Colorado Springs is a year-round destination with an impressive roster of outdoor, family-friendly and cultural activities.
From scenic hikes to Olympic experiences, there are plenty of ways to spend your time in Colorado Springs no matter what the season. Below you’ll find 10 of the top can’t-miss, year-round experiences in the Pikes Peak region.
The flagship Olympic Training Center offers year-round tours of the 35-acre complex where Olympic champions and Team USA hopefuls live and train. The interactive exhibits at the newly renovated visitor center provide information and inspiration on what it takes to go for the gold.
2. Get Your Heart Pumping on the Manitou Incline.
The hike up the Manitou Incline doesn’t sound like a tough endeavor until you realize it climbs 2,000 vertical feet along 2,800 steps in just under 1 mile. Ascend old tracks originally built for pipeline material transport. With the rails since removed, the Manitou Incline now draws hundreds of thousands of people to take the trek, from Olympic athletes to those seeking a challenging trek with stunning views.
This biological melting pot of grasslands, woodlands and mountain forest has been deemed a National Natural Landmark, rated the No. 1 park in the U.S. in 2014 by TripAdvisor® users. The towering red sandstone rock formations create an other-worldly setting for a low-key hike or high-intensity training. Start your adventure at the world-class Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center.
4. Soak in the inspiration for “America the Beautiful” at Pikes Peak.
Experience the splendor of America’s Mountain. Whether you drive the scenic 19-mile Pikes Peak Highway, hike up Barr Trail or hitch a ride on The Broadmoor’s Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the majestic Rocky Mountains and far across the “fruited plains” once you reach the 14,115-foot summit.
* Please Note: After 126 years of operation, The Pikes Peak Cog Railway has decided not to reopen for the foreseeable future. Over the past several months, the railroad has undergone a major evaluation and it has been determined that the infrastructure and equipment has run its course. The railroad is in the process of determining next steps and action plans for the future.
There aren’t many places where you’ll find a nationally accredited art museum, Broadway-worthy theater, gourmet dining, retail shop and an art school all under one roof, but the Fine Arts Center encompasses just that. Traveling exhibitions, events, musicals, dramatic plays and concerts are a few of the reasons to plan a visit.
The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is better than ever, showcasing a new visitor center and updated activities. Cross the highest suspension bridge in North America —956 feet above the Arkansas River. Hop aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad for a 24-mile train ride winding through the gorge while enjoying a gourmet meal. Sip on award-winning Colorado wines in the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey tasting room.
Experience America’s only mountain zoo, home to more than 750 species. Hand-feed the giraffes or elephants, visit zebra and warthogs in the Encounter Africa exhibit, and check out the new Australia Walkabout – home to alligators, wallabies and even a tree kangaroo. Ride the antique carousel and soar over the zoo on the ski-lift-style Mountaineer Sky Ride.
8. Bask in the scenery of The Broadmoor’s Seven Falls.
The waterfalls are a sight to behold. Climb the 224 steps to reach the stream that feeds the falls as well as hiking trails. For more thrills, the park’s Broadmoor Soaring Adventure course lifts you above the scenery on two exciting zip line courses and a rope bridge. When hunger strikes, have lunch or dinner at onsite Restaurant 1858.
9. Sample a pint from one of Colorado’s craft breweries.
In a state known for craft brewing, Colorado Springs is no exception. Enjoy a beer at one of the many local spots. Taste brews named for area landmarks — like the Summit House Oatmeal Stout, which gives a nod to the spot atop Pikes Peak from which you can see all the way to Kansas.
Embark on a day of family fun and adventure. Choose between three adventurous cave tours or enjoy the thrill of outdoor attractions. The Cave of the Winds is the perfect place to spend a day with family learning about geological history. Because the cave is underground this attraction is not limited to only good weather days, it’s a constant 54 degrees Fahrenheit, not matter what it looks like outside.