14 Best Things to Do in Fruita (CO)

Fruita is a town of approximately 14,000 residents located in Mesa County in western central Colorado, just west of Grand Junction along Interstate 70.

Before official settlement in the 1880s, the area was home to Ute Native Americans for generations, just a few miles from neighboring western Utah.

Fruita and the surrounding rugged countryside are popular with outdoor enthusiasts and all-around lovers of open space and the great outdoors.

Fruita has many impressive attractions, from historic sites and museums to golf courses and numerous dining options.

Here are 14 things to do in and around Fruita, Colorado.

1. Adobe Creek National Golf Course

Adobe Creek National Golf Course

In the world of 18-hole golf courses, Adobe Creek National Golf Course stands out because it offers three distinct 9-hole areas that can be played in a variety of ways.

Adobe Creek is known for its low green fees. For those who will be in the area for a period of time, season tickets can be purchased which are valid from the first to the last day of the year.

The course is known for its manicured greens and fairways, stunning views, and affordable carts and items from the pro shop.

Tee times can be booked online; if you’re playing during peak hours, this is the best way to reserve your spot before reaching maximum capacity.

2. Hot Tomato Pizza

Hot Tomato Pizzeria

Located on Mulberry Street in Fruita, Hot Tomato Pizza is beloved for its fresh dough made on site every day.

In the pizzeria world, where the dough is trucked every few days, it’s an expensive and time-consuming way to ensure the highest quality pizza, but loyal customers find it well worth it.

Die-hard pizza lovers describe their pizzas as the perfect mix of traditional and modern, but with the limited amount of dough they make each day, they may run out on busy days.

Consider eating before your regular lunch crowd to avoid fasting.

3. James M. Robb Colorado River State Park – Fruita Section

James M. Robb Colorado River State Park – Fruita Section

The Colorado River is one of the state’s premier outdoor recreation destinations, offering year-round options for kayakers and nature lovers.

James M. Robb Colorado River State Park in Fruita is made up of five distinct sections, including islands, wooded areas and many fantastic rock formations.

During the warmer months, hiking, mountain biking and swimming are popular pastimes. Fishing is available year-round and often heats up as temperatures drop and severe weather sets in.

Amenities at the park include an abundance of multi-use trails, playgrounds, and a variety of picnic areas.

4. Camilla’s Coffee

Camilla's Coffee

Exciting activities in nature have a way of creating a big appetite; for those who find themselves empty in Fruita’s aquarium, Camilla’s Kaffe is the perfect place to dine.

Camilla’s is located on East Aspen Street in town and serves breakfast and lunch.

Their menu includes many traditional favorites such as hearty breakfasts, sandwiches and Mexican favorites. They have a variety of options suitable for vegetarians and those who are gluten intolerant.

Camilla’s is also popular with premium coffee lovers, and according to East Coast tourists, their bagels rival those in New York.

5. Western Colorado Museum – Dinosaur Tour

Western Colorado Museum - Dinosaur Tour

Much of the Rocky Mountain State is covered with ancient bones and fossils of dinosaurs that roamed the area long ago.

Western Colorado Museum – Dinosaur Tours is an affordable attraction that allows visitors to learn about their past in a unique way that they can’t find anywhere else.

Lifelike robotic dinosaurs that move and make real sounds are popular with children, and the museum has an impressive collection of real bones.

Most guests end up staying at the museum for about an hour, and while it’s not the largest facility in the world, it’s often one of the most memorable attractions on many visitors’ itineraries.

6. McGinnis Canyon Reserve

McGinnis Canyon Reserve, Fruita

The McGinnis Canyon Preserve is more than 120,000 acres in the high desert on the state’s border with Utah.

The land is characterized by majestic rock formations, layered rocks, and deep canyons that are among the most photographed in the state.

Over the years, the area has been continuously excavated, yielding Native American artifacts and fossilized dinosaur bones.

Today, it’s a big draw for outdoorsmen interested in spending quality time with nature.

The reserve includes multi-use trails that range from relatively flat and easily steep to demanding, and there are several petroglyphs scattered throughout the park.

7. City of Ribs

Rib City

From burgers and steaks to BBQ and brisket, Colorado residents have always been big fans of beef.

Located on Kokopelli Avenue in Fruita, Rib City is known for its cozy, family-friendly restaurant offering plenty of country-style grills at prices that won’t break the bank.

Their menu includes all the traditional grilled favorites you’d expect, like pulled pork and their namesake baby back ribs, but they also have non-grill options like fried fish and salads.

There are so many homemade sauces to choose from at every table, and many tourists find themselves eating at Rib City over and over again while visiting the area.

8. Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument near Fruita

Located on Rim Rock Drive in Fruita, Colorado National Monument is one of the state’s most iconic natural attractions. For amateur photographers looking to capture the essence of Colorado, there’s no better place.

The monument is known for its pinnacle-like rock formations towering underground, as well as an abundance of deep canyons, narrow canyons and breathtaking views of the surrounding country.

For those who would rather enter from the comfort of their car, Rim Rock Drive runs through the park for over 20 miles and has some pull-outs that offer spectacular views.

9. Kokopelli’s Footsteps

Kokopelli's Footsteps

Running nearly 150 miles in the unique and stunning natural environment of Colorado and Utah, Kokopelli’s Trail is one of the largest and most memorable trails in the western United States. It starts in Loma, Colorado, a short drive from Fruita.

This trail is used by climbers, backpackers and wildlife enthusiasts. It’s open year-round and offers camping areas for those who need to make a multi-day trek.

Elk, foxes, and even the occasional bear are often seen along the trail, especially during the low light mornings and afternoons when they are usually most active.

10. Xipo Vietnam Veterans Memorial

West Slope Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Xipo Vietnam Veterans Memorial is free to visit and is conveniently located. While it doesn’t take long to soak it, it’s often one of the most poignant spots visited by those traveling through the Fruita area.

At the heart of the site is the huge Vietnamese-era Huey helicopter, which is parked in front of the monument as if time stood still.

The monument honors those who served in the conflict, including many who were killed, disappeared in action, and spent years in harsh POW camps before being released.

All branches of the armed forces are represented and most guests spend about half an hour on site.

11. Cavalcade Performing Arts Center

Cavalcade Performing Arts Center

The Cavalcade Center for the Performing Arts is located on East Aspen Avenue in Fruita. It is one of the region’s premier live entertainment venues, offering theatre, music, comedy and recitals throughout the year.

The center is a non-profit organization made up of mostly local volunteer producers and performers. It’s an inexpensive option for those who already see the state’s natural attractions and inclement weather.

Located in the historic downtown area with many restaurants and bars nearby, the center is the perfect place to relax and dine before and after shows.

12. Rattlesnake Canyon

Rattlesnake Canyon, Colorado

Colorado is full of mysterious and majestic canyons of all shapes and sizes, and Rattlesnake Canyon is one of the easiest places to get to for the diehard explorer and intrepid backcountry hiker.

It’s located within the McGinnis Canyon National Conservation Area, just a stone’s throw from one of the largest collections of natural arches in the state.

For those who don’t want to hike the miles to the canyon, there are access roads outside the city. For the able-bodied and down-to-earth hiker, there is a moderately difficult 7-mile trail that can get slick and dangerous during snow and ice.

13. Xiaoshuya Wild Horse Area

Little Book Cliff Wild Horse Area

Many visitors from other parts of the country are surprised to find that herds of wild horses still roam the Colorado countryside. For visitors looking to catch a glimpse of impressive animals, there’s no better place than Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area.

Just a 10-minute drive from Grand Junction, the viewing area consists of nearly 40,000 acres of rugged undeveloped land, including canyons, grasslands and plateaus.

There are many trails leading to different areas that are relatively common, but the roads are only open seasonally, so consider visiting between May and November.

14. Western Colorado Botanical Gardens

Western Colorado Botanical Garden

Despite its short growing season and rocky soils, Colorado is home to some unique botanical gardens.

The Western Colorado Botanical Garden is located on 15 acres on Struthers Avenue in Grand Junction. You’ll find many themed areas with both native and exotic flowers, plants and trees.

Each area is connected by well-marked paths with shaded seating areas along the way.

Cacti, succulent gardens and koi ponds are the most popular attractions, and the staff hosts various special programs throughout the year.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Fruita, CO
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