Colorado Springs, Colorado is a beautiful, active city on the edge of the Rocky Mountains. With a wonderful assortment of activities and attractions, it's sometimes tricky to choose what to do first. Here is a list of ten fun things to do in Colorado Springs.
10. Visit Mueller State Park
This State Park near Colorado Springs is an excellent introduction to the wildlife, flora and fauna in the area. With gorgeous views of Pikes Peak and several mountain ranges, Mueller State Park has some great campsites, and also offers 50 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding. You might even see an elk or black bear.
9. Tour one of the Museums
If you love to learn on your vacation, visit one of Colorado Springs several unique museums. Some of the most popular include the Pioneers Museum, American Numismatic Association (money museum), Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, Fine Arts Center, Ghost Town Museum, US Figure Skating Hall of Fame, Peterson Air & Space Museum, and the Western Museum of Mining & Industry House.
8. Old Colorado City
This historic neighborhood gem on the West side of town is made up of four city blocks of shops and restaurants. Stroll the sidewalks, grab an ice cream cone, and sit under the trees at adjacent Bancroft Park. One of the favorite things to do in Colorado Springs for shoppers and eaters alike.
7. US Air Force Academy
Given Colorado Springs’ large military presence (Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, NORAD, and Fort Carson) it's a good experience to visit the US Air Force Academy. See where cadets are trained, walk through the beautiful Cadet Chapel, and learn more about the Academy at the Visitor's Center.
6. US Olympic Training Center
One of only 3 campuses created by the United States Olympic Committee, the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs is located close to downtown. It is made up of two sports complexes, an aquatics center, an indoor shooting range, and a nearby velodrome. Admission is free, and visitors are always welcome.
5. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Literally located on the side of Cheyenne mountain, this unique zoo offers several exhibits that offer up-close and personal animal experiences. You can hand-feed a herd of giraffes in the African Rift Valley, or go nose-to-nose with a grizzly or gorilla in the new Rocky Mountain Wild exhibit. Great fun for just about everyone.
4. Seven Falls
If you love waterfalls, or simply enjoy breathtaking nature scenes, Seven Falls is a must-see. Features a 181-foot waterfall that cascades down seven steps of a solid cliff of Pikes Peak granite. The box canyon location itself is just as beautiful, and you can take a mountain elevator to the top of the “Eagle's Nest" for a better view.
3. Cave of the Winds
Often referred to as a “geo-venture, " the Cave of the Winds gives you a spooky and strange caving experience you won't forget. Winding through underground caverns, you will see all sorts of weird geological formations. Offers a special Lantern Tour for the brave-at-heart. One of the eeriest things to do in Colorado Springs.
2. Pikes Peak
The 14,400 foot mountain on the edge of town is hard to miss. And you shouldn't miss the opportunity to get to the top. This is the mountain that inspired the lyric “purple mountain majesty" in the song “America the Beautiful. " You can drive your own car up the Pikes Peak Highway, or take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway and let the engineer take you to the summit. Breathe deep, the air is thin up there. And the views go on forever.
1. Garden of the Gods
If you can do only one thing while you're in Colorado Springs, then you're not sticking around long enough. But if time is tight, make sure you drive through this free city park on the west side of town. Made up of massive sandstone walls and rock formations, the Garden of the Gods is a geological wonder that needs to be seen to be believed. Drive, hike, bike, or ride a horse. Just visit this park. You will be glad you did.
KK Farber publishes the website “Colorado Springs Vacation Insider, " an independent travel guide focused on Colorado's Pikes Peak region. Features reviews and information on local attractions, lodging, outdoor recreation, restaurants, and fun things to do. See more at: http://www.colorado-springs-vacation.com