Colorado Springs is one of America's finest resorts. With its unique and beautiful sandstone rock formations, miles and miles of mountain trails and a galaxy of outdoor activities to enjoy, it's a place where anyone can get away from it all.
If you love fresh air and stunning scenery, Colorado Springs is ideal. Rent mountain bikes and hit the downhill trails. Go rock climbing or hiking in the Garden of the Gods. Join whitewater rafting expeditions in Echo Canyon or take the whole family horse riding.
There's also a vast choice of restaurants serving up whatever food takes your fancy. Whether you feel the need for a platter of sushi at Jun Japanese or a Mexican feast at La Unica, you'll find cuisine from all over the world in this little corner of Colorado.
So when you've tired yourself out on the trails or golf courses, you can dine in style as well. That's what makes Colorado Springs such an exceptional destination for your next vacation.
Colorado Springs is located in a valley fringed by mountains like Pike's Peak and Cheyenne Mountain, with waterfalls and trails descending gently from their slopes. In the valley, exotic rock formations like the Garden of the Gods complete a gorgeous setting.
The year-round season makes Colorado Springs a top-class golfing destination and some fantastic courses have sprung up to cater for golfing fans. Pine Creek is the best of all, offering beautiful views and a range of course designs to suit long and short hitters alike.
Colorado Springs is the ideal family vacation destination. Pet giraffes at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, go horse or pony riding on the local trails or watch ice skating events at the World Arena Ice Hall. You can even take your own pets out on the trails if your hotel allows them - so everyone can make the most of their vacation.
If you want to shop for high-quality works of art, apparel influenced by Native American weaving, or unique locally-made artisan jewelry, Old Colorado City is the place to do so. You'll find a souvenir for even the hardest to please friends and relatives.
Learn about the Old West at the Ghost Town Museum, which commemorates the city's heritage as a center of the Gold Rush. Learn about rodeo greats at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame or find out what made the city rich with a visit to the Western Museum of Mining and Industry.
Sit back and experience the origin of the earth at the Geo-Trekker Theater. Travel back one billion years alongside dinosaurs and ancient sea monsters. Then, visit the Jurassic exhibit and marvel at the newly-discovered fossils of a new dinosaur species, the Theiophytalia Kerri. It will leave you wondering about this creature's prehistoric past. The Garden of the Gods' interactive exhibits will amaze you. For outdoor fun, go on the Balanced Rock & Manitou Springs Jeep Tour and take in the unobstructed view of the red mountains, flora, and fauna inhabiting their terrains. To get the best view of the park, check out the Visitor & Nature Center terrace. Pikes Peak's majestic foothills and the red sandstones will leave you breathless.
Located in the Pike National Forest, Pikes Peak stands over 14,000 feet above sea level and makes up the Rocky Mountains. Go on a three-hour, round trip adventure aboard the Pikes Peak Cog railway. Ascend up the magnificent mountain and marvel at the breathtaking views of Pikes Peak's snowy covered mountains and clear Colorado Springs. To get an even more outdoorsy feel, go fishing at the Crystal Reservoir, North Catamount, and South Catamount Lakes.
The United States Air Force Academy combines a university and military academy in one. Take a self-guided tour of the iconic campus and explore the magnificent Rocky Mountain region. If you want to test your endurance, hike up the arduous paved nature trail whose hills take you to the Cadet Chapel. During regular business hours, hike the Stanley Canyon and Falcon hiking trails. Whichever trail you decide to take, make sure you wear sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and jackets for the famously unpredictable weather. You may be lucky during the academic semester and catch the cadets marching in formation in front of the Honor Court overlooking the Terrazzo.
Founded in 1926, The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo offers an interactive experience for families. Embark on a chairlift and take in the bird's-eye view of the Asian Highlands and Rocky Mountain Wild exhibits as well a scenic view of Colorado Springs. Disembark at the Mountaineer Summit and marvel at the grand landscape. For a 30-minute behind-the-scenes animal care experience, take the Animal Husbandry Tour. Then, stroll over to the Endangered Species exhibit where you'll find the diverse amphibians, birds, invertebrates, and mammals placed in protection, where you'll get to meet each animal close to extinction.
Take a one-hour tour of the facility and marvel at the interactive, digitally-designed rotunda. Peek in at Team USA athletes who are currently training at the Center. Then, stroll over to the Panasonic Social Media Wall and follow your favorite Team USA athletes as they prepare for the Summer or Fall competitions.
Temperature is the most important factor in deciding when to visit Colorado Springs. Summer can be extremely hot, too hot for some. If extreme heat isn't your thing, consider a visit in April or May, or the fall. Both seasons offer warm weather. In the fall, you will have the added bonus of seeing gorgeous foliage in the mountains - a stunning sight. However, winter isn't a snowbound season, and hotel rates can be very low, so it's another alternative worth thinking about.
Colorado Springs Municipal Airport is the closest point of arrival for visitors and is covered by American Airlines and Delta, but there are far more flight connections to Denver Airport, around 80 miles away. Shuttle buses will take you from Colorado Springs Airport to the major resorts and town center hotels. If you are coming from Denver, the best option is either to rent a car from outlets like Avis and Enterprise or take the DIA shuttle bus, which costs $50.
The nearest Amtrak station is Denver, which is well connected to other parts of the US rail network via the California Zephyr, which links the city to Chicago and California.
I-25 runs directly through the city, linking it to Denver and other cities in New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming, and you can get from Denver to the resort in around two hours.
Greyhound connects Colorado Springs to regional and national destinations via their stop at 120 S. Weber St, and offer the cheapest way to get to the resort from other parts of the country.
Accommodation in Colorado Springs tends to be self-contained resorts, offering facilities like spas and golf courses. Some of the most luxurious include the eco-friendly Sundance Mountain Lodge and the Cheyenne Mountain Resort, which provides gorgeous mountain views. In the center of town, check out the Crowne Plaza and the Rodeway Inn, both of which are comfortable hotels with easy access to local attractions.
Downtown Colorado Springs – Colorado Springs itself is a significant urban area, with over 450,000 residents and plenty for visitors to do. There are fascinating museums like the May Natural History Museum, with its collection of tropical insects, the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and the Ghost Town Museum, which teaches visitors about the Colorado gold rush. It's also the place to be for high-class dining options, with great Mexican eateries like La Unica and lively bars like O'Furry's.
Cheyenne Mountain – Just southwest of Colorado Springs, you can't miss the soaring figure of Cheyenne Mountain. Around the base of this peak, you'll find some of the area's leading attractions, including the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the beautiful Seven Falls in Cheyenne Creek.
Old Colorado City – Colorado Springs' most historic neighborhood, Old Colorado City really gives a flavor of the Old West. The area between 32nd Street and 14th Street includes the city's best places to shop for souvenirs, antiques, clothing and works of art.
Colorado Springs Transit provides a number of useful routes within the metropolitan area. A single journey costs $1.75, but if you are going to be in town for a while, the 20 ride ticket for $32 makes economic sense. It also includes the city's vanpool service, which can be the easiest way to hop between hotels and attractions.
There are plenty of taxi companies in the Colorado Springs area, and if you are willing to pay extra, they are an excellent way to reach mountain beauty spots and golf courses. The meter drop tends to be around $2.50, and then taxis charge $2.20 per mile. UberX services are much cheaper, however, with a basic charge of $1, then $0.90 per mile.
Having a car gives you the freedom to see all of the region's trails and attractions, so it's a great way to get around. There are Budget and Enterprise outlets in the city center, as well as rental companies at both Colorado Springs and Denver airports. Driving in the city shouldn't pose any problems and with 2,400 metered spaces, finding a spot to park won't be difficult.
If you want to shop for Native American-influenced art and crafts products or paintings by the area's brightest talents, the best place to go is Old Colorado City in the northwest of Colorado Springs. West Colorado Avenue has most of the best stores, including boutiques like Squash Blossom and art stores like the Michael Garman Gallery. If you are looking for a conventional mall, Broadmoor Towne Center and the Citadel have everything you need.
If you need to shop for groceries during your stay, there are plenty of options, with local branches of Albertson's, King Sooper's and Trader Joes. In spring, summer and early fall, there's also a farmers' market that changes location and offers the freshest local produce around. Living costs are reasonable. Expect to pay about $2.70 for a gallon of milk and $13-14 for a good bottle of wine.
Whatever cuisine you prefer, Colorado Springs will have a restaurant for you. Jun Japanese is a fantastic sushi spot with live music events, La Unica and Pueblo Viejo are great Mexican eateries, Sheldon's is the place to head for massive breakfast platters, Pizzeria Rustica serves huge wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, while Front Range Barbeque is a first-rate BBQ and southern food restaurant. Meals won't be expensive. Expect to pay $30-40 for high-end places and less than $20 in most restaurants.