Grand Junction, CO

This Colorado city made the New York Times ‘52 Places to Go in 2023’ list

Brittany Anas
Grand Junction is one of The New York Times' picks for best places to visit in 2023.Photo byVisit Grand Junction

By Brittany Anas / NewsBreak Denver

(Grand Junction, Colo.) What do London, Istanbul, Madrid and Grand Junction have in common? It turns out that they’re all on The New York Times’ curated “52 Places to Go in 2023” list.

Grand Junction, an outdoors lover's paradise on Colorado’s Western Slope, is among few U.S. cities highlighted on the newspaper’s annual list.

The New York Times describes the Colorado destination as “a bonanza of canyons, arches and cliffs, without the hordes of tourists” and highlights the opening of the nearby Palisade Plunge, a 32-mile downhill, singletrack mountain biking trail. Years in the making, the ride plunges from 6,000 feet from the top of Grand Mesa to the valley floor.

Writer Elaine Glusac points out that Grand Junction has similar attractions to those in Moab, Utah, the gateway to Arches National Park. With 35 sandstone arches, Colorado’s Rattlesnake Canyon can stake its claim in having the second largest concentration of arches outside of Utah’s namesake national park.

Other exciting things on tap in Grand Junction include the development of Las Colonias Park. The project involves restoring 130 acres of riverfront along the banks of the Colorado River, and adding an amphitheater. In warmer months, visitors and locals can laze on the river. Grand Junction Adventures has an outpost at the park and rents stand-up paddleboards, rafts, kayaks and inner tubes.

Those traveling to the Western Slope can also enjoy a unique stay at the 60-room Hotel Maverick, a boutique teaching hotel adjacent to Colorado Mesa University. Hospitality and culinary students are getting real-life experience by helping run the hotel and its culinary program. At the hotel’s signature restaurant Devil’s Kitchen, diners can nosh on Colorado-forward dishes like bison tamales, locally sourced tempura mushrooms, charcuterie with local cured meats and Mesa Chili Verde with braised pork and green chile.

Other U.S. destinations that made the New York Times’ round-up include Palm Springs, California; Greenville, South Carolina; Tucson, Arizona; Charleston, South Carolina; Louisville, Kentucky; Macon, Georgia; New Haven, Connecticut.

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Brittany is a journalist in the Denver metro area with more than two decades of writing and editing experience. She covers travel, restaurants and other lifestyle topics.

Westminster, CO

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