After living in Colorado for 25 years, I finally visited my state's wine country last summer (maybe it's because I'm a beer drinker 😉 )! But I have been enjoying the drip down your face juice of the famous Palisade peaches for years!
Palisade, the heart of Colorado Wine Country is about 250 miles west of Denver (just a few miles east of Grand Junction). As I live in Summit County, my husband and I decided to make a circle instead of driving I-70 both directions. We made our way through Redstone (that's another post/trip!), over McClure Pass, through Paonia (quick stop here to see my girlfriend's hometown!), and over Grand Mesa and winding down to Palisade. What a beautiful drive with mountain passes, lakes, wildlife, forests, and rivers - I highly recommend!
Where We Stayed
For our two night visit we chose the Wine Country Inn in Palisade. We loved our stay here! Read my full review of this unique hotel HERE
Food and Drink
Our hotel provided a really nice buffet breakfast and did have a restaurant, but we chose to venture out for dinner. We quickly found that there aren't too many dining choices in Palisade for dinner. We tried one bar that didn't serve food, but they offered to let us bring in some from the grocery store across the street (it was tempting to drink our dinner, but decided we needed to find food...and not at a grocery store, we're on vacation for a couple days!). We followed the railroad a few blocks from main street and came upon the Palisade Brewing Company. For us beer drinkers in wine country - this was a lucky find! We knew we hit the jackpot when we discovered they brew their own beer! Besides having our favorite IPA's, they served their own delicious smoked meats! No wonder there were so many locals were here... 🙂 And yes, we spent our second evening here too!
Of course, most of you visiting this area are wine enthusiasts. There are 24 wineries located within 15 miles of Palisade for many wine tasting options! On our bike tour of the vineyards and orchards we had a tasty cheese and meat plate at Maison La Belle Vie. It's much needed shade in a lovely courtyard!
There are so many things to see and do in this area! Along with being a wine drinker's paradise, there's an abundance of activities for you outdoor lovers. As the Colorado River flows through Palisade, there are opportunities for many water sports. Being at a lower altitude (about 4700 feet) it enjoys hot summer days that are perfect for cooling off in the river. Colorado Wine Country is set between many scenic mesas that offer many trails for hiking and mountain biking. My husband and I chose to rent bikes to cruise the scenic loops that the wineries and orchards are located on. We picked up our bikes in downtown Palisade at Rapid Creek Cycles. Loved the friendly local service here! Rondo was so helpful in recommending where to get lunch on the route and even picked up our bikes from our hotel the next day, as it was raining. They rent cruiser/electric bikes, mountain bikes, and also paddle boards.
If you love the outdoors, friendly people, fresh produce... and of course wine - this is the perfect weekend trip! I won't be waiting another 25 years before returning!
Until the next adventure - Bon Voyage!