Exploring Colorado Springs

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Curated By

Alyson Krapfl

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  • Denver

  • Colorado

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Hiking

  • Mountains

  • Outdoors

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Curator’s statement

A trip to the Colorado Springs area is an easy getaway from the day-to-day stresses of life. There are many types of activities to keep you busy or just enjoy the scenery.

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay in Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Broadmoor

Beautiful, expansive resort in the Colorado wilderness with an array of experiences for the whole family.

Cheyanne Mountain Resort

Retreat to the serene beauty of Cheyenne Mountain Resort, where stunning mountain views, exceptional amenities, and a tranquil ambiance come together to create an unforgettable stay in Colorado Springs, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and outdoor adventure.

The Cliff House at Pikes Peak

Revel in historic elegance and breathtaking scenery at The Cliff House, a charming retreat nestled at the foot of Pikes Peak, where luxurious accommodations, impeccable service, and an enchanting atmosphere combine for an unforgettable stay in Manitou Springs.

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Things to do in Colorado Springs, Colorado

A lake surrounded by mountains

Pikes Peak

Take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, drive up the winding roads, or take the challenge and hike your way up to the top of Pikes Peak, the mountain that inspired the song “America the Beautiful.” If you take the railway, you’ll be able to learn about the history of the mountain, as well as see some animals that only live in high altitudes. You’ll also get beautiful, picturesque views of the mountain that you couldn’t get anywhere else. If you drive, you’ll be able to stop at multiple scenic lookouts to get different views of the mountain and surrounding areas.

Manitou Incline

The trek up the Manitou Incline is no joke. You’ll climb your way up 2,768 steps made from an old railroad and gain 2,020 feet in elevation in less than a mile. When you reach the top, you’ll be greeted with stunning views of the towns below and the mountains above. Before deciding to take this trek, you’ll want to be sure you’re acclimated to the elevation in Colorado Springs. It’s an amazing experience, but it’s not one to be taken lightly.

Garden of the Gods

Take an easy walk around the Garden of the Gods to see rock formations, including the famous “Balanced Rock,” dating back to the Pleistocene Ice Age. The park is accessible for people of all ages as well as dogs. Along with walking through the park, there are multiple tours you can book such as Segway tours, bike tours and audio tours, to learn more about the history of the park.

Royal Gorge Bridge

About an hour out of Colorado City, in Cañon City, is the Royal Gorge Bridge. Walk along America’s highest suspension bridge towering 956 feet above the Arkansas River. Along with taking in the views along the stunning bridge, visitors can take a zip line or a gondola ride from one side of the bridge to the other.

U.S. Air Force Academy

The United States Air Force Academy welcomes visitors year-round. Every visitor over the age of 18 will need to have a state-issued ID to enter. Once inside, you can check out the B-52 display, the Cadet Chapel, hiking and biking trails and take self-guided tours around the campus. The Academy is also home to a planetarium which features free shows and educational events.

Broadmoor Seven Falls

Seven Falls is a beautiful waterfall where visitors can climb the 224 steps to view the falls from above. When you reach the top, you can continue your experience by hiking one of two trails to view more mountain scenery and have a chance to see some of Colorado’s wildlife. When you’re done exploring the top of the falls, you can shop at the Seven Falls Shop, grab ice cream at Falling Waffles or have dinner at Restaurant 1858.

Cheyanne Mountain Zoo

Take a day to visit the Cheyanne Mountain Zoo where you’ll find animals from all over the world including grizzly bears, moose, giraffes, penguins and more. During your visit, you’ll also have the opportunity to feed giraffes, take a ride on the carousel, and dine at one of the many restaurant options.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space

If you’re looking to do some scenic hiking, head to Red Rock Canyon Open Space where you’ll find many different trails with all levels of difficulty. Most trails allow dogs, bicycles and horses, and with a permit, you can also do some rock climbing.

Places to eat & drink in Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Drinks - 3 Hundred Days of Distilling
Located in Monument, Colorado, about 20 minutes north of Colorado Springs, you’ll find a local distillery known for their moonshine. While on deployment in Afghanistan, the founder, Mike Girard, distilled his first batch of moonshine and the rest is history. With flavors from Apple Pie and Strawberry Lemonade, to Firebomb and Barrel Finished, everyone is sure to find something they’ll enjoy.

Drinks - Manitou Winery
While you’re in Manitou Springs, head to Manitou Winery to taste handcrafted wines made in house. Many of the wines offered are made with water directly from the springs located in Manitou Springs. You can stop in for a tasting, or book a time to make your own custom batch of wine.

Food/Drinks - Manitou Brewing Company
Also in Manitou Springs is the Manitou Brewing Company. Stop in for dinner and drinks and either grab a glass of your favorite style of beer, or try something new with a flight.

Food - Slice420
The owners of Slice420 are on a mission to raise awareness and donate to help American Medical Refugees like themselves. Stop by to grab a slice or two, or a whole pie, and know that you’re benefitting a good cause while you eat a delicious slice of pizza.

Food - Margo’s Vienna Station
If you’re looking for a quick and easy lunch, stop by Margo’s Vienna Station for a hot dog, bratwurst or sandwich. All hot dogs are cooked to order and you can even get a Chicago Style dog.

Food - Paravicini’s Italian Bistro
If you’re in the mood for Italian food, be sure to check out Paravicini’s Italian Bistro in Old Colorado City. You’ll get authentic Italian food along with great service and a welcoming atmosphere.

Food - Denver Biscuit Company
It wouldn’t be a trip to Colorado without stopping by Denver Biscuit Company. Grab a biscuit or two for breakfast, brunch or lunch, and you won’t be disappointed.

Food/Drinks - Colorado Mountain Brewery
When you visit Colorado Mountain Brewery, not only will you get great food and drinks, but you’ll be able to enjoy them with views of the mountains.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, The Best of Denver Guide.

Travel advisor sitting on a mountain in a grey jacket and pant

Travel Advisor

Alyson Krapfl

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Colorado.