Colorado Springs doesn’t believe in tourists. The city believes in visionaries who can turn skyscrapers into mountains, adventurers who would rather strap into a harness than plug in a laptop and early risers who would rather cast a line than wait in one. In Colorado Springs, rush hour is only as slow as the fastest zip line. Colorado Springs’ outdoor activities boast an abundance of things to explore that suit all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts.
Duration: 3 Days
This Itinerary is Ideal For: Adults
Day 1 in Colorado Springs
Start your day at Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center & Museum. Grab a bite to eat at Bean Sprouts Café, featuring fun and healthy food options as well as one of the most-photographed views in the region. Explore the foothills with a fun-filled guided Jeep tour that includes Garden of the Gods Park, a National Natural Landmark, and many off-the-beaten-path roads. You may also elect to explore the park on a Segway tour, e-bike or vintage scooter.
Depart for Manitou Springs, where life and art merge. This Historic District is lined with unique art galleries, one-of-a-kind gift shops and historic restaurants. This eclectic community is best known for the unique geology created by mineral springs once visited and respected by Native American tribes.
Enjoy a luscious lunch on the veranda of The Cliff House at Pikes Peak, or a more casual meal at Manitou Brewing Company.
This afternoon, explore Downtown Colorado Springs and its Creative Arts District and Art on the Streets exhibit. The tour is self-guided, and visitors can use the free Octocast app to hear commentary from the artists.
Finish the day at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. Take a journey back in time in the magnificently restored 1903 El Paso County Courthouse featuring more than 60,000 artifacts from nationally significant collections to the finest regional landscape art in the state of Colorado.
For dinner, choose from many downtown independent establishments from fine to casual dining.
OPTIONS: Alternate activities can be ziplining, gorgeous hikes, horseback riding, mountain climbing, cave tours and bicycling.
It’s off to the Royal Gorge region. You’re sure to have a fantastic time on the morning departure of the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. You’ll appreciate spectacular views along the Arkansas River from the bottom of the Gorge, whose walls rise about 1,000 feet above the train. Watch river rafters and wildlife from one of the open cars.
Stop at 8 Mile Bar & Grill for a sumptuous lunch. Located at Echo Canyon River Expeditions, this restaurant serves up wonderful meals during summer season.
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is home to North America’s highest suspension bridge at almost 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River. Here, you will have magnificent views of the Royal Gorge. Take new, state-of-the-art gondolas across the gorge or walk across the bridge. Once on the other side, you can take advantage of the world’s highest zipline or the exhilarating Skycoaster. Nothing like swinging out over the gorge with nothing beneath you!
A stop at the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey is a great respite before the drive back to Colorado Springs for dinner.
OPTIONS: Alternate activities include a full or half-day whitewater rafting adventure with one of the many outfitters in the area, fly fishing or the new Via Ferrata at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park.
Your day begins with an early start and hearty breakfast at your hotel, or one of many fabulous restaurants in Colorado Springs.
Several companies offer tours to Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain. Two of the more popular ways to reach the Summit are guided tours in open-air Jeeps (covers for inclement weather if needed) or mini-coach. Both tours provide visitors with incredible mountain vistas and stops for photos. Once at the 14,115-foot summit, you will be amazed how far you can see. Don’t forget to try the freshly baked donuts in the snack bar.
When done with your visit to Pikes Peak, we suggest lunch in Old Colorado City, another Historic District, before heading to the Colorado Springs Olympic & Paralympic Training Center for a guided tour of the campus where you’ll see Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls from the USA and perhaps other countries training for upcoming Games. Tours are offered year-round.
Next, head toward the new and extraordinary U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame (opening spring 2020). This technologically advanced facility will delight all groups with state-of-the-art exhibits, culinary experiences and inspiring stories of U.S. Olympians and Paralympians.
OPTIONS: Alternate activities include the United States Air Force Academy with their popular Visitor Center and the reopened Planetarium, the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, a tour and high tea at Glen Eyrie Castle, a tour of the famed Broadmoor Hotel, a stop at the National Museum of World War II Aviation, Cave of the Winds Mountain Park and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s Mountain Zoo, to see their renowned reticulated giraffe herd in the African Rift Valley exhibit, the indigenous animals in the Rocky Mountain Wild exhibit and the new penguin and hippo indoor/outdoor exhibit.
Colorado still has plenty of great places to experience, so be sure to get more Itinerary Ideas for FREE