Weekend in Colorado Springs: Issues to Do

In 1893, Katharine Lee Bates was so impressed by the magnificent view of Pikes Peak, that she wrote the celebrated phrases to “America the Lovely.” The wonderful Pikes Peak Area certainly evokes spacious skies and purple mountain majesties. Who wouldn’t need to spend a weekend in Colorado Springs exploring this majestic area?

Simply an hour’s drive from Denver the place I stay, this space is very easy to entry, I’ve visited the area a few dozen occasions. Extra if I depend the journeys I made with my household, as a child rising up in western Kansas. My grandmother lived in Colorado Springs throughout her later years, and I really feel virtually as if I grew up within the space.

On a weekend in Colorado Springs, you possibly can fulfill your thrill-seeker tendencies as you zipline throughout the 1,250-foot-deep Royal Gorge or bicycle down the winding freeway from the summit of Pikes Peak. If high-octane journey shouldn’t be your velocity, you could favor to take pleasure in positive eating, golf, or a spa therapy on the elegant Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Or do all of it! It’s all right here for the taking throughout your weekend in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Area.

The place is the Pikes Peak Area?

The Pikes Peak Area encompasses a big space that features a number of counties and cities. It sometimes consists of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Cripple Creek, the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, and naturally the area’s namesake, Pikes Peak, also referred to as America’s mountain.

Map of Issues to do in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Area

Nuts and Bolts on your Weekend in Colorado Springs

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The air is skinny right here. With out loads of water, the excessive altitude may end up in a headache or nausea. Chances are you’ll need to attempt an electrolyte drink combine that helps help in acclimating to the altitude. Along with a good water bottle, necessities embrace a fleece jacket or puffer vest, sunblock, a hat with SPF, and lip balm additionally with SPF issue. I additionally extremely advocate taking child aspirin each day beginning 3 days BEFORE you come to Colorado – it might probably assist with altitude adjustment.

Whereas the elegant Broadmoor Resort is motive sufficient to go to Colorado Springs, there may be a lot to do within the space, you could determine to remain for greater than a weekend. When you’re searching for tender journey, experience a horse or Segway by means of Backyard of the Gods or discover Cave of the Winds by happening a haunted lantern tour (bear in mind to duck otherwise you’ll conk your noggin). Your coronary heart charge will climb as you ascend the 224 stairs to the highest of the Broadmoor Seven Falls. Rewards are improbable views and bragging rights. Or watch bull riders compete on the rodeo on the ProRodeo Corridor of Fame.

weekend in colorado springs

This itinerary covers all the pieces from the place to have an IPA on an outside patio to the place to raft Class III rapids. Journey awaits. So, seize your pack and hit the highway.

Day One Morning: Contemporary Beignets, Spices, and Books

The primary cease on your weekend in Colorado Springs is La Baguette French Bakery & Café, on East Pikes Peak Avenue, in your strategy to Tejon Avenue. Don’t let the plastic banner hanging throughout the entryway idiot you. As soon as inside, you’ll discover tender lighting, classical music enjoying, hardwood flooring, and the aroma of contemporary beignets and café au lait. Sit at a desk close to the window and plan your day.

Considered one of my favourite retailers on Tejon Avenue is The Savory Spice Store. The aroma alone is value stopping on this domestically owned treasure. With 400 spices and herbs that they mix onsite, the perfume will entice you to take a look at the exotic-sounding salts. (Ask for a pattern) On my latest journey there, a good friend from Toronto stocked up on Ghost Pepper Salt, which provides intense warmth to any dish, and a jar of Hickory Smoke Sea Salt. The store even has a recipe for Ghost Pepper Salted Double Chocolate Cookies.

I settled on a four-pack of sauces referred to as Scorch Set, which incorporates 4 bottles of the new stuff:  Smoked Jalapeño, Smoky Ghost, Sizzling Thai Inexperienced, and Aleppo Pepper. My nephew loves something scorching and can admire this present. The field reads, “Some prefer it hotter.”

Tattered Cowl, Colorado’s bookstore darling, opened its first location exterior of Denver in June 2022. Situated at 112 North Tejon Avenue, the shop has 8,000 sq. ft of all the pieces e-book lovers want and the service for which Tattered Cowl is known.

Day One Afternoon: Backyard of the Gods, by foot, horse, Jeep, bike, or Segway

The primary time I visited the Backyard of the Gods I used to be eight years outdated, touring with my mother and father and sitting within the backseat of our automobile with my grandmother and sibling. We slowly drove on the highway close to the hovering crimson sandstone formations. My dad, who was a wanna-be geologist, defined the geology, flora, and fauna to us, declaring the enduring rock formation referred to as the Kissing Camels.

However these aren’t my grandma’s gardens. As we speak, guests can glide on a Segway, both with or with no information, by means of the gardens with the wind and solar on their faces, and perhaps raindrops, too.

Learn in regards to the Backyard of the Gods on Lanai, Hawaii

Adventures Out West units up shoppers with a Segway and helmet, offers a brief coaching within the parking zone, and leads shoppers on a tour by means of the gardens.

Author on Segway in Garden of the Gods
Creator Sherry Spitsnaugle excursions on a Segway by means of the Backyard of the Gods. Picture by Tom Adkinson

On my tour, guides Daniel and Greg took time to level out the Kissing Camels formation, similar to my dad did so a few years in the past, in addition to clarify different options of the park. Security is their primary precedence. A few occasions, when Daniel heard thunder, we pulled over and took cowl.

The app on his cellphone reported thunder ten miles away, however we nonetheless waited it out, which I appreciated. On parts of the tour, we had been on the highway with vehicles; Daniel and Greg made sure that we adopted all security protocols.

Driving horses by means of the Gardens can also be an choice. Academy Driving Stables matches company with a horse, information, and all the pieces wanted for a leisurely experience. Whereas I selected to see the gardens from a Segway, my good friend determined to experience a horse and mentioned it was a calming, mellow tempo. The Customer and Nature Middle is a wonderful place to be taught in regards to the flora, fauna, and geology of the world.

Try one other horseback driving journey in Colorado at Vista Verde Ranch

Broadmoor Seven Falls, a string of waterfalls, is an alternative choice for the afternoon. Chances are you’ll not plan to climb every of the 224 steps to the highest, however when you begin the ascent and acclimate, you would possibly simply hold going. Deliver the necessities together with a jacket and water bottle. The steps will lead you to trails, together with the most well-liked, Inspiration Level. Take a selfie on the high, after which experience the elevator down. Taking the elevator each up and down can also be an choice.

Day One Night: Manitou Springs

Situated on the base of Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs will get its nickname, Hippie Mayberry, from the coolness vibe, road musicians, artists, mother and father pushing their youngsters in a stroller, and pleasant of us. Everybody right here says hello.

One choice for dinner is Manitou Brewing Firm the place you possibly can sit exterior on the patio and sip one of many brewery’s beers or discover a desk inside, the place it’s noisy, crowded, and energetic. Similar to bar ought to be. Their web site reads, “Our beer is born from the pristine waters situated close to the highest of the height.”

Weekend in Colorado Springs Manitou Brewing Company
Manitou Brewing Firm, downtown Manitou Springs, has an excellent patio and glorious beer brewed onsite. Picture by Sherry Spitsnaugle

The night time I used to be there with a few buddies, three of us squeezed right into a desk for 2, however we had been completely completely satisfied. Considered one of my buddies prefers wine to beer, a reality which she shared with the server who promptly delivered samples he thought she would possibly like. She settled on Beelicious Blood Orange Honey Blonde. My Excessive Floor IPA (6.9 %) paired properly with the Bronco Burger with candy potato fries.

I had by no means closed down a bar in my life, however that modified at Manitou Brewing Firm. However solely as a result of they shut at 8 p.m. We had been the final ones leaving because the supervisor was taking down the surface sandwich indicators. She smiled and mentioned, “We hit the hay early right here in Manitou Springs!”

An alternative choice, with a totally completely different vibe, is Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama. It’s tacky however in a enjoyable manner. You’ll have a selection of entrees within the restaurant, then go upstairs to the theatre the place native actors play the elements of the villain and heroine. Viewers members boo and hiss the dangerous man, and ooh and ahh the honest maiden. The night time I used to be there, the pianist tickled the ivories like a professional.

For dessert, Josh & John’s Selfmade Ice Cream serves a gluten-free lilac scoop, made with taro root, named Purple Mountain Majesty, or a mix of brownies and chocolate referred to as Moose on the Unfastened. There’s additionally Vanilla Bean, Almond Pleasure, and extra. Ice cream is domestically churned. This candy deal with will get constantly excessive scores.

Cacao Chemistry Chocolatier and Patisserie, on Tejon Avenue, offers samples of chocolate bark, however you received’t need to cease there. Additionally they promote Valrhona darkish chocolate, French almond macarons, and gourmand cookies.

Day Two Morning: Pikes Peak, America’s Mountain

pikes peak colorado springs weekend
Bike down Pikes Peak Freeway

Begin your day early to get to the highest of Pikes Peak. It’s the very best time to keep away from most site visitors, particularly in the event you plan to bicycle down. Adventures Out West matches shoppers with a motorbike and helmet and excessive visibility vest for the two-hour experience. And, most significantly, they’ll provide you with suggestions in addition to information you as you experience down Pikes Peak Freeway.

You’ll experience with employees in a Jeep on the best way up, and earlier than your bike experience down, you’ll have time to go to the newly renovated and aptly named Summit Welcome Middle on the high. Right here, you possibly can be taught in regards to the space, and the present store sells all the pieces from kitchen magnets to fleece jackets. And no matter you do – don’t neglect to attempt a few of their world-famous donuts on the high!

Different choices are to experience the Pikes Peak Cog Railway or rent another person to do the driving and schedule a tour with Grey Line. You’ll be above 14,000 ft on the high of Pikes Peak so take some layers as it is going to be chilly on the high.

Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Manitou Cliff Dwellings are a superb place for teenagers and adults to discover, climb, and be taught. Picture by Sherry Spitsnaugle

If altitude is a priority, an alternative choice is the Manitou Cliff Dwellings to discover the structure of historic cliff dwellers. Take a self-guided tour of the archeological and pure historical past protect and get an concept of how Native People lived a whole bunch of years in the past. The day I visited, the youngsters beloved having the ability to climb across the buildings.

Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is one other glorious choice on your weekend in Colorado Springs, and I like to recommend taking the 90-minute haunted lantern tour. Be suggested: footing is uneven; there are stairs to climb; it’s darkish aside from the candle you’ll carry in a lantern; you’ll have to duck to keep away from hitting your head, and it’s not the very best concept for anybody who suffers from claustrophobia. However, in the event you’re okay with the aforementioned, then go!

I beloved exploring the darkish tunnels and listening to our information, John, aka Hippie, weave eerie and generally weird tales of the parents who initially found the caves.

Hippie was the very best storyteller I’ve ever heard. He lowered his voice to a whisper when the story obtained to a scary half to construct suspense. Everybody in my group agreed we may have listened to him inform tales in regards to the historic rock formations and the cave’s historical past for hours.

Day Two Afternoon: Royal Gorge Adventures

The Journey Channel named ziplining over the Royal Gorge because the primary bucket record merchandise in Colorado. I hadn’t deliberate to zipline over something, particularly the 1,250-foot-deep Royal Gorge. However after I realized that it was primary on everybody’s bucket lists, how may I not?

A good friend mentioned she would zipline throughout the gorge if I’d. We every signed a waiver, stepped on the scales, (100 kilos is the minimal and 245 the utmost), listened to last-minute directions, obtained strapped in, took a deep breath, after which…we flew over the gorge!  

The experience was breathtaking. And quick. I’d do it once more in a heartbeat.

For an additional large thrill whereas within the Royal Gorge Bridge and park space – remember to additionally take a look at the Through Ferrata. A Through Ferrata (Italian time period which means ‘iron path’) is a protected climbing route, constructed with a metal cable rail mounted to the rock, metallic steps, ladders, suspension bridges, and zip wires. You might be clipped in your complete time and have a particular harness to put on along with particular ‘sticky’ sneakers.

Journey journey seekers – this strategy to New Zealand

An alternative choice for the afternoon is to enterprise to the small city of Cripple Creek, stuffed with wealthy gold mining historical past. The experience is gorgeous, and you must plan on an hour’s drive from Colorado Springs. When you’re in Cripple Creek on a Saturday, take the trolley round city, the place residents gown in interval costumes and share the city’s historical past. They play characters equivalent to Doc Susie who started her observe in Cripple Creek within the 1800s. She was the function mannequin for the favored tv present, Dr. Quinn, Medication Lady. You too can experience the Cripple Creek & Victor Slender Gauge Railroad, a historic steam prepare and open-air experience that travels over 4 miles of tracks by means of the Cripple Creek mining district. The prepare is coal-fired and there shall be cinders. Railroad buffs love this journey.

Cripple Creek Narrow Gauge Railcar with enginner
Cripple Creek & Victor Slender Gauge Railroad takes guests alongside 4 miles of tracks by means of mountain surroundings. Picture by Sherry Spitsnaugle

Day Two Night: Spirits, Pizza, Barbecue, or Advantageous Eating

Considered one of my favourite corporations I realized about on my latest go to to Colorado Springs is 1350 Distilling, a craft distillery that makes domestically sourced distilled spirits. Their web site reads, “We’re navy and civilians, household, and buddies, interweaving threads of American Spirit that embody the 13 stripes and 50 stars of our nation’s flag. Every product represents a special service: Military, Navy, Air Power, Coast Guard, Marines, regulation enforcement, firefighters and first responders.” Pattern their Leatherneck Whiskey, Fleet Admirals Barrel aged Rum, 5 Alarm Cinnamon Fireplace Bourbon, Wingman Gin, Minuteman Vodka.”

 Package of spirits from 1350 Distilling
1350 Distilling crafts spirits which are named for navy companies, firefighters, and first responders. Their identify represents the 13 stripes and 50 stars of the Flag. Picture by Sherry Spitsnaugle

1350 Distilling typically has meals vehicles on website and has occasions equivalent to Excursions and Tastes, nevertheless it’s finest to verify their web site. Additionally they have a patio with splendid views; order some spirits and lift a glass to the Entrance Vary and your favourite firefighter, navy member, or first responder.

White Pie is a number of blocks from the Mining Trade and Kinship Touchdown. White Pie has a big patio and pizzas that embrace Sicilian and the Porky Porkorino, in addition to appetizers like roasted cauliflower and a charcuterie board.

When you’re within the temper for barbecue and all of the trimmings, make reservations at Flying W Ranch. The ranch sustained main harm through the Waldo Canyon hearth in 2012 when practically the entire buildings had been destroyed. However, the family-owned ranch was rebuilt and opened once more in Might 2020. When you go to in December, take a look at the ranch’s cowboy Christmas.

For an important day, or in the event you merely love first-class eating, Summit at The Broadmoor is elegant and refined, they usually serve delicacies that equals the Broadmoor’s excessive requirements. The restaurant is situated a couple of block from the resort, and you don’t want to be a visitor on the Broadmoor to dine on the Summit. Your sommelier and server will information you thru the intensive menu. Summit was named one among America’s 10 Greatest Resort Eating places by Frommer’s. The gown code is resort informal.

Extra Points of interest for Your Weekend in Colorado Springs

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum is an inspirational, well-designed, and a very good place to spend a number of hours. The Olympic spirit prevails right here, and also you’ll discover interactive shows, medals, costumes, and torches. Olympians and Paralympians go to typically and are completely satisfied to pose for photographs and share their experiences with guests. USA As we speak named the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum as one of many nation’s Greatest New Points of interest. Get your skip-the-line ticket right here.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is world-renowned. Folks of all ages love this zoo the place you possibly can contact a giraffe and produce other wonderful animal experiences. You’ll discover elephants, tigers, hippos, and extra.

Whether or not you’re a thrill-seeker or wish to raft on calm waters, Echo Canyon River Expeditions is the corporate of selection. You’ll be able to even buy a GoPro video of your journey after the journey. Echo Canyon has all the pieces a rafter may need, from wetsuits to particular river sneakers. After your journey, dine at 8 Mile Bar & Grill which serves popcorn salad. (Strive it!) Additionally a good selection? O’Dell IPA and burger with roasted garlic tomatoes.

Author and rodeo clown
Creator Sherry Spitsnaugle will get to satisfy a daredevil rodeo clown on the ProRodeo Corridor of Fame.

The ProRodeo Corridor of Fame shows the historical past and legends of cowboys and rodeo. Guests can start their tour within the Corridor of Champions to find out about all issues cowboy and cowgirl. The night time I used to be there, I even obtained to satisfy the daredevil rodeo clown and take a selfie. Verify the web site for the rodeo schedule.

The place to Keep in Colorado Springs

The Broadmoor

The Broadmoor is greater than a spot to remain; it has quite a few unimaginable experiences you are able to do moreover merely sleeping there. When you keep at The Broadmoor, verify in early, retailer your baggage, and discover the beautiful grounds, flowers, lake, and views. The Broadmoor has sufficient retailers to occupy you for the morning. Try the shoe retailer fashionable with each company and Broadmoor employees (assume Ferragamo). You’ll discover retailers specializing in jewellery, artwork, and fly-fishing gear. Broadmoor Fly-Fishing Camp 75 miles from the resort is first-rate, distant, and nonetheless has the Broadmoor service requirements.

View from room at The Broadmoor
View from a collection at The Broadmoor, the world’s longest-running Forbes 5-Star and AAA 5-Diamond resort. Picture by Sherry Spitsnaugle

For a behind-the-scenes peek, name forward and verify with the concierge to rearrange a tour of the kitchens. Excursions usually require that you’re a part of a gaggle and are supplied principally through the holidays, so verify forward. There’s an extra payment, which ranges relying on the tour.

You too can look by means of the glass behind Café Julie’s and watch as pastry cooks work their magic. Café Julie’s serves informal breakfast and lunch, however the true gems are the chocolate delicacies they promote on the café. The whole lot from ganache to salty caramel truffles is made on website from the best high quality of elements. I didn’t even like caramel till I tasted the luscious, wealthy, honey-brown, amber goodness, made onsite and bought at Café Julie’s.

Through the holidays, take a look at The Broadmoor’s 12 Days of Christmas cooking lessons, a 12-day collection with a 60-minute demonstration every day. For a modest payment, it’s a enjoyable, festive exercise. And, elegant.

The Broadmoor is the world’s longest-running Forbes 5-Star and AAA 5 Diamond Resort. Right here, you’ll have all the pieces you would want on the three,000-acre property, with informal eating (Café Julie’s or Pure Epicurean), positive eating (The Summit), the Spa on the Broadmoor, and your decide of spectacular golf programs.

Learn critiques for The Broadmoor on Journey Advisor | Seek for different Colorado Springs space motels

The Mining Trade Resort

Nevertheless, if you wish to keep within the downtown space of Colorado Springs, I like to recommend The Mining Trade, a Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa, a historic renovated property. The resort is conveniently situated a block from Tejon Avenue, the place you’ll discover dozens of retailers, bars, eating places, and the lately opened Tattered Cowl Bookstore. Depart your automobile with the valet earlier than check-in time and discover the world.

Lobby of Mining Exchange Hotel and Spa
The foyer of The Mining Trade, a Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa, downtown Colorado Springs. Picture by Sherry Spitsnaugle

Rooms at The Mining Trade are quiet and cozy, with uncovered brick, giant home windows, and lofty ceilings. The employees is exceptionally pleasant. Once I was a visitor at The Mining Trade lately, one other Denverite and I had been decided to look at the Colorado Avalanche playoff recreation within the foyer bar, which was empty on a late Monday night. The desk clerk got here to our rescue once we couldn’t discover the right channel and even supplied to acquire a drink for us.

Verify costs and availability for The Mining Trade | Learn critiques for The Mining Trade on Journey Advisor | Seek for different Colorado Springs space motels

Soul Neighborhood Planet

One other favourite for a weekend in Colorado Springs is Soul Neighborhood Planet. This distinctive resort is a nod to Schitt’s Creek – a reworked outdated resort given a second hip life. The resort focuses on solely domestically sourced merchandise and fosters an unimaginable group of locals and guests.

soul community planet colorado springs

Verify costs and availability for Soul Neighborhood Planet | Examine my expertise at Soul Neighborhood Planet | Learn critiques for Soul Neighborhood Planet on Journey Advisor | Seek for different Colorado Springs space motels

“We attempt to cater to individuals who worth the atmosphere, social good, and wellness. Each choice we make falls into one of many three mentalities that we’re constructed on: wholesome, variety, and inexperienced”

Soul Neighborhood Planet Motels

Kinship Touchdown

Kinship Touchdown is a classy, new, high-tech property with a minimalist vibe. Registration is in the identical space because the bar. How handy! You’ll be able to even request a tent to pitch in your balcony and have a view of Pikes Peak. Children love this feature. Employees will even train you “easy methods to camp.” They supply a sleeping bag, tent, backpack, tenting range, meals, and all the pieces it is advisable to sleep beneath the celebrities. The primary night time is in your balcony; you’ll spend the second night time at a close-by campsite. It is a improbable manner for first-timers to get a really feel for the outside with out worry of failure.

Verify costs and availability for Kinship Touchdown | Learn critiques for Kinship Touchdown on Journey Advisor | Seek for different Colorado Springs space motels

Find out how to Get Round Throughout Your Weekend in Colorado Springs

You’ll be able to fly to Denver or Colorado Springs – there are execs and cons to every. Flights to Denver Worldwide Airport could also be cheaper than flying to Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, which is smaller and fewer busy than DIA. It will be finest to lease a automobile for this itinerary. If renting a automobile shouldn’t be an choice, you possibly can ride-share in Colorado Springs or organize for transportation with a shuttle service, equivalent to Grey Line.

Greatest Time to Go to the Pikes Peak Area

Fall (late September and October) is a wonderful time to go to the Pikes Peak Area when the aspen are golden and temperatures are crisp. However, that timing doesn’t work for everybody, so decide the very best season for you and your loved ones, and simply hit the highway.

Chasing Fall in Alaska – the place to go for Autumn colours

Guidebooks for Even Extra Details about Colorado Springs and Surrounding Areas

Try these guidebooks for extra suggestions and concepts about easy methods to get essentially the most out of your weekend in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Area:

100 Issues to Do in Colorado Springs Earlier than You Die, by Kirsten Akens, lists all the pieces from eating places the place you possibly can “eat vegan” (Moxie) to the place to “shred” (Memorial Park Skate Park). This e-book is straightforward to digest, and Akens has a present for writing narratives.

Colorado Household Outside Journey: An All-Ages Information to Tenting, Mountain climbing, and Getting Exterior, by Heather Mundt, has a ton of concepts for actions within the Pikes Peak Area and your complete state. Mundt is a third-generation Coloradan and it’s apparent she loves Colorado and the outside. I do know Heather personally by means of the Society of American Journey Writers; she has the experience, enthusiasm, and credentials to advocate locations for folks of all ages and health ranges to camp, hike, and discover colourful Colorado.

For extra info, go to Pikes Peak Area.

Extra Colorado Adventures

Rocky Mountaineer Practice Journey – Moab to Denver

Colorado Rafting Journey

Hanging Lake Colorado Mountain climbing Journey

Sherry Spitsnaugle

Meet the Creator: Sherry Spitsnaugle has lived in Denver for 3 a long time and is the creator of 4 editions of Fast Escapes Denver, 25 Weekend Getaways in and across the Mile-Excessive Metropolis. Sherry, who’s a journey author, spouse, and canine mother, first expressed her urge to discover at age 4 when she packed up her little crimson wagon and took off for an journey— across the block. As we speak, she continues to satisfy her journey bug tendencies, exploring and writing about her experiences.
Instagram: sherryspitsnaugle


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