Colorado Springs is widely regarded as one of the best places to start exploring some of the most beautiful natural landmarks in the USA. Being at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, it has the Pikes Peak nearby and the stunning Garden of the Gods park right in the heart of the city.

    However, there’s so much more to see and do right in the city centre! From the historic old city to the Pikes Peak Performing Arts Center, there really is something that will appeal to any interest. Check out our guide to the best things to see and do in Colorado Springs.

    What are the best things to do in Colorado Springs?

    1

    Garden of the Gods

    The most-visited attraction in the Colorado Springs area

    • Couples
    • Photo
    • Budget

    The Garden of the Gods Park is one of the most most-visited attractions in Colorado Springs. Located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, with Pikes Peak as a backdrop, the park offers easy access to the area's famous red sandstone rock formations.

    The park has a theatre where you can enjoy the Geo-Trekker experience, which takes place every 20 minutes. You can also take part in rock climbing, take a jeep or Segway tour, rent a bike (or an electric bike if you’d rather save your energy), and join adventure programs.

    Location: 1805 N 30th Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80904, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 9 am to 3 pm, Friday–Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 719-634-6666

    Map
    2

    US Olympic and Paralympic Training Center

    Explore Olympic heritage and history

    • History
    • Adventure
    • Unusual

    The US Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs is a unique sporting attraction. This is the flagship training centre for the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the Olympic & Paralympic Training Center programs.

    The facility organises sports camps throughout the year, offers tours of the centre, and even has a Team USA Olympic shop where you can pick up a souvenir after the tour. Make sure to spend some time at the Velodrome, constructed in 1983 and still used for training to this day.

    Location: 1 Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs, CO 80909, USA

    Open: Monday from 9 am to 6 pm, Thursday–Saturday from 9 am to 4.30 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm (closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

    Phone: +1 719-86604618

    Map

    photo by David Shankbone (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    3

    Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

    An interactive wildlife experience at the foot of the Rockies

    • Families

    The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo offers an interactive experience with exotic animals from all over the world. It's home to giraffes, rhinos, monkeys, bears, and even farm animals like chickens. The 140-acre zoo is one of the highest in the USA, with an elevation of over 6,700 ft. 

    During your visit, you can explore many featured exhibits, such as Waters’ Edge: Africa, Encounter Africa, Asian Highlands, Australia Walkabout, My Big Backyard, and Rocky Mountain Wild, just to name a few. Make sure to stop at the gift shop on your way out and adopt an animal or purchase original works of art created by zoo animals as a souvenir. 

    Location: 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 719-633-9925

    Map
    4

    Acacia Park Farmers Market

    A fresh market with a view

    • Shoppers
    • Photo
    • Food

    The Acacia Park Farmers Market offers access to a wide range of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as other products. Held on Mondays during the warmer months, vendors vary from week to week, offering an ever-evolving range of items.

    Acacia Park itself is a lovely green space in downtown, with picnic tables where you can sample what you’ve just purchased. The park has a view of Colorado Springs, as well as the Rockies. Several walking paths offer exploration opportunities, and there’s a playground for the little ones to enjoy.

    Location: 115 E Platte St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, USA

    Open: June–October: Monday from 10 am to 3 pm

    Phone: +1 719-385-5940

    Map
    5

    Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts

    The city's culture and entertainment hub

    • Nightlife
    • Families

    Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts is Colorado Springs’ centre of culture and entertainment. It’s the official home of the city’s symphony orchestra, but also plays host to other events throughout the year, including concerts, local productions, educational programmes, and cultural events.

    The Center (as it’s affectionately called by locals) has hosed MasterChef Junior, productions of The Screwtape LettersShen Yun: 5,000 Years of Civilization, and many others. The venue is located in the heart of downtown, making it easy to reach from dining, shopping, and additional entertainment choices.

    Location: 190 S Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 719-477-2100

    Map
    6

    Pikes Peak

    Adventures on “America’s Mountain”

    • Photo
    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Pikes Peak is one of the most famous mountains in the US, dubbed “America’s Mountain”. It’s also the most visible landmark in the Colorado Springs area, standing over 14,000 ft tall. Exploring the mountain is a good way to get to know the Rockies, and it’s surprisingly easy to do.

    Drivers can take Pikes Peak Highway to enjoy the scenic views up the mountain and from the peak. However, the more adventurous visitors can hike up to the peak via several different trails. Of course, there’s more to do on the mountain and in the surrounding area. Fly fishing is very popular, as is mountain biking. You can also explore several gift shops, or take the Cog Railway.

    Location: 5089 Pikes Peak Highway, Cascade, CO 80809, USA

    Open: October–mid-May: daily from 9 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 719-385-7325

    Map
    7

    Old Colorado City

    Shopping, dining, and entertainment in a historic area

    • Shoppers
    • Nightlife
    • History
    • Photo

    Old Colorado City was once a city in its own right, but today, it’s a neighbourhood of Colorado Springs. Still, it offers plenty of things to see and do. Magic Town is a sculpture museum with historically accurate miniature scenes. Bancroft Park offers green space in which to relax, and the Old Colorado City downtown area is replete with over 100 charming shops, dining options, and even nightlife choices.

    Depending on the time of year, both Bancroft Park and the downtown area offer access to unique events, including open-air concerts and seasonal festivals.

    Map

    photo by Brandon Bell (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    8

    Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

    Enjoy a variety of exhibits about the area

    • Families
    • History
    • Budget

    The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum dates back to 1896 when it was founded as a collecting institution. Today, it’s a fully-accredited museum and historic venue offering an in-depth look at the history of the Pikes Peak region through time.

    You’ll find around 10 permanent exhibits to enjoy here, such as This Shall be the Land For Women (explores the area’s role in women’s rights), Any Place North & West (dedicated to African Americans in Colorado Springs), From Paris to the Plains (see a vast collection of Van Briggle Art Pottery), and Beads, Blankets, and Buffalo (an interactive children's gallery). Admission to the museum is free, and there is a gift shop to explore, too.

    Location: 215 S Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 719-385-5990

    Map
    9

    North Tejon Street

    Shopping and dining in downtown Colorado Springs

    • Shoppers
    • Nightlife
    • Food

    North Tejon Street is a must-visit if you’re looking for shopping, dining, and nightlife options during your stay in Colorado Springs. You’ll find many of the area’s attractions on this street, including the Pioneers Museum and Acacia Park. 

    Head to the Rabbit Hole to dine in a subterranean restaurant, or head over to the Skirted Heifer or Bingo Burger for local cuisine. At night, check out Jack Quinn’s Irish PubUrban EggOskar Blues Grill & Brew, and Odyssey Gastropub. You’ll find hundreds of shops nearby, ranging from fashion retailers to bike shops and everything in between.

    photo by Jeffrey Beall (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    10

    Cave of the Winds Mountain Park

    The world beneath the Rockies

    • Families
    • Photo
    • Adventure

    The Cave of the Winds Mountain Park offers a chance to explore what lies beneath the Rockies through different tour options. The Discovery Tour lasts up to an hour and is ideal for all ages. It takes you down a half-mile of cave trails, through 15 rooms, and up almost 200 stairs within the mountain’s heart.

    The Lantern Tour lasts 90 minutes and goes deeper into the dark of the earth. Note that children must be at least 8 years old for this tour, as it can be a little scary. After your tour, explore the many other attractions in the park, stop by the gift shop, or take a zip line tour of the nearby canyons.

    Location: 100 Cave of the Winds Rd, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, USA

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 719-685-5444

    Map
    Valerie Mellema | Contributing Writer

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