Things to do in Colorado Springs, CO
USAF Academy PicturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Colorado Springs has a population of over 416,000 people and it at 6,035 feet above sea level. Colorado Springs is 65 miles south of Denver and is located at the base of the mountains. Colorado Springs has a lot of different things to see and do during your visit there. We loved our trip to Colorado Springs. A few of my favorites are the Air Force Academy, Focus on the Family, Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Flying W Ranch, and Cave of the Winds.
Air Force Academy
Visiting the Air Force Academy is free and a worth while stop. From Interstate 25 (north from downtown Colorado Springs) and take exit 156B. Follow the signs and park at the Barry Goldwater Visitor Center. The visitor’s center has a nice gift shop, snack bar, and various exhibits, which includes a 14-minute video highlighting the academy experience in the movie theater. A short hike down a paved nature trail is the Cadet Chapel, which is worth taking pictures of it. The architecture is very unique. See the picture to the right. The inside is full of color stained glass. Outside of the chapel is the honor court where there are statues and aircraft memorials. Also, available to visit is the Falcon Athletic Center, which is viewable from the entrance road. You can expect to spend an hour or two here. On the way out, stop and take a picture of the “B-52”. For more information on visiting the Air Force Academy click on the link, here.
Insightful Guide to Colorado Springs
Focus on the Family PicturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Focus on the Family
The Focus on the Family campus is located off of Interstate 25 at exit 151 (Briargate Pkwy). Focus on the Family was founded by James Dobson as a Christian ministry to helping families thrive. They provide resources as well as a daily radio broadcast. The welcome center is a great place to visit for the whole family. It has a bookstore, G. Harvey art Gallery, Solid Grounds Coffee Bar for adults. For the kids, they have a three-story slide, kid’s play area, and Whit’s End Soda Shoppe. You can easily spend a few hours here. For more information on visiting Focus, follow the link to their website, here.
Resources from Focus on the Family
Garden of the Gods PicturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods has free admission and contains large, giant red rocks sticking up out of the green foliage below. I would advise you to stop at the visitor center and have a look around. It offers a nice place to take photos of the park in the distance. You can drive through the park and/or get out and hike through different sections of it. You can plan to spend a twenty minutes driving through or a whole day getting out and hiking the trails through the garden. It is a very unique place to visit. If you are lucky you will see some groups rock climbing as we did.
Pikes Peak PicturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Pikes Peak or “America’s Mountain” is the place to go in Colorado Springs. America the Beautiful was written about Pike’s Peak. It towers over Colorado Springs at 14,100 feet. What makes it unique among Colorado's 14 teeners is that there is no other mountain peaks obstructing your view of it. Going to the top is a must. On a clear day, you can see into Kansas and New Mexico. You can either drive the twisty turns all the way to the top or you can ride the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway to the top. The train ride offers spectacular views as you climb more than 8,000 feet. Beware when you get to the top that the elevation will have an effect on you. Do not try to move to quickly the air up there is quite thin. You are limited to 30-40 minutes on top before the Cog starts back down the mountain. If you plan on taking the train, make reservations a day or two in advance.
Flying W Ranch & Cave of the WindsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Flying W Ranch
If you are looking for a cowboy dinner along with a show, this is the place to go. Make reservations in advance because this is a very popular place. The Flying W Ranch is an actual working ranch. They offer a chuck wagon dinner and cowboys singing (Flying W Wranglers). Check out their website for more details, Flying W.
Cave of the Winds
Cave of the Winds is a cool place to visit. They offer several different tour options some with flash lights and some with hand held lanterns. The biggest thing to remember is not to touch anything when you are in the cave, which will be emphasized over and over again.
In summary, Colorado Springs has a lot to offer. These are but a few of the things that you can do. Let me know if you have any comments or questions.