THE WESTERN SLOPE
The North Fork Valley is home to Paonia, a tiny town nestled between mountains and valleys on the Western Slope of Colorado. I’m overjoyed to call Paonia my home and I’d love to share all that it has to offer. Paonia’s rich landscape is overflowing with orchards, full of outdoor activities and has cultivated an artist community all their own. Whether you’re stopping by for a quick pit stop or looking to get away from the city, Paonia has a lot to offer.
WHAT TO DO
Paonia is part of the Colorado Creative Corridor, boasting galleries, artist studios, shops and events along its main street, Grand Avenue. Blue Sage Center for the Arts provides a space for art exhibitions, concerts and readings. Just down the street Elsewhere Studios hosts artists from around the world, including meet-and-greets and artist presentations. In the historic Paradise Theatre you can catch a movie or live music performance.
For the wilderness lovers Paonia State Park has a reservoir that is popular among anglers and boaters with two small campgrounds. There’s plenty more fishing on the North Fork of the Gunnison River or you can take it easy and float down the river. Make your way to Jumbo Mountain for hiking trails with incredible views over the valley.
Every July Paonia celebrates its top crop with the annual Paonia Cherry Days festival. In the warmer months you can visit farms and orchards to fill up on fresh produce. Berg Harvest produces organic cherries, peaches, apples and pears.
WHAT TO EAT & DRINK
For a taste of the local eats stop by Root & Vine Market for a cup of freshly roasted coffee, delicious baked goods or a tasty seasonal lunch. You can also enjoy a glass of wine from their family-owned winery, Qutori Wines.
Paonia is home to some of the world’s highest-elevation vineyards. In late summer and early fall you can enjoy a wine tasting with gorgeous scenery at Azura Cellars. Get a taste of farm living at Stone Cottage Cellars, where you can experience the ins and outs of a winery. You can enjoy a glass of wine with a farm-to-table dinner and extend your stay in their original stone cottage.
WHERE TO STAY
Experience small town living at the Bross Hotel Bed & Breakfast, a charming 115 year old historic inn just one block from main street. Experience the beauty of the North Fork Valley at Wisehart Springs Inn, located on 40 acres with natural springs running through the property. If adventure is what brings you to Paonia, there are plenty of AirBnbs that are also pet-friendly for your courageous canine companions.