Top 10 things to do in Colorado Springs
From scenic hikes to fine dining and zipline adventures, there are plenty of ways to spend your time in Colorado Springs. Below you’ll find the top 10 can’t-miss experiences in the Pikes Peak region.
10. Sample a pint from one of Colorado’s craft breweries
In a state known for craft brewing, Colorado Springs is no exception. Enjoy a beer at one of the many local spots, including Great Storm Brewing, Colorado Mountain Brewery and Pikes Peak Brewing Company, where you can taste brews named for area landmarks — like the Summit House Oatmeal Stout, which gives a nod to the spot atop Pikes Peak from which you can see all the way to Kansas.
9. Bask in the scenery of The Broadmoor’s Seven Falls
This park exhibits natural beauty and activities. The waterfalls are a sight to behold, and you can climb the 224 steps nearby to reach the stream that feeds them as well as hiking trails. For more exploration, the park’s Broadmoor Soaring Adventure course lifts you above the scenery on two thrilling zipline courses and a rope bridge above the falls. When hunger strikes, have lunch or dinner at the new Restaurant 1858, where prime patio seating looks out to the base of the falls.
8. Find your fitness on the area’s hiking and biking trails
In addition to the well-known hiking and biking trails around Pikes Peak, the Manitou Incline and Garden of the Gods, outdoor enthusiasts have their pick from a bounty of parks and trail systems, including Paint Mines Interpretive Park and Cheyenne Mountain State Park
7. Indulge in one of many unforgettable dining experiences
Colorado Springs boasts plenty of unique places to savour a meal, from the elegant Penrose Room at The Broadmoor (Colorado’s only five-star, five-diamond restaurant) to the innovative Ivywild School, a community marketplace and craft brewery. A local favourite is King’s Chef Diner, featured on Food Network. Colorado Springs Food Tours offer both food and historic walking tours, while the Mountain View Restaurant at Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Sunbird Mountain Grill and Pepper Tree Restaurant all provide scenic overlooks of the city.
6. Go wild at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Experience America’s only mountain zoo, home to more than 800 animals and 200 species. Hand-feed the giraffes or elephants, visit zebra and warthogs in the Encounter Africa exhibit, and check out the new Australia Walkabout – home to alligators, wallabies and even a tree kangaroo. Ride the antique carousel and soar over the zoo on the ski-lift-style Mountaineer Sky Ride.
5. Get your heart pumping on the Manitou Incline
The hike up the Manitou Incline doesn’t sound like a tough endeavour until you realise it climbs 2,000 vertical feet along 2,800 steps in just under 1 mile. You’ll follow the path of old tracks that were originally built for a cable car to transport pipeline materials. With the rails since removed, the Manitou Incline now draws hundreds of thousands of people, from Olympic athletes to those seeking a challenging trek with stunning views.
4. Find thrills in the Royal Gorge
After a grand reopening in May 2015, the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is better than ever, showcasing a new visitor centre and updated activities. Cross the highest suspension bridge in North America — suspended 956 feet above the Arkansas River — either on foot or Segway, plus enjoy a host of attractions like an aerial gondola ride, miniature train, waterclock and a historical expo and shows in the Plaza Theatre. Adrenaline junkies can fly through the air on the Royal Rush Skycoaster, traverse the gorge via the Cloudscraper ZipRider zipline or navigate rapids below with Royal Gorge Rafting. Hop aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad for a 24-mile train ride winding through the gorge while enjoying local wine and a gourmet meal.
3. Explore the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Centre’s multidisciplinary culture
There aren’t many places where you’ll find a nationally accredited art museum, Broadway-worthy theatre, gourmet dining, retail shop and an art school all under one roof, but the Fine Arts Centre encompasses just that. Travelling exhibitions such as the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition (summer 2015), events, musicals, dramatic plays and concerts are a few of the reasons to plan a visit.
2. Discover beauty and geological history at Garden of the Gods Park
This biological melting pot — a meeting of grasslands, woodlands and mountain forest — has been deemed a National Natural Landmark, and is also rated the No. 1 park in the U.S. for 2014 by TripAdvisor®. For its 20th anniversary the Visitor & Nature Centre recently added multiple interactive exhibits and the new GeoTrekker movie experience. Beyond educational aspects, be sure to enjoy 15 miles of easy-to-moderate hiking trails, a Jeep or Segway tour and signature photo ops near formations like the Kissing Camels, Balanced Rock and Siamese Twins.
1. Soak in the inspiration for “America the Beautiful” at Pikes Peak
Whether you choose to drive the scenic 19-mile Pikes Peak Highway, hike up Barr Trail or hitch a ride on The Broadmoor’s Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the majestic Rocky Mountains and far across the “fruited plains” once you reach the 14,115-foot summit.
More information and to book: Embrace the outdoors culture amongst rugged mountain scenery of Colorado Springs.