Daytripper: Grand Junction
For a little piece of chocolate heaven
Chet Enstrom ran the Jones-Enstrom Ice Cream Company in Grand Junction for 30 years, pursuing his love of candy-making (and his affair with almond toffee) on the side, before launching Enstrom Candies in 1960. Swing by one of two candy shops in town to savor a piece of the world-class toffee, all still handmade in Grand Junction. 701 Colorado Ave.; 120 W. Park, Suite 100. enstrom.com
For the most civilized high tea on the Western Slope
Don your finest hat, remember your manners and enjoy high tea at Augusta’s Tea Room, served proper British style. Proprietress Augusta Fix not only makes delicious pastries (don’t miss the honey lavender scones), she also provides fancy hats for grownups and costumes for kids. 524 Colorado Ave. (970) 242-5310
For a gorgeous ramble
Visit the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens, 15 acres of sheer beauty along the Colorado River with herb and cactus gardens, a native plants “Heritage Garden” and two tropical rainforest greenhouses. 641 Struthers Ave. wcbotanic.org
For upscale fare designed to be shared
Open for lunch and dinner, 626 on Rood serves handcrafted local ingredients prepared in ways that highlight their unique terroir—the distinct flavor profile of geology, geography and climate. Case in point: The heirloom tomato salad, made with local tomatoes, house-made mozzarella and basil grown on-site, will make you feel like you’ve never tasted a real tomato before. 626 Rood Ave. 626onrood.com
FOR A FULL DAY
STAY Transform your day trip into a luxurious weekend getaway by checking in at the Gateway Canyons Resort, a 45-minute drive from Grand Junction. Created by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, the adobe-style resort charms with discerning touches like pass-through fireplaces and compelling views of Palisade’s arresting rock formations. Don’t miss Hendricks’ Gateway Colorado Auto Museum, which puts his extensive collection of historic vehicles on full display. 43200 Highway 141, Gateway. gatewaycanyons.com
SHOP Amble down Main Street and into Interiors, Etc. for distinctive home furnishings, Girlfriends for stylish clothes and accessories and Culinary Corner for the ultimate kitchen gadget.
HIKE For jaw-dropping views of canyons and mesas, take Rim Rock Drive through Colorado National Monument and stop at whatever viewpoints or trailheads strike your fancy.