Play for days and indulge your senses in Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. Hike in the Garden of the Gods, get cooled from the spray at The Broadmoor Seven Falls, and take the cog railway to the top of Pikes Peak. To hit the highlights, a minimum of two days is necessary. The attractions are spread over a wide area.
Explore the Garden of the Gods then drive to the United States Air Force Academy. If you have kids, spend the afternoon at the Broadmoor Seven Falls or the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Garden of the Gods (free) is full of striking rock formations formed some 70 million years ago and weathered through the eons by wind and water. Walk to see the Siamese Twins or take a Segway tour to weave among the rocks.
Where to Find Adventure
Broadmoor Seven Falls is a series of waterfalls that cascade 180 feet into a beautiful box canyon. Climb 224 steps to reach the upper falls (or take an elevator). Adventurous travelers challenge themselves on the Broadmoor “Soaring Adventure,” which includes several ziplines over pines and streams.
One of the highlights at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a chance to feed a giraffe (and get slobbered on) or hand feed colorful budgies. A chair lift provides great views. Entrance to the Will Rogers Shrine is included in the admission price.
The United States Air Force Academy is Colorado’s second most popular tourist attraction. We suggest watching the Cadet Lunch Formation and standing inside the Cadet Chapel looking out at the Rampart Range through the colored window glass.
Where to Eat
Take a train ride (or drive) up Pikes Peak and explore the remnants of Colorado’s Gold Rush.
Katherine Lee Bates was so awed by the view from the top of Pikes Peak that she penned America the Beautiful. Taking a ride on the Broadmoor Cog Railway shows you why she wrote the song. Colorado Springs and the plains are visible in one direction; a sea of mountaintops is visible in the other.
After Pikes Peak, stop in Manitou Springs for a sip of pure mineral water from the town fountains and lunch at Adam’s Mountain Cafe. Then head to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Anasazi (Ancient Ones) dwellings more than 800 years old. Enter the dwellings and tour the three-story Pueblo-style Anasazi museum.
Visit Wild West Mining Towns
Another fun drive is around the back of the mountain to Cripple Creek and Victor, both former mining towns. Descending 1,000-feet underground at the Molly Kathleen Mine gives you a real feel for the dangers miners faced. You’ll get a sense of the past taking a ride on the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad. You could easily turn this trip into a full-day excursion.
Adventuring near Colorado Springs: Not your average weekend! … river rafting, ziplining, wine tasting – and dinosaurs
Colorado Springs Really Rocks for Families … view the world from the top of Pikes Peak, soar on zip lines, hike among the Gods
Cripple Creek and Victor: Step into Colorado’s Gold Rush Era … visit a mine, get jailed and gamble