The weather’s still nice, so pack up your car and hit the road! Palisade, Colo. makes Napa look like no big deal. Our own backyard’s wine country is home to award winning wineries and strollable galleries.
Here's what we wrote about this colorful destination in our Sept./Oct. issue. Check it out, on stands now, for more great getaways!
HOW TO GET THERE
Palisade, Colo. is just about as far from SLC as Moab. Instead of jumping off I-70 to head south for Moab, keep on going into the Mile High State. The third town past the border is quaint Palisade.
Why Go Now
Wine. Palisade is the epicenter of a booming and increasingly legitimate Colorado wine industry. The area around Palisade is dotted with vineyards that are a pleasant bike ride apart and are abundant enough for a full day of tastings. (The area is also home to Moab-rivaling mountain biking.)
The Colorado Wine Fest fills the town with winos (kidding), who enjoy tastings, food demonstrations and music from Sept. 15 to 18.
Where to Stay
A DiVine Thyme is a picture-perfect B&B located on the edge of downtown Palisade. 406 W. 1st St., Palisade, Colo., 970-464-9144, adivinethymebandb.com
The Wine Country Inn, nestled into a vineyard on the edge of town, features great food, top-drawer service and one of the town’s only swimming pools.
WHAT TO DO
Wine and ride
No bike? No problem. Rapid Creek Cycles rents comfy cruisers (with attached baskets for your purchases), perfect for self-guided tours to the area’s wineries. If you chose to ride up the east Mesa, one of the most scenic cycling spots, you will want to opt to rent a bike with gears for the climb up. It’s a long ride if you do it from town, a 30-mile loop worth the huffing and puffing . 317 Main St., 970-464-9266, rapidcreekcycles.com
Twisted Brick Studios
Meet the “Twisted Sisters”—an eclectic bunch of women runs this studio and gallery space in downtown Palisade. The galleries’ building itself is a work of art, an old brick foundry. Meet the artists and enjoy some of the most daring and original artwork we’ve seen in a tourist town gallery. (Let’s just say the nickname “twisted” isn’t taken lightly). 128 E. 3rd St., 970-464-4653, twistedbrickstudios.blogspot.com
Peach Street Distillers
Wine, Wine, Wine. Sometimes only a cocktail will do, so saunter over Palisade’s distillery. The spirits created here rely heavily on locally grown fruit. And remember this is Colorado—you can get a decent pour. You might even ask them to hold back. 144 S. Kluge Ave., 970-464-1128, peachstreetdistillers.com
Inari’s is an elegantly appointed boite right on Main and open only for dinner. Local and fresh ingredients from area growers make the menu, and the casual but excellent service keep the evening going. Your company, wit and wine purchases from the day’s touring can take care of the rest. 336 S. Main St., 970-464-4911
STAY ANOTHER DAY
Palisade’s reputation as wine country is still a baby compared to its bona fide position as producer of fruit. Known primarily for the famed Palisade Peach, the area is laden with orchards. Nearly all growers offer tours through the fields. Our favorite: Z’s Orchard. 315 33 3/4 Rd., Palisade, Colo, 970-434-6267, zsorchard.com
Float the Colorado
These aren’t the raucous waters of Cataract Canyon. As it flows through Palisade, the Colorado is placid and beautiful. Palisade River Trips (based out of Rapid Creek Cycles) offers guided half-day trips by wooden Dorry boat and rentals of inflatable canoes, kayaks and tubes. 317 Main St., Palisade, Colo., 970-464-9266, rapidcreekcycles.com