May 31, 2023

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 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 really easy to entry, I’ve visited the area a few dozen instances. Extra if I depend 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 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 will not be your velocity, you might favor to bask in high-quality eating, golf, or a spa therapy 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 Region.

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 to 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 need to strive an electrolyte drink mix that helps aid 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 will probably assist with altitude adjustment.

Whereas the elegant Broadmoor Resort is motive sufficient to go to Colorado Springs, there may be a lot to do within the space, you might resolve to remain for greater than a weekend. In case you’re searching for tender journey, experience a horse or Segway by means of Backyard of the Gods or discover Cave of the Winds by happening a haunted lantern tour (bear 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 unbelievable views and bragging rights. Or watch bull riders compete on the rodeo on the ProRodeo Corridor of Fame.

weekend in colorado springs

This itinerary covers every little thing 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 to your weekend in Colorado Springs is La Baguette French Bakery & Café, on East Pikes Peak Avenue, in your strategy to Tejon Avenue. 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.

Considered one of my favourite outlets on Tejon Avenue is The Savory Spice Shop. The aroma alone is value 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 pal 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 new stuff:  Smoked Jalapeño, Smoky Ghost, Sizzling Thai Inexperienced, and Aleppo Pepper. My nephew loves something scorching and can admire this present. The field reads, “Some prefer it hotter.”

Tattered Cover, Colorado’s bookstore darling, opened its first location outdoors of Denver in June 2022. Situated at 112 North Tejon Avenue, the shop has 8,000 sq. ft of every little thing ebook 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 Garden 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, declaring the enduring rock formation known as the Kissing Camels.

However these aren’t my grandma’s gardens. Immediately, guests can glide on a Segway, both with or with out a information, by means of the gardens with the wind and solar on their faces, and possibly raindrops, too.

Learn concerning the Backyard of the Gods on Lanai, Hawaii

Adventures Out West units up shoppers with a Segway and helmet, offers a brief coaching within the parking zone, and leads shoppers on a tour by means of the gardens.

Author on Segway in Garden of the Gods
Writer Sherry Spitsnaugle excursions on a Segway by means of the Backyard of the Gods. Picture by Tom Adkinson

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 instances, when Daniel heard thunder, we pulled over and took cowl.

The app on his cellphone reported thunder ten miles away, however we nonetheless waited it out, which I appreciated. On parts of the tour, we had been on the highway with vehicles; Daniel and Greg made sure that we adopted all security protocols.

Driving horses by means of the Gardens can also be an possibility. Academy Riding Stables matches visitors with a horse, information, and every little thing wanted for a leisurely experience. Whereas I selected to see the gardens from a Segway, my pal determined to experience a horse and stated it was a soothing, mellow tempo. The Visitor and Nature Center is a wonderful place to be taught concerning the flora, fauna, and geology of the realm.

Try one other horseback using journey in Colorado at Vista Verde Ranch

Broadmoor Seven Falls, a string of waterfalls, is another 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 preserve 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 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 nippiness vibe, avenue 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 Company the place you may sit outdoors 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. Identical to a superb bar needs to be. Their web site reads, “Our beer is born from the pristine waters positioned close to the highest of the height.”

Weekend in Colorado Springs Manitou Brewing Company
Manitou Brewing Firm, downtown Manitou Springs, has an awesome patio and glorious beer brewed onsite. Picture by Sherry Spitsnaugle

The evening I used to be there with a few buddies, three of us squeezed right into a desk for 2, however we had been completely blissful. Considered one of my buddies 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 had been the final ones leaving because the supervisor was taking down the skin sandwich indicators. She smiled and stated, “We hit the hay early right here in Manitou Springs!”

An alternative choice, with a very totally 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 honest maiden. The evening I used to be there, the pianist tickled the ivories like a professional.

For dessert, Josh & John’s Homemade 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 domestically churned. This candy deal with will get constantly excessive scores.

Cacao Chemistry Chocolatier and Patisserie, on Tejon Avenue, offers samples of chocolate bark, however you gained’t need to cease there. In addition they promote Valrhona darkish chocolate, French almond macarons, and connoisseur cookies.

Day Two Morning: Pikes Peak, America’s Mountain

pikes peak colorado springs weekend
Bike down Pikes Peak Freeway

Begin your day early to get to the highest of Pikes Peak. It’s the very best time to keep away from most site visitors, particularly when you plan to bicycle down. Adventures Out West matches shoppers with a motorcycle and helmet and excessive visibility vest for the two-hour experience. And, most significantly, they’ll offer you ideas in addition to information you as you experience down Pikes Peak Freeway.

You’ll experience with workers in a Jeep on the best way up, and earlier than your bike experience down, you’ll have time to go to the newly renovated and aptly named Summit Welcome Center on the prime. Right here, you may be taught concerning the space, and the present store sells every little thing from kitchen magnets to fleece jackets. And no matter you do – don’t overlook 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 Gray Line. You’ll be above 14,000 ft on the prime of Pikes Peak so take some layers as it is going to be chilly on the prime.

Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Manitou Cliff Dwellings are a superb place for youths and adults to discover, climb, and be taught. Picture by Sherry Spitsnaugle

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 tons 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 glorious possibility to 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 the very best concept for anybody who suffers from claustrophobia. However, when 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 may 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 realized that it was primary on everybody’s bucket lists, how may I not?

A pal 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 experience was breathtaking. And quick. I might do it once more in a heartbeat.

For an additional large thrill whereas within the Royal Gorge Bridge and park space – you’ll want to additionally check out the Via Ferrata. A Through Ferrata (Italian time period that means ‘iron path’) is a protected climbing route, constructed with a metal cable rail mounted to the rock, steel steps, ladders, suspension bridges, and zip wires. You might be clipped in your complete time and have a particular harness to put on along with particular ‘sticky’ sneakers.

Journey journey seekers – this strategy to New Zealand

An alternative choice for the afternoon is to enterprise to the small city of Cripple Creek, stuffed with wealthy gold mining historical past. The experience is gorgeous, and you must plan on an hour’s drive from Colorado Springs. In case you’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 reminiscent of Doc Susie who started her apply 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 practice and open-air experience that travels over 4 miles of tracks by means of the Cripple Creek mining district. The practice is coal-fired and there will probably be cinders. Railroad buffs love this journey.

Cripple Creek Narrow Gauge Railcar with enginner
Cripple Creek & Victor Slim Gauge Railroad takes guests alongside 4 miles of tracks by means of mountain surroundings. Picture by Sherry Spitsnaugle

Day Two Night: Spirits, Pizza, Barbecue, or Fantastic Eating

Considered one of my favourite firms I realized 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 navy and civilians, household, and buddies, 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 Fireplace Bourbon, Wingman Gin, Minuteman Vodka.”

 Package of spirits from 1350 Distilling
1350 Distilling crafts spirits which might be named for navy companies, firefighters, and first responders. Their identify represents the 13 stripes and 50 stars of the Flag. Picture by Sherry Spitsnaugle

1350 Distilling typically has meals vans on website and has occasions reminiscent of Excursions and Tastes, however it’s finest to examine their website. In addition they have a patio with splendid views; order some spirits and lift a glass to the Entrance Vary and your favourite firefighter, navy 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.

In case you’re within the temper for barbecue and all of the trimmings, make reservations at Flying W Ranch. The ranch sustained main injury throughout the Waldo Canyon fireplace in 2012 when almost the entire buildings had been destroyed. However, the family-owned ranch was rebuilt and opened once more in Could 2020. In case you go to in December, try the ranch’s cowboy Christmas.

For an important day, or when 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 positioned a couple of 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 in depth menu. Summit was named one among 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 glorious 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 blissful to pose for images and share their experiences with guests. USA Immediately named the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum as one of many nation’s Finest New Points of interest. Get your skip-the-line ticket here.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is world-renowned. Folks 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 wish to raft on calm waters, Echo Canyon River Expeditions is the corporate of alternative. You’ll be able to even buy a GoPro video of your journey after the journey. Echo Canyon has every little thing a rafter may wish, from wetsuits to particular river sneakers. 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.

Author and rodeo clown
Writer Sherry Spitsnaugle will get to satisfy a daredevil rodeo clown on the ProRodeo Corridor of Fame.

The ProRodeo Hall 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 satisfy the daredevil rodeo clown and take a selfie. Verify the web site for the rodeo schedule.

The place to Keep in Colorado Springs

The Broadmoor

The Broadmoor is greater than a spot to remain; it has plenty of unbelievable experiences you are able to do moreover merely sleeping there. In case you keep at The Broadmoor, examine in early, retailer your baggage, and discover the attractive grounds, flowers, lake, and views. The Broadmoor has sufficient shops to occupy you for the morning. Try the shoe retailer standard with each visitors and Broadmoor workers (assume Ferragamo). You’ll discover outlets specializing in 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.

View from room at The Broadmoor
View from a collection at The Broadmoor, the world’s longest-running Forbes 5-Star and AAA 5-Diamond resort. Picture by Sherry Spitsnaugle

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 throughout the holidays, so examine forward. There’s an extra price, which ranges relying on the tour.

You too can look by means 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 actual gems are the chocolate delicacies they promote on the café. Every little thing 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.

In the course of the holidays, try The Broadmoor’s 12 Days of Christmas cooking courses, a 12-day sequence with a 60-minute demonstration every day. For a modest price, 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 every little thing you could possibly want on the three,000-acre property, with informal eating (Café Julie’s or Pure Epicurean), high-quality eating (The Summit), the Spa on the Broadmoor, and your choose of spectacular golf programs.

Learn reviews for The Broadmoor on Trip Advisor | Seek for different Colorado Springs area hotels

The Mining Trade Resort

Nevertheless, if you wish to keep within the downtown space of Colorado Springs, I like to recommend The Mining Exchange, a Wyndham Grand Hotel and Spa, a historic renovated property. The resort is conveniently positioned a block from Tejon Avenue, the place you’ll discover dozens of retailers, bars, eating places, and the just lately opened Tattered Cowl Bookstore. Depart your automobile with the valet earlier than check-in time and discover the realm.

Lobby of Mining Exchange Hotel and Spa
The foyer of The Mining Trade, a Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa, downtown Colorado Springs. Picture by Sherry Spitsnaugle

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 just lately, one other Denverite and I had 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 proper channel and even supplied to acquire a drink for us.

Verify costs and availability for The Mining Exchange | Learn reviews for The Mining Exchange on Trip Advisor | Seek for different Colorado Springs area hotels

Soul Neighborhood Planet

One other favourite for a weekend in Colorado Springs is Soul Community 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 group of locals and guests.

soul community planet colorado springs

Verify costs and availability for Soul Community Planet | Examine my expertise at Soul Neighborhood Planet | Learn reviews for Soul Community Planet on Trip Advisor | Seek for different Colorado Springs area hotels

“We attempt to cater to individuals who worth the surroundings, social good, and wellness. Each choice we make falls into one of many three mentalities that we’re constructed on: wholesome, variety, and inexperienced”

Soul Neighborhood Planet Inns

Kinship Touchdown

Kinship Landing is a stylish, new, high-tech property with a minimalist vibe. Registration is in the identical space because the bar. How handy! You’ll be able to even request a tent to pitch in your balcony and have a view of Pikes Peak. Children love this selection. Employees will even train you “tips on how to camp.” They supply a sleeping bag, tent, backpack, tenting range, meals, and every little thing it is advisable 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 unbelievable means for first-timers to get a really feel for the outside with out concern of failure.

Verify costs and availability for Kinship Landing | Learn reviews for Kinship Landing on Trip Advisor | Seek for different Colorado Springs area hotels

The right way to Get Round Throughout Your Weekend in Colorado Springs

You’ll be able to 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 will not be an possibility, you may ride-share in Colorado Springs or prepare for transportation with a shuttle service, reminiscent of Gray 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 the very best season for you and your loved ones, and simply hit the highway.

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Guidebooks for Even Extra Details about Colorado Springs and Surrounding Areas

Try these guidebooks for extra ideas and concepts about tips on how 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 every little thing from eating places the place you may “eat vegan” (Moxie) to the place to “shred” (Memorial Park Skate Park). This ebook is straightforward to digest, and Akens has a present for writing narratives.

Colorado Household Outside Journey: An All-Ages Information to Tenting, Mountaineering, and Getting Outdoors, by Heather Mundt, has a ton of concepts for actions within the Pikes Peak Area and your complete state. Mundt is a third-generation Coloradan and it’s apparent she loves Colorado and the outside. I do know Heather personally by means of the Society of American Journey Writers; she has the experience, enthusiasm, and credentials to suggest locations for folks of all ages and health ranges to camp, hike, and discover colourful Colorado.

For extra info, go to Pikes Peak Region.

Extra Colorado Adventures

Rocky Mountaineer Practice Journey – Moab to Denver

Colorado Rafting Journey

Hanging Lake Colorado Mountaineering Journey

Sherry Spitsnaugle

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. Immediately, she continues to satisfy her journey bug tendencies, exploring and writing about her experiences.
Instagram: sherryspitsnaugle


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