19 Best Things to do in Colorado Springs, Colorado (2023)

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Are you looking for the best things to do in Colorado Springs? Then, you’ll want to read this blog post!

The city of Colorado Springs is an exciting destination for anyone looking to experience all that Colorado has to offer.

As someone who lived in Colorado for a few years, I can attest to the beauty and adventure that can be found here. During my time living in the state, I had the opportunity to visit Colorado Springs often, and it was one of my go-to spots when family and friends visited so I could give them a taste of what the state has to offer.

From majestic mountains and picturesque parks to renowned restaurants and unique attractions, there are so many amazing things waiting to be explored in this beautiful city! Whether you’re looking for outdoor thrills or a relaxing getaway, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for both in Colorado Springs. 

Keep reading to learn more about the best things to do in Colorado Springs.

🚗 Don’t forget to book your Colorado rental car! Click here to check rates.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Drive the Pikes Peak Highway

A view looking out over a road winding down the side of a mountain.

Driving Pikes Peak Highway is a must-do for any traveler visiting Colorado Springs. As one of the state’s 14ers, the highway will take you up to an elevation of 14,115 feet, with incredible views along the way. 

Once you reach the summit, be sure to stop in at the Summit House for some donuts. On your way back down, stop by Crystal Reservoir for stunning views and a chance to take in all that the area has to offer.

Keep in mind that I don’t recommend this if you don’t like heights! However, if you can get used to the Colorado windy roads, this is a must-do.

Hike around Garden of the Gods

A paved walking path leading along a road in a red, rocky area.

Hiking around the Garden of the Gods is a beautiful experience that can’t be missed. The park is full of stunning red rocks surrounded by mountains, offering a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else.

There are plenty of hikes in the area, ranging from easy to moderate. They all offer breathtaking views of the rocks, great for taking pictures and appreciating nature. 

If you’d like to learn more about the unique rock formations, be sure to stop by the Visitor’s Center. Here, knowledgeable staff will explain everything in an engaging way so you won’t miss a single detail about this incredible place! Or, if you’re introverted like me, you can take the time to just read through the exhibits.

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    Ride the Pikes Peak Cog Railway

    A train heading down a rocky mountain range on a sunny day.

    Riding the Pikes Peak Cog Railway is an incredible experience that every traveler should try. A breathtaking trip will bring you to the top of Pikes Peak, so it’s a perfect option if you’d rather not do the highway on your own! 

    To make sure you don’t miss out on this unique experience, it would be best to get tickets ahead of time. The Pikes Peak Cog Railway boasts the title of the world’s highest cog railroad, so expect some amazing views along your journey and plenty of photo opportunities. 

    And yes, you can still get a doughnut at the top by taking the Pikes Peak Cog Railway!

    Find the Manitou Cliff Dwellings

    Staircases leading towards red rock ruins built into the side of a cliff.

    Visiting the Manitou Cliff Dwellings is one of the best things to do in Colorado Springs. The ruins here date back almost 1000 years, and the preservation is incredible. With your admission to the dwellings, you gain access to two different museums that you won’t want to miss out on, too. 

    See the animals at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

    Two giraffes walking in a small dirt area that is surrounded by a wooden fence.
    Editorial credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

    Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of the USA’s best zoos, and it’s easy to see why! It’s both family-friendly and features a wide variety of endangered species, making it an ideal destination for travelers. 

    One of the most unique things about this zoo is that it’s around 6700 feet above sea level and is actually one of the highest zoos in the USA. The habitats throughout the zoo are completely themed, and there are also a lot of giraffes.

    Learn at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center

    Visiting the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center is a must-do! The campus, which was created to be used as a training facility for athletes in the Olympics and Paralympics, offers a guided tour year-round where you can explore its grounds and appreciate the dedication of these incredible athletes. 

    Plus, you can also shop at the Team USA shop on-site – great for picking up souvenirs or gifts for loved ones back home. 

    Ride the Royal Gorge Route Railroad

    A train riding along the a river at the base of a rocky canyon.

    Riding the Royal Gorge Route Railroad is an absolute must for any traveler coming to this area. Technically an hour away in Cañon City, the two-hour ride takes you through the stunning Royal Gorge in a 1950s train that’s been expertly preserved and offers some of the most beautiful views of the Colorado landscape.

    With its engaging tour guides that share local stories and fun facts, it’s an experience that you won’t soon forget!

    If you can’t make it out here to go on the train, it’s worth just driving through the Royal Gorge area. It’s one of our favorite spots to visit in Colorado.

    Step back in time at Glen Eyrie Castle

    A stone castle with a grassy field in front of it.
    Editorial credit: Victoria Ditkovsky / Shutterstock.com

    Stepping back in time at Glen Eyrie Castle is a unique experience for travelers to Colorado Springs. The castle was built in the 19th century by the founder of Colorado Springs, General William Jackson Palmer. 

    Today, visitors can take guided tours of this historic site and explore its beauty. If you need a break from walking, head over to the cafe, where you can enjoy hot drinks while taking in the breathtaking view. With its charming atmosphere and picturesque views, visiting Glen Eyrie Castle is one of the more unique things to do in Colorado Springs.

    Shop in downtown Colorado Springs

    An aerial view of a small city at the foot of a mountain range.

    Downtown Colorado Springs is a great place for travelers to explore and shop. With a mix of local stores and some major retailers, there is something for everyone. You can browse the stores or grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants.

    Wondering where to eat in Colorado Springs? The Rabbit Hole is great for cocktails and American bites, Springs Orleans is a go-to for New Orleans-style Cajun meals, and Edelweiss German Restaurant is a fun biergarten with music!

    Visit Cheyenne Mountain State Park

    Another of the best things to do in Colorado Springs is to visit Cheyenne Mountain State Park. From its 60+ campsites, to the stunning wildlife and countless outdoor activities, Cheyenne Mountain has something for everyone! 

    You can explore miles of trails great for hiking and biking, take in breathtaking views, and spot some of Colorado’s local wildlife. For a fun hike, try to do the Dixon Trail. It’s a challenge but you’ll get great views that you’ll never forget.

    Visit Old Colorado City

    A thin stone sign standing up in a rocky sidewalk with words carved into it that read "Old Colorado City. National Historic District. Established in 1859".

    Old Colorado City is a must-see for any traveler visiting Colorado Springs. It used to be its own town, but it is now part of the greater city. There’s lots to explore in Old Colorado City, including great food and interesting historical sites. 

    Check out the galleries to appreciate its art scene, or take a stroll through the Gold Rush-era buildings that date back to the 1850s. Whether you want to learn more about Colorado Springs’ past or just grab a bite with friends, Old Colorado City is a great place for all kinds of activities.

    Hike the Manitou Incline

    A steep wooden staircase leading up to the top of a mountain with trees on either side.

    Hiking the Manitou Incline is another of the top things to do in Colorado Springs. It’s an intense trail with 1978 feet of elevation gain, but the entire hike is only 4 miles. 

    The trek is considered hard, and it takes about 3 hours round trip – but let us assure you that the views are definitely worth it! Be sure to do this hike after you’re used to the elevation difference in Colorado, or you may find yourself catching your breath the entire way up.

    Learn at the Ghost Town Museum

    The Ghost Town Museum is a must-visit for any traveler to Colorado Springs. Here, you can explore an Old West town and take a step back in time. You can explore old artifacts and get a firsthand understanding of what life was like in the 1800s. 

    Plus, you can even play some old arcade games and pan for gold! It’s the perfect way to learn more about history while also having fun in Colorado Springs.

    Ride in a Hot Air Balloon with Adventures Out West

    Colorful hot air balloons floating over a body of water on a sunny day.
    Editorial credit: Arina P Habich / Shutterstock.com

    Experience the beauty of Colorado Springs on a hot air balloon ride with Adventures Out West! Just imagine soaring high above the beautiful area while taking in the view of the Rocky Mountains.

    If heights aren’t your thing, don’t worry – they have plenty of other fun activities to keep you entertained. From ziplining through the sky like a bird to taking a Segway tour around Garden of the Gods, you’ll find something to do no matter what your interests are. 

    Spend a night at The Broadmoor

    A lake with resort styled buildings along the edge.

    If you’re looking for a luxurious getaway in Colorado Springs, look no further than The Broadmoor. This world-renowned hotel and resort is known for its stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, and it offers travelers the chance to indulge in a truly opulent experience. 

    Whether you stay the night or just take a stroll through their grounds, there’s something unique and exciting around every corner. Why not treat yourself and enjoy the ultimate Colorado Springs staycation?

    Visit the Broadmoor Seven Falls

    A small bridge crossing over a waterfall flowing over a large rock wall.

    The Broadmoor Seven Falls is one of the must-do experiences for travelers to Colorado Springs. Visitors can explore up to seven waterfalls and hike around the stunning trails. For those who are unable to trek up the canyon, there’s an elevator that takes you right to the top! 

    Once you get there, you’ll be able to witness awe-inspiring views. It is located right along South Cheyenne Creek and has an 181-foot drop. You can even go ziplining here!

    Explore Manitou Springs

    Aerial view of a small town in the foothills of a grassy mountain range.

    Manitou Springs, located at the base of Pikes Peak, is a perfect destination when you’re visiting Colorado Springs. The historic area offers beautiful architecture and plenty of shops for visitors to browse and buy souvenirs, not to mention many restaurants with delicious cuisine. 

    Take your time walking around the streets to get a sense of life in this charming town or strike up a conversation with anyone you come across to get to know the locals and see if there are any hidden gems worth visiting. 

    Spend a day at Cave of the Winds Mountain Park

    A rocky mountain range covered in trees on a sunny day.

    Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is an incredible destination for those visiting Colorado Springs. Founded in the 1880s, the park offers walking tours through historic areas with a knowledgeable guide, allowing you to explore and learn about the area. 

    And did we mention the cave itself is millions of years old? Take a guided tour through this natural wonder and marvel at its ancient beauty. 

    🚗 Don’t forget to book your Colorado rental car! Click here to check rates.

    Final Thoughts: Fun things to do in Colorado Springs

    Colorado Springs is a popular destination for travelers of all types. From hot air balloon rides to exploring Manitou Springs, there’s something for everyone. There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained and plenty of attractions to visit. 

    Whether you’re looking for an adventure or just a relaxing getaway, Colorado Springs has something for you. So be sure to take advantage of all the great things this city has to offer and remember: the best way to enjoy Colorado Springs is to have fun!

    So make sure to plan your trip with plenty of time for activities, sightseeing, shopping, dining, and more! And don’t forget – have an amazing time in Colorado Springs! I hope you enjoyed this post about the best things to do in Colorado Springs.

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