Are you planning on taking a trip to Colorado Springs? If you love outdoor adventures then this is the perfect destination for you, but there is also more to do than just hiking!
Keep reading for some great ideas for your Colorado Springs travel adventure.
1. The United States Air Force Academy
The U.S. Air Force Academy is the educational institution for those who would like to become a pilot in the Air Force. Visitors to the academy can stop at the Visitor Center where you will receive a self-guided map and a brief introduction about the academy. Afterward, you can explore the campus and see the Honor Court, Cadet Chapel and Falcon Stadium.
The campus’ public areas are all connected via shady pathways and it is recommended that you wear appropriate walking shoes if you plan on seeing everything. If you have picked a good day for a visit, you might see some training exercises and see some of the “Top Gun” like maneuvers first-hand. One of the best times to visit and see some aerial acrobatics is during the Graduation ceremony in May.
Located approximately 15 miles north of Colorado Springs, the U.S. Air Force Academy makes for a great day trip. Make sure you have your driver’s license handy and enter through the North Gate. You might also be subjected to participate in a vehicle inspection for security reasons.
2. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
If you love animals, a trip to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the perfect location to add to your itinerary, especially if you are vacationing with kids. The zoo is located about six miles south of Colorado Springs on the other side of Cheyenne Mountain.
The facility is set up so that you and your family can closely interact with the many different species that call the zoo home. One of the most popular draws to the zoo is being able to feed and interact with the giraffes. You can also get some great pictures of the animals while riding on the open-air chairlifts.
Included in the admission price is entry to the Will Rogers Shrine. The shrine was built in the 1930s to honor the life of actor Will Rogers who was killed in a plane crash in 1935. The shrine sits at a high elevation and you will have a stunning view of Colorado Springs and nearby Pikes Peak.
3. Pikes Peak
Known as America’s Mountain, Pikes Peak rises approximately 8,000 feet about Colorado Springs. The mountain is known for its pink granite and stunning views and was the inspiration for the patriotic song “America the Beautiful” written by Katharine Lee Bates.
If you are an outdoor adventurer you will enjoy hiking the mountain and taking amazing photographs along the way. If you would rather drive to the top you can, but might want to consider taking the shuttle if you are afraid of heights. The drive is known to be a bit scary and depending on the weather conditions might also be hazardous.
Another popular way to get to the top of Pikes Peak is by taking the Broadmoor Cog Railway train. Along your way to the top, you will learn interesting facts from your train conductor while taking in the breathtaking views.
4. Old Colorado City
If you have traveled to Colorado Springs on an airplane then its just a short drive from the airport to Old Colorado City which was founded in 1859. Once the capital of the Colorado Territory, this city used to be a prime location for settlers, miners, and ranchers.
The historic district has a quaint “wild west” feeling while offering a relaxed atmosphere with quaint boutiques, family-owned restaurants and some art galleries that feature local artists’ work to patronize. Old Colorado City is a great place to visit with your family on the way to or from Red Rock Canyon or Garden of the Gods.
5. Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is located in the El Paso County Courthouse and near the Old Colorado City historic street district. The museum is filled with artifacts and old photographs that tell the city’s history. Visitors will learn about how Colorado Springs was originally a mining town and how it transitioned into the popular tourist destination it is today.
The museum is small but has lots of displays teeming with information and you can easily spend a few hours seeing all the exhibits. Travelers with children will also find that there are plenty of activities and exhibits that are family-friendly.
The museum is open from 10:00 to 5:00, Tuesday through Saturday and has free admission.
6. Red Rock Canyon
If you love hiking or mountain biking then a visit to Red Rock Canyon should be on your travel itinerary. These red rocks have been dated back to 7000 B.C. and were used to refine the ore from the Cripple Creek gold mines.
These days the spectacular red cliffs are a draw for outdoor adventurers who are interested in hiking and mountain biking the trails. Travelers will have plenty of beautiful locations to take photos and can also attend the open-air pavilion for live entertainment or outdoor movies.
7. Garden of the Gods
Perhaps one of the most well-known locations near Colorado Springs is the Garden of the Gods. This natural rock formation consists of red rock that looks as if a higher power has carved them. Of course, these sandstone pillars are just the result of natural geological activity that has been occurring over a millennium along a natural fault line.
Visitors can learn more about these natural wonders at the visitor center where there are informative exhibits and nature presentations that take place daily. The park is open for hiking, biking, horseback or trolley tours. Many of the trails are paved and are easily accessible for all, including wheelchairs and strollers.
Plan Your Colorado Springs Travel Adventure Today!
There are so many places and reasons to plan your Colorado Springs travel adventure, so what are you waiting for? Grab your hiking boots and camera and get ready for a memorable trip.
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