In 1893, Katharine Lee Bates was so impressed by the magnificent view of Pikes Peak, that she wrote the celebrated phrases to “America the Stunning.” The fantastic Pikes Peak Area certainly evokes spacious skies and purple mountain majesties. Who wouldn’t need 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 will not be your velocity, it’s possible you’ll desire to take pleasure in nice 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 referred to as 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 may end up in a headache or nausea. You could need to strive an electrolyte drink combine that helps assist 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 suggest taking child aspirin day by day beginning 3 days BEFORE you come to Colorado – it could assist with altitude adjustment.
Whereas the elegant Broadmoor lodge is purpose sufficient to go to Colorado Springs, there may be a lot to do within the space, it’s possible you’ll resolve to remain greater than a weekend. For those who’re in search of tender journey, experience a horse or Segway by Backyard of the Gods or discover Cave of the Winds by occurring a haunted lantern tour (keep in mind to duck otherwise you’ll conk your noggin). Your coronary heart charge will climb as you ascend the 224 stairs to the highest of the Broadmoor Seven Falls. Rewards are incredible 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 out of doors patio to the place to raft Class III rapids. Journey awaits. So, seize your pack and hit the highway.
Day One Morning: Recent 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 strategy to Tejon Road. Don’t let the plastic banner hanging throughout the entryway idiot you. As soon as inside, you’ll discover tender lighting, classical music enjoying, hardwood flooring, and the aroma of recent beignets and café au lait. Sit at a desk close to the window and plan your day.
Certainly one of my favourite outlets on Tejon Road is The Savory Spice Store. The aroma alone is price 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 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 known as Scorch Set, which incorporates 4 bottles of the recent stuff: Smoked Jalapeño, Smoky Ghost, Sizzling Thai Inexperienced, and Aleppo Pepper. My nephew loves something scorching and can respect 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 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 highway close to the hovering crimson sandstone formations. My dad, who was a wanna-be geologist, defined the geology, flora, and fauna to us, mentioning the long-lasting rock formation known as the Kissing Camels.
However these aren’t my grandma’s gardens. In the present day, guests can glide on a Segway, both with or and not using a information, by the gardens with the wind and solar on their faces, and perhaps raindrops, too.
Adventures Out West units up purchasers with a Segway and helmet, provides a brief coaching within the parking zone, and leads purchasers on a tour by the gardens.
On my tour, guides Daniel and Greg took time to level out the Kissing Camels formation, identical 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 highway with automobiles; Daniel and Greg made sure that we adopted all security protocols.
Driving horses by the Gardens can also be an possibility. Academy Driving Stables matches visitors with a horse, information, and all the pieces wanted for a leisurely experience. Whereas I selected to see the gardens from a Segway, my good friend determined to experience a horse and stated it was a calming, mellow tempo. The Customer and Nature Heart is a wonderful 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 may simply hold 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 experience 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 chilliness vibe, road musicians, artists, dad and mom pushing their youngsters in a stroller, and pleasant people. 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 vigorous. Identical to a very good bar ought to be. Their web site reads, “Our beer is born from the pristine waters positioned close to the highest of the height.”
The night time I used to be there with a few associates, three of us squeezed right into a desk for 2, however we have been completely glad. Certainly one of my associates prefers wine to beer, a reality which she shared with the server who promptly delivered samples he thought she may 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!”
Another choice, with a very completely different vibe, is Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama. It’s tacky however in a enjoyable means. 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 truthful maiden. The night time I used to be there, the pianist tickled the ivories like a professional.
For dessert, Josh & John’s Do-it-yourself Ice Cream serves a gluten-free lilac scoop, made with taro root, named Purple Mountain Majesty, or a mix of brownies and chocolate known 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 constantly excessive rankings.
Cacao Chemistry Chocolatier and Patisserie, on Tejon Road, provides samples of chocolate bark, however you received’t need 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 one of the best time to keep away from most site visitors, particularly if you happen to plan to bicycle down. Adventures Out West matches purchasers with a motorcycle and helmet and excessive visibility vest for the two-hour experience. And, most significantly, they’ll provide you with ideas in addition to information you as you experience down Pikes Peak Freeway.
You’ll experience with workers in a Jeep on the way in which up, and earlier than your bike experience 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 neglect to strive a few of their world-famous donuts on the prime!
Different choices are to experience 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, an alternative 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 a whole bunch of years in the past. The day I visited, the children beloved having the ability to climb across the buildings.
Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is one other wonderful 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 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 one of the best concept for anybody who suffers from claustrophobia. However, if you happen to’re okay with the aforementioned, then go!
I beloved exploring the darkish tunnels and listening to our information, John, aka Hippie, weave eerie and typically weird tales of the oldsters 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 received 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 record merchandise in Colorado. I hadn’t deliberate to zipline over something, particularly the 1,250-foot-deep Royal Gorge. However after I realized 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, received strapped in, took a deep breath, after which…we flew over the gorge!
The experience 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 try the By way of Ferrata. A By way of Ferrata (Italian time period that 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 might be clipped in all the time and have a particular harness to put on along with particular ‘sticky’ footwear.
Another choice for the afternoon is to enterprise to the small city of Cripple Creek, filled with wealthy gold mining historical past. The experience is gorgeous, and you must plan on an hour’s drive from Colorado Springs. For those who’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 similar to Doc Susie who started her follow in Cripple Creek within the 1800s. She was the position mannequin for the favored tv present, Dr. Quinn, Drugs Girl. You too can experience the Cripple Creek & Victor Slim Gauge Railroad, a historic steam prepare and open-air experience that travels over 4 miles of tracks by the Cripple Creek mining district. The prepare is coal-fired and there shall be cinders. Railroad buffs love this journey.
Day Two Night: Spirits, Pizza, Barbecue, or Wonderful Eating
Certainly one of my favourite firms I realized 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 associates, 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, legislation 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 website and has occasions similar to Excursions and Tastes, nevertheless it’s greatest 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 a number of 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.
For those who’re within the temper for barbecue and all of the trimmings, make reservations at Flying W Ranch. The ranch sustained main harm through the Waldo Canyon fireplace in 2012 when practically the entire buildings have been destroyed. However, the family-owned ranch was rebuilt and opened once more in Might 2020. For those who go to in December, try the ranch’s cowboy Christmas.
For an important day, or if you happen to merely love first-class eating, Summit at The Broadmoor is elegant and refined, and so they serve delicacies that equals the Broadmoor’s excessive requirements. The restaurant is positioned 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 in depth menu. Summit was named one among America’s 10 Finest Lodge Eating places by Frommer’s. The costume 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 a very good place to spend a number of 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 In the present day 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’ll be able to contact a giraffe and produce other wonderful 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 may 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 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 night time I used to be there, I even received to satisfy 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 various unimaginable experiences you are able to do apart from merely sleep there. For those who 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. Try the shoe retailer widespread with each visitors and Broadmoor workers (assume Ferragamo). You’ll discover outlets 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 provided principally through the holidays, so examine forward. There’s a further charge, which ranges relying on the tour.
You too can look by the glass in the back of Café Julie’s and watch as pastry cooks work their magic. Café Julie’s serves informal breakfast and lunch, however the actual gems are the chocolate delicacies they promote on the café. The whole lot from ganache to salty caramel truffles is made on website from the best high quality of elements. I didn’t even like caramel till I tasted the luscious, wealthy, honey-brown, amber goodness, made onsite and bought at Café Julie’s.
Through the holidays, try The Broadmoor’s 12 Days of Christmas cooking courses, a 12-day collection with a 60-minute demonstration every day. For a modest charge, 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), nice eating (The Summit), the Spa on the Broadmoor, and your choose of spectacular golf programs.
The Mining Trade Lodge
Nevertheless, if you wish to keep within the downtown space of Colorado Springs, I like to recommend The Mining Trade, a Wyndham Grand Lodge and Spa, a historic renovated property. The lodge is conveniently positioned 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. Go away your automobile with the valet earlier than check-in time and discover the world.
Rooms at The Mining Trade are quiet and cozy, with uncovered brick, massive home windows, and lofty ceilings. The workers 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 observe 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 provided to obtain a drink for us.
Soul Neighborhood Planet
One other favourite for a weekend in Colorado Springs is Soul Neighborhood Planet. This distinctive lodge is a nod to Schitt’s Creek – a transformed 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 stylish, new, high-tech property with a minimalist vibe. Registration is in the identical space because the bar. How handy! You may even request a tent to pitch in your balcony and have a view of Pikes Peak. Youngsters love this selection. Workers will even train you “methods to camp.” They supply a sleeping bag, tent, backpack, tenting range, meals, and all the pieces you have to sleep underneath the celebrities. The primary night time is in your balcony; you’ll spend the second night time at a close-by campsite. This can be a incredible means for first-timers to get a really feel for the outside with out concern of failure.
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How one can Get Round Throughout Your Weekend in Colorado Springs
You may 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 could be greatest to hire a automobile for this itinerary. If renting a automobile will not be an possibility, you’ll be able to ride-share in Colorado Springs or organize 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 choose one of the best season for you and your loved ones, and simply hit the highway.
Guidebooks for Even Extra Details about Colorado Springs and Surrounding Areas
Try these guidebooks for extra ideas and concepts about methods 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 guide is simple to digest, and Akens has a present for writing narratives.
Colorado Household Out of doors 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 all the state. Mundt is a third-generation Coloradan and it’s apparent she loves Colorado and the outside. I do know Heather personally by 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 info, 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 crimson wagon and took off for an journey— across the block. In the present day, she continues to satisfy her journey bug tendencies, exploring and writing about her experiences.
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