Summer is the perfect time to sample some of Colorado's finest fruit, wine, and outdoor adventure!
Our state is blessed with a bounty of vegetables and fruit. Agriculture has been tied to our history since the beginning, as have festivals to celebrate the harvest. This year, you can celebrate the best of the Western Slope at the Palisade Peach Festival!
From August 15-18, Palisade will be pulling out all the stops to honor the fruit that put it on the map, as well as the families who grow it.
"This past year we celebrated 125 Years of Peaches and 50 Years of Festivals! The Palisade Peach Festival is one of the original agricultural festivals in Colorado honoring our rich bounty and history. It’s Peach Mania!" says the festival's website. "Plenty of great food, entertainment, contests, activities for kids, and opportunities to explore Palisade via outdoor recreation."
Yes, the festival is all about fun, and of course, as many peaches as you can handle, all with a wonderful, small community feel in the scenic Grand Valley. It's a great way to slow down and smell the peaches because life tastes good over on the Western Slope!
The event is a stone fruit lover's "jam" with two days of cooking demos, contests, and about any peach-inspired product imaginable, including pie, ice cream, preserves, salsa, brandy, wine, and more. There will be some good old fashioned fun thanks to the peach eating contest, the biggest peach contest, peach orchard tours, a parade for the Peach Queen (and Town Grouch), and live music, to name few events. You can see the entire festival lineup on the event website.
Peach-eating contest, anyone? Courtesy of Palisade Peach Festival (Facebook).
If you want to take a bit of a break from the peach-passionate crowd, try a self-guided tour of some of the local orchards and farm stands, where you can buy peaches, produce, and much more.
And while you are in Palisade, it would be a shame not to enjoy another of the Grand Valley's notable products: wine!
"Palisade, Colo. is the famous home of over 25 Colorado wineries. The perfect weather, subtle breezes and artesian wells provide a premier environment for vast acres of vineyards to grow. Visitors to Palisade can enjoy guided wine tours, learn about the process of winemaking, enjoy music in the Colorado vineyards or rent a bike for an amazing adventure through the fruit and wine byway," says visitpalisade.com.
You can sip your way through a tour (there are even winery float tours down Colorado River) or designate a driver and hit the byway on your own, and even stay at the highly recommended Wine Country Inn (availability permitting), which is located on a working vineyard, hosts complimentary tastings, and more wine-centric fun.
Courtesy of visitgrandjunction.com.
After all the fruit and wine decadence that Palisade has to offer, you might want to get outside and see the sights. You are in luck because Palisade is close to a variety of recreation opportunities. The town is within 30 minutes from the Grand Mesa to the east and the Colorado National Monument to the west. Check out our run-down of the best of the Colorado National Monument for more recreation ideas.
Sound like an amazing vacation? Then permit me to suggest a roadtrip anthem as you head over to Palisade in August!
Movin' to the country,
Gonna eat a lot of peaches
Movin' to the country,
Gonna eat me a lot of peaches
(skillfully crooned by The Presidents of the United States of America)