Looking to add an authentic adventure to explore and connect with nature to your Colorado trip and don’t know where to start? Look no further than tackling all the best things to do in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Perched on the westernmost side of Colorado, 243 miles from Denver, Grand Junction is best known for intriguing museums, abundant state parks, and Colorado’s very own wine country that serves some of the state’s best wines.
Marvel at the unparalleled beauty as you explore this area’s red rock mesas and abundant cliffs. Hike, bike, kayak, or SUP through some of Colorado’s most beautiful sights, like the Colorado National Monument. After a day of exploring, enjoy some craft beer from the local breweries or head to one of the 30 wineries for a tasting flight.
Unsure where to start? Create your ideal vacation plan with this handy guide to all the coolest places to visit in Grand Junction, Colorado!
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Western Colorado Botanical Gardens
Connect with the flora of the Colorado River Basin at the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens. Opened in 1994, the botanical gardens showcase the unique flowers and plants found in this region of Colorado. The Western Colorado Botanical Gardens was built on a foundation of giving back to the community and was put together with thousands of volunteer hours.
Meander through the cactus garden, relax by the koi pond, or watch the butterflies land amongst bright tropical flowers in the tropical rainforest and butterfly pavilion. There are many things to explore here and many opportunities to learn about the native plants and species in Colorado.
The Western Colorado Botanical Gardens is home to many species of butterflies as well as koi fish and tortoises. If you’re lucky, you can watch through the glass to see a butterfly hatching from its chrysalis.
Downtown Grand Junction
The heart of the city, Downtown Grand Junction is a must-see for your vacation itinerary. Park your car and walk through one of the community’s most vibrant and enjoyable neighborhoods. Experience cuisines from around the world and various local brews and wines. After lunch, you can check out the boutique clothing, book, and gift shops.
Walking the streets of Downtown Grand Junction, keep an eye out for the 21 historical plaques to learn more about the city’s roots. In addition to history and culture, art is ever present in the downtown community, with many murals and sculptures scattered around the vibrant and lively neighborhood.
Museum of the West
Step back in time at the Museum of the West! Visitors of all ages will enjoy this interactive and informative museum that highlights the cultural heritage of the Colorado River Basin.
Walk through the Museum of West’s extensive collections that preserve and display over 100,000 items reflecting the region’s cultural and scientific heritage. Find documents, art, photographs, archaeological artifacts, and more as you roam the halls.
To make your experience at the Museum of the West even more of an adventure, download a fossil map through the museum, leading you through trails on plots of BLM land (Bureau of Land Management). You can hike along the golden ridges and discover real dinosaur fossils!
Check the museum website to stay up to date on the various activities they host throughout the year, like speakeasy fundraisers, fall farm days, and dinosaur digs!
If you’re visiting on a Wednesday or Saturday during the summer, take home some local produce from their farm market.
Canyon View Park
Children of all ages will love visiting Canyon View Park. This 110-acre multi-use park features a dog park, basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts, as well as the star of the show: a bright and fun children’s park. On a sunny day, you can spot ducks swimming in the pond or catch a local soccer game on the field.
Canyon View Park is a green oasis that is a lovely place to relax after a day of exploring Grand Junction. Grab a coffee and a sweet treat from the bakery nearby and relax as the sun sets over the golden canyon ridge.
James M. Robb – Colorado River State Park
Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a nature walk in James M. Robb Colorado River State Park. The park is actually divided into five different sections across Grand Junction. The Colorado River State Park is referred to as the Connected Lakes section.
In James M. Robb Colorado River State Park, you can find multiple day-use trails that weave around the small lakes in the area. As you hike along, you can spot birds native to the area, like red-tailed hawks, bald eagles, swallows, and hummingbirds.
Try your luck at fishing or take a bike ride along the well-groomed trails to enjoy this local park fully.
Eureka! McConnell Science Museum
Expand your mind and explore intriguing scientific concepts at the Eureka! McConnell Science Museum. Kids will love to get their hands on over 100 interactive exhibits available at the museum. Get engaged and learn about irrigation, astronomy, astrology, and tons of other scientific concepts.
At Eureka! McConnell Science Museum, there’s something for kids of all ages that adults can enjoy, too. Older children will love the Space Shuttle Simulator, where they can learn about physics and land a space shuttle. Young kids can get the mix at the water table to learn about irrigation and the geological history of the Colorado River.
Whitewater Hill Vineyards
What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of Grand Junction than by paying a visit to a local, family-run winery? Whitewater Hill Vineyards is a beautiful vineyard and tasting room just outside of town that loves to welcome visitors!
The Whitewater Hill property grows several different varieties of grapes, mostly of European origin, with unique cold, hearty varieties that make a distinct flavored wine. Sample a cool glass or riesling or a vibrant merlot.
To go with your wine, Whitewater Hill Vineyards also offers a variety of snacks, a delicious charcuterie board, and a food truck serving up hot paninis. Enjoying a nice glass of red, white, or rose on their sunny patio makes for a relaxing afternoon!
Cross Orchards Historic Site
Visit this 16-acre living historic site that remains well-preserved for future generations! Cross Orchards Historic Site allows its visitors to step back in time to the pioneer days of the “Wild West” when the Europeans first settled here. The Red Cross Land and Fruit Company was created in 1899 and operated on the land until 1923.
Explore four unique buildings: a packing shed, a bunkhouse, a summerhouse, and a blacksmith shop. Two of the buildings have been carefully reconstructed by the Cross Orchards Historic Site volunteer and community efforts.
There are pieces of farmyard equipment and an assortment of horse-drawn implements on display throughout the property, as well as a Railway exhibit, recreating the Uintah Railway with cars, an engine, and a caboose. You’re sure to enjoy learning about Grand Junction’s pioneer past here!
Care for 9 holes of golf? Lincoln Park is a beautiful patch of green right in the middle of Grand Junction. The 10-acre practice facility also offers a driving range and three practice greens that are perfect for an afternoon of golf.
If golf isn’t your idea of fun, there are plenty of activities at Lincoln Park. Take a dip or slide down the waterslide in the Moyer Pool, enjoy the nearby park and tennis courts, or have a picnic in the arboretum. Lincoln Park is the perfect place to soak up the sun of the warm afternoon.
Grand Junction Motor Speedway
Get the adrenaline pumping at Grand Junction Motor Speedway, a riveting 0.9-mile racing track! The whole family can come out and compete against each other or race your best time in an eleven-turn race! All drivers must be over 4 feet 8 inches to ride alone but don’t worry, if children fall under that mark, they also have double karts.
Hairpin turns, technical corners, and fast straights provide the ideal setting for an afternoon of fun. Head over to Grand Junction Motor Speedway, grab a single or double kart, and hit the tracks for a fast-paced race!
Colorado National Monument
The Colorado National Monument is one of the most picturesque sights in Grand Junction. Catch a glimpse of the towering monoliths against a vast plateau and canyon scene backdrop. There’s plenty to do while visiting the park, like scenic drives, camping, and hiking trails.
Take the car for a spin and drive down one of the most scenic drives in Colorado along Rim Rock Drive. Spot bald eagles and big horn sheep enjoying the warm sunshine. Capture scenes of red rock canyons, cliffs, and scenic vistas as you drive along this 23-mile stretch of open road.
Stop at the visitor center, pick up a pamphlet, and learn more about the geological history that has helped shape Colorado. There are also plenty of short hikes, backcountry hikes, and camping opportunities in the park that can bring you up close to nature. Check out many unique canyon views and interestingly shaped hoodoos along these well-groomed trails.
Spending a whole day at The Colorado National Monument is recommended to take in all this unique area has to offer.
Bananas Fun Park
Kids will go crazy for Bananas Fun Park! This family-friendly amusement park has everything you could ask for on a family vacation in Grand Junction, CO.
Make sure to bring your bathing suit and visit Coconut Cove, a splash pad and waterpark combo with a 10,000-gallon tipping bucket and over 50 other water features.
Younger children will love the inflatable playland and bumper boats, while the older kids can play a fast-paced game of laser tag or race on the go-karts.
Grab a bucket of tokens and run over to the 12,000-square-foot arcade. A visit to Bananas Fun Park is a world of fun for families visiting Grand Junction!
Dinosaur Journey Museum
Dinosaur Journey Museum is a regional paleontological museum that explores the intriguing geological history of Western Colorado. In the museum, you can see over 15,000 examples of real fossils and casts of dinosaur bones that roamed this area millions of years ago.
The hands-on and interactive exhibits at Dinosaur Journey Museum are great for children who are curious to learn! Kids can dig in the sandbox to find their own fossils before heading over to the earthquake simulator.
Walk amongst their permanent exhibits of dinosaurs native to Colorado and feel like you’re stepping back to the Late Jurassic era!
The Art Center
What better way to soak in the culture of Grand Junction than by visiting the Art Center? The museum is home to over 300 works of art, both contemporary and historical, and is also home to a series of rotating exhibits that showcase local artists.
Wander the halls and explore beautiful paintings and sculptures depicting Western Colorado life. The Art Center also hosts a variety of art classes and lectures given by local artists throughout the year.
The Rockslide Brewery
After a day of exploring Grand Junction, stop by The Rockslide Brewery to get a taste of their award-winning craft brews! This gem has been open for over 25 years, serving small-batch craft beer alongside delicious menu items.
From stouts to pale ales and rotating taps, the Rockslide Brewery has a great selection for every palette. Pair your pale ale with a plate of wings, or grab some nachos for the table. Ensure you catch a glimpse of the brewing process through the glass walls on the way in.
Kiln Coffee Bar
Need a boost in your morning before you head off into town? Stop by Kiln Coffee Bar in Downtown Grand Junction. This local cafe serves hand-crafted espresso-based drinks while providing a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The coffee shop takes its coffee seriously, providing the perfect brewing method and temperature for each single-origin coffee.
Taste the best cup of joe, brewed with care by their knowledgeable and skilled baristas. Kiln Coffee Bar is the kind of place where you’ll want to chat with the barista for a while and enjoy a light breakfast before heading out on the town.
Bin 707 Foodbar
Check out Bin 707 Foodbar for a delicious dinner! Their locally sourced, seasonally rotating menu offers guests a definitive taste of Colorado. Their menu is seasonally rotated and lovingly prepared by Chef Josh Niernberg, who has won multiple awards for Outstanding Chef.
Bin 707 Foodbar has also won some awards: the 2018 and 2019 Good Food 100 restaurant and a Smart Catch leader for its commitment to sustainable environmental practices.
The restaurant offers an extensive list of local and imported wine and beer that pair nicely with each menu item. Stop by for an evening of great company—and even better food!