: Contemporary arts meet Western charm Sunny days per year
: 214 Median home price
Grand Junction's affordability was hard-won: When the collapsing energy market dropkicked the town back in 1982, citizens took a hard look at their boom-and-bust history. In a concerted effort to diversify, they beefed up tourism -- from opening new country music venues to, starting in 2011, launching the state's only Lavender Festival.
The city was a pioneer in establishing downtown sculpture exhibits -- a local favorite is a shiny bison called "Chrome on the Range II." Combined with the classic Victorian architecture, the contemporary pieces make this town feel old and new at the same time.
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