Colorado Springs Travel Tips

I was just in Colorado Springs for my future brother-in-law’s wedding. While I was there, Aryeh Goretsky sent me an email with a few “local” tips inside. Seems a shame to keep those to myself, so I’m going to post ’em here in the hopes that other people traveling to Colorado Springs will discover them when searching for help…

When I was there last, NORAD, USAFA and Ft. Carson were not allowing tours any more, but they may have relaxed those. If you are still in Colorado Springs, here are some fun things to do while you’re there, in no particular order:

  • Garden of the Gods Park (either just to drive through or to park and walk around in).
  • The Will Rogers Shrine (kind of like Coit Tower in SF).
  • Bear Creek Park (dog park, some walking, also hiking)
  • Check out the Starr Kempf kinetic sculptures over by the Starsmore Discovery Center
  • See a movie at the IMAX theatre
  • Take the funicular rail car up Pike’s Peak
  • There are all sorts of galleries, boutiques and eateries in Old Colorado City, downtown Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs
  • Visit Woodland Park (about 16 miles W of town, curvy drive up to it)

Things you can probably avoid: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, the Flying W Ranch, the Nicola Tesla museum, and the Cave of the Winds. The Zoo is (or was) very small and the Flying W more of a dinner and “western experience” thing for people who’ve never seen a cowboy. There is an Insect Museum south of town – I don’t know if it is worth visiting. And as far as eating is concerned:

  • Broadmoor Hotel (various restaurants, all expensive)
  • Craftwood Inn [Manitou Springs] (game, expensive)
  • Edelweiss (German food, moderate)
  • Giuseppe’s Depot (pizza, kind of touristy but fun, moderate)
  • Il Vicino (pizza, inexpensive)
  • Marigold (noveau, moderate-expensive)
  • Mollica’s (Italian deli, inexpensive)
  • Phantom Canyon Brewery (nouveau, moderate)
  • Stage Coach (continental, moderate-expensive)
  • Swiss Chalet [Woodland Park] (dinner is expensive, lunch is reasonable)

Downtown Colorado Springs is 6,000 feet above sea level, Woodland Park is at 8,500 feet and Cripple Creek and Victor are just over 10,000 feet. This means you may be exposed to more UV radiation then if you were at sea level. If anyone burns easily, bring some suntan lotion. Also, the air is thinner and drier. As a result, your body will dry out quicker. Take bottled water with you wherever you go (e.g., leave it in the car). Chapstick will also be useful. Also, there may be quite a bit of pollen in the air from pine trees and the like. Take anti-allergens if this is an issue. There is a CompUSA and a Best Buy at the north end of town in case of digital emergencies.