There are the obvious reasons to visit Colorado Springs: 300 annual days of sunshine, beautiful scenery including Pikes Peak, clean air, mountain-fresh water, and lots of attractions throughout the area. But another great reason to visit this Colorado town is to experience a true western adventure.
Colorado Springs – A True Historical Adventure
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Colorado Springs History
In 1869, General William Jackson Palmer, a Civil War hero from Pennsylvania, first came to the area and described its “most enticing scenery.” He predicted that there would soon be a great resort town at the base of Pikes Peak. In 1871, the Victorian spa resort town Palmer envisioned became a reality.
The city was soon nicknamed “Little London” because of the many English tourists who visited the area. Within a few years of founding Colorado Springs, Palmer built and opened The Antlers Hotel, located downtown on Pikes Peak Avenue, with the mountain serving as a spectacular backdrop.
Things to do in Colorado Springs
Fun things to do in Colorado Springs range from outdoor adventures like whitewater rafting and hot air ballooning or Biking to visiting Pikes Peak or even a wild west ghost town. There are also great museums, restaurants, and fun cowboy chuckwagon suppers.
Garden of the Gods Colorado Springs
Today, the scenery is just as enticing and can be best experienced by beginning your day with a brisk walk or hike amongst the jutting red rock spires of the garden deemed “fit for the Gods.” When you’re finished drive through the park and stop at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post for some authentic Colorado Springs shopping and even a tasty, lean buffalo burger at the café.
As you leave the park, you’ll come to the quaint mountain town of Manitou Springs. Peruse the unique shops and boutiques then make your way through Old Colorado City to finish filling your shopping bag.
Pioneers Museum Colorado Springs
Follow Colorado Avenue out of Old Colorado City right into the heart of the Colorado Springs historic downtown district. Here, you can still explore the nostalgia of days past with a glimpse at the town’s first settlers at the Pioneers Museum in downtown Colorado Springs.
2009 marked the 150th anniversary of the Pikes Peak or Bust Gold Rush. The museum showcases a Going for the Gold exhibit that commemorates this unique historic period. There’s also an amazing exhibit of multiple artists’ offering Pikes Peak interpretations via various mediums.
Flying W Ranch Cowboy Dinner
For some good ole’ vittles to warm yer insides stop by Flying W Ranch for a Chuckwagon supper followed by a western stage show from the world’s second-oldest western singing group, the Flying W Wranglers.
Now that’s a day that is a true western adventure!
Where to Stay in Colorado Springs
Garden of the Gods Resort is our top choice for lodging in Colorado Springs. Since camping isn’t allowed in the park, this is as close to Garden of the Gods as you can stay. All 69 guest rooms offer views of the Garden of the Gods and the Rocky Mountains. It’s also the #1 rated hotel in Colorado Springs on Tripadvisor.
The Glen Eyrie Castle is another fun lodging choice in Colorado Springs. Glen Eyrie is an English Tudor-style castle built in 1871 by General William Jackson Palmer, the founder of Colorado Springs. There are 17 guest rooms in the castle.
Cabins in Colorado Springs
There are numerous options for cabins and cottages in Colorado Springs. Some of the most popular options include Eagle Fire Lodge & Cabins, Cascade Escapes, Ramona Cottage, Cascade Escapes, Zeb’s Cabin, Pikes Peak Resort and Colorado Springs KOA.
4 Colorado Springs Fun Facts
- The Pikes Peak region’s first inhabitants were American Indian people.
- The Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho and other tribes gathered at the base of Pikes Peak, near its abundant springs and in what is now called Garden of the Gods Park.
- The Ute name for Pikes Peak, Ta-Wa-Ah-Gath, translates to “Sun Mountain Sitting Big”, for the way its slopes collect and reflect the sun’s rays.
- At the turn of the century, inspired by a trip to the summit of Pikes Peak, Katharine Lee Bates penned what has become our nation’s most famous poem and song, “America the Beautiful.”
Garden of the Gods (1805 N 30th St; 719-634-6666)
Garden of the Gods Trading Post (324 Beckers Ln; 719-685-9377)
Manitou Springs (719-685-5089)
Old Colorado City (719-577-4112)
Downtown Colorado Springs (South Tejon St; 719-886-0088)
Pioneers Museum (215 S. Tejon St; 719-385-5990)
Flying W Ranch (3330 Chuckwagon Rd; 719-598-4000)
For more ideas of what to do in Colorado Springs as well as coupons go to www.VisitCOS.com!
As travel today remains uncertain, please keep your safety and the safety of others in mind at all times. If you are comfortable with traveling, please travel responsibly and within regulations, as any travel is at your own risk.
If you do decide to travel at this time, here are a few recommendations:
- Wear a face mask.
- Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands on a regular basis.
- Check official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures and status of local businesses.
- Book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute. I also suggest checking hotel reviews in my favorite site, TripAdvisor.
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Chelsy Offutt, a Colorado Springs native, is currently the PR Manager for Experience Colorado Springs (ECS), the Convention & Visitors Bureau.
She handles media and community relations for ECS including generating awareness of and interest in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region as a leisure, business and event destination.