Colorado Springs or The Springs as the locals call it is an easy day drive from Denver. Colorado Springs has some beautiful sights, and is not to be missed if you find yourself in Colorado. Colorado Springs is just south of Denver.
Fun Things to Do in Colorado Springs
- Pike’s Peak
- Manitou Cliff Dwellings
- Garden of the Gods
- Ghost Town Museum
- Taste the Water in Mineral Springs
- Grab a bite to eat at the Airplane Restaurant
The most popular attraction in Colorado Springs is Pike’s Peak which inspired the song “America the Beautiful.” Visitors can drive to the top of Pike’s Peak or they can take a train to reach the 14,110 foot altitude.
During our first visit to Pike’s Peak we drove up the winding road in our own car. We did this in January, the second time we visited in May we rode the train. I mention the months we visited because we needed winter jackets for both trips. It is cold a the top of Pike’s Peak.
Pike’s Peak – Should you drive or take the train?
Whether you drive or take a train this is a beautiful not to be missed spot in Colorado Springs. If you are visiting in the winter, visit as early in the day as possible as weather often determines how far you will be able to go. Roads are narrow, winding and probably not for someone afraid of heights. But the drive offers an awesome view of the city and if you are lucky some wildlife.
If driving it will take at least 1/2 tank to get up and back down-just as a reminder. Fill up before you head up there.
If you don’t feel like making the drive up to Pikes’ peak-ride the rail. We would recommend having reservations, unless you want to be on standby. This rail fills up quick.
Also make sure you have three person seat side-the two person seat side doesn’t have as good of views and the train doesn’t reverse on the way down so that you can see the other side.
The ride is several hours in length. This is a great way of learning the history of the area and a popular tourist stop. Beautiful views atop the peak just make sure you bring along proper attire as the temperature is at least 30 degree difference up there if not more. There was snow when we went there on Memorial day and we needed winter coats. There is a shop and place to eat at the top. The train ride is about 3 hours.
Manitou Cliff Dwellings
This was one of those things that I really didn’t expect that much from and it ended up being the most fun the kids had in the Colorado Springs area. This place is really cool. Not the average here are some ruins take some pictures and leave.
You can actually explore inside the old Anasazi Cliff dwellings. And what cool ruins they are. The cliff dwellings are preserved under a red stone overhang built more than 700 years ago.
There is also a small museum here,gift shop, and picnic benches. Beautiful surroundings and fun for the whole family!
Directions: At the foot of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs
Garden of the Gods
My favorite thing to do in Colorado Springs is to visit Garden of the Gods. If you are in the area don’t miss this natural beauty!
Garden of the Gods is a great place to hike for all levels of hikers. You can see many cool rock formations just driving around the park as well.
Ghost Town Museum
The Ghost Town Museum is a great indoor activity. The kids loved the replicated buildings and exploring the carriages.
Mineral Springs in Manitou Springs
Manitou Springs has 8 mineral springs in the downtown area. Years ago people would travel here for hundreds of miles to be healed from theses waters. Each spring is said to have their own natural healing properties. The mineral waters have high levels of calcium, magnesium, copper and potassium. Bring a water bottle and try the water from the different springs. The water is cold and it really does taste good.
The kids thought this was the coolest restaurant. The Airplane Restaurant has an actual airplane attached to it. You can also explore the cockpit of the airplane.