Denver really is a great starting point in Colorado. Most of the States major cities, Boulder, Fort Collins, Golden and Colorado Springs, are within an hour drive of the Capital. A huge tourist attraction in Colorado Springs is the Garden of Gods, where you could easily spend a full day. But here are 3 other attractions to check out when visiting Colorado Springs:
- Pikes Peak
The top of this mountain is the highest of the southern Front Range of the Rocky’s and the tallest summit in the United States east of its longitude. At 14,115 feet, it is named after Zebulon Pike who was an explorer that never reached the top.
You can drive up to the top, or take a cog train. Started in 1889, the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway runs year round and several times a day. Sadly, my friend and I arrived right when the highway closed, so we were unable to go to the top. Be sure to check opening times for both the train and road if you want to drive yourself.
- Manitou Cliff Dwellings
On the way to or from Pikes Peak you can stop at the Cliff Dwellings Museum. These dwellings are 800-1000 years old and were moved from the Southwest corner of Colorado, by Mesa Veda and Delores in order to preserve them & protect them from looters and relic hunters. In 1904 they started the process and it was completed in 1907. Built by the Anasazi Indians, once the dwellings were relocated, the Taos Pueblo Indians lived in them until 1984.
A great attraction for kids, you can go in, touch and learn more about these indigenous peoples and how they lived. Being 25 at the time, I also enjoyed this attraction. There are 40 rooms but it won’t take you more than an hour to see it all. There are great views of the mountain inside the dwellings, and my favorite part was the gift shop. They had lots of Native made poetry, jewelry and artifacts to complete your time at the dwellings.
- The Bristol Pub and Brewery
This restaurant is actually located in an old elementary school! Walk thru the main doors and take the hallway on the right to enter the brewery. Go down the left hallway and there are small pop-up shops of local vendors. The concept of re-using this building is totally “Colorado,” and it had a really unique atmosphere. There was an outside terrace and the service was great. I had a vegan burger and drank the Beehive Honey Wheat brew. It was smooth and tasted just like a normal light beer. I would definitely check this place out for a late lunch and even dinner after a long hike in the Garden of the Gods! [Address: 1604 S. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs CO 80905]
Whats your favorite things to do in Colorado Springs?