Balloons, boulders, beers and extra of the very best issues to do in Colorado Springs

Stunning Colorado Springs sits on the japanese foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and retains lots of its small-town charms.

Pure sights within the form of the dramatic Pikes Peak and the vertical sandstone towers of the Backyard of the Gods are the primary draw right here – however Colorado Springs’ pleasant neighborhoods make it really feel like the comfortable mountain outpost it has all the time been. After time on the town, you’ll absolutely need to head into the foothills to search out superb climbing, mountain biking and out of doors adventures. Each within the metropolis and out in nature, listed below are the very best issues to do in Colorado Springs.

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Channel a frontier vibe in Previous Colorado Metropolis

Historical past aficionados will love the neighborhood often called Previous Colorado Metropolis, the place the unique city was based in 1859. The historic district was the primary capital of the Territory of Colorado – and its former Wild West dens of vice now host eating places, artwork galleries and memento outlets. The realm has a pleasant vibe and maintains its Nineteenth-century atmosphere.

Chances are you’ll need to obtain the Previous Colorado Metropolis Strolling Tour app earlier than you go so as to add context to your wanderings. Those that choose bodily artifacts ought to try the Previous Colorado Metropolis Historical past Heart museum and bookstore, positioned in a former Baptist church; there’s additionally a small historic show in leafy Bancroft Park within the heart of the realm.

The wonderful rock formations at Backyard of the Gods are certainly one of Colorado Springs’ greatest sights © Sean Pavone / iStock / Getty Photos Plus

Admire the divine rock formations on the Backyard of the Gods

The Backyard of the Gods public park is an absolute must-see for guests to Colorado Springs. Designated a Nationwide Pure Landmark in 1971, the beautiful vein of purple sandstone on the park is about 290 million years previous, and its mountain backdrop is especially placing. Discover the community of paved and unpaved trails, take pleasure in a picnic and watch climbers check their nerve on the generally flaky rock. Keep in mind that scrambling up the rocks is prohibited, and a allow is required for climbing and bouldering.

These within the lives of Native Individuals and Nineteenth-century homesteaders within the area will take pleasure in Rock Ledge Ranch, a residing historical past museum close to the park entrance.

Attempt a triple axel (or no less than watch a clip of 1) on the World Determine Skating Museum & Corridor of Fame

Followers of the swish sport of determine skating ought to cease by the World Determine Skating Museum & Corridor of Fame. The one establishment of its variety on the earth, it celebrates the best names in skating. When you’ve ever puzzled how they carry out these gravity-defying jumps, you may be taught concerning the intricacies of blades and edges.

The Corridor of Fame consists of such distinguished skaters as Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Dick Button, Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov, and Scott Hamilton. Guests can try their skates and outfits whereas taking a look at stills and video footage of a number of the biggest routines ever carried out.

Two men feed lettuce to a giraffe in winter at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is understood for its assortment of pleasant Somali giraffes © Thomas Barrat / Shutterstock

Feed the giraffes at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Youngsters will love seeing the most important assortment of Somali giraffes on the earth at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, positioned excessive up on Cheyenne Mountain. The massive non-public zoo is severe about conservation and happy with its complete giraffe-breeding program, in addition to its instructional programming. Guests may even discover play areas for youngsters, whereas a chairlift-style experience will provide you with a chook’s-eye view of all the enclosure.

Cross a fourteener off your record by climbing Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak is probably the most well-known of Colorado’s 54 “fourteeners” – peaks that rise greater than 14,000 ft above sea stage – and greater than half 1,000,000 guests attain the summit of what the Ute name “Mountain of the Solar” yearly. You can also make the demanding 13.5-mile hike straight up the mountain – or, when you’re much less bold, take the scenic, curvy drive to the highest alongside the 19-mile Pikes Peak Freeway. The 127-year previous Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway reopened in Could 2021 after renovations, providing a beautiful strategy to take pleasure in vistas as you ascend. There’s additionally a brand new Pikes Peak Customer Heart with an elevated pathway and overlook.

Learn extra: The nice Colorado “fourteener” street journey

Future astronauts can put together for liftoff on the House Basis Discovery Heart

This interactive and immersive science-and-technology center is a superb place for households to whereas away a few hours. Astro-enthusiasts will love exploring the house artifacts and interactive reveals as they soak up all kinds of fascinating data on the universe, expertise and house exploration. You can too discover the historical past of people in house, program robotic rovers to finish mission targets on simulated Martian terrain, and take a look at scale mannequin rockets and house fits worn by astronauts to guard them from excessive temperatures, micrometeoroids and the almost pure vacuum of house.

Benefit from the fruits of Colorado’s famend craft-beer tradition 

Colorado Springs presents loads of selection for followers of craft beers. The centrally positioned Phantom Canyon Brewing occupies a former warehouse constructing saved from the wrecking ball in 1993, and serves pints in an informal ambiance. Though it’s kind of out of the best way, Bristol Brewing Co is value looking for out for its Laughing Lab Scottish ale and pub grub menu. Then there’s the eco-friendly Trinity Brewing Co: this spot focuses on artisan beers, serving its creations in a taproom repurposed from two barns with a recycled glass bar prime, ebook arch entry and industrial wheel tables.

Hot air balloons in a crowded Memorial Park in Colorado Springs at Labor Day Lift Off
The Labor Day Raise Off has been operating for the previous 40 years © Hyoung Chang / The Denver Put up through Getty Photos

Watch the balloons ascend on the Labor Day Raise Off

The skyline round Memorial Park fills with scorching air balloons each Labor Day weekend. Previously referred to as the Colorado Springs Traditional, the Labor Day Lift Off is a festive free three-day occasion full with musical leisure. Working for some 40 years, the occasion sees amateurs and professionals launching technicolor hot-air balloons into the sky — and also you gained’t need to miss the early-morning balloon launches and the Saturday-evening “balloon glows.” Adventurous guests also can pre-book balloon rides from one of many launch websites inside city.

Educate the children some historical past at Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

The small, free-to-enter Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is a superb place to be taught concerning the metropolis’s historical past. Housed in what was as soon as the El Paso County Courthouse, the gathering and exhibition of some 60,000 items sums up the area’s historical past by way of previous images and artifacts.

The Native American assortment is especially sturdy, that includes lots of of things from the Ute, Cheyenne and Arapaho nations. Whereas historical past lovers will take pleasure in tracing Colorado Springs’ evolution from its early incarnation as a mining city, the museum can also be an important place for younger guests due to its child-friendly reveals and actions.

Do any (or each) sort of out of doors exercise at Pink Rock Canyon Open House

Situated alongside Freeway 24, Pink Rock Canyon Open House is a superb place for climbing, operating, mountain biking, mountain climbing, biking and horseback using. Rock climbers have entry to over 80 bolted climbing routes; when you fancy a chook’s-eye view, you could be tempted by paragliding. A household picnic space consists of wheelchair-accessible picnic websites, and the 789-acre park additionally has additionally a free-ride space for bicycles. It additionally incorporates many miles of trails of various issue, together with the Part 16 path, which leads out of the southwestern nook of the park on a pleasant 6-mile loop.

Cadets and servicemen walk toward the Cadet Chapel at the US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Go to the US Air Drive Academy to absorb the placing trendy structure of the Cadet Chapel © John Hoffman / Shutterstock

Meet the Mavericks of tomorrow on the US Air Drive Academy

Go to one of many highest-profile army academies within the nation for a glimpse into the lives of an elite group of cadets. The US Air Drive Academy customer heart gives basic background on the academy, and permits entry to the dramatic Cadet Chapel, with its lovely high-modernist structure.

Guests can embark on a driving tour of the expansive grounds and take a look at the Honor Courtroom and Falcon Stadium. Throughout soccer season, we extremely suggest attending a recreation: cadets do push-ups for each level scored. Tickets may also be reserved for the commencement ceremony in Could, well-known for its spectacular airborne spectacles.

Have fun the spirit of the Wild West at Territory Days

The favored three-day Territory Days avenue pageant is held each Memorial Day weekend in historic Previous Colorado Metropolis, and celebrates the spirit of the Previous West. Admission is free to the pageant, which has developed from its humble beginnings 4 a long time in the past as a small neighborhood craft truthful right into a vibrant occasion with over 180 meals and craft cubicles and a youngsters’s play space.

Guests will enjoyment of instructional shows, patriot tributes and stay music on 4 phases, in addition to performances by Native American dancers, Wild West gunfight re-enactments and unimaginable blacksmith demonstrations.

Zoom indoors at Overdrive Raceway

Youngsters and massive youngsters alike can have a ball at Overdrive Raceway, the primary two-story indoor racetrack within the US. Its zippy electrical go-karts make circuits of the downstairs “arrive and drive” observe, with a extra intensive “pace” observe catering to skilled drivers. The observe additionally has go-karts with hand controls for the mobility impaired. An onsite sports activities bar presents a number of Colorado craft beer and whiskey and a meals menu, serving to guests unwind after the fun of racing.

Rating some finds on the Colorado Springs Flea Market

The Colorado Springs Flea Market is an efficient place for a household outing, significantly for individuals who benefit from the thrill of bargaining. It runs each weekend year-round on a 30-acre website, internet hosting as much as 500 distributors hawking virtually something you may consider, in addition to quite a lot of meals vehicles. The market has been operating for over 30 years and is totally accessible. It additionally options an inflatable slide, Ferris wheel and canoe rides for households and kids, and stay music and leisure so as to add to the colourful ambiance.

Benefit from the Colorado Springs High quality Arts Heart’s excellent assortment

This expansive museum and 400-seat theater at Colorado School initially opened in 1936, and has a robust deal with Native American, Latin American and Spanish Colonial artwork. Nice rotating reveals draw on the 20,000 items in its everlasting assortment.

Probably the most well-known work right here is Richard Diebenkorn’s beautiful summary portray Urbana No 4. Preserve a watch out as nicely for the gathering’s Mexican clay figures, woodcut prints from social-justice artist Leopoldo Mendez and Native American basketry and quilts, in addition to summary works by native artists resembling Vance Kirkland and Floyd Tunson.

The exterior of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum in the shadow of the setting sun, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
The brand new United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum celebrates Group USA – and can encourage the athletes of tomorrow © EQRoy / Shutterstock

Get impressed at america Olympic & Paralympic Museum

The newly opened United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum brings to the forefront tales and experiences to encourage the subsequent technology of Olympic and Paralympic athletes and followers. Right here, Group USA athletes are on the heart of the motion, andtThe 12 galleries within the 60,000 sq ft constructing observe a story arc taking you thru the groups’ journeys utilizing expertise that prioritizes accessibility and inclusivity. You may customise your sport preferences and accessibility wants for a tour that’s uniquely your personal, then relax afterward on the Flame Café.

Take your choose of fantastic parks

Colorado Springs has all kinds of parks, together with Austin Bluffs Open House, a good looking reserve strewn with distinctive rock formations courting again to the Eocene interval. Strolling and climbing trails crisscross the park and the adjoining Pulpit Rock Park, which contains a 4.4-mile loop path is appropriate for adults and children of excellent basic health. 

Households will benefit from the huge inexperienced lawns and ball fields of Memorial Park, town’s greatest. Then there’s Acacia Park, residence to the much-loved Uncle Wilbur’s Fountain. It has over 200 water jets, 52 of that are a part of a play space for youths over which a lifeguard retains watch.