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Featured City Friday: Fruita, CO

Photo: “Fruita In All Her Glory And Splendor” by Steve Garufi

Featured City Friday highlights fun and interesting features of our agents’ cities across the mountain west region. Now let’s check out a gorgeous town that’s also a dinosaur fossil hot spot…

Fruita, Colorado

 
Children participating in excavating activities at the Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita, CO (colorado.com).

Located in western Colorado, Fruita is a fascinating town with old-west flair with a prehistoric past. Located in the middle of a prime region for fruit-growing, Fruita was originally inhabited by native Ute peoples before it was established in 1884 by William E. Pabor and a steady stream of white settlers. Many of their descendants still live in Fruita today!

Around the year 1900, scientists from Chicago’s Field Museum heard that Fruita’s farmers and ranchers had been finding bones in their fields.  This led to a crew discovering nearly two-thirds of an Apatosaurus skeleton on the northeast side of what came to be known as Dinosaur Hill. Thus, Fruita came to be known as a paleontological paradise. In fact, there is a dinosaur and a prehistoric mammal named for the town: the Fruitaden and Fruitafossor! Fruita today is also well-known for outstanding outdoor recreation; including world-class mountain biking, hiking, and river rafting.

 
Unique Attractions
 

A breathtaking view of the Colorado National Monument! (gofruita.com)

Colorado National Monument

Experience one-of-a-kind views at the Colorado National Monument. There is something for everyone to enjoy at this spectacular place! Here you can camp, bike and hike. Spend the night at the Saddlehorn Campground and catch a beautiful sunrise! Or go for a hike; there are several different trails that range from easy to moderate. If you are an avid biker, take advantage of road biking in the park. The entire loop is over 30 miles, so you will have lots of opportunity to experience the park and its beauty! You won’t forget the awe-inspiring views of the Colorado National Monument!

A skeleton of a velociraptor is just one of the dinosaurs you’ll see at the Dinosaur Journey Museum! (museumofwesternco.com)

Dinosaur Journey Museum

Do you or someone you know have a love for dinosaurs and fossils? If so, take a trip to the Dinosaur Journey Museum and learn about Fruita’s prehistoric past! This is an interactive, hands-on museum that showcases 15,000 fossil specimens, rocks, meteorites, fossil fish, exhibits, and robotic reconstructions of dinosaurs. There are plenty of fun activities for kids of all ages to enjoy! Check out the sandbox where you can make your own dinosaur tracks, or spend some time at the “quarry site,” where you can excavate real dinosaur bones! Uncover Fruita’s prehistoric past with a day full of educational and exciting fun!

 
Festivals/Events
 

Fruita Fall Festival

This historic event began as a fruit harvest festival in 1910. Today, the Fruita Fall Festival is still the town’s main event, featuring live music, craft and food vendors and fall-themed activities. With a carnival, baking and canning contests, beard rally and even an outhouse race, there’s something for everyone at this three-day festival! And yes, we said outhouse racing (check out the picture). Teams enter their creatively decorated latrines to a variety of themes and race them down one of Fruita’s main streets. Prizes are awarded to race winners and the most outstanding outhouse designs. This is one unique event you don’t want to miss!

Outhouse racing at the Fruita Fall Festival! (mycoloradoparks.com)

Rim Rock Run

Have you ever wanted to run one of the most scenic races in the world? Then check out the Rim Rock Run: this race winds over the Colorado National Monument and stretches all the way from Grand Junction to Fruita! Taking place in early November, the Rim Rock Race features marathon, marathon relay, half marathon and 12-K categories. With terrific views of towering monoliths, vast plateaus and canyon panoramas, you’re in for a breath-taking experience! All races finish in downtown Fruita’s Circle Park, at a celebration that includes live entertainment, local food, and a beer garden. What a perfect way to celebrate crossing the finish line!

Runners run the Rim Rock Run – say that five times, fast (colorado.com).

 
Top Restaurants
 

A fun, bike-themed outdoor patio at the Hot Tomato (hottomatopizza.com).

Hot Tomato Pizzeria

Come eat at a pizzeria like you’ve never experienced before! Hot Tomato Pizzeria serves east-coast style pizza that’s baked on a traditional stone deck oven. Run by two former cycling industry friends, this restaurant serves pizza with fresh ingredients . They make all of their dough, cook all of their meats and sauces, and prep their vegetables daily! There’s no waitstaff, and it can get pretty busy and sometimes loud at Hot Tomato, but don’t let that deter you. You’re sure to enjoy the exciting and friendly atmosphere that awaits you at this popular restaurant!

 

The interior of Dragon Treasure Chinese Restaurant (tripadvisor.com).

Dragon Treasure Chinese Restaurant

Have a craving for great Chinese food? Head on over to the Dragon Treasure Chinese Restaurant in Fruita! Featuring delicious food and a warm and inviting atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy Chinese favorites like spicy Mongolian beef, friedvwontons, kung pao chicken, sesame chicken, egg rolls, soup, and so much more! The portion sizes are sure to fill you up, and the friendly and prompt waitstaff will make you feel right at home.

 
Our Fruita Agent:
 

Casey Vornauf
Casey Vornauf
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