This mineral water-rich location is turning into a hotspot for adventure seeking travelers as well as steadily taking on a reputation for becoming the new "Austin" (still keeping it weird) but younger minimalistic families are moving their way into this sleepy towns heart. While being popular for its natural mineral springs, the downtown area continues to be of interest to travelers consisting of many one-story, adjoining, small shops, restaurants, and pubs. The best part of visiting downtown? craning your neck skyward to admire Pikes Peak; the highest summit of the southern front range of the Rockies reaching 14,115 feet! (wanna take a hike?)
The best time to visit this vast and mountainous culture-rich town is between late June to late August. Trust me when I say, that my latest visit resulted in "warm" weather when we went to bed and waking up to 6 inches of snow! The winter months are for snow lovers and unfortunately the closest ski resort from here is 2 hours away.You want summer weather here! You will find your excursions in this location are enjoyable around the highs of 70's and lows of 50's during this time of year.
Road tripping to this place is fairly easy. Manitou sits nestled up to the east side of the Rocky Mountains so theres no difficult drives if you're coming from the eastern portion of the states however, Westerly folks and Far away east coast wanderers may want to consider flying.
United, American and Delta all service Colorado Springs airport (COS) by way of commuters. Its a simple 15 minute Lyft ride to Manitou from there.
BUDGET TIP: try to get a direct flight into Denver and renting a vehicle or bus it down from there. its a pretty easy 1 hour 30 minute drive AND you may just catch a concert at RedRocks Amphitheater in Denver if you time it just right. Win win!
PILOTS: When flying into COS I recommend Colorado JetCenter FBO. Low fuel costs, more car rental options and amazing line staff!
Food is ALWAYS the best part of travel and obviously a necessity. Since this is a place of excursions and action, I try to not spend all three meals sitting in restaurants here.
HEALTH & BUDGET TIP: Plan breakfast, snacks and a picnic meal or two by ordering a head for Walmart Grocery Pick-Up. GAME CHANGER!!! You will spend way less on groceries than at restaurants, you will have access to healthier options (your waist line will thank you post travel) and you will also have a fun option to picnic during some of your excursions!
We really didn't eat out much here since AirBnB provides a kitchen, we were all about some cooking and picnicking but the most amazing experience, and strongly recommend, a nice dinner and cocktail hour at The Rabbit Hole. Located downtown Colorado Springs, initially a little hard to find but SO worth it! This Alice in Wonderland inspired restaraunt sits below the street with a mystical atmosphere and themed (flaming) drinks to match. Order "the white rabbit", admire the art, and devour their mac and cheese with tofu!
If a nice coffee and brunch is more your speed, check out Good Karma Cafe. conveniently located near Annes Apothecary (stop here. you will thank me). The owner of this cozy place personally checks on each customer and serenades us with his AMAZING acoustic guitar skills. Mountains and Melodies *sigh*.
If you wish to speed it up for a little toddy, head across the street to Manitou Brewing Company and enjoy their pup-friendly deck. All that hiking earned you a cheat meal so grab some wings and truffle fries! They were selling out of their beer so quickly they had to add another room to brew!!
If you just cant stand to leave your pup at home, treat him or her to a trip with you! We brought our first born fur child on a family trip here. There are plenty of dog-friendly AirBnB options as well as hiking trails and restaurants in the area for very fair prices.
My personal favorite place I stayed at with my sweet copilot was a Darling Cottage in Old Colorado City. This site was an AirBnB Plus property and gave us the luxury of a hotel in the comfort of our very own cozy two-bedroom cottage!
There are plenty of great hotel options in Colorado springs. If maid service and resort living is more your pace I would recommend checking out The Broadmoor. Most of the clients I fly opt for this higher end mountain life! I have not personally stayed here though.
Get ready for my favorite part! You will need a good week here and you STILL won't find time to fit all the best things in! READYYYYY GO!
Manitou Incline (Advanced hike)
(Visit Yellow Mountain Tea House here, its the best $5 experience ever!)
There are MANY more springs to visit, trails and canyons to hike, and so much more shopping in Colorado Springs. The above list is what I have personally done and will ABSOLUTELY do again!