Best Things To Do In Colorado Springs

December 9, 2022/Camping

Colorado Springs is a very popular city to visit in Colorado. It is home to some sweet rock formations, hiking trails, the Air Force Academy, and the Olympic Training Center. It’s actually the first day trip Chi and I ever took when we moved to Boulder! In this travel guide I’m sharing the best things to do in Colorado Springs. 

Colorado Springs is located about an hour and a half south of Denver off of I-25, so it’s super easy to get to for either a day trip or weekend trip.

There is an endless amount of things to do in the area. If you’re into outdoor activities there are tons of hiking trails to check out including Garden of the Gods Park and the Manitou Springs Incline

Colorado Springs also has plenty of other things to do if you’re not so much into outdoor activities. You can drive up Pikes Peak Highway to see the famous rock formations and Rocky Mountains. There are also a ton of great museums to visit, such as the Pioneers Museum, the Money Museum, and the National Museum of WWII Aviation.

No matter what you like to do, what your interests are, or what your budget is, there is something for everyone to do in Colorado Springs. 

Keep Reading To Learn More About :

  • The best places to hike near Colorado Springs and the best hiking trails in Garden of the Gods and Pike’s Peak
  • The best places to eat and drink in Colorado Springs
  • Everything you need to know about visiting Pike’s Peak and driving Pike’s Peak Highway
  • The best museums and attractions to visit in Colorado Springs

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Places To Hike

chi at garden of the gods in colorado springs

Garden of the Gods Park

Garden of the Gods Park is certainly the most popular place to go hiking in Colorado Springs. Parking can be limited depending on the time of year you go, so make sure to get there early to grab a spot. 

If it’s your first time in the park, I recommend you start at the Garden of the Gods Loop Trail for the most scenic views. At about 4 miles long with only a small incline, it’s definitely considered an easy trail. It essentially connects three primary trails in the parks to form one loop: The Palmer Trail, Siamese Twins Trail, and the Ute Trail. This path is clearly marked so you won’t have to worry about getting lost. 

Balanced Rock is also a pretty popular point in the park. It’s a large rock that sits perfectly balanced, but looks like it’s going to tip over at any moment. It’s right off the main road so there is no hiking involved and you can’t miss it. Make sure you pull off to grab a quick pic!

Manitou Springs Incline

If you’re up for a challenge, you MUST hike The Incline Trail in Manitou Springs. It is a difficult hike, gaining 2000 feet in elevation in about 2 miles. Nonetheless, The Incline is a rite of passage trail that you must cross off your list when visiting Colorado Springs. There are spots along the way up where you can get off the trail if you need to. A free reservation is currently required to visit. Make sure you visit their website here to book a time slot and to view updated hours and information. 

Pike’s Peak 

There are plenty of hikes to do in the Pike’s Peak region. Summit Pike’s Peak via the Barr Trail for a challenging 14er, or visit some popular trails in North Cheyenne Canon Park such as the Seven Bridges Trail or St. Mary’s Falls. There’s something for every fitness level, so do some research and get out in nature. I promise no matter what you do, the views will be worth it. 

Drive Pike’s Peak Highway

Driving Pike’s Peak Highway is a must-do tourist attraction when visiting Colorado! Make sure your car and your passengers are up for it, because it can be pretty nerve-wracking up towards the top if you’re not used to to driving in the mountains. It’s also vital that you have a car with a strong engine, a driver that knows how to drive in lower gears (1 is recommended most of the way down), and that your brakes are in good shape. There is a mandatory brake check halfway down the mountain. If your brakes are too hot, you’ll be required to pull over for an hour to let them cool off.

You can visit Pike’s Peak Highway’s website for updated hours and pricing information.

Related Post: Ultimate Guide On Things To Do In Boulder Colorado

Places To Eat/Drink

Poor Richard’s

Poor Richard’s Downtown is a huge restaurant, café, book store, and gift shop in Colorado Springs. They serve New York style pizza, and have a bookstore, a café/wine bar, a toy shop, and more. It’s a great place for families and kids. Make sure you check their website for updated hours and information, as they have gone through a lot of changes throughout the pandemic.

Manitou Brewing Company

Manitou Brewing Company is a cute little restaurant/brewery in downtown Manitou Springs. They have great food, great beer, and friendly staff. It does get crowded on the weekends so make sure you get there early if you want to grab a quick beer, or expect a short wait for a table. It will be worth it!

Related Post: 10 Best Breakfast Restaurants in Denver

Attractions To Visit

Air Force Academy

The Air Force Academy is a popular place to visit in Colorado Springs. You can check out the visitor’s center to get a map and take a self-guided tour. There are hiking trails that lead to Cadet Chapel, which is likely the most visited area of campus and a popular wedding venue. It is currently under construction, but still worth visiting. Make sure you visit their website to learn how to plan your visit.

Olympic Training Center

The US Olympic Training Center is a popular tourist attraction, and they offer tours Monday-Saturday year round. The tour takes roughly an hour once you are inside. It starts with a short movie and then you get to tour the whole facility. You can visit their website for updated hours and information.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a popular zoo to visit in downtown Colorado Springs. It’s known for being a more interactive zoo, as you can hand feed some of the animals. It is also technically the highest zoo in America, as it sits at 6714 feet. It’s a great place to visit with kids, or just a fun way to spend an afternoon. Check out their website to make a reservation and plan your visit!

Museums and Galleries To Visit

Colorado Springs has a ton of museums and art galleries to visit. Some of the most popular museums include the Pioneers Museum, the Money Museum, and the National Museum of WWII Aviation. The most popular art gallery is the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Learn about the history of the Pikes Peak region, money, check out aircraft from World War II, or admire some art. 

Related Post: The Ultimate 7 Day Colorado Road Trip Itinerary

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