Colorado Springs is such an awesome town. I feel like it is often overlooked when people are making plans to visit Colorado. Colorado Springs offers some truly amazing things that nowhere else can offer. After living in the Springs for 3 years, I wanted to share my top 9 recommendations for you to consider when planning your trip to Colorado Springs.
- Hike! Hiking goes down as # 1 because Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas have some of the most incredible views and you can see most of them by hiking. These hikes have a range of difficulty but most of them are good for all levels of hikers. However, the elevation is probably much higher than you are used to so make sure to take some precautions (drink a lot of water, wear sunscreen, take a day or two to get acclimated) to avoid getting sick.
- Garden of the Gods– Lets just say that it has this name for a reason. This park was donated by Charles Elliott Perkins children with the stipulation that the park remain free to the public forever.
- Red Rock Canyon Open space Across the street from Garden of the Gods, Red Rock Canyon Open Space is also free to the public and also just as beautiful. This photo was taken here.
- Manitou Springs Incline– Just West of the Springs is Manitou Springs. This is an intense little hike because you gain 2,000 ft of elevation in 1 mile. Fair warning, there is a false summit and the first time you hike it, that false summit is soul crushing.
- Seven Falls– I never actually made it here but I have heard it is really cool.
- The Paint Mines The paint mines are located about 40 mins north of Colorado Springs but it is worth the drive! You can see my photos from the paint mine here
- St. Peters Dome– This hike is located about 7 miles up Gold Camp Road. You can drive to that point and park. It is only a 0.9 mile hike but you have to climb a little rope in order to get to the top. This is one of my favorite, quick hikes. Please wear good shoes when you go though, it is very steep! Here are some of the views from St. Peters Dome.
- Mount Rosa I made it up here once and could never get to it again because of snow. There are two ways to get there so just look into each and decide which one is right for you. Either way, the view at the top is stunning!
- Pikes Peak- You can’t miss Pikes Peak, it is the tallest mountain in the Springs. You can either hike Pikes Peak, which is a 14,110 ft summit, drive or take the cog railway to the top via Pikes Peak Summit. Sometimes the road is closed due to storms so pick a nice day to go.
- Local eats One of my favorite things about traveling or moving to a new location is trying out the local restaurants.
- Shuga’s– Shuga’s is a retro little bistro with some fun, funky decor. It is adorable. Go for the Mediterranean fare, Spicy Brazilian Shrimp Soup and lavender lemonade. You won’t regret it!
- Colorado Mountain Brewery– There are two locations in the Springs. The venison egg rolls, served with a sweet chili sauce and a blueberry sauce are the bomb.
- King Chef Diner– GET A BREAKFAST BURRITO WITH GREEN CHILI! Oh my gosh. SO good. The service here is pretty awesome as well. Just a heads up, they only accept cash so come prepared. However, they do have an ATM if needed.
- Skirted Heifer– The “skirted” part comes in because of the mound of cheddar cheese that is melted and then fried around the locally raised beef patties. I love that they get their beef from a local farm. They also serve Boylan’s hand crafted soda, the cream soda is the best.
- Bambino’s Urban Pizzeria– The owners of Bambino’s also own the Skirted Heifer so it’s not a surprise that this place is on my favorite list. Here you can build your own pizza with super fresh ingredients and they cook it in a brick oven. Prices are fair and they don’t jipp you on ingredients.
- Three Margarita’s. Not exclusively a Colorado Springs restaurant but still one of my favorite places to eat so I just had to throw that in there.
- The Broadmoor. The Broadmoor is a luxury hotel in the Springs. When celebs visit, this is often where they stay. The grounds are really pretty but they also offer things like golf, zip lining, horseback riding, spa services, shopping and food.
- Manitou Springs. Just west of Colorado Springs, is Manitou Springs. They hate it when people say that they are a part of Colorado Springs. This is where the Incline is located. It is a funky little town full of shops and good food. It has a really fun vibe and the best part is the old penny arcades!
- Cave of the Winds. Located just north of Manitou Springs, the Cave of the Winds offers cave tours, rides, ropes course and other activities. I got to ride the TERROR-DACTYL prior to moving to Alabama. It had been on my bucket list since moving to Colorado Springs so I was thrilled to get a change to do it before we moved. You can check out our videos here.
- Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The zoo is located on the side of the mountain! Don’t worry, they have golf carts to give rides to those that need one. The giraffes are so much fun here! They come right up to you and you can feed them. They are also pretty good at taking selfies with you.
- Jack Quinn 5k. Jack Quinn is an Irish pub downtown that happens to host a 5k every Tuesday during the summer months. I recommend this because you will get to run through downtown and then get some good food afterwards. Two for one.
- Olympic Training Center. Go see where the Olympians train. The tour last about an hour and will show you where the Olympians eat, sleep and train. You might even get to meet some of them!
- OHV trails. This is one more for locals or perhaps you can bring/rent OHV and check out these trails. There are so many off roading trails in and near the Springs! If this is your cup of tea then these are some of my favorite trails.
- Saran Wrap
- Eagle Rock
- Bull Park
- Illinois/Missouri Gulch
- China Hill
Excellent round-up of things to do in Colorado Springs. The trail information is super helpful. #risingtidesociety
Thanks for the comment Alyce, I hope you get to check some of them out! I moved to Alabama about a month ago and my heart already misses the mountains so much.