Colorado Springs is a popular tourist destination for its location at the base of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains. The area is classified as an ‘Alpine Desert’ being warm in the summer and having moderate temperatures during other seasons. The climate makes it a perfect place for outdoor activities and hiking trails are the most popular tourist attractions in Colorado Springs. The location boasts 55 activities and attractions including both man-made and natural sites. For a short weekend break or a longer vacation, holiday makers will find plenty to do.
10. Focus on the family visitors centre
This ministry welcomes all guests to visit the welcome centre to learn and play. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the building and get to know more about the ministry. Kids can enjoy the play area, the bend-a-go slide and families can play together. There is also a 170 seat theatre where films can be enjoyed and at the end of your visit you can relax at the Whits end soda shoppe. Tours take place Monday to Friday, it is advised to call ahead to book and check times.
9. Olympic training centre
The centre can provide housing, dining, training facilities, recreational facilities and other services for more than 500 athletes and coaches at a single time on the complex. The Olympic visitor centre provides information about the training centre and also includes the cool US Olympic Hall of Fame and the Team USA shop. Guided tours are available throughout the year, last around an hour and are taken by ambasadors. Tours cost $5 for adults and $2 for children under 12 years old.
8. Colorado Springs fine arts centre
The fine arts centre describes themselves as an entire arts district under one roof. For 100 years it has been the top cultural attraction in Pikes peak providing multidimensional art experiences. There’s a museum, theatre and an arts school. The permanent collection focuses on American art but there are also touring exhibitions to see. Once a month the museum offers a free day on the third Friday of every month from 10am to 2pm. Otherwise admission costs between $12 and $18.50. Theatre performances and special events vary in price and advance booking is advised.
7. Seven falls
The romantic waterfall drops 181 feet down the canyon and is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Colorado Springs. Trekkers can climb the 224 steps to the side of the falls which leads to the steam that feeds the falls and other hiking trails. For the adventure seekers there is the Broadmoor zip lining tour, follow rope bridges ending in a steep decline. For those who want a relaxing time, there are shops to browse and a restaurant to grab a bite in. Opening hours range between 9am and 9pm depending in the time of year. Ticket prices cost $14 for adults, $8 for children and under 2s enter for free.
6. National museum of World War II aviation
This museum focuses on the role of aviation during World War II. The exhibits are set out to tell stories to inspire and teach future generations. Explore how the nation came together, civilian and military personnel working together and the introduction of women into the workforce. Tours can be booked online in advance and prices start from $5 for children and $8 for adults with discounts for seniors and military personnel. You can find the museum at 755 Aviation Way where the parking is free just in front of the entrance.
5. Red Rock Canyon
Red rock canyon is a public open space which was purchased by the city for public use in 2003. The area is free to visit and has lots of hiking and bike trails to follow. The trails are between one and four miles long and can it can take between 30mins and 4 hours to hike depending on the trail you choose. For dog owners there are also two off the leash dog trails where furry friends can roam. Hikers can experience beautiful views over the garden of the gods. Opening hours are 5am to 9pm November to April and 5am to 11pm May to October.
4. United States Air force academy
A place visited by tourists for various reasons but mostly for the beautiful multi faith chapel. The glass, steel and aluminium building soars 150 feet high and features 17 spires. There are separate chapels where services for different faiths can be run simultaneously. Learn about the academy’s history and the cadets who attend the academy. The visitor centre and chapel are open 9am to 5pm and there are frequent chapel tours. Vehicles are subject to a search upon entrance and a form of government ID must be shown. The mission “to educate, train, and inspire men and women to become leaders of character, motivated to lead the United States Air Force in service to our nation.”.
3. Cheyenne Mountain zoo
Fun for the whole family the zoo boasts nearly 950 animals from Africa and the rest of the world. Wild Rocky mountain animals such as grizzly bears and bald eagle along with a herd of giraffes, African elephants and lions can be found in this mountain zoo. There are a range of seasonal activities for families, groups and individuals. Today the zoo promotes active participation and hopes to inspire the preservation of wildlife.The regular opening times are between 9am to 5pm year round, with last admission being at 4pm. Prices start from $14.25 for adults and $10.25 for children.
2. Garden of the Gods
An awe-inspiring national natural landmark described as Colorado Springs’ paradise. The 300-foot red rock sandstone formations stand tall against a backdrop of snowy mountains. Here you can enjoy hiking, biking, rock climbing, jeep and Segway tours. Free nature talks and walks can be found at the centre. There is also a gift shop and café to stop and take a rest from all of the activities. Admission to the centre and the park is free. Opening times are between 9am and 5pm during winter and 8am to 7pm in summer.
1. Pikes Peak Cog railway
This cog railway is the highest in the world ascending 14,115 feet. Leave the driving behind and relax, sometimes traveling at a gradient of 24%. During the journey the carriage passes waterfalls, pine forest and aspen. The ride is fun for the whole family and is the best way to get to the summit. At the top of pikes peak on a clear day 5 you can take in the view of up to 5 states. The railway is open year round from 8am to 430pm and carriages leave every 80 minutes. Prices are $37 for adults and $20 for children.
The visitor centre provides a great deal of information to visitors providing details about lots of things to do in Colorado Springs. The town is found just off interstate 25 and 25 minutes from Colorado Springs airport. Visitors who are new to the high altitude of the area are advised to give their bodies time to adjust and avoid strenuous exercise during the first days of their stay.