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 Stunning.” The wonderful Pikes Peak Area certainly evokes spacious skies and purple mountain majesties. Who wouldn’t wish 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 rely 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 nearly as if I grew up within the space.

On a weekend in Colorado Springs, you may 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 isn’t your pace, it’s possible you’ll favor to bask in nice eating, golf, or a spa remedy 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 Region.

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 in your Weekend in Colorado Springs

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The air is skinny right here. With out loads of water, the excessive altitude can lead to a headache or nausea. Chances are you’ll wish to strive an electrolyte drink mix that helps aid in acclimating to the altitude. Along with a good water bottle, necessities embody a fleece jacket or puffer vest, sunblock, a hat with SPF, and lip balm additionally with SPF issue. I additionally extremely suggest taking child aspirin day by day beginning 3 days BEFORE you come to Colorado – it might assist with altitude adjustment.

Whereas the elegant Broadmoor Lodge is motive sufficient to go to Colorado Springs, there’s a lot to do within the space, it’s possible you’ll determine to remain for greater than a weekend. When you’re on the lookout for delicate journey, journey a horse or Segway by means of Backyard of the Gods or discover Cave of the Winds by occurring a haunted lantern tour (keep in mind to duck otherwise you’ll conk your noggin). Your coronary heart price will climb as you ascend the 224 stairs to the highest of the Broadmoor Seven Falls. Rewards are implausible 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 the whole lot from the place to have an IPA on an out of doors patio to the place to raft Class III rapids. Journey awaits. So, seize your pack and hit the highway.

Day One Morning: Recent Beignets, Spices, and Books

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

One in all my favourite retailers on Tejon Road is The Savory Spice Shop. 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 pal 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 recent stuff:  Smoked Jalapeño, Smoky Ghost, Scorching Thai Inexperienced, and Aleppo Pepper. My nephew loves something scorching and can respect this present. The field reads, “Some prefer it hotter.”

Tattered Cover, Colorado’s bookstore darling, opened its first location outdoors of Denver in June 2022. Positioned at 112 North Tejon Road, the shop has 8,000 sq. ft of the whole lot ebook 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 Garden of the Gods I used to be eight years previous, 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 pink sandstone formations. My dad, who was a wanna-be geologist, defined the geology, flora, and fauna to us, stating the enduring rock formation referred to as the Kissing Camels.

However these aren’t my grandma’s gardens. At present, guests can glide on a Segway, both with or and not using a information, by means of the gardens with the wind and solar on their faces, and possibly 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. Photograph 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 automobiles; Daniel and Greg made sure that we adopted all security protocols.

Using horses by means of the Gardens can be an choice. Academy Riding Stables matches company with a horse, information, and the whole lot wanted for a leisurely journey. Whereas I selected to see the gardens from a Segway, my pal determined to journey a horse and mentioned it was a calming, mellow tempo. The Visitor and Nature Center is a superb place to be taught in regards to the flora, fauna, and geology of the world.

Take a look at one other horseback using 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 preserve going. Convey the necessities together with a jacket and water bottle. The steps will lead you to trails, together with the preferred, Inspiration Level. Take a selfie on the prime, after which journey the elevator down. Taking the elevator each up and down can be an choice.

Day One Night: Manitou Springs

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

One choice for dinner is Manitou Brewing Company the place you may sit outdoors on the patio and sip one of many brewery’s beers or discover a desk inside, the place it’s noisy, crowded, and vigorous. Similar to a very good 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. Photograph by Sherry Spitsnaugle

The evening I used to be there with a few mates, three of us squeezed right into a desk for 2, however we had been completely pleased. One in all my mates 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 skin sandwich indicators. She smiled and mentioned, “We hit the hay early right here in Manitou Springs!”

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

For dessert, Josh & John’s Homemade 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 Road, offers samples of chocolate bark, however you gained’t wish to cease there. In addition 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 most effective time to keep away from most visitors, particularly when you plan to bicycle down. Adventures Out West matches shoppers with a motorbike and helmet and excessive visibility vest for the two-hour journey. And, most significantly, they’ll provide you with suggestions in addition to information you as you journey down Pikes Peak Freeway.

You’ll journey with workers in a Jeep on the way in which up, and earlier than your bike journey down, you’ll have time to go to the newly renovated and aptly named Summit Welcome Center on the prime. Right here, you may be taught in regards to the space, and the present store sells the whole lot from kitchen magnets to fleece jackets. And no matter you do – don’t overlook to strive a few of their world-famous donuts on the prime!

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

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

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

Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is one other glorious choice in 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 apart 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 most effective thought for anybody who suffers from claustrophobia. However, when 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 typically weird tales of the oldsters who initially found the caves.

Hippie was the most effective storyteller I’ve ever heard. He lowered his voice to a whisper when the story bought to a scary half to construct suspense. Everybody in my group agreed we might have listened to him inform tales in regards to the historical 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 listing merchandise in Colorado. I hadn’t deliberate to zipline over something, particularly the 1,250-foot-deep Royal Gorge. However after I discovered that it was primary on everybody’s bucket lists, how might I not?

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

The journey was breathtaking. And quick. I might do it once more in a heartbeat.

For one more huge thrill whereas within the Royal Gorge Bridge and park space – make sure to additionally check out the Via Ferrata. A By way of Ferrata (Italian time period that means ‘iron path’) is a protected climbing route, constructed with a metal cable rail mounted to the rock, steel steps, ladders, suspension bridges, and zip wires. You might be clipped in the complete time and have a particular harness to put on along with particular ‘sticky’ sneakers.

Journey journey seekers – this option to New Zealand

An alternative choice for the afternoon is to enterprise to the small city of Cripple Creek, filled with wealthy gold mining historical past. The journey is gorgeous, and you need to 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 reminiscent of Doc Susie who started her observe in Cripple Creek within the 1800s. She was the function mannequin for the favored tv present, Dr. Quinn, Drugs Lady. You may also journey the Cripple Creek & Victor Slender Gauge Railroad, a historic steam practice and open-air journey that travels over 4 miles of tracks by means of the Cripple Creek mining district. The practice is coal-fired and there might 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. Photograph by Sherry Spitsnaugle

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

One in all my favourite firms I discovered 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 mates, 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 Pressure, 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 might be named for navy companies, firefighters, and first responders. Their identify represents the 13 stripes and 50 stars of the Flag. Photograph by Sherry Spitsnaugle

1350 Distilling usually has meals vehicles on web site and has occasions reminiscent of Excursions and Tastes, but it surely’s greatest to verify their website. In addition 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 couple of blocks from the Mining Change and Kinship Touchdown. White Pie has a big patio and pizzas that embody 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 injury through the Waldo Canyon fireplace in 2012 when almost the entire buildings had been destroyed. However, the family-owned ranch was rebuilt and opened once more in Could 2020. When you go to in December, take a look at the ranch’s cowboy Christmas.

For a special day, or when you merely love first-class eating, Summit at The Broadmoor is stylish and refined, they usually serve delicacies that equals the Broadmoor’s excessive requirements. The restaurant is situated a couple of block from the lodge, 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 in depth menu. Summit was named one among America’s 10 Finest Lodge Eating places by Frommer’s. The gown code is resort informal.

Extra Sights for Your Weekend in Colorado Springs

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum is an inspirational, well-designed, and glorious place to spend a couple of hours. The Olympic spirit prevails right here, and also you’ll discover interactive shows, medals, costumes, and torches. Olympians and Paralympians go to usually and are pleased to pose for images and share their experiences with guests. USA At present named the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum as one of many nation’s Finest New Sights. Get your skip-the-line ticket here.

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

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

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

The ProRodeo Hall 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 evening I used to be there, I even bought to fulfill the daredevil rodeo clown and take a selfie. Test 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 a variety of unbelievable 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 shops to occupy you for the morning. Take a look at the shoe retailer fashionable with each company and Broadmoor workers (assume Ferragamo). You’ll discover retailers specializing in jewellery, artwork, and fly-fishing gear. Broadmoor Fly-Fishing Camp 75 miles from the lodge is first-rate, distant, and nonetheless has the Broadmoor service requirements.

View from room at The Broadmoor
View from a set at The Broadmoor, the world’s longest-running Forbes 5-Star and AAA 5-Diamond resort. Photograph 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 provided largely through the holidays, so verify forward. There may be a further charge, which ranges relying on the tour.

You may also 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 actual gems are the chocolate delicacies they promote on the café. All the things from ganache to salty caramel truffles is made on web site from the very best high quality of elements. I didn’t even like caramel till I tasted the luscious, wealthy, honey-brown, amber goodness, made onsite and offered at Café Julie’s.

In the course of the holidays, take a look at The Broadmoor’s 12 Days of Christmas cooking courses, a 12-day sequence with a 60-minute demonstration every day. For a modest charge, 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 the whole lot you may want on the three,000-acre property, with informal eating (Café Julie’s or Pure Epicurean), nice eating (The Summit), the Spa on the Broadmoor, and your choose of spectacular golf programs.

Learn reviews for The Broadmoor on Trip Advisor | Seek for different Colorado Springs area hotels

The Mining Change Lodge

Nevertheless, if you wish to keep within the downtown space of Colorado Springs, I like to recommend The Mining Exchange, a Wyndham Grand Hotel and Spa, a historic renovated property. The lodge is conveniently situated a block from Tejon Road, the place you’ll discover dozens of retailers, bars, eating places, and the not too long ago opened Tattered Cowl Bookstore. Go away 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 Change, a Wyndham Grand Lodge and Spa, downtown Colorado Springs. Photograph by Sherry Spitsnaugle

Rooms at The Mining Change are quiet and cozy, with uncovered brick, massive home windows, and lofty ceilings. The workers is exceptionally pleasant. Once I was a visitor at The Mining Change not too long ago, one other Denverite and I had been decided to observe the Colorado Avalanche playoff sport 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 provided to acquire a drink for us.

Test costs and availability for The Mining Exchange | Learn reviews for The Mining Exchange on Trip Advisor | Seek for different Colorado Springs area hotels

Soul Neighborhood Planet

One other favourite for a weekend in Colorado Springs is Soul Community Planet. This distinctive lodge is a nod to Schitt’s Creek – a transformed previous lodge given a second hip life. The lodge focuses on solely domestically sourced merchandise and fosters an unbelievable neighborhood of locals and guests.

soul community planet colorado springs

Test costs and availability for Soul Community Planet | Examine my expertise at Soul Neighborhood Planet | Learn reviews for Soul Community Planet on Trip Advisor | Seek for different Colorado Springs area hotels

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

Soul Neighborhood Planet Motels

Kinship Touchdown

Kinship Landing is a stylish, new, high-tech property with a minimalist vibe. Registration is in the identical space because the bar. How handy! You possibly can even request a tent to pitch in your balcony and have a view of Pikes Peak. Children love this selection. Employees will even educate you “easy methods to camp.” They supply a sleeping bag, tent, backpack, tenting range, meals, and the whole lot it’s essential to sleep underneath the celebrities. The primary evening is in your balcony; you’ll spend the second evening at a close-by campsite. This can be a implausible means for first-timers to get a really feel for the outside with out worry of failure.

Test costs and availability for Kinship Landing | Learn reviews for Kinship Landing on Trip Advisor | Seek for different Colorado Springs area hotels

The way to Get Round Throughout Your Weekend in Colorado Springs

You possibly can fly to Denver or Colorado Springs – there are execs and cons to every. Flights to Denver Worldwide Airport could also be inexpensive than flying to Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, which is smaller and fewer busy than DIA. It could be greatest to lease a automobile for this itinerary. If renting a automobile isn’t an choice, you may ride-share in Colorado Springs or organize for transportation with a shuttle service, reminiscent of Gray Line.

Finest 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 choose the most effective 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

Take a look at these guidebooks for extra suggestions and concepts about easy methods to get probably 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 the whole lot from eating places the place you may “eat vegan” (Moxie) to the place to “shred” (Memorial Park Skate Park). This ebook is simple to digest, and Akens has a present for writing narratives.

Colorado Household Outside Journey: An All-Ages Information to Tenting, Climbing, and Getting Outdoors, by Heather Mundt, has a ton of concepts for actions within the Pikes Peak Area and the 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 suggest locations for folks of all ages and health ranges to camp, hike, and discover colourful Colorado.

For extra data, go to Pikes Peak Region.

Extra Colorado Adventures

Rocky Mountaineer Practice Journey – Moab to Denver

Colorado Rafting Journey

Hanging Lake Colorado 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 pink wagon and took off for an journey— across the block. At present, she continues to satisfy her journey bug tendencies, exploring and writing about her experiences.
Instagram: sherryspitsnaugle


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