If you love mountains, history, nature, adventure, friendly folks, and beautiful weather year-round, then you’ll love visiting Colorado Springs. This city is in Colorado’s Front Range region, and because of all the amazing Colorado Springs attractions, it’s a favorite vacation spot for many.
Colorado Springs was founded by General William Jackson Palmer in 1871 and it’s grown a lot since, of course. But, it still manages to hold on to and maintain the feel of a small town, despite the fact that today, its resident population is nearly half a million.
This city still embraces the vibe of the Old West, yet at the same time, it’s modern and hip, too. There’s something for everyone in Colorado Springs, no matter when you go or how long you stay!
If you’re thinking about visiting Colorado Springs in the near, medium, or distant future and are looking for ways to fill your days during your trip, then you came to the right place.
This list of things to do in Colorado Springs is thorough and comprehensive, and you’ll surely find plenty that interests you on it.
Start planning your trip to Colorado Springs today – once you go once, you’ll want to return time and time again.
Table of Contents
- TLDR – Best Things to Do in Colorado Springs, CO
- Colorado Springs History Attractions
- 1. Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
- 2. Manitou Cliff Dwellings
- 3. The ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy
- 4. Penrose Heritage Museum
- 5. The Broadmoor
- 6. National Museum of World War II Aviation
- 7. Peterson Air and Space Museum
- 8. Glen Eyrie Castle
- 9. Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site
- 10. McAllister House Museum
- 11. World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame
- 12. Old Colorado City History Center Museum
- Things to Do in Nature in Colorado Springs
- 13. Garden of the Gods Park
- 14. Helen Hunt Falls
- 15. Seven Falls
- 16. Red Rock Canyon Open Space
- 17. Palmer Park
- 18. Cheyenne Mountain State Park
- 19. Fox Run Regional Park
- 20. Austin Bluffs Open Space/Pulpit Rock Park
- 21. North Cheyenne Cañon Park and Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center
- 22. Bear Creek Regional Park and Bear Creek Nature Center
- Adventure Activities and Attractions in Colorado Springs
- 23. Pikes Peak
- 27. The Manitou Incline
- 28. Pikes Peak Alpine School
- 29. Mountain Biking around Colorado Springs
- 30. Horseback Riding
- 31. Rock Climbing
- 32. Cave of the Winds Mountain Park
- 33. High Drive Scenic Drive
- Other Colorado Springs Attractions
- 34. The United States Olympic & Paralympic Trailing Center
- 35. U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum
- 36. U.S. Air Force Academy
- 37. Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame
- 38. Manitou Mineral Springs
- Shopping and Art in Colorado Springs
- 39. Downtown Colorado Springs
- 40. Old Colorado City Historic District
- 41. Art Galleries
- How can I get to Colorado Springs?
- What’s the best time of year to visit Colorado Springs?
- If I want to get out of Colorado Springs for a few days during my trip, where else can I go for the day that’s close?
TLDR – Best Things to Do in Colorado Springs, CO
Need that sweet info on the absolute best things to do in Colorado Springs right now?
I got you fam!
- Best Developed Park: Bear Creek Regional Park
- Best Natural Park: Garden of the Gods Park
- Best Waterfall: Helen Hunt Falls
- Best Historical Museum: Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
- Best Sports Museum: U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum
- Best Shopping: Old Colorado City Historic District
- Best Activity for Families With Kids: Rock Ledge Ranch Historical Site
- Best Mountain Experience: Pikes Peak Cog Railway
- Best Adventure Activity: Hiking – everywhere!
Colorado Springs History Attractions
A lot of history has happened in Colorado Springs both before and after General William Jackson Palmer founded the city in 1871.
The people of Colorado Springs embrace and celebrate this history and there are many interesting museums and historical sites here for visitors to discover. If you’re a history buff, then you’ll love Colorado Springs.
Colorado is where The West begins. Colorado Springs is a great place to learn more about the colorful history of this side of the United States of America.
1. Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
This museum is one of the oldest in the state. The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum began in 1896, back when pioneers were still pioneering their way across the USA to new lives far from everything they’d ever known.
Today, this museum is housed in the restored 1903 El Paso County Courthouse which is worth checking out even if for some odd reason you’re not interested in pioneer life or any of the other interesting pieces of Colorado history that are on display here among the 60,000 items in the museum’s collection.
At the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, you’ll find Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Ute artifacts, items relating to the city’s military, mining, and resort industries, and regional art from various time periods on display, among many other interesting Colorado-related things.
You’ll learn a great deal about the history of the Rocky Mountain State at this museum. Admission is always free. For a side adventure, you may take a Colorado Springs balloon ride excursion.
See Related: The Ultimate Colorado Springs Itinerary
2. Manitou Cliff Dwellings
If history long before the settlers came is most interesting to you, then you’ll love the Manitou Cliff Dwellings.
The Ancestral Puebloan people build their homes on the sides of cliffs and they built them with so much skill and precision that many remain today.
True cliff dwelling ruins still exist in western Colorado and Arizona, but you can view this impressive part-replica, part-relocated ancient dwelling right here in Manitou Springs.
This is a privately-owned tourist attraction with an admission fee. It’s kind of small, but most who pay to enter find it to be worth the cost. You’ll learn a great deal about these ancient people, their homes, and their way of life through the signage and the onsite museum.
You and your family will love exploring these structures and imagining what it was like to live in homes like these thousands of years ago!
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3. The ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy
What do you know about rodeo? Not much?
Well, you can change that with a visit to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and the Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado Springs!
This unique museum and attraction opened in 1979 and is the only museum in the world that is devoted exclusively to the sport of professional rodeo.
Inductees to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame are members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. To date, 279 people and 35 livestock have been inducted so far.
You can learn all about these great people and animals and learn much about this all-American sport at this one-of-a-kind museum.
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4. Penrose Heritage Museum
Spencer Penrose was a Colorado Springs entrepreneur and philanthropist who made a fortune in mining and real estate speculation in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He left his mark on Colorado in many ways before his passing in 1939.
Today, you can visit the free Penrose Heritage Museum and see Penrose’s collection of carriages, race cars, and personal artifacts from his travels around the world. You’ll learn about his life and the many ways he changed Colorado for the better.
His El Pomar Foundation still awards millions of dollars in grants to Coloradans each year in a broad range of fields. Thanks, Spencer!
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5. The Broadmoor
The Broadmoor is one of the most exceptional hotels in the nation. Construction began in 1916 and it was completed in 1918; it has won over 100 awards in its lifetime, and has hosted many famous guests over the years.
It has 784 rooms and many have balconies and fireplaces, and it also has an indoor pool, a fitness center, a spa, 185,000 square feet of meeting space, stables, a golf course, hiking trails, and a man-made lake.
The landscape design was by Frederick Law Olmstead, “the father of landscape architecture”. The Penrose Heritage Museum (described above), is also on the property. Spencer Penrose was this property’s original owner and primary developer.
It’s pretty pricey to stay at the Broadmoor, but fortunately, you don’t have to be a guest to check it out.
You can explore the grounds and even the common areas of the hotel without a reservation, and you can dine at some of the hotel’s incredible restaurants, too – as long as you book ahead, and subject to availability, of course.
If you’d like a guided tour of the property, this 1-Hour Broadmoor History Segway Tour might be right up your alley.
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6. National Museum of World War II Aviation
You might be surprised to learn that the National Museum of World War II Aviation is in Colorado Springs, but since this city is also home to the United States Air Force Academy it makes sense.
Aviators and flight fans from all over the world come to Colorado Springs to visit this museum which was established in 2008 and has over 4,000 artifacts and documents from one of our nation’s deadliest wars.
There are 20 fully-restored World War II aircraft on display and friendly folks (even sometimes some World War II veterans) on hand to answer your questions.
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7. Peterson Air and Space Museum
Another great option for people visiting Colorado Springs who are into aviation history is the Peterson Air and Space Museum.
This museum is located at the Peterson Space Force Base and is on the site of the original Colorado Springs Airport. The museum includes exhibits in the original 1941 airport terminal, but you’ll have to head out back to see the planes.
The Peterson Air and Space Museum has seventeen aircraft on display from all eras of United States military history that will delight anyone who loves old aircraft.
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8. Glen Eyrie Castle
Glen Eyrie Castle is one of the most beautiful buildings in Colorado Springs. It’s hard to imagine it was once a home, but it was! This English Tudor-style mansion was built in 1871 by General William Jackson Palmer – the man who founded Colorado Springs.
The “castle” has 17 guest rooms, 4 meeting rooms, 2 dining rooms, and 24 fireplaces and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, the property is used for private events but you can also take a tour. If you reserve well in advance, you can also stay at Glen Eyrie Castle overnight in one of the rooms – but they book up fast!
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9. Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site
Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site is a living history museum that the whole family will enjoy. If you’re visiting Colorado Springs with kids, then this is a great choice.
Numerous restored buildings at this 226-acre property depict life in this region in four different time periods – 1775, 1860, 1880, and 1907.
You can visit houses set in each time period and can talk to costumed museum guides as they demonstrate activities of the daily life of the time. There are also farm animals that you can meet during your visit.
This is one of the best things to do in Colorado Springs with kids – don’t miss it!
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10. McAllister House Museum
This historic home at 423 North Cascade Avenue was built in 1873 and was the home of Henry McAllister, a man who was influential in the development of the city of Colorado Springs.
It became a museum in 1961 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Today, you can tour the home and learn about the early days of Colorado Springs, but be aware that you must make an advance reservation through the McAllister House Museum’s website.
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11. World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame
Colorado Springs is home to the Olympic Training Center so it should be no surprise that it is also home to the World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame as well.
This museum not only honors American figure skaters but it inducts figure skaters from all over the world (a few new skaters are added every year).
The museum informs visitors about the history, art, and science of figure skating through numerous informative exhibits. The museum store is a great place to pick up a souvenir for a young skater in your life.
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12. Old Colorado City History Center Museum
Old Colorado City is an eight-acre historic district in Colorado Springs that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Today, modern restaurants and businesses serve patrons in restored buildings with turn-of-the-century storefronts. It’s a great place to spend a day or an evening just wandering in and out of the different shops.
If you wish to learn more about the history of this neighborhood that was once a bustling mining industry support town and also the former capital of Colorado Territory, stop by the Old Colorado City History Center Museum.
The center has artifacts from and photographs of Colorado City on display as well as a historical reference library and bookstore. Members of the Old Colorado City Historical Society are also on hand to answer your questions.
For a side adventure, join a Colorado Guided Ghost and History Tour.
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Things to Do in Nature in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is a beautiful part of the Rocky Mountain State. Many people move to this city for the scenery alone. Colorado Springs is set right where the prairie and the mountains and the desert all meet, so when it comes to the great outdoors, there’s a little bit of something for everyone here.
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Colorado Springs, the natural attractions in this area are striking and memorable and after a few hours out in the middle of all of it, you’ll undoubtedly find that you’ve fallen head over heels in love with this specific part of the state.
13. Garden of the Gods Park
Perhaps the most famous attraction of any kind in the Colorado Springs area is Garden of the Gods Park.
There are many things to see in Colorado Springs, but this is one that you absolutely cannot miss. This impressive group of red rock formations and the land around them is surprisingly not a national or state park; it’s actually owned and managed by the city of Colorado Springs.
It’s interesting to note that it’s as popular as a national park, though. Over four million people visit this 1,367-acre free public park each year – a number only slightly fewer than the number of people who visit Yellowstone National Park annually.
You can drive through this park in about twenty minutes on the one-way loop road and you’ll be able to view all of the park’s major formations from your car. However, you’ll be doing yourself a great disservice if you don’t stop and get out for a bit to marvel at the height and colors of these rocks.
There are numerous trails to explore and they are all quite easy. Set aside some time to really take this place in; when you’re back home, you’ll be glad that you did.
If you’d like some guidance on your Garden of the Gods hiking adventure, you can take this private, immersive, guided hiking tour and you’ll see parts of the park that many visitors miss.
If you want to stay near the park during your state, you might consider Garden of the Gods Club & Resort. It’s right next to the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center and has great views of the park.
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14. Helen Hunt Falls
Another beautiful attraction in Colorado Springs that’s also free and easily accessible is Helen Hunt Falls.
Named for 19th Century Native American rights activist and poet Helen Maria Hunt Jackson, this 36 ft waterfall is immediately off of Cheyenne Canyon Road and there’s even a parking lot, so there’s no excuse not to stop and watch the water flow for a bit.
As you might guess, it runs heaviest in the springtime when the snow in the mountains is melting. If you’re feeling energetic, you can hike the trail behind the falls to Silver Cascade Falls, just a steep 2/3 of a mile away.
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15. Seven Falls
Another easy-to-access waterfall in Colorado Springs that you should not miss is the famous Seven Falls.
The one-mile Trail to Inspiration Point along this collection of seven cascading falls opened in 1883 and has been dubbed “the grandest mile of scenery in Colorado”.
Today, this trail is on the property of The Broadmoor so you’ll have to pay an admission fee to climb the 224 steps to the top. It’s worth it, though – this waterfall flows 181 ft down into a box canyon, and it’s a beautiful sight that you’ll remember forever.
If you want to see Seven Falls from a different angle, you might consider this zipline tour over it!
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16. Red Rock Canyon Open Space
The Red Rock Canyon Open Space is another free, public, city-owned, and managed park that is worth a visit.
It was established in 2003 and covers 2.3 square miles on the west side of town near Manitou Springs and just south of Garden of the Gods Park. It has red rock formations like Garden of the Gods, but on a smaller scale and with far smaller crowds.
There are great walking and biking trails and horses and dogs are allowed on most of them. You can also cross-country ski in this park in the winter.
17. Palmer Park
Palmer Park is a 737-acre wildlife preserve on the northeastern side of town. It’s high on a mesa so it offers great views of the city and of the mountains and it’s open all year.
There are many facilities in this park including, sports fields, horse stables, picnic shelters, a dog park, a botanical reserve, and over twenty-five miles of trails where you can admire stunning rock formations.
As you might imagine, this park is quite popular with locals but due to its massive size, it never seems crowded. It’s a great place to have a picnic.
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18. Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Cheyenne Mountain State Park is a small state park south of downtown. Although it’s only 2.6 square miles in size, it has a campground that’s open all year and twenty-eight miles of trails.
The park offers guided nature walks for visitors and after you learn about the local fauna and flora, you can set up at one of the park’s forty-one handicap-accessible picnic areas, each of which has its own picnic table and grill.
If you’d like to stay in the foothills out by Cheyenne Mountain but you’re not interested in staying at the state park, then this charming, enchanting, and historic log cabin with modern amenities is an excellent alternative.
19. Fox Run Regional Park
On the far north side of Colorado Springs, you can enjoy several miles of hiking trails in a ponderosa pine forest at Fox Run Regional Park. This quiet park is great for families and has pavilions, playgrounds, and a gazebo on the lake.
You’ll have nice views of Pikes Peak while you walk, run, bike, or horseback ride in this park. Three easy trails to try in this park include the Fox Run Loop Trail, Fallen Timbers Trail, and Fox Run Southern Look – all are rated “easy” and come with great views.
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20. Austin Bluffs Open Space/Pulpit Rock Park
Pulpit Rock is in the middle of Austin Bluffs Open Space so many locals just call it Pulpit Rock Pack. No matter what you call it, this rock formation is in the middle of everything and is visible from the interstate, but many people don’t even know it’s something amazing to explore.
It’s a hidden gem that’s just minutes from downtown.
At 6621′ in elevation, Pulpit Rock is one of the highest locations in town, but few make the effort to climb it. You should! The hike to the top is a steep and rugged 1.2 miles round trip, but it’s worth it. The views from up there are incredible and it’s a great place to watch the sunset.
If you’d rather view Pulpit Rock from below, the 4.2-mile Pulpit Rock Trail Loop is a great alternative.
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21. North Cheyenne Cañon Park and Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center
North Cheyenne Cañon Park is on the southwestern side of town near Cheyenne Mountain. This park covers 147 acres and is beautiful throughout; it’s home to Helen Hunt Falls, Silver Cascade Falls, and the White Fir Botanical Reserve.
There are fifty-six miles of trails for horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking and if you’re less athletically inclined, there’s a scenic drive in the park, too.
The land that this park is on was donated to the city by city founder General William Jackson Palmer. Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center is also located in this park. It offers public programs for people of all ages and is open from April to October.
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22. Bear Creek Regional Park and Bear Creek Nature Center
Bear Creek Nature Center is another nature-oriented visitor center that serves the Colorado Springs area; this one is in the 545-acre Bear Creek Regional Park.
This is a developed park with picnic pavilions playing fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, a dog park, an archery range, and ten miles of trails. The nature center teaches children and adults about the foothills ecosystem through hands-on exhibits and guided and self-guided tours.
The staff is enthusiastic and friendly and passionate about their work; they’re happy to answer questions about the fauna, flora, and geology of this area.
Adventure Activities and Attractions in Colorado Springs
Colorado often makes lists of the healthiest and most active states in the nation and once you visit, you won’t be surprised by that fact at all.
Everywhere you go in Colorado you’ll see people biking, hiking, running, skateboarding, rock climbing, rafting, and more.
It makes sense; Colorado is such a beautiful state that it makes you want to be out there in the middle of it all, and the state’s mountains and wide open spaces sure provide a lot of opportunity for doing just that.
If you’re wondering what to do in Colorado Springs to get in on the action, read on. Here are some ways to access adventure while you’re in Colorado Springs.
23. Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak is America’s mountain – this 14,115 ft tall peak is seriously iconic. Not only is this one of the biggest mountains in Colorado, but it’s famous nationwide, too, for one very big reason.
After admiring the view from the summit, Katherine Lee Bates wrote a poem called “Pikes Peak” which was first published in 1895. It later became the song “America the Beautiful” that we all know so well.
There are a few ways to get to the top of Pikes Peak; try one or all during your visit to Colorado Springs!
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You can hike to the top of Pikes Peak but it’s not easy; this hike is for experienced hikers only. There’s only one trail that will take you to the summit and that’s the Barr Trail.
This trail is 13.5 miles long and starts in Manitou Springs. You’ll gain nearly 4,000′ of elevation in the first six miles. After a break at Barr Camp at 10,186′, the air will get thinner as you keep going up. The entire journey, round trip, will probably take you around ten hours.
Before trying this hike, be sure you’re ready with plenty of water and the right attire.
25. Drive the Pikes Peak highway
Alternately, you can drive to the summit of Pikes Peak, and most of us will undoubtedly prefer this option over hiking.
The drive starts at 7,400′ and takes you all the way to the peak at 14,115′. Along the nineteen-mile drive, you can expect to see elk, deer, bighorn sheep, yellow-bellied marmots, and incredible, breathtaking, unforgettable views.
There are lots of places to stop and stretch your legs along the way, and two visitor centers to explore and learn about this iconic mountain.
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26. Pikes Peak Cog Railway
This cog railway opened in 1890 and has been bringing people up the mountain ever since (other than a three-year closure from 2018 to 2021 to lay a new and improved track).
The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is a fun activity for people of all ages. Although cog railways are common in Europe and once were in the United States as well, only three remain in our country today, and this is one of them (the other two are in New Hampshire and Michigan).
The lower station, in Manitou Springs, sits at 6,320 feet, and trains departing from there reach the summit just short of nine miles of track; the average grade is 12%, but it reaches 25% at one point.
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27. The Manitou Incline
The Manitou Incline is a very challenging hike up a rocky mountain called Rocky Mountain, next to Pikes Peak.
This hike is not a traditional hike, but rather a whole lot of steps -2,744 steps, in fact. If you conquer it, you’ll gain 2,000 feet in elevation in less than one mile.
The reason the Manitou Incline exists is that it was once a funicular railway, but the tracks washed away in a rock slide in 1990. The steps were then put in their place. People have been running up and down this thing ever since.
If you try it, pace yourself – it looks challenging, and it’s even more challenging than it looks. Good luck!
28. Pikes Peak Alpine School
If you really want to dive into the wilderness with full force and great instruction while you’re in Colorado Springs, you should check out the guided outdoor activities and programs offered by Pikes Paek Alpine School.
This company teaches program participants about rock climbing, ice climbing, alpine hiking, avalanche education, backcountry skiing, and split boarding.
The expert guides will teach you everything that you need to know about participating in these sports safely and correctly through single and multi-day instructional courses. It doesn’t get much more Colorado than this!
29. Mountain Biking around Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is a hallowed mountain biking destination, and it’s easy to see why. The rugged landscape offers trails for bikers of every experience level, and it’s hard to ever have a bad time when there’s so much beauty all around you.
If you’re into mountain biking or want to give it a whirl, Colorado Springs is a great place for it. Not only are dozens of the trails in and around the city friendly to mountain bikers, but there are so many of them that you could try a different one every day for weeks without covering any of the same ground twice.
30. Horseback Riding
People with a love of horses will fit right in in Colorado Springs – and in Colorado in general; this is the land of ranchers and cowboys, after all.
Whether you’ve ridden horses before or not, Colorado is the perfect place to go for a ride. There are numerous outfitters in this area that offer trail rides – some even pass through epic settings like the Garden of the Gods.
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31. Rock Climbing
Another very Colorado activity is rock climbing and there are plenty of places to participate around Colorado Springs.
Any one of the indoor rock climbing facilities around town will be happy to welcome you and give you a lesson with the safety of crash mats below, and that might be the best place to get started if you’ve never tried rock climbing before.
However, if you’re ready to tackle an actual rock, then many companies offer beginner experiences and courses in the great outdoors for newbies like you, too, like this private Garden of the Gods rock climbing lesson from Viator.
If you’re an experienced climber, then you probably already know all about Colorado Springs and maybe that’s even why you came. You can climb in Garden of the Gods Park, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, North Cheyenne Canyon, or in several other parks around town.
Several outfitters in Colorado Springs rent gear. If you plan to climb anywhere within the confines of Colorado Springs, please register with the city at coloradosprings.gov/rock-climbing before you begin.
32. Cave of the Winds Mountain Park
Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is in Manitou Springs not far from the Manitou Cliff Dwellings so you could easily combine a trip to both into one exciting day.
As the name suggests, visitors to this attraction can take guided tours of the Cave of the Winds cave complex; tours have been available here since 1881, making it one of Colorado’s oldest tourist attractions.
In recent years, other adventure activities have been added including a three-story obstacle course called the Wind Walker Challenge Course, axe throwing, a zip line, a free-fall swing ride, and more.
Your adrenaline levels will be high all day when you visit this spot. Plan a light morning the next day so you have time to rest and recover.
Just keep an eye out for ManBearPig.
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33. High Drive Scenic Drive
High Drive is simply a dirt road that weaves its way up the mountain high above the city. It’s a through road so you can take it from one end to the other without having to turn around and go back the way you came.
This road leads to several trailheads, but you can also just enjoy it as a scenic drive. It’s quick and easy and is a great way to fill some time between other activities while taking in great views of Colorado Springs from the comfort of your car.
Other Colorado Springs Attractions
Although the majority of the attractions in Colorado Springs are nature, history, or adventure-based, that’s not all there is to do in town. There are several fun activities that don’t fit under any of the above headings.
Check these Colorado springs ideas out!
34. The United States Olympic & Paralympic Trailing Center
There are two campuses of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Training Center; one is in Lake Placid, New York, but the other is here in Colorado Springs.
Athletes come from all over the country to train in Colorado and this place has the facilities needed to make that training possible including an Olympic-sized swimming pool, an indoor shooting range, numerous gyms and weight rooms, and more.
Tours are offered every thirty minutes most days of the year and participants will see where the athletes live, practice, and train in this large athletic complex.
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35. U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum
If you’re interested in the Olympics, after you visit the training center you can learn even more about the games and the athletes who participate in them at the new U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum that just opened in 2020.
Exhibits about the history of the Olympics, sports science, Olympic-inspired art, and more await you and your companions in this inspiring institution. You may even get to meet an Olympian during your visit; they often stop by.
Don’t miss the movie at the end – it’s moving and may cause even the most restrained in your party to shed a tear.
36. U.S. Air Force Academy
Most people know that the United States Air Force Academy is in Colorado Springs, but not everyone knows that you can tour it. This school educates cadets to become officers in the United States Air Force and the United States Space Force.
It opened in 1954 and each year it serves over 4,000 students.
On your self-guided tour, you can visit the Field House, the Honor Court, the Falcon Athletic Center, the famous Cadet Chapel, Arnold Hall, and even see cadets marching in formation to lunch. There are also hiking trails on campus to try if you’re so inclined.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay near the Air Force Academy, you might try the Drury Inn & Suites Colorado Springs – it’s one of the best-rated hotels in town.
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37. Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame
As any biker will tell you, there are few places as perfect for motorcycle riding as the Colorado Rockies.
If you visit Colorado in the warmer months, you’ll see motorcyclists everywhere you go, enjoying the sights of Colorado and riding free in an area where it rarely rains.
The Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum is the perfect stop for motorcycle enthusiasts visiting Colorado Springs or for anyone who wants to learn more about these beautiful machines.
The museum has more than seventy-five restored vintage and antique bikes on display as well as a motorcyclist hall of fame. Admission is free.
38. Manitou Mineral Springs
Manitou Springs is where the springs of Colorado Springs are located and you can still drink from them today. Long ago, people thought these springs had healing powers, and starting in 1871, people flocked from all over the United States to try them out.
As healthcare improved in our nation, the springs were forgotten and most of them fell into disrepair before they were rescued and revitalized by the all-volunteer Mineral Springs Foundation in recent years.
Today you can use this map to visit all seven springs in town – they’re all within walking distance from one another. Each has a different taste and look, you might as well try them all.
Manitou Springs in general is a great place for a quiet getaway. If you’d like to stay in the downtown area of this Colorado Springs suburb, you might like The Nest. This tiny, cozy cottage retreat sleeps three and has a lovely patio for relaxing after a hard day of exploration and adventure.
Shopping and Art in Colorado Springs
While you’re in town you might as well do some shopping! Colorado Springs has a lot of wonderful local shops that have unique and special items for sale.
39. Downtown Colorado Springs
Downtown Colorado Springs is a lovely place to spend an afternoon if you like to shop. This area is hip and happening and you’ll find local restaurants, charming local shops and boutiques, and a wide variety of products when you stroll down North Tejon Street and its adjacent side streets.
Clothing, jewelry, gifts, home decor, and tasty treats from artisans are plentiful here, and it’s likely you’ll end up buying more cool things for yourself and for others than you planned.
If you want to stay in the downtown Colorado Springs area and in the center of it all, the Hyatt Place Colorado Springs Downtown is a great choice. It’s walking distance from everything in the downtown area.
40. Old Colorado City Historic District
The Old Colorado City neighborhood is the other best place for shopping in Colorado Springs. This was a retail center over one hundred years ago and it still shines in that role today.
The tree-lined streets and brick sidewalks here are welcoming and you’ll feel like you stepped into the past, all while shopping for gifts and goods from the present day. You can find anything that you like here, from jewelry to art, from crafts to clothing, to sweets and coffee, and beyond.
It’s easy to get lost in the shops here for many hours – there’s something for everyone here!
See Related: Best Holiday Destinations for Couples
41. Art Galleries
The Rocky Mountains are so stunning and inspiring, it’s no wonder that Coloradans produce so much art! As a result, there are lots and lots of art galleries in this state, and quite a few in Colorado Springs.
There are galleries all over the city and among them, a vast number of artists and artistic styles and mediums are represented. You’ll surely find something in one or more of them to take home.
If you want to visit a bunch of art galleries in a relatively short amount of time, there are First Friday Art Walks on the First Friday of most months in downtown Colorado Springs, in Manitou Springs, and in the Old Colorado City neighborhood, too.
How can I get to Colorado Springs?
Colorado Springs had its own airport – the Colorado Springs Airport – so you can fly right into town.
However, flights into Denver International Airport are often much cheaper, so if you’re planning to rent a car anyway, you might consider flying into that larger airport instead and then driving the hour and a half or so to the springs.
What’s the best time of year to visit Colorado Springs?
Colorado Spring is a great destination at any time of year!
As you can see, there are lots of fantastic outdoor activities in this area so you might want to come during warmer weather for those, but it actually doesn’t get all that cold in Colorado Springs during the wintertime either.
Colorado Springs is beautiful in the winter and is a great stepping-off point to explore the rest of Colorado during its exciting winter season, too.
If I want to get out of Colorado Springs for a few days during my trip, where else can I go for the day that’s close?
As mentioned above, Denver is just ninety minutes from Colorado Springs and is a great place for a day trip! There are lots of things to do and see in Denver, too, but if you’re not into bigger cities, a day trip there may be plenty for you.
Alternately, you could visit Mueller State Park, the Royal Gorge Bridge in Cañon City, or the intriguing Bishop’s Castle. All of these things are just a short drive away. Enjoy!
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