Colorado is a state blessed with many natural landmarks, state and national parks, outdoor recreational opportunities and interesting towns to explore. Here are 10 suggestions for creating some great memories in the Colorado Springs area.
10 Amazing Things to Do in Colorado Springs
#1 Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine
9388 CO-67, Cripple Creek
Go searching for gold in America’s only 1,000 foot vertical shaft gold mine. The Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, or ‘Mollie’, located in Cripple Creek, has been producing gold since 1891. You can see real, exposed gold veins, experience what life was like for early miners and learn about the evolution of mining techniques from 1891 to now. Cripple Creek also offers casinos, the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, the Cripple Creek Jail Museum and the Cripple Creek District Museum.
#2 Starr Kempf’s Kinetic Sculptures
2057 Pine Grove Ave, Colorado Springs
Towering steel works of art can be viewed from the street and range from fantastical birds to undulating spires. These impressive works of art by Starr Kempf are amazing to see! Starr Kempf took his own life in 1995 but a his amazing sculptural works still remain in the yard of his former home.
#3 Magic Town
2418 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs
A unique experience awaits you in Old Colorado City. Michael Garman’s Magic Town is a 3,000 square-foot miniature city that transports you back to the mid-20th century. It is a 1/6th scale miniaturized urban neighborhood, complete with dozens of handcrafted buildings, alleyways, and sidewalks that is a combination of hundreds of intricately detailed sculptures and cityscapes. The city scene includes holograms and other visual and sound effects.
For more “once in a lifetime” things to do in the Colorado Springs area click here.
#4 Bishop Castle
12705 CO-165, Rye
A work in progress for sure! Jim Bishop started building the Bishop Castle in Rye, Colorado nearly fifty years ago and continues to work on it today. It is an impressive stone and iron structure with tall towers and very unique architecture. It has three stories, a grand ballroom with stained glass, bridges, towers and even a fire-breathing dragon. The Bishop Castle is free to tour and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Try to catch Jim working on the weekend and he might give you a guided tour!
#5 May Natural History Museum
710 Rock Creek Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs
If deadly scorpions and giant spiders are on your bucket list, you won’t want to miss visiting the May Natural History Museum. This museum features one of the world’s largest private collections of butterflies, moths, bizarre beetles, and yes, giant spiders and deadly scorpions! For over 80 years, the museum founder James May traveled the world finding over 100,000 specimens of bugs, insects and other creepy crawlies. The “Bug Museum” which features “Herkimer”, a giant-sized West Indian Hercules Beatle at the front entrance, is a fun place to visit for both kids and adults.
#6 Miramont Castle Museum
9 Capitol Hill Ave, Manitou Springs
You will feel like a King or Queen at Miramont Castle. The massive castle was completed in 1896 as a private residence for Father Jean Baptist Francolon, a French-born Catholic priest. It is a fine architectural example of the Victorian Era with a variety of architectural styles from Byzantine to Tudor mixed in. You can visit 30 rooms of the castle furnished with Victorian era furniture or you can have tea and other culinary treats in the Queen’s Parlour Tea Room. The castle is said to be haunted with various apparitions and unexplained phenomenon as reported by visitors and staff.
#7 The Garden of the Gods
1805 N 30th St, Colorado Springs
The sandstone formations are a must-see, and with over 15 miles of trails, there are plenty of ways to go exploring. After a day in the sun, finish off with happy hour snacks and drinks at Johnny’s Navajo Hogan. The casual atmosphere makes it a great place to re-energize, and if you’re feeling especially revived, they host live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
#8 The Rabbit Hole
101 N Tejon St, Colorado Springs
If you’re looking for a unique, eclectic night out in the Colorado Springs area, venture down the rabbit hole, literally. The Rabbit Hole is a subterranean restaurant that offers fine dining in a rare underground setting. The entrance to the restaurant leads guests down a staircase, and the Alice in Wonderland themed menu will please any palate.
#9 Hot Air Balloon Ride
Soar 9,000 feet over the Rocky Mountains in your very own hot air balloon! Rides complete with breakfast, champagne and classical music will surely satisfy one’s romantic aspirations. It’s a great way to view the Colorado beauty at its finest. There are over thirty-six 14ers (peaks that exceed 14,000 feet in elevation) visible throughout the flight.
#10 Exploring Colorado Towns
So many places to see while stationed here. Here are our top 5:
- Great Sand Dunes National Park (2 hrs 45 min drive) – tallest sand dunes in North America – wade in Medano Creek and be inspired by Zapata Falls.
- Boulder (2 hrs drive) – home to the University of Colorado – known for being an artsy town. Hiking, biking and shopping! Who can ask for anything more!
- Georgetown (1 hr 45 min drive) – features the Georgetown Loop Railroad, Hamill House and the Hotel de Paris Museum.
- Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument (45 min drive) – a unique display of fossils, 1,700 different species of trees, insects, fish, plants, and animals, and 14 miles of hiking trails to explore!
- Rocky Mountain National Park (2 hrs 45 min drive) – majestic mountain peaks – moose, bear, elk and bighorn sheep, Oh My! Drive the highest continuous paved road in the United States: Trail Ridge Road.
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