On the Road in Grand Junction, Colorado: The Rest of the Story

Up until now, I’ve told you about some of the excursions we had in Grand Junction, experiencing a RZR for the first time and hiking the Lunch Loops. Now, I want to tell you the rest of the story. 

Dog-friendly Hotel in Grand Junction

More and more people are traveling with their dogs, partly because road trips are king right now. Thankfully, in Colorado, many hotels are dog-friendly, even big dog-friendly. For years, hotels discriminated against dogs over 40 pounds, but not now. 

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Pro Tip: Bring clean blankets to put on the bed so when the dog gets on it (which is inevitable) you can keep the bed cover clean.

Hotel Maverick just opened in the Fall of 2020. It’s located in Grand Junction, on the campus of Colorado Mesa University. The hotel and its restaurant, Devil’s Kitchen, are part of the school’s hospitality program. 

In addition to the restaurant, cafe, free cruiser bikes for guest use, and spectacular views, the Hotel Maverick is dog-friendly. Fritzi, our 1½ German Shepherd, was happily along for our adventures. She was right at home at Hotel Maverick.

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The Devil’s Kitchen, located on the fourth floor of the hotel, has provides views of some of the most beautiful vistas around. I highly recommend the fried deviled eggs—yes fried, mind blown—and the grilled artichoke. With a robust list of local wines, spirits, and beers, it’s an ideal place for an alfresco meal with a view.

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These are deviled eggs. Fried. I know, I know. Mind blown.

We visited Betty’s Gourmet Coffee every morning. It’s the cafe in the hotel’s lobby, and with free coffee for guests of the Maverick, we couldn’t stay away. 

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The Winery, a Meal to Remember 

This was one of the best meals I have eaten and that was thanks to several things. First, we had an excellent day, second, I love the Western Slope, and third, this place knows how to cook a steak. We also split a bottle of Colterris Coloradeaux, which made things extra cheerful. 

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We started with a side salad special—basically a strawberry and greens extravaganza—followed by a side that’s been on this menu from the beginning, the garlic mushrooms. Ryan hasn’t stopped raving about them. 

I ordered the bacon-wrapped filet mignon and Ryan opted for surf and turf, scallops and beef tenderloin. Let’s just say we left full and happy. The Winery will put a dent in your bank account, but it’s worth every penny. It’s managed to stay open since 1973, so obviously, they are doing something right, very right.

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Free records!!! Don’t worry, he went back the next day and bought some too. (Triple Play Records)
Shopping in Downtown Grand Junction

Filled with 100 sculptures and vibrant flowers, Downtown Grand Junction is charming. In 2017, we experienced their Farmers Market, now called Market on Main, which is held downtown and is fantastic. This year, it starts on June 24.

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On our recent trip, we discovered that in addition to being very pretty, downtown is very dog-friendly. In fact, stores like Old Friends Trading Company even keep a dog-water bowl outside their door and allow well-behaved dogs inside, as do other shops around downtown.

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I bought a locally made lavender candle at Wee Celtic, and several soap bars, and essential oil at Heaven Scent. I am happy to report that despite this crazy last year, downtown Grand Junction seems to be doing okay. 

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We also popped into the Zesty Moose, sans the dog because this place has food and lots of things in bottles. I am quite obsessed with anything in a bottle including olive oil, hot sauce, and wine. We bought all three at the Zesty Moose where we enjoyed trying the olive oils, balsamic vinegar and did a wine tasting. 

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Next to the Zesty Moose is a new-to-us brewery in Grand Junction, Ramblebine Brewing Company. At the corner of Fifth Street and Colorado Avenue, this brewery opened in July of last year, it’s not even a year old. They are making some tasty beer and have a great patio with a permanent food truck, Hackstation Burger. Friends from Palisade met us at the brewery and got a quesadilla and chips from HB—the food is excellent.

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By the way, to ramble means to joyfully wander and bine is a twining hop plant, so now you know.

New Dog Park in Grand Junction

I want to end this delicious, dog-friendly trip to Grand Junction by telling you —about the new dog park in town. I imagined that we’d visit several times, but with all the dog-friendly activities in town, Fritzi didn’t need the additional body or brain exercise. 

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We did, however, make a beeline for the dog park when we drove into Grand Junction on a rainy Thursday (the weather was wonderful for the rest of our trip). When traveling with Fritzi, we measure distances by wherever the next dog park is located. 

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This brand new dog park at Los Colonias Park is situated next to the Colorado River. Fritzi had an absolute blast chasing Marlowe, a 4-year-old border collie. The two ran and ran while I talked with Marlowe’s dog mom about local restaurants and dog hikes. One major benefit of bringing along a dog is that dog parks are good places to meet locals and learn the lay of the land.

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View from our hotel room.

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The Western Slope has my heart. It’s not just the tasty wine or wide-open spaces that have me hooked. At the end of the day, it’s the people. Colorado’s Western Slope is home to some of the nicest people in the state and that’s what truly sets it apart. Plus, the majority seem to like dogs and that’s winning in my book.

See my entire Grand Junction itinerary at A Colo-Road Trip with HeidiTown and her Furry Friend.

Travel in collaboration with Visit Grand Junction.

1 Comment


  1. The Western Slope is way more than Grand Junction. Please expand your adventures

    Reply

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