- August 27, 2021
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View of Pikes Peak through the Siamese Twins Rock Formations at Garden of the Gods in Colorado … [+]
The state of Colorado has plenty of great towns to visit and Colorado Springs is one of those can’t-go-wrong spots. It’s the state’s second-largest city and dates back to 1871 when it was created as a resort town. What’s not to love: amazing natural beauty, mild climate, plenty of sun and over 50 natural and man-made attractions. There are plenty of iconic landmarks here, including Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods. Whether you’re an active-adventure traveler; looking for family-friendly activities; or looking for a relaxing vacation to take in the scenery; Colorado Springs is the place to go.
The city is home to more than 30 museums, 19 art galleries, 20 breweries and 10 performance art theatres, as well as 136 parks, five sports complexes, 105 miles of urban trails and 160 miles of park trails. Known as the “Olympic City,” Colorado Springs is home to the United States Olympic Committee Headquarters, more than 20 national Olympic governing bodies, more than 50 national sports organizations, the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum.
Colorado Springs has many scenic natural rock formations
Adventures Out West hot air balloon ride
What could be better than viewing the Rocky Mountains at sunrise from the vantage point of a hot air balloon? This hour-long ride is guided by the winds, which will also determine how fast (or slow) the balloon moves. From the Spanish Peaks to Longs Peak, the pilot will point out highlights while you take in the beautiful mountain glow as the sun slowly makes its journey up. On a clear day, you may even be able to see 100 miles in all directions. Adventures Out West has been flying hot air balloons in Colorado for over 45 years and is one of the oldest commercial hot air balloon ride companies in America.
Broadmoor Manitou Cog Railway
Be a part of history by taking a ride in one of the world’s highest and longest cog railways, The Broadmoor Manitou Cog Railway. The cog railway dates back to 1891 and it’s been completely renovated and updated with new trains, track, depot, and a new Pikes Peak Visitor Center. This three-year project was just completed and it means that visitors can now enjoy the beauty and views up the mountain to Pikes Peak in comfort and style. You might even see some wildlife along the way including bighorn sheep, goats and even bears—all from the safety and comfort of the train. The narrated journey takes about an hour each way and visitors have about 45 minutes to take in views at the top. It’s the best way to see the mountain and the stunning views.
This is one of only two cog railways in the country. This inspiring and iconic experience is a highlight of a Colorado Springs trip.
Garden of the Gods
One of the most visited attractions in the region is Garden of the Gods, a registered National Natural Landmark. These beautiful red sandstone rock formations tower over 300 feet high and are a beautiful backdrop to the snow-capped Pikes Peak in the distance. Spend the day wandering the trails and taking Instagram-worthy photos in some of the prettiest landscape in the country. The best part? There’s no entry charge, so you get to enjoy all this beauty for free. Some of the prettiest times to visit (and the least crowded) is at the beginning and end of the day (the park is open 8 am to 5 pm every day).
Garden of the Gods Resort and Club
Garden of the Gods Resort and Club is located just minutes away from Garden of the Gods Park and the views from the resort are nothing short of stunning. The property is located 20 minutes from the Colorado Springs airport.
What’s nice is that the resort offers a variety of accommodations ranging from guestrooms and suites to cottages and casitas many of which have private patios with beautiful mountain views.
If you’re traveling with a family or just looking for a little bit more room, be sure to book a suite. Each of the 12 suites offer a separate living room area and several add a spacious powder room, wet bar and dining table to create a more residential ambiance. All accommodations are conveniently located in the main resort building with easy access to the infinity pool, fitness studios, and on-site restaurants. The view from the suites is pretty amazing: direct views of the Garden of the Gods spectacular natural formations, sheer cliffs, abrupt towers, balancing rocks and oak-covered valleys, all framed by snow-capped Pikes Peak
The property is perched atop a mesa and has one of the most idyllic locations in the Rocky Mountains, with views of Pikes Peak and the red rock sandstone of Garden of the Gods. The iconic property has been host to some of America’s most loved characters including Walt Disney and John Wayne.
The Strata Integrated Wellness and Spa has a wide variety of treatment options.
A must is visiting the Strata Integrated Wellness and Spa. What’s really interesting is that the spa is not just a place to get massages and facials (although it does an extensive spa menu which is very popular among guests). But it also boasts an integrative medical practice with a full-fledge team of physicians, nurses and clinicians with expertise in preventative and integrative medicine, with the goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle. The goal of Strata is to provide a fully integrated approach of healing the mind and body within its spa and wellness center to support optimal health and wellbeing, including: medical treatments; a blend of Western and Eastern medicine; holistic healing of the mind and body; body assessments; massages; facials; salon services and more. Of course, it’s also a perfect place to get a full body massage and facial.
The property also has plenty to do on-site. The resort is home to the 27-hole championship Kissing Camels Golf Course, as well as a driving range, practice greens and award-winning pro shop. There are also two outdoor and four new, state-of-the-art indoor tennis courts. The property also has three pools and two hot tubs, including an adults-only heated infinity pool overlooking the Garden of the Gods Park and Pikes Peak and others that are family-friendly along with a splash garden. The state-of-the-art fitness center is a big draw, and has equipment from Matrix, alongside a variety of classes and training options.
The on-site restaurants are another big draw, with a focus on locally sourced, farm-to-table freshly-made-to-order cuisine. The Grand View dining room has floor to ceiling windows that overlook the stunning Garden of the Gods red rock formations, and framed by the towering Pikes Peak. It also has outdoor seating. It’s hard to tell what’s better—the food or the views. There are also a variety of dining options available on property.
My work has appeared in over 30 publications including Conde Nast Traveler, Travel Leisure, Robb Report, Afar, Family Vacation Critic, Architectural Digest, O, The
My work has appeared in over 30 publications including Conde Nast Traveler, Travel Leisure, Robb Report, Afar, Family Vacation Critic, Architectural Digest, O, The Oprah Magazine, Reader’s Digest, USA Today and MSN Travel. Follow me on Instagram @JudyKoutsky