Grand Junction Travel Guide

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Grand Junction Travel Guide

Grand Junction Local History

The Native Americans, particularly the Ute Indians lived and traded in the Western Colorado region for thousands of years. In August 1776 the Dominguez-Escalante party came through the Mesa County using the Indian trails through Western Colorado, while searching for a route from Santa Fe to California. Due to their travels a wagon road was developed which became known as the Old Spanish Trail. From 1821 1845 fur traders and mountain men ranged through Western Colorado but nobody settled in this area.

In 1876 Colorado became the Centennial State and three years later in 1879 an Indian uprising near Meeker led to the removal of the Ute Indians to reservations in Utah. It wasn't until 1881 that European settlers arrived in Mesa County. The first house to be built was a log cabin on 2nd and Ute Ave, which was built from cottonwood trees and the residents were Mr. & Mrs. R.D. Mobley. Mr Mobley became the first postmaster.

In 1882 the Pioneer Canal and the Pacific slope Ditch were the first of many canals which were built to bring water to the town and farms from the Colorado River. In the same year Grand Junction was incorporated and by 1883 Mesa County was established with Grand Junction being the county seat. In November 1882 the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad reached Grand Junction and this was a major advance for the town. Grand Junction found the arrival of the railroad of extreme importance and it became the key division of the railroad. This made it a primary trade and distribution centre for Denver and Rio Grande. This area also became an important agricultural area.

The 1900's found Grand Junction evolving from a simple frontier town to a small city which still continues today. It wasn't until 1909 that an electrically powered streetcar system was installed which proved a great success as few people could afford a motor car and until 1903 only horse-drawn streetcars were used.

Grand Junction played a significant role in World War II as they contributed to the new Atomic Age which was to lead to the ending of the war. The city continued as part of the national atomic energy complex.

From 1960 to today many new and significant changes have taken place in Grand Junction, namely the Interstate Highway system which reached Grand Junction in the 60's putting it in the path of the all important national transportation grid.

In 2000 Grand Junction, its suburbs and nearby communities were classified as a Metropolitan area by the Census Board.

Grand Junction Attractions

Grand Junction Shopping

Grand Junction's Downtown Shopping Park - has the best shopping experience in town. Here you will find a variety of shops, art galleries and restaurants. What makes this a great place is the outdoor sculpture garden which is found all along Main Street.

The Working Artists Studio 520 Main Street. Here you will find a great variety of hand-thrown pottery, sculptures, weavings and wind-chimes. The prices vary from expensive to affordable.

The Grand Mesa Centre 2464 Highway 6 & 50, Grand Junction. This is the newest shopping area and you will find Sportsman's Warehouse, Old Navy, Dress Ross and many more brand stores.

Grand Junction Activities

Doo Zoo Children's Museum 421 Colorado Av, Grand Junction. This museum offers a selection of hands-on activities for the children. Children will be able to playact or shop at the miniature grocery store. There is a miniature bank and post office and a toy store that specializes in educational items. Children will enjoy their visit to this museum. The museum is open Mon Sat 10am -5pm. Entrance fees are $1 for 14 and older; children 2-13 years $4; $2 for 1year olds and children under 1 free.

Fun Junction 2878 North Ave, Grand Junction. This amusement park located centrally has activities for everyone. Fun junction was established in 1954 and they will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2004. They offer miniature golf, Go-Karts, Major rides and Kiddies rides, Bumper boats and cars. Here you will be able to enjoy the Ferris wheel, Tilt-A-Whirl, Spider and many more major rides. For the smaller children there are Kiddie Whip, a Train, Mini Harleys and the Shuttle. The park also offers games such as 'Chicago Bear Hunt', 'Golden Goblet' to name just a few. This is a place for the whole family to spend together and enjoy the day.

Grand Junction Parks & Gardens

Lincoln Park 12th and North Ave, Grand Junction. This Park located in the centre of Grand Junction has something for everyone. Here you will find an outdoor pool and waterslides. There is also a golf course for the golfer, playgrounds for the children and picnic areas for the family. There are also the football and baseball stadiums where local, regional and national events take place.

Western Colorado Botanical Gardens 641 Struthers Av, Grand Junction. The Botanical Gardens are located along the Colorado River and is the perfect place to escape into nature. It is situated on a little of 12 acres of land and offers visitors paved trails, a butterfly house, greenhouse and outdoor gardens. Visitors can stroll through the butterfly house with its forest of flowering plants, ferns and ponds. The greenhouse next door has a large variety of plants, fishponds, orchids and beautiful colourful tropical species.

There are also walkways which connect the gardens with the Colorado River Trail system. The gardens are open Feb Oct: Tues Sun; 10am 5pm; Nov Jan: Tues Sun; 10am 4:30pm. Entrance fees are Adults $3, students and seniors $2, children 5-12 $1.50 and children under 5 free.

Grand Junction Restaurants and Bars

Grand Junction Restaurants

G.B. Gladstone's 2531 N. 12th St, Grand Junction. This very popular restaurant decorated with early 20th century memorabilia has a lovely atmosphere. Here the diner will find an excellent menu of flame-broiled burgers, salads, quiche and a particularly good baked French onion soup, exotic pasts and the house speciality of slow-roasted prime ribs. There is also a very good selection of seafood, chicken and steaks.

The sunken central bar is usually packed on a Friday night when blues records are played. They also have a very good assortment of both hot and cold sandwiches which are very popular with the local lunchtime crowd. The restaurant is open daily from 11am 10pm; Reservations are recommended.

The Winery Restaurant 642 Main St, Grand Junction. In this popular restaurant the diner will find an atmosphere of Western elegance. The interior is of red brick and weathered barn wood with plenty of plants, stained glass, wine barrels and bottles decorated around the dining room.

The food is excellent especially the prime rib and salmon fillet. Word of warning, though, the prime ribs sell out fast, so arrive early if that is what you intend ordering. There are a variety of steaks, seafood combos and pork chops to name just a few of the many dishes that are on offer. The service is first-class. You will also find that the catch of the day and the salmon are fresh. The restaurant is open daily from 5 10pm and reservations are recommended.

Crystal Cafe and Bakery Shop 314 Main St, Grand Junction. This popular breakfast and lunch spot is worth the wait for a table. Inside you will find the decor one of modern simplicity, with hardwood tables and bentwood cafe-style chairs.

Here you will find a very innovative menu plus the cafe's own freshly baked bread, rolls, pastries and desserts. Why not try the Greek omelette with resh tomatoes, black olives, red onions, herbs and feta cheese or pancakes of which there is a selection for breakfast. The lunchtime menu consists of hot and cold sandwiches, salads and quiche of the day. The cafe is open Mon Fri 7am 1:45pm; Sat 8am 1:45pm. The bakery is open Mon Fri until 3pm; Sat until 1pm

Grand Junction Bars & Clubs

Rockslide Brew Pub & Restaurant 401 Main St, Grand Junction. Here you will be able to relax and enjoy a pint of handcrafted microbrew and a real pub meal. They are open Mon Sun from 11am and their Happy Hours are daily from 4pm 6pm and 10pm to midnight. If you are feeling a little peckish why not try their 'Build Your Own Omelette. On Sundays they offer a buffet at 8am.

The Sports Page 103 N. 1st St, Grand Junction. At the Sports Page you will definitely not miss any of the big games that are televised as they have 16 Big Screens for you to relax and enjoy. You can also enjoy a good spaghetti dinner with salad and garlic bread on Saturdays at 5pm.

Grand Junction children's activities

Doo Zoo Children's Museum 421 Colorado Av, Grand Junction. This museum offers a selection of hands-on activities for the children. Children will be able to playact or shop at the miniature grocery store. There is a miniature bank and post office and a toy store that specializes in educational items. Children will enjoy their visit to this museum. The museum is open Mon Sat 10am -5pm. Entrance fees are $1 for 14 and older; children 2-13 years $4; $2 for 1year olds and children under 1 free.

Fun Junction 2878 North Ave, Grand Junction. This amusement park located centrally has activities for everyone. Fun junction was established in 1954 and they will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2004. They offer miniature golf, Go-Karts, Major rides and Kiddies rides, Bumper boats and cars. Here you will be able to enjoy the Ferris wheel, Tilt-A-Whirl, Spider and many more major rides. For the smaller children there are Kiddie Whip, a Train, Mini Harleys and the Shuttle. The park also offers games such as 'Chicago Bear Hunt', 'Golden Goblet' to name just a few. This is a place for the whole family to spend together and enjoy the day.

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