Colorado Springs is home to America’s mountain zoo—Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The zoo is one of only a few non-profit zoos and aquariums in the country. It is also one of the largest breeding zoos in the nation. One of the highlights is the chance to hand-feed the giraffe herd lettuce. The zoo has also recently completed their new Australia exhibit. Another amazing look at wildlife includes a visit to the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center. The center is an operating wolf sanctuary complete with educational walking tours and an option for a private photo session with the wolves, many patrons also receive a “wolf kiss” during the private session. Come take a walk on the wild side and see these beautiful creatures up-close and personal.
Amateur Sports Capital
There are over 4,790 sports-related jobs in Colorado Springs. Hosting the headquarters of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, Olympic & Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame (opening 2019), 21 National Governing Bodies and 24 other sports organizations. Colorado Springs is often among the fittest, and healthiest cities in the country. With over 300 days of gorgeous blue skies and mountain air, it is very easy to stay “healthy and fit” in an environment which offers an abundance of amateur sports, whether for the spectator fan or the serious or weekend athlete. The city has hosted many high-profile national and international events and is home to the historic Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (held every June), the 2nd oldest motorsports event in the U.S. after the Indianapolis 500. The foot race to the summit during the Pikes Peak Marathon & Ascent, the second-oldest footrace in the U.S., behind the Boston Marathon. In addition to organized amateur sports, the city offers bike paths, 17 golf courses, 12,000 acres of parks, trails and open space, and some of the best whitewater rafting in North America only 1 ½ hours away.
Wild West Heritage – Cowboys & Indians – Cattle Ranches
Many of the original homestead ranches in the area, still offering cattle drives, are now authentic dude ranches for tourists. The state’s oldest annual rodeo, the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo showcases the area’s Western Heritage as well as the annual Territory Days Festival and several museums such as the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy, the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, Manitou Cliff Dwellings and the Fine Arts Center. The area once was home to the nomadic tribes of The Great Plains, and several local museums have living heritage programs that feature Native American performances and culture. Colorado Springs is home to one of the largest Country & Western dance floors in the state and also hosts an annual Indian Pow Wow.
America The Beautiful
"O beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain. For purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain. America! America! God shed His grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea." While this anthem is one most Americans know by heart, many may not be familiar with the poem's author or the inspiration behind these words. The year was 1893 and Katharine Lee Bates, a professor and poet invited to lecture at the summer session at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, agreed to join a wagon expedition to the summit of Pikes Peak. Once at the summit of the mountain, the view she saw left her in complete awe and admiration. With pen in hand, she immediately wrote the poem that was years later set to the music for "America the Beautiful." For these reasons, Pikes Peak is known today as "America's Mountain.
Historic Railroads – A Train Buff’s Dream Come True
The State of Colorado is known for its abundance of historic railroads which still exist today, primarily for the enjoyment of tourists, railroad enthusiasts and technical historians. The region hosts the majority of these tourist attractions, thus Colorado Springs is always included within the statewide rail tours. The Royal Gorge Route Railroad, open year-round and hosting Colorado’s only “Dinner Car” offers spectacular views of the Arkansas River at the bottom of the gorge. We are also home to the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad. A trip reveals scenic wonders around every curve as century-old steam locomotive transports passengers back to the gold mining days of Cripple Creek & Victor, Colorado. A treat for railroad and history buffs, kids and the whole family. Colorado Springs itself still contains equipment memorabilia at the Pikes Peak Historical Street Railway Foundation.
An Abundance of Deluxe, Upscale Resorts
Colorado Springs hosts some of the state’s most exclusive resort hotels. With breathtaking scenery for a backdrop, the world famous, 5-star, 5-diamond, historic Broadmoor Hotel creates an ambiance of true elegance. The unique heritage of The Broadmoor is evident throughout its 744 luxurious guest rooms and spacious suites, subtle craftsmanship of its Italian Renaissance-style architecture and historic old world charm of the past. Originally built in 1873, the historic Cliff House was once one of the premier luxury hotels of the West. Its 55 unique rooms and suites showcase why it ranks in America’s “Top Ten Romantic Inns” category. The hotel and restaurant are both ranked with the prestigious AAA-Four Diamond award. Cheyenne Mountain Resort is designed to provide a complete environment for the most demanding business meetings and conferences with an 18-hole championship golf course, 18 tennis courts, four heated swimming pools, squash and racquetball courts, 35-acre recreation lake for fishing, windsurfing and sailing and a fully equipped men’s and women’s fitness center. Business guests usually return with their families to enjoy the resort’s leisure activities. The resort has 316 guest rooms and suites providing a touch of luxury in a rustic setting. The Mining Exchange, a Wyndham Grand Hotel is a unique boutique property is located in the heart of downtown and was once THE Wall Street during the high of the gold rush days. Today, guests can experience the 117 room property complete with onsite restaurant Springs Orleans. The newest addition is the Lodge at Flying Horse which features a “Rocky Mountain Tuscan” style and essence, which will blend with the stunning Flying Horse Club, in Colorado Springs, facilities and all its amenities. The Lodge is an extension to the existing landscape of the community offering rich, warm, sophisticated and elegant color palettes to complement the posh, yet comfortable, furnishings and finishes.
A Bicycle Bastion
Men’s Health named Colorado Springs the “18th Bike Friendliest city in the U.S.” There are many reasons for this including access to wide open spaces and trails, bike specific safety laws and more. Colorado Springs is also home to various annual rides including the challenging Pikes Peak Cycling Hill Climb up Pikes Peak Highway. Cyclists are now able to ride up the grueling highway. Many travelers may wish to take a more leisurely ride down the mountain, don’t be mistaken-this is still a huge challenge, but young and old will experience a thrill as they will take a van ride up Pikes Peak Highway where they meet their guide to navigate down the purple mountain majesty. Colorado Springs has also been a stop along the USA Pro Challenge race course for two of the event’s three years in existence. Catch competitions at the U.S. Olympic 7-11 Velodrome or navigate one of the area’s single-tracks. The Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort is a vintage bicycle-themed hotel with amenities and activities suited to the needs of cyclists provides a haven for relaxation and connection. Located on a popular designated bike route connecting Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, the property is close to countless miles of biking trails at the base of Pikes Peak, and is less than a mile from Garden of the Gods Park. Rooms are bicycle-themed and clinics will soon be offered.
The area has an amazing array of culinary delights. The renowned Broadmoor Hotel is home to The Penrose Room, the only Five-Diamond restaurant in the state of Colorado. Other upscale dining rooms include the Four-Diamond Cliff House at Pikes Peak and Mountain View Restaurant at Cheyenne Mountain Resort. True Colorado cuisine can be found on menus at Colorado Mountain Brewery. There are many unique offerings such as Coquette’s Bistro & Bakery whose entire menu is completely gluten-free, The Olive Tap showcasing artisan olive oil and balsamic vinegars for sale, the Caribbean flavors of Spice Island Grill, King’s Chef Diner (featured on Food Network’s pilot of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives). Brews are overflowing from craft breweries likes Phantom Canyon, Trinity Brewing, Bierwerks and Great Storm Brewing. Choosing an eatery can be a bit overwhelming, but joining a tour with Colorado Springs Food Tours visitors a chance to taste many of the area’s best dishes. Walking tours are offering for Downtown Colorado Springs and nearby Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs and include a bit of history along the way. There’s so much to tantalize the taste buds in this Colorado city.
Colorado Springs, CO and the Pikes Peak region is an amazing pet-friendly destination. The city is consistently named one of the pet-friendliest in the country. Many area lodging properties offer four-legged friend specials and packages. The area is also home to multiple dog parks, trails, open spaces and pet-friendly attractions including gems like Garden of the Gods Park and the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. Bear Creek Regional Dog Park is also named among the top dog parks in the country.