Once the sleepy, lesser known Colorado town an hour south of Denver, Colorado Springs has taken leaps and bounds upwards in recent years. Pikes Peak has always been a top draw, and other outdoor marvels like Garden of the Gods, Seven Falls, and numerous hiking trails also draw in many visitors. The Broadmoor Resort is one of the top resorts in the world, The Olympic Training center hosts world class athletes, and the dining and craft brewery scene is highly rated.
The Broadmoor Golf Resort
The legendary Broadmoor Hotel and grounds have entertained celebrities, the rich and famous, professional athletes, and everyday travelers for over 100 years. Its 779 elegant rooms and multitude of activities accommodate all visitors in luxury and comfort. Come for outdoor adventures and activities like golfing, swimming, tennis, or hiking the many trails in the area. And when you are done, pamper yourself in the world class dining facilities, swimming pool, and spa at the only Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond resort in Colorado.
Olympic Training Facility
So where do many world class athletes choose to train? Runners, boxers, wrestlers, swimmers, bikers, sharp shooters, and more.
If you said Colorado Springs, you are right.
So why do so many of the world’s top athletes, including many Paralympians, come to the base of Pikes Peak to train? Here are a few reasons:
• Beautiful natural area
• High elevation and thinner air will test and push the lungs
• Lots of hills to run up to build endurance
• Top training facilities
• World class coaches
• Lots of other attractions to keep athletes entertained
Pikes Peak Colorado Springs
Probably the most famous mountaintop in the Rockies, Pikes Peak became the symbol for adventurers moving from the east towards Colorado, California and the western frontier of the US. Named for Zebulon Pike, the early explorer, Pikes Peak rises 14,115 feet above sea level. For a crazy spectacle, come in June for the amazing The Race to the Clouds, a car race up to the top of the mountain first run in 1916. Often called “America’s Mountain,” there are so many fun activities you’ll always want to come back for more.
Garden of the Gods
Throw some humongous boulders and whimsical rock formations throughout the already picturesque Rocky Mountains, and you have Garden of the Gods. It’s as if the hand of God used all his powers of creation to form a magical, mystical playground, full of colors and shapes and textures on his undulating palette. Drive or hike through this wonderland and be amazed by the red sandstone formations with whimsical names like Balanced Rock, Cathedral Spires, Siamese Twins, and Pig’s Eye.
Walking (or even running) almost a mile up the steep side of a mountain is some people’s idea of a good time. Once upon a time there was a railcar that ascended this mountainside adjacent to Pikes Peak. But it fell into disrepair, and was taken down. Railroad ties were laid across the old rail line for almost a full mile, and The Incline was born.
From casual visitors who take their time, to world class athletes running up The Incline carrying heavy bags on their backs, The Incline offers fresh air, great views and physical activity for all levels. In nearby Manitou Springs, those who take on the challenge are rewarded with a feeling of accomplishment and sweeping views of surrounding valleys and mountains.
United States Air Force Academy
The prestigious United States Air Force Academy is located just north of Colorado Springs. Each year the Academy graduates some of the sharpest, best trained, most inspiring leaders to carry on the tradition of excellence. The Visitors’ Center greets guests with wonderful exhibits depicting the life of an Air Force cadet, along with explanations about the history of the military academy founded in 1954. Since then, the Air Force Academy has graduated over 50,000 leaders groomed to lead our nation’s Air Force. Don’t miss the unique Cadet Chapel on the grounds, the most visited man-made tourist attraction in Colorado.
Billed as the “grandest mile of scenery in Colorado,” the trail to Seven Falls is a beautiful hike surrounded by high canyon walls, culminating in a series of seven waterfalls cascading from a height of 181 feet. There is one elevator that will take visitors up to one of the viewing platforms, but 224 stairs are required climbing to reach the top of the falls. On the climb, hikers get a great close-up view of the seven falls, which include Ramona Falls, Feather Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Shorty Falls, Hull Falls, Weimer Falls, and Hill Falls. If you are hungry or thirsty, make a stop at the wonderful Restaurant 1858 for a well-deserved break.
The eclectic Streetcar 520 Restaurant is housed in downtown Colorado Springs in a building that was used to store and maintain the streetcars that serviced Tejon Street in the early 1900s. With a diverse and imaginative menu centered around small plates, the kitchen uses only the freshest ingredients to prepare its tasty dishes. In addition to small plates designed to be shared, Streetcar 520 has some excellent large plates, like the popular Trout Fillet – a delicious fresh fillet served with shaved brussels, baby kale, butternut squash puree, and sage brown butter sauce. Other special dishes include the Garlic-Lime Marinated Steak with sweet potato, sautéed peppers, onions, mushrooms, and chimichurri, and the excellent Southern Fried Chicken with Grits.
Josh and John’s Naturally Homemade Ice Creams
Josh and John’s Naturally Homemade Ice Creams has become a favorite Colorado Springs destination for some of the best slow-churned ice cream in town. Started by Josh and John, two boyhood friends originally from Boston, Josh and John’s uses only the freshest ingredients and attention to detail to create their dense, creamy creations. Popular flavors like Colorado Cookies and Cream, Butter Pecan, Oatmeal Cookie or any of their other tasty treats draw in the crowds at their three Colorado Springs locations.
These are just a few of the many reasons to come visit Colorado Springs. Head to the mountains for outdoor adventures, luxury lodging, fantastic scenery, intriguing history, fine dining and more.
Pikes Peak or Bust!