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 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 dwell, 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 virtually as if I grew up within the space.
On a weekend in Colorado Springs, you’ll be able to 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 shouldn’t be your pace, chances are you’ll choose to take pleasure in positive 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 sometimes contains Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Cripple Creek, the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, and naturally the area’s namesake, Pikes Peak, also called America’s mountain.
Map of Issues to do in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Area
Nuts and Bolts on 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. You could wish to attempt an electrolyte drink combine that helps support 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 each day beginning 3 days BEFORE you come to Colorado – it may assist with altitude adjustment.
Whereas the elegant Broadmoor lodge is cause sufficient to go to Colorado Springs, there’s a lot to do within the space, chances are you’ll resolve to remain greater than a weekend. When you’re in search of gentle journey, journey a horse or Segway by way of Backyard of the Gods or discover Cave of the Winds by happening a haunted lantern tour (keep in mind to duck otherwise you’ll conk your noggin). Your coronary heart fee 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: Contemporary Beignets, Spices, and Books
The primary cease on your weekend in Colorado Springs is La Baguette French Bakery & Café, on East Pikes Peak Avenue, in your technique to Tejon Avenue. Don’t let the plastic banner hanging throughout the entryway idiot you. As soon as inside, you’ll discover gentle 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 among my favourite retailers on Tejon Avenue is The Savory Spice Store. The aroma alone is value stopping on this regionally 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 buddy 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 new 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 Avenue, the shop has 8,000 sq. ft of all the pieces e book 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 Backyard of the Gods I used to be eight years outdated, touring with my dad and mom and sitting within the backseat of our automobile with my grandmother and sibling. We slowly drove on the street close to the hovering purple sandstone formations. My dad, who was a wanna-be geologist, defined the geology, flora, and fauna to us, declaring 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 with no information, by way of the gardens with the wind and solar on their faces, and perhaps raindrops, too.
Adventures Out West units up shoppers with a Segway and helmet, offers a brief coaching within the car parking zone, and leads shoppers on a tour by way of 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.
Using horses by way of the Gardens can also be an possibility. Academy Using Stables matches company with a horse, information, and all the pieces wanted for a leisurely journey. Whereas I selected to see the gardens from a Segway, my buddy determined to journey a horse and stated it was a soothing, mellow tempo. The Customer and Nature Heart is a superb place to be taught concerning the flora, fauna, and geology of the world.
Broadmoor Seven Falls, a string of waterfalls, is an alternative choice for the afternoon. You could 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. Convey the necessities together with a jacket and water bottle. The steps will lead you to trails, together with the most well-liked, Inspiration Level. Take a selfie on the prime, after which journey the elevator down. Taking the elevator each up and down can also 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 nippiness vibe, road musicians, artists, dad and mom pushing their children in a stroller, and pleasant of us. Everybody right here says hello.
One possibility for dinner is Manitou Brewing Firm the place you’ll be able to 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 full of life. Similar 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 glad. One among my pals 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 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 manner. You’ll have a alternative of entrees within the restaurant, then go upstairs to the theatre the place native actors play the elements of the villain and heroine. Viewers members boo and hiss the unhealthy man, and ooh and ahh the honest maiden. The evening I used to be there, the pianist tickled the ivories like a professional.
For dessert, Josh & John’s Home made 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 regionally churned. This candy deal with will get persistently excessive scores.
Cacao Chemistry Chocolatier and Patisserie, on Tejon Avenue, offers samples of chocolate bark, however you received’t wish to cease there. In addition 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 one of the best time to keep away from most site visitors, particularly should you plan to bicycle down. Adventures Out West matches 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 Heart on the prime. Right here, you’ll be able to be taught concerning the space, and the present store sells all the pieces from kitchen magnets to fleece jackets. And no matter you do – don’t overlook 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 ft on the prime of Pikes Peak so take some layers as will probably be chilly on the prime.
If altitude is a priority, an alternative choice is the Manitou Cliff Dwellings to discover the structure of historic cliff dwellers. Take a self-guided tour of the archeological and pure historical past protect and get an concept of how Native People lived tons of of years in the past. The day I visited, the children cherished having the ability to climb across the constructions.
Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is one other glorious possibility on 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 aside 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 one of the best concept for anybody who suffers from claustrophobia. However, should 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 typically weird tales of the parents who initially found the caves.
Hippie was one of the 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 historic 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 buddy 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 an additional huge thrill whereas within the Royal Gorge Bridge and park space – remember to additionally try 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 mounted to the rock, metallic steps, ladders, suspension bridges, and zip wires. You’re clipped in the whole time and have a particular harness to put on along with particular ‘sticky’ sneakers.
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 it is best 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 costume in interval costumes and share the city’s historical past. They play characters comparable to 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. It’s also possible to journey the Cripple Creek & Victor Slender Gauge Railroad, a historic steam prepare and open-air journey that travels over 4 miles of tracks by way of 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 Effective Eating
One among my favourite corporations I discovered about on my latest go to to Colorado Springs is 1350 Distilling, a craft distillery that makes regionally 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 special service: Military, Navy, Air Drive, 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.”
1350 Distilling typically has meals vehicles on web site and has occasions comparable to Excursions and Tastes, but it surely’s finest to examine their web site. In addition 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 Alternate 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 in the course of the Waldo Canyon hearth in 2012 when almost all the constructions have been destroyed. However, the family-owned ranch was rebuilt and opened once more in Might 2020. When you go to in December, try the ranch’s cowboy Christmas.
For a special day, or should 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 do not 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 every of America’s 10 Finest Resort Eating places by Frommer’s. The costume code is resort informal.
Extra Sights for Your Weekend in Colorado Springs
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum is an inspirational, well-designed, and a very good 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 glad to pose for photographs 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 right here.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is world-renowned. Individuals of all ages love this zoo the place you’ll be able to 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 wish to raft on calm waters, Echo Canyon River Expeditions is the corporate of alternative. You possibly can even buy a GoPro video of your journey after the journey. Echo Canyon has all the pieces a rafter may need, from wetsuits to particular river sneakers. After your journey, dine at 8 Mile Bar & Grill which serves popcorn salad. (Attempt it!) Additionally a good selection? 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 find out about 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 unimaginable experiences you are able to do moreover merely sleep there. When you keep at The Broadmoor, examine in early, retailer your baggage, and discover the beautiful grounds, flowers, lake, and views. The Broadmoor has sufficient retailers to occupy you for the morning. Try the shoe retailer well-liked with each company and Broadmoor employees (suppose Ferragamo). You’ll discover retailers focusing on 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.
For a behind-the-scenes peek, name forward and examine with the concierge to rearrange a tour of the kitchens. Excursions typically require that you’re a part of a bunch and are supplied largely in the course of the holidays, so examine forward. There may be an extra payment, which ranges relying on the tour.
It’s also possible to look by way 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 true gems are the chocolate delicacies they promote on the café. Every part from ganache to salty caramel truffles is made on web site from the best high quality of substances. 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, try 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 can want on the three,000-acre property, with informal eating (Café Julie’s or Pure Epicurean), positive eating (The Summit), the Spa on the Broadmoor, and your choose of spectacular golf programs.
The Mining Alternate Resort
Nonetheless, if you wish to keep within the downtown space of Colorado Springs, I like to recommend The Mining Alternate, a Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa, a historic renovated property. The lodge is conveniently situated a block from Tejon Avenue, 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.
Rooms at The Mining Alternate are quiet and cozy, with uncovered brick, massive home windows, and lofty ceilings. The employees is exceptionally pleasant. After I was a visitor at The Mining Alternate not too long ago, one other Denverite and I have been decided to observe the Colorado Avalanche playoff recreation 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 obtain a drink for us.
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Soul Group Planet
One other favourite for a weekend in Colorado Springs is Soul Group Planet. This distinctive lodge is a nod to Schitt’s Creek – a reworked outdated lodge given a second hip life. The lodge focuses on solely regionally sourced merchandise and fosters an unimaginable group 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. Children love this feature. Employees will even train you “the best way to camp.” They supply a sleeping bag, tent, backpack, tenting range, meals, and all the pieces it’s essential to sleep below the celebs. The primary evening is in your balcony; you’ll spend the second evening at a close-by campsite. It is a improbable manner for first-timers to get a really feel for the outside with out concern of failure.
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Find out 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 inexpensive than flying to Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, which is smaller and fewer busy than DIA. It might be finest to hire a automobile for this itinerary. If renting a automobile shouldn’t be an possibility, you’ll be able to ride-share in Colorado Springs or organize for transportation with a shuttle service, comparable 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 choose one of the best season for you and your loved ones, and simply hit the street.
Guidebooks for Even Extra Details about Colorado Springs and Surrounding Areas
Try these guidebooks for extra ideas and concepts about the best way to get essentially 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’ll be able to “eat vegan” (Moxie) to the place to “shred” (Memorial Park Skate Park). This e book is straightforward to digest, and Akens has a present for writing narratives.
Colorado Household Outside Journey: An All-Ages Information to Tenting, Mountain climbing, and Getting Exterior, by Heather Mundt, has a ton of concepts for actions within the Pikes Peak Area and the whole state. Mundt is a third-generation Coloradan and it’s apparent she loves Colorado and the outside. I do know Heather personally by way of the Society of American Journey Writers; she has the experience, enthusiasm, and credentials to suggest locations for individuals of all ages and health ranges to camp, hike, and discover colourful Colorado.
For extra data, go to Pikes Peak Area.
Meet the Writer: Sherry Spitsnaugle has lived in Denver for 3 many years 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 purple wagon and took off for an journey— across the block. At present, she continues to meet her journey bug tendencies, exploring and writing about her experiences.
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