You’ve decided on a trip to Colorado, and the destination you’ve chosen to uncover is Colorado Springs!
Get ready for some amazing adventures and checking the Colorado Springs area off of your travel bucket list. What comes next is everything, as you will need to plan so take advantage of my travel guide for Colorado Springs.
Why An Unofficial Colorado Springs Travel Guide?
Before traveling to Colorado Springs or anywhere, it’s always great to do a little homework to ‘know before you go.’ Becuase if you don’t research the area a little bit you might miss some of the best stops in the area.
Also, you could use the Unofficial Colorado Springs travel guide as a springboard to build upon and gain more stops than you originally had planned. Because while I have definitely found a few great stops, this Colorado Springs travel guide does not cover all of them, there are way more!
Unofficial Colorado Springs Travel Guide: Lodging
On my recent trip, I traveled to Colorado Springs with one of my teenage sons. The resort choice was very important for downtime and the all-over experience. However, I also wanted a centrally located resort, so that I could travel to Canon City in about an hour as well as being closer to Manitou Springs.
Resort Destination & Unofficial Colorado Springs Travel Guide
Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Springs Resort (1)
Our stay included stunning views of exceptional mountain vistas that were always in the backdrop, whether by the pool or when dining! Gorgeous nature! This was our home base as it was close to most of my Unofficial Colorado Springs Travel Guide destinations bucket list.
Besides Proximity, why this Colorado Springs resort?
Additionally, the resort boasted:
- 17 tennis courts
- pools (inside and out)
- health club
- 18 holes championship golf course
- basketball courts
- fitness center
- 35-acre lake
- perfect Sunday Morning brunch with the Rocky Mountains as the scenery!
So you see, even when we were not out sightseeing we were active and happy at our resort.
Unofficial Colorado Springs Travel Guide: Outdoor Adventures
PIKES PEAK THE SUMMIT ♥ (2)
Take a Jeep tour and let the driving to the pros. Head up to Pikes Peak Summit
and just enjoy the scenery. After all 14,115 is about to become your lucky number series.
Suggestion: Do go in a group of 4 or you will end up sharing your tour with 2 other people and you won’t get your chance to sit up front to see the front seat vantage points. So, hopefully, you are traveling in a group of 4.
Your trip to the top will allow you the best photos, and photo vantage points as shared by your LOCAL guide. Never worry about the challenging braking on the way down the hill or where to pull over when you want to see a particular view.
The tour outfitter we rode with was Manitou Springs Adventure Tours Pikes Peak Jeep. Read more here about our JOURNEY
Do know that you’ll want to dress in layers
. Why? There is a 40° temperature drop from the base of the mountain to the summit on any given day.
You will most likely experience some kind of wildlife along the way including marmots and Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.
A Visit to Manitou Springs is A Quintessential of my Colorado Springs travel guide!
WE had a ton of fun in Manitou Springs because there are just endless options. Walking and shopping and dining (Hell’s Kitchen is here for pizza).
It’s a quaint town, with lots to experience and see. However, you need a small checklist before you roam, not a large one.
Why? In fact, discovering Manitou Springs is best done, almost without a plan other than seeking out the 8 springs that are open to the public.
IF you find each (which you will), treat yourself to some delicious ice cream, or shopping and dining time as a reward.
Plus, after a bit of wandering you will find the Penny Arcade which is active fun, busy, yet spaced out so you can play and so can everyone else visiting. What fun. ⇓
Penny Arcade ( a premium stop!) (3)
Seek out the Penny Arcade
(900 block Manitou Springs), it’s a lot of fun with arcade games you might not have experienced in a while! Literally, we lost time here (it’s a good thing) probably a few hours, because the machines are functioning antiques kept well.
Did I mention, unlike traditional arcades, this one is spread through several small buildings? It’s not just one sprawling building, rather it is many small spaces encompassing a large area and really fun!
We played a lot of pinball and skeeball and of course shopped a bit too, once we left the arcade. There were more adults playing than kids, so suddenly the adult inside leaves for a little and that’s OK with me. What a find!
Manitou Mineral Springs (4)
Many come to seek out the Manitou Mineral Springs, which is the ultimate hide, seek, and sightseeing adventure IMO. Walk to seek out the 8 springs, but not ONE tastes the same. Each of the Manitou Mineral Springs has its own FLAVOR and Effervescence.
Definitely try them all. Find the self-guided walking tour map HERE and use it to take the walking tour!
Road Tripping Portion of the Unofficial Colorado Springs Travel Guide
Ready to hit the road? About 45 minutes from the Cheyenne Mountain Resort is today’s destination. I’ll suggest leaving early and arriving no later than 10A. We are headed to Canon City! There’s a big day trip ahead.
Refer to my Colorado Springs packing list to pack up your backpack because you’ll be gone from AM to PM and the day will just be beyond words with exhilarating adventures and majestic mountains and crazy beautiful photo ops!
To be fair, this is definitely a time for the thrillseeker in you to come out, but, if you don’t like adrenaline-pumping travel, you will also manage VERY well, because it’s an equally weighted destination in both adrenaline adventures as well as touring/trekking, etc.
Let’s call this day the one that everyone is going to LOVE and find their groove, there’s no way to miss at Canon City.
Shop. Sightsee. Adventure. Dine. Rich in history and fun. It’s the destination that the locals love and once you discover it, you’ll enjoy it as well.
Unofficial Colorado Springs Travel Guide Stop 1 in Canon City
Whether you are watching your family and friends taking part in the experiences or joining in, it’s an experience, journey, and adventure for everyone.
The Royal Gorge provides all of the following and more:
- Fabulous vantage points for those once-in-a-lifetime photos with the awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping scenery.
- the opportunity to walk across the famed Royal Gorge Bridge
- zipping across the Royal Gorge on the highest zip in America (claim to fame!)
- aerial gondola rides from one side of the Royal Gorge to the other!
- High Flying Adventure above the bridge and Royal Gorge
- great eats
- Tommy Knockers adventure park with mining, wax creations, wildlife presentations and that’s the shortlist
- a look below the Arkansas River!
Unofficial Colorado Springs Travel Guide: Solve the Curiosity of the area below.
Go BELOW the ROYAL GORGE BRIDGE & PARK EXPERIENCE
Royal Gorge RR (7)
Round trip ride on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad! I’d suggest a 3:30 P departure and a meal aboard!
This is fantastic. You will ride thru the Royal Gorge, within the granite cliffs and you can look ABOVE at the Royal Gorge Bridge for a completely different aspect/ vantage point. Where you just where to where you are now!
Absolutely gorgeous and a curiosity solver. Next to you flows the wild and well-traveled Arkansas River. You might even see white water rafters!
One More Stop Before Home From Canon City. Unofficial Colorado Springs Travel Guide
Skyline Drive. Drive here in any car and enjoy this road. It ascends and follows to the top of a very high razorback ridge that will OVERLOOK Canon City – a view you don’t want to miss and a great way to bid adieu to Canon City
Overview Skyline Drive (8)
- You’ll enter this as a one-way road from US 50. This is on the west edge of town.
- Do note this is not for the faint of heart as you drive the landscape kind of disappears and well, it’s awe-inspiring!
- What you will view is a vista view ( as I refer to it) on either side of your vantage point Canon City.
- Yes, you there are stopping pulls offs to enjoy all of this.
- Once you are near the top, you can even view a display that will share the dino tracks that are actually embedded in the cliff face.
Olympic Lovers Must. Yet Another Key Element of the Unofficial Colorado Springs travel guide!
Tour the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center. (9)
Great photo ops include the rings at the entrance as well as the sta
This is a few hours at most. Tour with a guide, ask questions, and then take a few of your own fun photos!
Get Your Hiking Boots On Unofficial Colorado Springs Travel Guide
HIKING DAY Hike Helen Hunt Falls – an amazing hidden gem for pictures and a great hike for average
Helen Hunt Falls in Colorado Springs is a 35-foot waterfall requiring only a short walk from the parking area.
For a longer and more demanding hike, visitors can take the 4-mile Columbine Trail from the bottom of Cheyenne Canyon to Helen Hunt Falls. T
At the time we visited, the falls were almost nill. However, the hike was perfect!
BONUS TRAVEL GUIDE TIP – After Helen Hunt Falls
After you are done hiking Hellen Hunt Falls take a ride UP the hill in your car.
Travel to what is called Gold Mine Road!
This is the ride we loved! Mind-blowingly exceptional views, on a 2-way that should be a one-way road. In fact, the views are gorgeous but only if you are not driving. The side is steep and without landscape.
The tunnels you drive through have their own history. At the end of the road, you will end up in a neighborhood almost as though you never were on an exceptionally crazy road!
Garden of the Gods (9)
Certainly a 1/2 day worthy stop, for photos, scenery, hiking, etc.
Free parking and so much to see, and experience. From photo opps to hiking paths take your time!
Plus, stop at all the stop-offs and experience each of them as well. You never know what you will discover and there’s a lot to see!
Hello Foodies! Colorado Springs Travel Guide Foods Suggestions
Front Range BBQ (10)
After a day in the fresh Colorado Springs area air, you will need to fuel up again! Try out Front Range BBQ
It’s on West Colorado Avenue. If it seems like a familiar name it is because it’s been featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives! I love going to places Guy Fieri has sniffed out and proven amazing!
Enjoy eats such as southern-style BBQ as well as Cajun dishes.
Plus, you can eat here if you are a vegetarian, and have food allergies, so a perfect stop for everyone!
There’s a bar and live music too, in fact, it’s everything you want it to be after a day of fun!
Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner? Coquette’s Bistro & Bakery (11)
From pastries to egg combos, it’s all here. However, this bistro is well-appointed for lunch and dinner as well. In fact, we nibbled at some breakfast here, but I think we missed the bigger pictures as the layout of this bistro is so sprawling yet cozy. Bar. Fireplaces, large indoor and outdoor areas to dine. Chic and fabulous.
Breakfast by morning and cocktails by night?
My Unofficial Colorado Springs Travel Guide
Yes, there is a ton of history here, but I’ll let you uncover that as you visit each of the destinations I am sharing! After all, wanderlust is about travel, adventure, curiosity, and history, I’ve just provided the breadcrumb trail to get you to each of these fabulous destinations! ~ Dana XO