Colorado Springs is located seventy miles south of Denver, and offers the perfect blend of city and wilderness. Enjoy a lovely little downtown stroll or gear up for an intense climb up to Pikes Peak. No matter what you do, this awesome mountain town is literally breathtaking.
Here are a few of my favorite spots:
Eat @ King’s Chef Diner. Ya’ll know how much I love dive-y little joints where you can sit at the counter and chat with someone flipping burgers. And this is exactly that type of place. At King’s Chef Diner, you can order breakfast any time of day, and the amazing food will keep you going all day. Expect to rub shoulders with mountain bikers straight off the Breckenridge Race, or COS hippies sipping coffee and chatting about politics. It’s a lovely little spot, and a great way to start your day.
Shop @ Poor Richard’s Bookstore. I could pretty much set up a cot in the back of this store and just live here. If you’re like me, and believe that books are a vacation for the soul, this tiny used book store with endless shelves of vintage copies of classic literature will take you away.
Play @ Garden of the Gods. If you do anything outdoors-y here (and there are a lot of outdoors-y options!), do this. Located about five miles northwest of downtown, you can catch the 16 bus or rent a bike to get to this unbelievable site.
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Learn @ The Ghost Town Museum. If you need a break in between shopping, eating and hiking, check out this throwback to the glory days of the Wild West. Wander among artifacts from the cowboy era, sit up in an old stagecoach and pan for gold, A little hokey, but fun. Watch out for children, there will be lots of ’em.
Drink @ The Phantom Canyon Brewery. This downtown brewery is easy to find… but difficult to pry yourself away from! Boasting over a dozen different brews, this friendly, historic establishment also includes an outdoor patio, fantastic food menu and several pool tables for your enjoyment. Pull up a bar stool and sample your way through a pleasant afternoon of pale ales, hefeweizens, stouts and IPAs. Make sure to get your hydration on though, because flying, Colorado’s high altitude and booze will leave you with more than the average headache.
Sleep @ Hotel San Ayre. After a full day of eating, shopping and drinking, you’ll be ready to fall into bed. Located only a mile south of the famous Garden of the Gods, this unique lodging establishment offers everything from bed-and-breakfast type guest rooms to the Colorado Cottage, where you and up to five friends can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Rates are surprisingly reasonable, starting at $70 a night.
Day Trip: Get (slightly) out of town and visit Colorado Springs’ eccentric little sister city: Manitou Springs! During the summer months, you can catch a free shuttle bus between the towns.
Get Here: United Airlines offers ten nonstop flights daily from DEN, five from DFW and two nonstop flights from LAX. Alaska Airlines currently has one daily nonstop flight from SEA. Check out passrider.com for more options.