction, Colorado, is an artist’s haven. If you like to wear soft artisan clothing, eat enticing delectable food, and drink innovative and delicious wines, put Grand Junction on your bucket list for places to visit in the future. There are plenty of things to do in Grand Junction to keep you looking for more great wow moments as explore this artistic retreat on Colorado’s Western Slope. Read more about traveling in Colorado by Wander writers.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with accommodations, meals, tours, and other compensation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.