There are all kinds of travelers and many love to wander around with a camera. Then, others prefer to sit back and enjoy. And, there’s those who see life as a grand adventure. Known as ‘Little London’ in its early days, if you‘re looking for things to do in Colorado Springs, soon you’ll soon discover that it’s the perfect destination for both sloth-like travelers and adrenaline junkies. Renowned for its iconic red rock formations, as well as the breathtaking mountain views, the city has plenty to offer. The city in Colorado sits at the foot of the Rocky Mountains close to the impressive Pikes Peak, just 71 miles (114 km) from Denver. Impressive scenery, outdoor thrills, and many cultural activities feature for people of all ages. Are you ready to be WOWed by Colorado Springs and its beauties? Then get on board!
Garden of the Gods Park
Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark. Additionally, it’s the most photographed place in Colorado. Photographers and Instagrammers chase the perfect red rock shot, right here in the Garden of the Gods. Its scenery brings gigantic red sandstone formations and spectacular mountain views. All these, dressed with endless starry nights, and cloud-filled skies make for a wonderful ambiance. Once you’re done capturing the moment, get moving with any of the offered activities. Go for a hike, or cycle your way around with an electric bike tour. You can also join more adventurous climbing trips. Alternatively, Hop on a segway and admire some of the famous sights, such as the Kissing Camels, or the Praying Hands.
The Airplane Restaurant
After exploring the Garden of the Gods, you probably worked up an appetite. The Airplane Restaurant might not serve fancy dishes but it does serve loads of aviation history alongside comfort food. Open for lunch and dinner, try their bacon or corn beef burgers. The honey mustard chicken Burges are popular and tasty. Constructed in 1953, the restaurant’s a fully intact Boeing KC-97 tanker. The old plane seats are now comfy booths with tables, while a second bigger restaurant is attached to the tanker. While waiting for your food, hundreds of photos, historic documents, and memorabilia on the walls will keep you both busy and entertained. It doubles as both a restaurant and an aviation museum. Situated at 1665 N. Newport Rd, it opens between 11.00 a.m and 9.00 p.m daily.
The Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Here we’re talking about a true, ancient treasure! Preserved for over 800 years under red sandstone, the Manitou Cliff Dwellings are a historic gem of the Asanazi culture. Roam around and explore the stunning architectural remnants, step-by-step, window-by-window. Inhale the history of the place, and become a witness to some of the finest architecture of the Asanazi Culture, in both Colorado and New Mexico. Located west of Colorado Springs, Colorado, access is via U.S. Highway 24. They open from Friday through Monday between 10.00 a.m and 4.00 p.m.
Glen Eyrie Castle
Glen Eyrie Castle is not your average themed hotel. Here you’re the guest of honor, and you will be treated as a true majesty. Each of the seventeen rooms in the castle has its décor inspired by different styles and periods. Additionally, the music room and the library will keep you entertained in a sophisticated way. The castle hosts various events throughout the year, such as concerts, or spiritual weekends. Unique and mysterious, a visit here counts as the perfect family getaway or an idyllic romantic escape. Located . just two miles (3.2 km) from the Garden of the Gods rock formations, it’s also handy to the Cave of the Winds Mountain Park.
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
The art capital of the city, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is great for getting a hint of the local culture. It’s the home of some stunning pieces of Latin American art. There, you’ll find abstract prints from local artists, as well as folk art, and Mexican clay. Insider tip: The center’s green lawn hosts interesting concerts regularly. Without a doubt, make sure to check their schedule before your visit. Located at 30 W. Dale St., it’s open years-round except for major public holidays. The place is closed on Mondays.
Red Rock Canyon Open Space
Red Rock Canyon Open Space is simply a part of the Red Rock Canyon and is designated as a park. Here you’ll find hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. If you’re traveling along with your four-legged friends, then know that the park offers leash-free zones for dogs. One of the best scenic things to do in Colorado Springs you can take in some breathtaking views. Ready to explore more spectacular views of the red rock formations? We suggest jumping on a hot air balloon flight. Observe the sunrise views of the snow-capped mountains, flowing rivers, and abundant wildlife. You’ll find it west of the city next to Manitou Springs.
Situated in Broadmoor in South Cheyenne Cañon, as the name implies, this is a series of seven waterfalls with crystal clear water. Each of the waterfalls has its own name, with the shortest one being called “Shorty.” Seven Falls is home to some rare flowers and beautiful jagged rocks. The stairs in front of the waterfalls might be long, but undoubtedly the view from each step is breathtaking. Here, you can challenge your adrenaline levels by joining Colorado’s most unique zip-line tour. Note that in the winter months of January and February, the walking-only park sometimes closes for maintenance. Privately owned, parking’s located at 1045 Lower Gold Camp Rd, Colorado Springs.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
The zoo houses over 800 animals and 200 species, while 30 of them are endangered. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was founded in 1926 and is the highest zoo in America. You’ll find it southwest of downtown Colorado Springs.on Cheyenne Mountain. Apart from being a shelter for animals, the zoo offers interactive experiences. Among the highlights are the giraffe hand-feeding, and the Encounter Africa exhibit. Oh! and a ride on the antique Carousel is a definite must. Also, remember to grab a bite at the Grizzly Grill. Above all, the zoo offers year-round fun as it operates 365 days. It’s open even during holidays when it runs on a special schedule.
Old Colorado City
A walk around Old Colorado City will take you back to the wild west feeling of the 19th century. It should be noted on your list of things to do in Colorado Springs. Roam leisurely around, take some photos, or stop for some local snacks. Navigate easier with the local tour app which allows you to enjoy a self-guided tour around the city. The place is stuffed full of galleries and gift stores. Interesting jewelry stores, candy shops and more await discovery in the 19th-century brick buildings along Colorado Avenue. If you work up an appetite, then there’s no shortage of places to grab a meal. Choose between any of the various cuisine specialties, from Italian to Greek. After a day out walking, perhaps consider something a bit easier on your feet. Why not consider a Jeep 4×4 Tour around some of the Rocky Mountains’ most breathtaking sites.
The historic town of Cripple Creek combines culture and modern activities. It used to be a gold mining camp and you’ll find it 44 miles (70 km) southwest of Colorado Springs near Pikes Peak. Plenty of casinos, historical sights, and various restaurants, can be found here. If the playing tables aren’t your thing, the museums bring insight into life as it was in years past. The Victor Lowell Thomas Museum and the Cripple Creek Jail Museum bring the old days alive for visitors. Another popular place is the Butte Theater. You may also enjoy a ride on the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad. It takes people through a number of historic gold camps.
Just So You Know:
- Colorado contains 75% of the land area of the United States with an altitude of over 10,000 feet.
- Colorado is the only state in history to turn down the Olympics. In 1976 the Winter Olympics were planned for Denver. 62% of all state Voters choose at almost the last minute not to host the Olympics, because of the cost, pollution and population boom it would have on the State of Colorado, and the City of Denver.
- The United States Air Force Academy is located in Colorado Springs, one of the top places to visit in Colorado.
- Colorado means “colored red” and is known as the “Centennial State.”
Where to Stay:
- ⭐⭐⭐ Best Western Plus Peak Vista Inn & Suites – Close to the Garden of the Gods, and the U.S Olympic Training Center, this hotel offers all modern amenities for a comfortable stay.
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Cheyenne Mountain Resort Colorado Springs, A Dolce Resort – Stunning views of the Cheyenne Mountain, five swimming pools, tennis courts, fine restaurants, and bars, are some of the reasons to choose this charming hotel for your stay.
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Garden of the Gods Club & Resort – Stunning mountain and sunrise views, modern amenities, and an Olympic-size pool are just some of the reasons to choose this charming hotel.
- In case you’re traveling with pets, check out our Top 11 Pet Friendly Hotels in Colorado Springs.
Get Some Culture:
- Pikes Peak Trolley Museum – Here, you can experience the transit history of Colorado Springs. The Pikes Peak Trolley Museum is dedicated to preserving the rich history of trains and trolley cars, in the region.
- The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum – The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum offers a timeless experience by capturing the history of Team USA in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It houses the artifacts, media, and technology that embody the Olympic and Paralympic movements, through state-of-the-art technology.
- Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum – And last but not least in your itinerary of things to do in Colorado Springs today, is the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum. Features include more than 60 originals, vintage, and restored motorcycle. See Harley Davidsons, Excelsiors, and many more.
Grab A Bite:
- If you like your plate meaty with for juicy steaks, along with well-crafted drinks and fine wines, then you should pay a visit to Mackenzie’s Chop House.
- As for wine enthusiasts, Sopra Antipasto & Wine Bar offers a 100-bottle wine list, and classic Italian-American bites, with a modern twist, to tantalize your taste buds.