Things to Do
When simply “seeing” a destination just won’t do.
Featured Adventure: Into the Earth
A mile-long narrow corridor weaves through the earth at Manitou Grand Cavern, offering glimpses of an alien world dominated by spectacular stalagmites, stalactites, and other crystalline rock formations. Book a Saturday or Sunday 9 a.m. Caving 101 Tour (May through September) to wander through the 70-million-year-old wonder with your headlamp or flashlight. But be sure to dress for the cave’s year-round 54-degree temperatures, and bring a change of clothes – all that climbing and crawling under low ceilings means you’re guaranteed to get dirty.
Snowshoeing North Cheyenne Cañon Park | Mountain Chalet
The Greatest Adventure is what Lies Ahead
Plunge into the powder on the six-mile, 2,100-foot elevation gain Seven Bridges trail, where you'll travel over seven wooden bridges to Jones Park. For your rentals, look no further than Mountain Chalet, which offers a wide range of equipment, including snowshoes, telemark/cross-country skis, climbing gear, and more.
Jeep Tour | Adventures Out West
Take a Ride on the Wild Side
Travel through the foothills of Pikes Peak, old historic railroad tunnels, and Helen Hunt Falls on Adventures out West's two-and-a-half-hour Jeep tours. Explore the beauty of the Colorado Rockies in one of many custom 4x4 Jeeps, and learn the history of the land from an authentic Western guide. This scenic western tour will not disappoint.
White-Water Rafting the Royal Gorge | Echo Canyon River Expeditions
HIGH-ADRENALINE ADVENTURE RAFTING
Enjoy a half-day paddle on a section of the Arkansas River home to Class III to V thrills on rapids like Boat Eater and the Sledgehammer. Beneath 1,000-feet of canyon walls, Royal Gorge rafting trips are the perfect adventure to discover the unforgettable beauty of Colorado white-water rafting. If you're looking for wet and wild fun, look no further than Echo Canyon River Expeditions.
How to spend 36 hours in Colorado Springs, with Cheyenne Mountain Resort as your base camp.
6 p.m. | Art on the Streets Tour
Get acquainted with Colorado Springs by taking a self-guided tour of the annually changing series of public art installations that showcase the city’s creative spirit. A series of 13 works around the downtown area – including Sean O’Meallie’s best-in-show Poly Poly, a quirky screen lined with vinyl parrots above an alleyway – is part of the current crop.
7:30 p.m. | Dine at Odyssey Gastropub
With an atmosphere both edgy and idiosyncratic – think exposed brick and vintage bedside lamps hung upside down from the ceiling – this pub on North Tejon Street pours craft beers and spirits from Colorado and beyond and comfort food with a twist. Start with a sampler plate that features four styles of bacon, and follow it with a fried-egg-topped Odyssey burger or the pork cheek pho.
10 a.m. | Ride Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Over the span of a three-hour roundtrip, this cog-powered train climbs nine miles of track along grades as steep as 24 percent, from the spruce- and pine-shrouded base to the thin air of its 14,115-foot summit. The 360-degree view overlooks old mining towns, the Great Plains, and downtown Denver. Don’t worry; you’ll be on your way back down before you start feeling lightheaded.
1 p.m. | Visit Manitou Springs
This low-key hippie enclave 15 minutes west of Colorado Springs is host to an array of galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and – as the name implies – 11 mineral-rich hot springs. And, if you need to work off a few hundred calories, head to the Manitou Incline for a mile-long hike on a historic rail line that climbs 2,000 vertical feet.
4 p.m. | Alluvia Spa & Wellness Retreat
Located in the resort’s fitness center, the 5,000-square-foot spa features outdoors-evoking decor, half a dozen treatment rooms, a juice bar, and a private outdoor patio – a model setting for an easygoing afternoon. Along with seasonal services, the spa menu includes year-round offerings, like Escape for Two, a couple’s package comprising 50-minute Swedish massages, 15-minute scalp and foot treatments, and après-spa champagne.
7 p.m. | Watch the Game at Elevations Lounge
End the day in the resort’s upscale sports bar, appointed with flat-screen TVs, pool and shuffleboard, an outdoor terrace to watch the sun set, and a choice selection of Colorado craft beers. Try the 6035’, a rotating draft beer from Phantom Canyon Brewing Company brewed special for the resort and named for its altitude.
10 a.m. | Visit the Colorado Wolf Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the town of Divide, this 35-acre wolf rescue casts an educational light on uncommon species of canids, from majestic Arctic wolves to endangered Mexican Gray Wolves. During the daily tours, you’ll get an up-close look at the pack of rescued wolves and learn about their feeding habits and subtle behaviors.
12:30 p.m. | Hike and Climb Garden of the Gods
Before you leave town, get acquainted with the red rock formations in Colorado City’s picturesque public park. Retrace millions of years of geological history with the nature center’s exhibits, take a guided nature walk or a three-mile hike along the rolling Chambers/Bretag/Palmer Trail. Or, if you’re an experienced climber, join Front Range Climbing Company and ascend the steep sandstone.
Like a Local
Quirky, under-the-radar highlights only a local could recommend.
Paint Mines Interpretive Park
May Natural History Museum
The best food artisans, farms, and local markets.
Savory Spice Shop
This locally owned Tejon Street locale is a dream for the family chef, stocking more than 450 herbs and spices that are freshly ground weekly at its Denver warehouse. It also sells locally made jellies, jams, olive oils, honey, and balsamic vinaigrettes – all of which you can taste in the store. Start with the Mount Elbert Blend, one of four spices in stock that are named after Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks.
Alongside reliably sweet-tooth-vanquishing treats, this award-winning bakery on Platte Place has creativity coming out of its oven. Unique options include corn cupcakes baked with hard cider and brie and topped with an apple and pear balsamic reduction, green tea cupcakes infused with fruit, and Granny Smith apple pie cupcakes topped with apple butter cream and cinnamon.
Famous for its decades-old pumpkin giveaway to schoolchildren, this 190-acre farm on the edge of town harnesses sustainable methods to raise grass-fed beef, heritage hogs, and 100-plus vegetable varieties for its farm stand, CSA, and local farmers’ markets. It also hosts an array of all-ages sustainability classes, from raising backyard chickens to canning your own food.
Josh & John’s Ice Cream
This 30-year summertime staple in downtown Colorado Springs makes its ice cream using a slow-churn approach that allows for a creamier and denser product. Pick from a menu of 16 regular flavors – or try one of their innovative rotating creations, like goat cheese, Jack Daniels, or pumpkin pie sorbet – then enjoy on the outdoor patio beneath the watchful eye of Pikes Peak.
The Goat Cheese Lady
Forty-five minutes south in the town of Penrose, Lindsey Aparicio – better known as the Goat Cheese Lady – welcomes students to her family’s five-acre farm for an array of back-to-the-land classes, including a half-day intro to the art of goat cheese. Make a reservation, and prepare to get your hands dirty: You’ll milk the herd yourself, filter and season the cheese, and take home what you make.