In 1893, Katharine Lee Bates was so impressed by the magnificent view of Pikes Peak, that she wrote the celebrated phrases to “America the Lovely.” The fantastic 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 really 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 just isn’t your pace, chances are you’ll choose to take pleasure in tremendous 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 Area.
The place is the Pikes Peak Area?
The Pikes Peak Area encompasses a big space that features a number of counties and cities. It usually contains 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 may end up in a headache or nausea. Chances are you’ll wish to attempt an electrolyte drink combine that helps help in acclimating to the altitude. Along with a good water bottle, necessities embrace a fleece jacket or puffer vest, sunblock, a hat with SPF, and lip balm additionally with SPF issue. I additionally extremely advocate taking child aspirin day by day beginning 3 days BEFORE you come to Colorado – it will probably assist with altitude adjustment.
Whereas the elegant Broadmoor Resort is motive sufficient to go to Colorado Springs, there’s a lot to do within the space, chances are you’ll resolve to remain for greater than a weekend. If you happen to’re searching for mushy journey, journey a horse or Segway via Backyard of the Gods or discover Cave of the Winds by occurring a haunted lantern tour (bear 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 improbable views and bragging rights. Or watch bull riders compete on the rodeo on the ProRodeo Corridor of Fame.
This itinerary covers all the pieces from the place to have an IPA on an outside patio to the place to raft Class III rapids. Journey awaits. So, seize your pack and hit the street.
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 solution to Tejon Road. Don’t let the plastic banner hanging throughout the entryway idiot you. As soon as inside, you’ll discover mushy lighting, classical music enjoying, hardwood flooring, and the aroma of contemporary beignets and café au lait. Sit at a desk close to the window and plan your day.
One in all my favourite outlets on Tejon Road is The Savory Spice Store. The aroma alone is price 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 good friend 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 recognize this present. The field reads, “Some prefer it hotter.”
Tattered Cowl, Colorado’s bookstore darling, opened its first location exterior of Denver in June 2022. Situated at 112 North Tejon Road, the shop has 8,000 sq. toes of all the pieces guide lovers want and the service for which Tattered Cowl is legendary.
Day One Afternoon: Backyard of the Gods, by foot, horse, Jeep, bike, or Segway
The primary time I visited the Backyard of the Gods I used to be eight years outdated, touring with my mother and father and sitting within the backseat of our automotive with my grandmother and sibling. We slowly drove on the street close to the hovering pink sandstone formations. My dad, who was a wanna-be geologist, defined the geology, flora, and fauna to us, mentioning the long-lasting rock formation referred to as the Kissing Camels.
However these aren’t my grandma’s gardens. As we speak, guests can glide on a Segway, both with or with no information, via the gardens with the wind and solar on their faces, and possibly raindrops, too.
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Adventures Out West units up shoppers with a Segway and helmet, provides a brief coaching within the car parking zone, and leads shoppers on a tour via the gardens.
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 telephone reported thunder ten miles away, however we nonetheless waited it out, which I appreciated. On parts of the tour, we have been on the street with automobiles; Daniel and Greg made sure that we adopted all security protocols.
Driving horses via the Gardens can be an possibility. Academy Driving Stables matches visitors with a horse, information, and all the pieces wanted for a leisurely journey. Whereas I selected to see the gardens from a Segway, my good friend determined to journey a horse and stated it was a calming, mellow tempo. The Customer and Nature Middle is a wonderful place to study concerning 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 another 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 maintain going. Carry 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 possibility.
Day One Night: Manitou Springs
Situated on the base of Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs will get its nickname, Hippie Mayberry, from the chilliness vibe, road musicians, artists, mother and father pushing their children in a stroller, and pleasant people. Everybody right here says hello.
One possibility for dinner is Manitou Brewing Firm the place you may sit exterior on the patio and sip one of many brewery’s beers or discover a desk inside, the place it’s noisy, crowded, and energetic. Identical to a great bar must be. Their web site reads, “Our beer is born from the pristine waters situated close to the highest of the height.”
The evening I used to be there with a few pals, three of us squeezed right into a desk for 2, however we have been completely completely satisfied. One in all my pals prefers wine to beer, a truth 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 have been the final ones leaving because the supervisor was taking down the surface sandwich indicators. She smiled and stated, “We hit the hay early right here in Manitou Springs!”
An alternative choice, with a totally completely different vibe, is Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama. It’s tacky however in a enjoyable approach. 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 dangerous 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 Selfmade 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 persistently excessive rankings.
Cacao Chemistry Chocolatier and Patisserie, on Tejon Road, provides samples of chocolate bark, however you received’t wish to cease there. Additionally they promote Valrhona darkish chocolate, French almond macarons, and connoisseur cookies.
Day Two Morning: Pikes Peak, America’s Mountain
Begin your day early to get to the highest of Pikes Peak. It’s the very best time to keep away from most visitors, particularly in the event you plan to bicycle down. Adventures Out West suits shoppers with a motorcycle and helmet and excessive visibility vest for the two-hour journey. And, most significantly, they’ll offer you ideas in addition to information you as you journey down Pikes Peak Freeway.
You’ll journey with employees in a Jeep on the best way up, and earlier than your bike journey down, you’ll have time to go to the newly renovated and aptly named Summit Welcome Middle on the prime. Right here, you may study concerning the space, and the present store sells all the pieces from kitchen magnets to fleece jackets. And no matter you do – don’t neglect to attempt 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 Grey Line. You’ll be above 14,000 toes on the prime of Pikes Peak so take some layers as it is going to be chilly on the prime.
If altitude is a priority, another 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 concept of how Native People lived lots of of years in the past. The day I visited, the children cherished having the ability to climb across the buildings.
Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is one other wonderful possibility 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 very best concept for anybody who suffers from claustrophobia. However, in the event you’re okay with the aforementioned, then go!
I cherished exploring the darkish tunnels and listening to our information, John, aka Hippie, weave eerie and generally weird tales of the oldsters who initially found the caves.
Hippie was the very best storyteller I’ve ever heard. He lowered his voice to a whisper when the story acquired to a scary half to construct suspense. Everybody in my group agreed we might have listened to him inform tales concerning 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 checklist 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 good friend stated 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, acquired 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 massive thrill whereas within the Royal Gorge Bridge and park space – remember to additionally take a look at the By way of Ferrata. A By way of Ferrata (Italian time period which means ‘iron path’) is a protected climbing route, constructed with a metal cable rail fastened to the rock, steel steps, ladders, suspension bridges, and zip wires. You’re clipped in the complete time and have a particular harness to put on along with particular ‘sticky’ footwear.
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An alternative choice for the afternoon is to enterprise to the small city of Cripple Creek, stuffed with wealthy gold mining historical past. The journey is gorgeous, and you must plan on an hour’s drive from Colorado Springs. If you happen to’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 similar to Doc Susie who started her follow in Cripple Creek within the 1800s. She was the function mannequin for the favored tv present, Dr. Quinn, Drugs Lady. You can too journey the Cripple Creek & Victor Slender Gauge Railroad, a historic steam prepare and open-air journey that travels over 4 miles of tracks via the Cripple Creek mining district. The prepare is coal-fired and there will probably be cinders. Railroad buffs love this journey.
Day Two Night: Spirits, Pizza, Barbecue, or Wonderful Eating
One in all my favourite corporations 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 army and civilians, household, and pals, interweaving threads of American Spirit that embody the 13 stripes and 50 stars of our nation’s flag. Every product represents a unique service: Military, Navy, Air Pressure, Coast Guard, Marines, legislation enforcement, firefighters and first responders.” Pattern their Leatherneck Whiskey, Fleet Admirals Barrel aged Rum, 5 Alarm Cinnamon Hearth Bourbon, Wingman Gin, Minuteman Vodka.”
1350 Distilling typically has meals vehicles on web site and has occasions similar to Excursions and Tastes, nevertheless it’s finest to examine their web site. Additionally they have a patio with splendid views; order some spirits and lift a glass to the Entrance Vary and your favourite firefighter, army member, or first responder.
White Pie is just a few blocks from the Mining Trade and Kinship Touchdown. White Pie has a big patio and pizzas that embrace Sicilian and the Porky Porkorino, in addition to appetizers like roasted cauliflower and a charcuterie board.
If you happen to’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 have been destroyed. However, the family-owned ranch was rebuilt and opened once more in Might 2020. If you happen to go to in December, take a look at the ranch’s cowboy Christmas.
For a special day, or in the event you merely love first-class eating, Summit at The Broadmoor is stylish and refined, and so they serve delicacies that equals the Broadmoor’s excessive requirements. The restaurant is situated a few block from the resort, 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 intensive menu. Summit was named one in all America’s 10 Finest Resort Eating places by Frommer’s. The gown code is resort informal.
Extra Points of interest for Your Weekend in Colorado Springs
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum is an inspirational, well-designed, and wonderful place to spend just a few hours. The Olympic spirit prevails right here, and also you’ll discover interactive shows, medals, costumes, and torches. Olympians and Paralympians go to typically and are completely satisfied to pose for images and share their experiences with guests. USA As we speak named the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum as one of many nation’s Finest New Points of interest. Get your skip-the-line ticket right 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 all the pieces a rafter may wish, from wetsuits to particular river footwear. 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.
The ProRodeo Corridor of Fame shows the historical past and legends of cowboys and rodeo. Guests can start their tour within the Corridor of Champions to study all issues cowboy and cowgirl. The evening I used to be there, I even acquired 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 is greater than a spot to remain; it has a lot of unbelievable experiences you are able to do moreover merely sleeping there. If you happen to keep at The Broadmoor, examine in early, retailer your baggage, and discover the attractive grounds, flowers, lake, and views. The Broadmoor has sufficient outlets to occupy you for the morning. Take a look at the shoe retailer standard with each visitors and Broadmoor employees (assume Ferragamo). You’ll discover outlets focusing on jewellery, artwork, and fly-fishing gear. Broadmoor Fly-Fishing Camp 75 miles from the resort is first-rate, distant, and nonetheless has the Broadmoor service requirements.
For a behind-the-scenes peek, name forward and examine with the concierge to rearrange a tour of the kitchens. Excursions usually require that you’re a part of a gaggle and are supplied largely through the holidays, so examine forward. There may be a further payment, which ranges relying on the tour.
You can too look via the glass behind Café Julie’s and watch as pastry cooks work their magic. Café Julie’s serves informal breakfast and lunch, however the true 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 components. I didn’t even like caramel till I tasted the luscious, wealthy, honey-brown, amber goodness, made onsite and bought at Café Julie’s.
Throughout the holidays, take a look at The Broadmoor’s 12 Days of Christmas cooking lessons, a 12-day collection with a 60-minute demonstration every day. For a modest payment, 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 all the pieces you might want on the three,000-acre property, with informal eating (Café Julie’s or Pure Epicurean), tremendous eating (The Summit), the Spa on the Broadmoor, and your decide of spectacular golf programs.
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The Mining Trade Resort
Nevertheless, if you wish to keep within the downtown space of Colorado Springs, I like to recommend The Mining Trade, a Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa, a historic renovated property. The resort 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. Depart your automotive with the valet earlier than check-in time and discover the world.
Rooms at The Mining Trade are quiet and comfy, with uncovered brick, giant home windows, and lofty ceilings. The employees is exceptionally pleasant. After I was a visitor at The Mining Trade not too long ago, one other Denverite and I have been decided to look at 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 supplied to acquire a drink for us.
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Soul Neighborhood Planet
One other favourite for a weekend in Colorado Springs is Soul Neighborhood Planet. This distinctive resort is a nod to Schitt’s Creek – a transformed outdated resort given a second hip life. The resort focuses on solely domestically sourced merchandise and fosters an unbelievable neighborhood of locals and guests.
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Kinship Touchdown is a classy, 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. Youngsters love this feature. Workers will even train you “the right way to camp.” They supply a sleeping bag, tent, backpack, tenting range, meals, and all the pieces it’s good to sleep below the celebrities. The primary evening is in your balcony; you’ll spend the second evening at a close-by campsite. This can be a improbable approach for first-timers to get a really feel for the outside with out worry of failure.
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Tips on how 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 cheaper than flying to Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, which is smaller and fewer busy than DIA. It will be finest to lease a automotive for this itinerary. If renting a automotive just isn’t an possibility, you may ride-share in Colorado Springs or prepare for transportation with a shuttle service, similar to Grey Line.
Finest Time to Go to the Pikes Peak Area
Fall (late September and October) is an excellent 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 decide the very best season for you and your loved ones, and simply hit the street.
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Guidebooks for Even Extra Details about Colorado Springs and Surrounding Areas
Take a look at these guidebooks for extra ideas and concepts about the right way 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 all the pieces from eating places the place you may “eat vegan” (Moxie) to the place to “shred” (Memorial Park Skate Park). This guide is straightforward to digest, and Akens has a present for writing narratives.
Colorado Household Outside Journey: An All-Ages Information to Tenting, Climbing, and Getting Exterior, 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 via the Society of American Journey Writers; she has the experience, enthusiasm, and credentials to advocate locations for folks of all ages and health ranges to camp, hike, and discover colourful Colorado.
For extra info, go to Pikes Peak Area.
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Meet the Writer: Sherry Spitsnaugle has lived in Denver for 3 many years and is the writer 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. As we speak, she continues to meet her journey bug tendencies, exploring and writing about her experiences.
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