Consider Colorado Springs for your next vacation, no matter where you are coming from. If you’ve got one half of your family that like urban destinations and the other half who lives to vacation out in nature, Colorado Springs is one place where you can get both!
Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a gateway to some of the most beautiful hikes and lookouts in the entry country. You can see stunning rock formations, snow-capped peaks, and rushing waterfalls all at the end of an easy hike.
Only about an hour south of Denver, there are so many things to do in Colorado Springs (plus it has its own airport.) There are also parks built into the mountains that let you feel like you’re flying over canyons and world-class breweries where you can share your stories after a long day exploring Colorado Spring’s nature and scenery.
13 of the Best Things to Do in Colorado Springs
Did you know that there are 55 Things to do in Colorado Springs and its immediate area? We’ve narrowed down some of our favorites to kick off your vacation planning.
1. Garden of the Gods
A National Landmark and public park, the Garden of the Gods has more than 300 sandstone structures and formations that you can hike to and explore. In addition, there is an exhibit at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center where you can learn about the rocks and geology of the area before you get out there and see for yourself.
You’ll be amazed by the red sandstone formations and their striking images against the snow peaks in the background. This is one of the most popular things to do in Colorado Springs, so make sure you get to the park early if you want to avoid crowds. The park is free for the public to visit, and there are paved walking paths throughout the park to make it easy to walk around and explore.
2. Cave of The Winds
For nearly 150 years, people have been visiting the Cave of the Winds when visiting Pike’s Peak. You can explore the caverns in the area, including one that puts you into complete darkness. Don’t worry; there are also lantern-guided tours for parts of the caverns as well.
You will learn about the area’s folklore on the tours below ground. There is also an adventure course that you can try out. Here you can dive into Williams Canyon, go on the bat-a-ult, or try out the Wind Walk Challenge Course. This place is a unique combination of fun, history, and adventure.
3. Visit Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak isn’t the highest peak you can visit in Colorado. But it is the most popular peak for people to visit; half a million visitors will summit the peak every year! You can drive up most of the way, take a rail car up to the peak built in the late 19th century, or hike to the summit. The hiking trail is about 13 miles and is a very popular option.
The views from the top are absolutely beautiful, including seeing the Garden of the Gods and the Continental Divide. If you decide to hike up the mountain and visit from out of state, I recommend taking a few days to get acclimated to the high altitude before going on a challenging hike.
One of the most popular things to do in Colorado Springs, try to avoid the weekends of peak travel season.
4. The Broadmoor Hotel’s Seven Falls
As the name suggests, the Broadmoor Hotel’s Seven Falls is a natural wonder featuring seven cascading waterfalls leading into one another. Found between the Pillars of Hercules, you can climb a staircase and head up to the hiking trails that take you past the waterfalls.
There are two hiking trails, one easier and the other harder, so anyone can enjoy getting to the top. There is also a zip line park in the area, where you can see the falls from a whole new point of view. This is one of those activities where you will want to dress appropriately and have good shoes on before starting—but it is well worth it!
5. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Near downtown Colorado Springs, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the only zoo in the United States located on the side of a mountain! With exhibits over 140 acres, you will see some amazing animals and presentations when visiting the zoo.
There are nearly 1,000 different types of animals spanning 180 species that you can visit. The zoo has been open for almost a century and has welcomed kids and families for decades. The most popular animal to see is the giraffe exhibit, where you can feed the animals by hand.
6. Glen Eyrie Castle
Built in the second half of the 19th century, the Glen Eyrie Castle was built by General William Jackson Palmer, the founder of Colorado Springs. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 20-room castle offers guided tours to guests during the day and hosts weddings, banquets, and more.
There are also wellness retreats at the castle, thanks to its serene atmosphere. When you visit, be on the lookout for the wildlife that roams in the area, from wild turkeys, big horned sheep, and deer.
7. Grab a Beer at Goat Patch Brewing Company
Created by a group of friends, Goat Patch Brewing Company values good beer, adventure, and community involvement in everything that they do. So every year, they pick two nonprofits that will be the focus of that year’s charity by the brewing company.
They have won many awards over the years, both for the brewery as a whole and for certain crafted drinks, like their Hazy IPA. In addition, they host live music in their taproom, and you can enjoy a snack or a meal from the food trucks on site. After a long day hiking, this is exactly where you will want to be.
8. Penrose Heritage Museum
Created during World War II in 1941, the Penrose Heritage Museum was established to house a collection of carriages and cars from the early 20th century. You can see more than 30 horse-drawn carriages on display and 13 old-timey cars.
There are also two presidential carriages that you can see. The first is the inaugural carriage of President William Henry Harrison in 1841. Along with President Chester Arthur’s carriage from 1862. In the collection, you will also see race cars from the 1920s, a limousine dating back to 1928, and a 1906 Renault.
9. Tour the Olympic Training Center
Home of the United States Olympic Committee, the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs is where athletes from all disciplines come to train before competing in the Olympics. In addition, the training center offers tours where you can see the pools where divers and swimmers get into the water, the weightlifting rooms, gymnastics spaces, and so much more.
You can also see where the Olympians are housed while in training, where they go for sports medicine and their dining halls. This tour is great for guests of all ages, and tour guides are known for adapting their tour for the interest and ages of the groups. You can also stock up on official Team USA merch in their visitor center gift shop.
10. Grab Dessert From the Marigold Cafe and Bakery
The Marigold Café and Bakery is a staple in the Colorado Springs community, having served homemade baked desserts and bread and French lunches and dinners for a while. Their award-winning cakes will have you coming back every day on your visit to the area.
You can find full meals that feature seafood, pasta, steaks, and vegetarian options. Everything is made in the shop with the freshest, local ingredients. The meals are delectable and very memorable—a local and favorite tourist place to stop in multiple times a day! It’s one of the delicious things to do in Colorado Springs!
11. Visit Red Rock Canyon
The Red Rock Canyon open space is the most beautiful city park that you will ever visit. At a size of nearly 1,500 acres, you can see canyons, sandstone formations, and ridges. This is a dog-friendly park, so if your dog enjoys hiking, this might be your spot.
There is a bike-riding park too, which has sections for beginners, intermediate riders, and expert adrenaline seekers. You will also find dozens of hiking trails suitable for all levels of fitness, climbing routes, and horseback riding trails. This is a great spot to bring your lunch and have a picnic with your travel buddies!
12. Attend a Concert in One of the World’s Most Spectacular Venues
Why not time your visit to Colorado Springs to catch a music act in one of the most stunning concert venues ever built in the world? Imagine listening to music in an amphitheater built into the Red Rock Canyon? Since 1941, people have flocked to hear their favorite act amidst these giant red rocks under a sky of stars. Dave Matthews Band fans will recognize the venue from their Live At Red Rocks 8/15/95 album recorded at their iconic show.
13. Helen Hunt Falls
Helen Hunt Falls is one of the most rewarding sights to see in the Colorado Springs area. You can easily access the falls from viewing areas at the base or hike up and see them from the top. If you do head to the top, you will be able to see the Silver Cascade Falls leading into the North Cheyenne Canon.
There is also a visitor center that tells guests about the natural wildlife and features you will see on your visit. They also plan group hikes and walks up to the falls. While it is a hike you can do on your own, it is nice to have the option to hear about the area you will see as you hike from staff and volunteers.
Wrapping Up The Best Things to do in Colorado Springs
It is a great place to visit if you want to reconnect with nature and get outside on your next vacation. There are so many things to do in Colorado Springs. From hiking to sightseeing, golf, breweries, and more—that you can spend a whole week or more in this stunning destination.
Which one of these things to do in Colorado Springs will you try first?