by Braun Horner
Beauty inhabits Grand County. And it takes but a minute to not only realize its beauty but also the fun and entertainment that comes with the territory. Que Granby. Locals and tourists alike can enjoy a plethora of water play, beautiful hikes, museums and exhibits, plus much more in just a small radius around Granby. Family fun is everywhere. Here are some places to check out, in no particular order. There is plenty to do and see for everyone.
Lake Granby is the 3rd largest body of water in Colorado and welcomes boats, kayaks, water skis, and jet skis. Awesome options for boat rentals and tours are available at Indian Peaks Marina, Highland Marina, and Beacon Landing Marina where a visitor can try a kayak or a paddleboard for a freeing experience.
With over 250 campsites along the shores of Lake Granby, campers are up close and personal with the water and the beauty that comes with it. Stillwater Campground, Cutthroat Bay Group Campground, and Sunset Point Campgrounds are the choices for a stay along the shore. There are fees, and it’s recommended to call ahead for reservations.
Now, for the ones with a yearning to reel in some fish, this place has it all. The shops and marinas around the lake make it super convenient to find everything needed for a fun day on the lake. Fishing licenses are required. The lake is stocked with a good amount of large lake trout, Kokanee salmon, and more! Lake Granby contains the highest density of lake trout documented in Colorado. Whether fishing from a boat or canoe or casting from the beach, the views are gorgeous! The lake is great for swimming for those who feel like taking a refreshing dip, and life vests are available all around the lake. Taking a break at the lake is a wonderful activity for friends, family, and of course the dog!
Fun fact: this man-made reservoir is the largest of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project’s 12 reservoirs.
Grand Elk Golf Club
For avid golfers or anyone who just want to go take some swings, Grand Elk Golf Club is a great choice. With a heathland feel, golfers see and feel the rolling hills and views of the mountains from every hole. A public par 71, 18-hole course with a length of over 7100 yards, not to mention its 60 bunkers, Grand Elk Golf Club offers as much fun as anyone would want.
For those who left their caddy at home or just don’t want to walk the course, the club offers cart rentals, GPS included. The practice range is available for golfers who are working on their form, and the Grand Elk Grille serves beverages and amazing food.
Moffat Road Railroad Museum
For those who think trains are awesome or love history in general, this is the place to stop and visit. They are working on several restoration projects and have fully-restored projects as well. With coaches, locomotives, and cabooses from the early 1900s, it’s easy to take a trip back in time. They even have a 1913 Derrick they are restoring, which is a huge piece of equipment they used for many years to handle train wrecks in Grand County. Train rides are coming in the future as well.
The Moffat Road Railroad Museum Visitor Center and Gift Shop are located in the Heritage Square Wedding Chapel, which was originally built in 1956 by the Magic Mountain construction team from Disney. They have restored it completely and even added a copper bell tower.
The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, and this place cannot be missed. Featuring Colorado’s largest permanent Christmas train display, the layout includes 6 running trains, tunnels, bridges, and more. There are gifts and trinkets in the gift shop for some memorabilia. For those who want to get more involved with the museum, they are looking for volunteers to help with projects!
Hiking and exploring
With miles and miles of trails for hiking, Grand County is a wonderland for exploration. Granby is not far from some very beautiful hiking, ATV, and snowmobile trails. There are hiking trails to fit the needs and experiences of everyone.
Granby is proud to be located at the headwaters of the Colorado River. Fishing along the Colorado is a must for anglers who can go on their own or join a guided tour.
Old homesteads and ranches are a common sight around Granby, with some still owned by original homestead families. Dude ranches and horseback rides are not far away. The history here intrigues all who visit. Windy Gap Reservoir is a great place for a break and to enjoy the wildlife that frequents it.
There are so many other things to do here in the Granby area, and this is just a small fraction of the attractions and mountain living experiences of Grand County. Downtown Granby boasts many restaurants and coffee shops, all with their own unique flair and products. Walking through downtown, one can admire the intricate murals on the local business buildings or pop into downtown shops that include bagel shops, bars and grills, cafes, breweries, and dessert shops. In Grand County, the views are grand, the rivers and lakes are grand, as are the people. The hometown feel is evident to visitors and locals alike, and while in Grand County, families and friends will not want to miss Granby for a great time with breathtaking views.