Heading on vacation, whether as a quick road trip or a lengthy seasonal excursion, takes some planning. These towns in the Colorado Plateau have the best main streets, with each municipality offering unique insight into the area's culture and distinction. From Grand Junction and the Colorado National Monument to the Mogollon Rim of Snowflake, Arizona. By finding the leading main streets, savvy travelers can know there's easy access to souvenirs, phone chargers, gas stations, eateries, and places to hang one's hat to prepare for a day adventuring around the Colorado Plateau.
Cedar City, Utah
A small town in Utah, Cedar City's claim to fame is the Southern Utah University. It's a drive from Zion National Park and the Cedar Breaks National Monument. Travelers can partake in the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival each year, giving Main Street a bit of extra flair. That is also present during the Utah Summer Games but remains in the town's spirit year-round. Its main street features the impressive Centro Woodfired Pizzeria, the Artisans Art Gallery, and the Cedar City Utah Temple. It's a calm town with low crime, thus ideal for those looking for an abundance of serenity (even on the main street) while keeping proximity to places like Bryce Canyon National Park. The memorable sights travel with you along to the next venture.
Grand Junction, Colorado
Famous for its world-renowned wineries, the unique soil of the Colorado Plateau comes through in any bottle from Grand Junction. The town's main street is a testament to this, making it one of the better spots to order a house red at Ramblebine Brewing Company before meandering to the Avalon Theatre. The town hosts Colorado Mesa University, a school with diverse offerings that show in its various celebrations. These include the Country Jam music festival, Colorado Winefest, the Colorado Lavender Festival, and the Palisade Peach Festival. During other times of the year, there is the Grand Junction Motor Speedway and the Bananas Fun Park. With options for those of all ages, it's an ideal stop on a Colorado Plateau trek.
Flagstaff is the way to go for anyone who wants to see the most of the Colorado Plateau's natural splendor with the comfort of a lively main street. It's a college town that draws enthusiasm through local sports but also means book stores like the Bright Side Book Store and Bookmans Flagstaff Entertainment Exchange. There's also high-grade food at places like Simply Delicious Cafe, Dehli Palace, Cuisine of India, and Agave Mexican Restaurant. It's tucked in the Coconino National Forest and known as the Gateway to the Grand Canyon National Park. The main street offers everything a visitor might need, regardless of the duration of the stay. With options for camping during the on-season and hiking any time, there is plenty for outdoor enthusiasts in Flagstaff. From the Lowell Observatory to the Orpheum, plenty of arts and culture can be found on Flagstaff's main streets.
Though it's not strictly within the Colorado Plateau, Durango gets honorable credit as one of the preeminent towns for culture in the region. This is essentially thanks to Fort Lewis College's proximity to the Animas River. Flowing right through the town makes for an exciting and picturesque main street. Everything is from bowling at Rolling Thunder or Lakeside Lanes to relaxing at the Amaya Natural Therapeutics spa. Whether it's a frisbee game at Schneider Park or Fassbinder Park or tucking into a nice dinner at Eolus Bar & Dining, there is plenty along the main street of Durango.
Right at the center of the Rocky Mountains, the plateau town of Gunnison is as charming as the majesty of the surrounding scenery. Ideal for those who want a bit less plateau and a bit more mountain, the Gunnison National Forest is a perfect place to start. As for the downtown zone, there is everything from tasty bites at The Dive Gunnison or W Cafe and souvenir shopping at Traders Rendezvous or Corner Cupboard. The accommodations range from campgrounds to the Wanderlust Hotel, each offering a unique character that sets it apart as a Gunnison treasure. Ideal for skiing enthusiasts, enjoy a trip as you carve through a fresh layer of powder across the slopes of the Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Trek to the Gunnison Pioneer Museum for a taste of the Old West and enjoy the distinctive blend of modern and traditional that Gunnison has to offer.
Making its roots back in 1878, Snowflake might be an ironic twist on the (lack of) precipitation, but indeed not the spirit of the Old Frontier town. Its spot along the Colorado Plateau, right in the Mogollon Rim part of Arizona, makes it one of the more southern towns with the best main streets. The Colorado Plateau town of Snowflake has over a hundred preserved historical buildings. It makes for quite the adventure through the looking glass and into times of old. Though history transfuses the area, the main street is a real gem. Features like the Stinson Pioneer Museum and Show Low Museum give it a taste of history. Streets on Main and The Skillet Cafe' give Snowflake all the convenience and quaintness any traveler could desire.
Colorado had a famous gold rush, but Fairplay is one of the only towns in the area that didn't boom because of it. Instead, the stunning plateau's grassland brought ranchers from far and wide. It's now known as Colorado's South Park Grasslands region. It remains a farming town but gets most of its tourism from its proximity to Spinney Mountain State Park and Eleven Mile State Park. A narrative history of the local area is available at the South Park City Museum, a replica mid-to-late nineteenth-century mining town. It's ideal for family excursions and makes for an enjoyable main street endeavor. Visitors can stop at Mountain Essentials, The Salt Licking Goat Clothing Company, and the South Park City Gift Shop for souvenirs. Hungry? Salado and Millonzi's Restaurant have you covered as you travel along the plateau.
On the list as the well-reputed "Gateway to the Grand Canyon," Williams takes its seat in Coconino County, almost 7,000 feet above sea level. Bring some chewing gum to help with the elevation and hit the main street, replete with restos like Cruiser's Route 66 Cafe and Pine Country Restaurant. Colors of the West and Addicted to Route 66 make adorable, old-timey stops that offer a kitsch-lensed insight into the past. It's a popular place to stay when visiting one of the Seven World Wonders and offers everything visitors might need during a stay. It's a symbolic stone's throw from Slide Rock State Park, Monument Park; naturally, Grand Canyon National Park is on the list, too.
Known for its plenty of glamping opportunities, there are plenty of RV parks at the outdoor enthusiast's utopia known as Bayfield. It lets visitors choose where to stay and identify the main street of Bayfield as a place to grab whatever suits the day's fancy. The options include Lewis True Value Mercantile or Family Dollar, Good Ol' Days Antiques, and the Caswell Trading Company. Ideal for those looking to stay for a while, the Colorado Plateau hotspot is known for its Wi-Fi access and for its proximity to San Juan National Forest. To trek outside town, an excursion to Pagosa Springs, a series of hot springs near the San Juan River, makes a perfect segue before heading to the next great main street.
Though it's within the Colorado Plateau, the town of Mancos sits at an impressive 7,028, making it ideal for longer trips. Its main street is accommodating and lets visitors adjust before enjoying. Did you know that people at higher altitudes have more blood than those at sea levels? It's to capture the oxygen, and that makes sense because the beauty is enough to take anyone's breath away. The main street in Mancos includes the impressive Chavolo's Mexican Restaurant and The Cidery. Need a pick-me-up? Try Fahrenheit Coffee Roasters before ducking to the Mud Creek Hogan Trading Post or the Mancos Valley Farmers Market for a souvenir. Called the "Gateway to Mesa Verde" due to the town's proximity to the legendary Mesa Verde National Park, it has a rustic charm that appeals to many travelers who visit every year.
Not the army abbreviation, thankfully, Moab is a scenic town in the center of the Colorado Plateau. It features distinctive red stone landscapes that impress visitors across the state and the country. "Gearheads Outdoor Store" is a great main street example showing this plateau town's low-key energy. The low crime makes it a safe place for travel or retirement, while the main street icons like Sunset Grill and Desert Bistro offer a taste of the desert. Visitors can also enjoy unique shops such as the Canyonlands Trading Post, the Moonflower Community Coop, or the Cowboys and Indians Trading Co. All things considered, Moab is a stop on any trip to the Colorado Plateau.
Colorado Plateau Main Streets That Make A Mark
The idea of finding the towns in the Colorado Plateau with the best main streets is to ensure that every amenity is present. It allows tourists new to the skiing scene a chance to safely book a winter vacation and know that everything is accessible and in range. There is something for every approach, thanks to the broad spectrum of towns that scatter about the plateau, ranging from Utah to Arizona to Colorado. These towns and their significant hubs provide for anyone's needs, from the history buff to the skiing adventurer, the shopper, and the fine diner to the relaxed mountain vacationer. The Colorado Plateau is world-renowned for a reason, and its year-round charm is just part of the picture—it's even more resplendent in person.