When searching for things to do in Colorado Springs, you’ll find that this city at the base of the Rocky Mountains boasts a stunning array of natural wonders and man-made attractions, making it an ideal destination for tourists.
You can enjoy scenic drives, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences to military history in the warmer months or visit Colorado’s ice fishing spots in winter.
Located only 69 miles (111 kilometers) from Denver, Colorado Springs has plenty to keep you entertained, whether you’re an adventure solo traveler or a family with kids.
As you get ready to learn more about the places to visit in Colorado Springs, here are some must-see tourist attractions to add to your itinerary.
Table of Contents
The Best Things To Do in Colorado Springs
1- Garden of the Gods
One of the top things to do in Colorado Springs is to visit the Garden of the Gods, a registered National Natural Landmark and breathtaking public park. Featuring towering sandstone rock formations, hiking trails, and incredible views of Pikes Peak, the park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
It offers opportunities for rock climbing, horseback riding, and mountain biking. The Visitor and Nature Center provides educational exhibits, guided tours, and an interactive Geo-Trekker Theater where visitors can learn about the park’s geological history.
Don’t miss the famous Balanced Rock, an impressive sandstone formation that seemingly defies gravity.
2- Pikes Peak: Top Colorado Springs Attractions
Pikes Peak, standing at 14,115 feet, is one of Colorado’s most famous “fourteeners” and the inspiration behind the song “America the Beautiful.”
Among the many places to visit in Colorado Springs, ascending the mountain via the Pikes Peak Highway or the historic Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway is a must. Once at the summit, take in the sweeping views and snap a photo by the summit sign.
The Pikes Peak Summit Complex offers a high-altitude experience with educational exhibits, a gift shop, and a café where you can enjoy world-famous donuts made at 14,000 feet.
3- The Broadmoor Seven Falls
The Broadmoor Seven Falls is a series of seven cascading waterfalls tucked away in a beautiful box canyon.
The 224-step stairway alongside the falls leads to hiking trails and the scenic Eagle’s Nest observation platform, offering panoramic views of the falls and surrounding area.
The Soaring Adventure zip-lining experience, located within the park, provides a thrilling bird’s-eye view of the canyon. Complete your visit by dining at the exquisite 1858 Restaurant, which serves upscale cuisine in a rustic atmosphere.
Read Also: Best Places To Visit in Aurora, Colorado
4- Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Perched at 6,800 feet above sea level, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is America’s highest-altitude zoo and home to over 750 animals.
The zoo offers an intimate, interactive experience, allowing guests to feed giraffes, watch grizzly bears swim, and witness animals up close during daily demonstrations.
One of the zoo’s most notable exhibits is the African Rift Valley, featuring the largest reticulated giraffe herd in North America. The zoo also offers a scenic chairlift ride, providing stunning views of Colorado Springs and the surrounding mountains.
5- Cave of the Winds Mountain Park
Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is among the exciting things to do in Colorado Springs, offering visitors the chance to explore an intricate cave system dating back millions of years.
Choose between the family-friendly Discovery Tour, which highlights the cave’s history and geology, or the thrilling Lantern Tour, which leads guests through dark passageways lit only by lanterns.
Above ground, the park boasts several adrenaline-pumping attractions, such as the Wind Walker Challenge Course, Bat-a-Pult zip line, and the Terror-dactyl free-fall ride.
6- U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs is a world-class facility where America’s top athletes prepare for international competitions.
Guided tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at the state-of-the-art facilities, including the aquatic center, weightlifting and wrestling rooms, and sports medicine clinics.
The Team USA Shop and Visitor Center showcase Olympic memorabilia and interactive exhibits, giving visitors a taste of the Olympic experience.
Be sure to check the center’s event calendar for opportunities to watch athletes train or compete.
Read Also: Things To Do in Aspen in The Summer
7- The Manitou Cliff Dwellings
The Manitou Cliff Dwellings offer a unique opportunity to explore ancient Anasazi structures relocated from the Four Corners region. The preserved dwellings provide a glimpse into the life and culture of the Anasazi people who lived in the area over 1,000 years ago.
The nearby Manitou Cliff Dwellings Museum features exhibits and artifacts that help bring the Anasazi history to life. This fascinating site is a must-visit for history buffs and families alike.
8- The National Museum of World War II Aviation
The National Museum of World War II Aviation is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history of World War II aviation.
The museum’s collection includes restored aircraft, rare artifacts, and interactive exhibits that offer an immersive look into the development, training, and deployment of aircraft during the war.
The museum also features a working restoration facility where visitors can observe vintage aircraft being restored to their original condition.
9- The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, housed in the historic El Paso County Courthouse, chronicles the rich history of the Pikes Peak region.
With over 80,000 artifacts and rotating exhibits, the museum offers a comprehensive look at the area’s past, from Native American culture to the founding of Colorado Springs.
The museum also hosts special events and educational programs throughout the year, making it a great addition to any itinerary.
10- The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is an iconic Colorado attraction, featuring the highest suspension bridge in the United States.
Suspended 956 feet above the Arkansas River, the bridge offers breathtaking views of the surrounding gorge. The park also includes a variety of thrill-seeking activities such as the Royal Rush Skycoaster, ziplining, and the Cloudscraper by Zip Rider, North America’s tallest swing ride.
Read Also: Exploring St. George, Utah
11- The Space Foundation Discovery Center
The Space Foundation Discovery Center is a must-visit for space enthusiasts and families, offering interactive exhibits, hands-on educational experiences, and the chance to learn about space exploration and technology.
Visitors can experience simulated Mars missions, build and launch rockets, and explore the universe in the immersive Science On a Sphere theater.
12- The Ghost Town Museum: Cool Places To Visit in Colorado Springs
The Ghost Town Museum, housed in an original 1899 building, offers a glimpse into the Wild West era. The museum preserves the history of Colorado’s mining towns with authentic artifacts, exhibits, and displays.
Visitors can try their hand at gold panning, witness live blacksmith demonstrations, and browse the unique gift shop for Western-themed souvenirs.
13- The Air Force Academy
The United States Air Force Academy, located just north of Colorado Springs, is both a military training facility and a scenic tourist destination.
The 18,000-acre campus features stunning architecture, such as the iconic Cadet Chapel, and offers guided tours providing insight into life as a cadet. Be sure to stop by the Barry Goldwater Visitor Center to learn more about the academy’s history and mission.
14- Red Rock Canyon Open Space
Red Rock Canyon Open Space is a beautiful park featuring red sandstone formations, picturesque meadows, and miles of hiking and biking trails.
The park also offers opportunities for rock climbing, wildlife viewing, and picnicking, making it a perfect spot for outdoor enthusiasts looking for things to do near Colorado Springs.
The park’s history as a former quarry is evident in the repurposed mill sites and the historic stone structures throughout the area.
With its stunning natural beauty, diverse recreational activities, and unique historical features, Red Rock Canyon Open Space is a must-visit destination for those exploring the Colorado Springs area.
15- North Cheyenne Cañon Park
One of the most scenic places to visit in Colorado Springs is North Cheyenne Cañon Park, a beautiful 1,600-acre park located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
The park offers many outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and bird watching. Popular trails such as the Seven Bridges Trail and the Mount Cutler Trail provide stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Don’t forget to stop by the Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center to learn about the park’s history, wildlife, and ecology.
16- Old Colorado City
Old Colorado City, a historic district on the west side of Colorado Springs, is among the top Colorado Springs attractions.
This charming area features beautifully preserved 19th-century buildings, now housing unique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Stroll along the tree-lined streets, enjoy live music during the summer months, and immerse yourself in the rich history of the region.
The Old Colorado City History Center offers exhibits, tours, and events to help visitors learn more about the area’s past.
17- The Money Museum
For an intriguing and educational experience, one of the must-visit places in Colorado Springs is The Money Museum, located at the American Numismatic Association headquarters.
This fascinating museum showcases the history of money, from ancient coins to modern-day currency, through engaging exhibits and interactive displays.
Highlights include a rare collection of U.S. gold coins, a display of error notes and coins, and the opportunity to design your own virtual coin.
How to Get to Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is easily accessible from Denver, located approximately 70 miles south of the city. To get there by car, take Interstate 25 South, which offers a scenic drive through the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The journey takes approximately 1.5 hours, depending on traffic.
Colorado Springs is also serviced by the Colorado Springs Airport (COS), conveniently located just 11 miles southeast of downtown.
The airport offers numerous direct flights to major cities across the United States, as well as connections to international destinations. From the airport, you can rent a car, take a shuttle, or use a ride-sharing service to reach your accommodations in the city.
Where to Stay in Colorado Springs
The Mining Exchange
For an upscale experience, consider staying at The Mining Exchange, a Wyndham Grand Hotel & Spa.
This luxury hotel is situated in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs, within walking distance of popular attractions, restaurants, and shops.
The hotel is housed in a beautifully restored historic building, featuring elegant guest rooms, a full-service spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and on-site dining options. The hotel is rated 8.4/10 by Booking.com guests.
Check rates and availability on Booking.com
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Colorado Springs Central
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Colorado Springs Central.
This modern hotel is located in the heart of the city, close to popular attractions like the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center and the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. The hotel offers a range of amenities, including a complimentary breakfast buffet, an indoor pool, a fitness center, and free high-speed Wi-Fi. Booking.com guests rate it 8.6/10.
Check rates and availability on Booking.com
Things To Do in Colorado Springs: Conclusion
In conclusion, Colorado Springs boasts a diverse array of attractions and activities that cater to all interests and age groups.
From breathtaking natural wonders like Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods to fascinating cultural and historical sites like the Manitou Cliff Dwellings and the National Museum of World War II Aviation, the city offers countless opportunities for unforgettable experiences.
With excellent accommodations and convenient access from Denver and the Colorado Springs Airport, this vibrant city is an ideal destination for tourists seeking adventure, relaxation, or a deeper understanding of American history and culture.
Embark on your Colorado Springs journey and create lasting memories in this remarkable Rocky Mountain haven.