You’ve just arrived in world famous Colorado Springs and have less than 48 hours to explore everything the city has to offer. It’s impossible to see it all, so how do you make the most of your time?
We spent two full weeks during our visit and have put together the ultimate short list activities and things you must see and do during your short weekend here!
DAY ONE:VIEWS, VIEWS AND VIEWS
Make sure you get some shut-eye the night before – you’ve got a busy day ahead of you. The first stop on your trip in Colorado Springs will be breakfast! YUM! You’ll want to be sure to get a full stomach so head over to Crazy Brothers Diner. We recommend the bacon avocado omelette – so good! Now that you’ve stuffed your face, it’s time for Garden of the Gods, one of the areas most beautiful attractions and better yet, it’s entirely free. It’s a bit touristy but if you arrive early you can beat the heat and large crowds.
Based on our time here, we recommend pulling off at the main parking lot near all of the larger rock formations. For the best views of the park, you’ll want to take the mile and a half all concrete Perkins Central Garden trail. On your drive out, be sure to stop and see Balanced Rock.
Now that you’ve gotten a taste of the views Colorado Springs has to offer, it’s time to head up to 14,114ft above sea level on top of one of the tallest mountains in the US. Pikes Peak summit offers great views not only at the top, but the way up is no slouch when it comes to beautiful scenery either. You can drive yourself to the top or take the train from Cog Railway. We didn’t have the opportunity to take the railway as it was closed but preferred to drive ourselves anyway to have the freedom to pull over any time along the route and take in the scenery. Hiking is another option as well but the 6-10 hours it takes to reach the top is no easy feat. With such a busy day, we’d recommend making the drive up the Pikes Peak Highway. It’s definitely worth keeping mind mind that this drive isn’t totally relaxing. If you’re afraid of heights this one may scare you and with such steep elevations, it’s important that you keep an eye on your braking as using them too often can cause them to overheat and fail.
We recommend frequent stops along the way down to keep your brakes cooled off and you may even see some wildlife like we did! The road is newly paved so not to worry, you’re not driving on thin dirt roads. Don’t forget to grab a doughnut at the top before heading down. Regardless of the weather, bringing jackets along is a must! It’s quite a bit cooler up there.
Hopefully you didn’t eat too many doughnuts (We did), as it’s time to grab some grub for lunch. We recommend Border Burger Bar located in Manitou Springs. They offer excellent fries and the best selection of burgers and craft beer in the area! It’s definitely worth spending some time after lunch in this small town as there’s a really neat penny arcade with hundreds of old arcade games and many small shops and diners on the strip.
We suggest finishing off your day playing tourist. Your next stop will be Seven Falls. Here you’ll find some of the most picturesque walking trails and waterfalls this city has to offer and you can hike off some of those calories from lunch! Keep in mind that you will be climbing some stairs that are fairly steep.
Whew, that was a long day! It’s time for some dinner. Head to the heart of downtown Colorado Springs for a nice juicy steak at The Steakhouse at Flying Horse. Mmmm! They have excellent portion sizes and offer a delicious dessert menu in case you don’t fill up on your steak dinner (you will).
After your super active Saturday, today will be a bit lighter for you. We recommend taking the hour drive to Cañon City to see the Royal Gorge Bridge. Before arriving at the Gorge, stop in at Canon City MUGS for some breakfast. They have mouth watering breakfast burritos smothered with green chile.
After you finish up your breakfast, it’s just a short 20 minute drive to the tallest bridge in the country. The 1,053-foot-high bridge offers 360° views of the Arkansas River and beautiful surrounding cliffs. We recommend crossing the bridge on foot and taking the aerial gondola back across the 2,200-foot gap between cliffs for best views. The gondola is a bit of an extra cost, but worth the unlimited rides and views offered. You could easily spend at least a few hours here as there’s plenty of viewpoints and attractions at the park.
Before heading back to Colorado Springs, grab some lunch at Chicago Bob’s BBQ. You can’t go wrong with any meal that includes their pulled pork. There’s time for one last activity before your weekend comes to a close, so head on back to Colorado Springs. We suggest visiting The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo before ending your trip. It’s located on Cheyenne Mountain and at over 6,800 feet above sea level, it’s the highest zoo in the US. It’s perfect for the whole family and it’s a great way to put an end to your weekend in Colorado Springs.
Although you weren’t able to see everything, we have plenty of recommendations for your next trip to Colorado Springs. Hit us up for more exciting things to see and do in The Centennial State.