1. Manitou Incline
Manitou Springs is the cutest little Mountain town just minutes away from Colorado Springs! Here you will find rustic little coffee shops, tons of shopping, and the notorious Manitou Incline. Do NOT let this picture deceive you – this hike is 2,744 steps!!! Each time we thought we were almost to the top, it would just be a false peak leading to hundreds of more steps. However, the view from the top makes it all worth it!
Shop my Friends graphic tee here: Aggieland Outfitters
2. Great Sand Dunes National Park
If you have the time, definitely make a day trip out to the Great Sand Dunes National Park! It’s about 2 and a half hours from Colorado Springs, but trust me it is worth the trip. These are actually the tallest Sand Dunes in North America, and pictures do not do this place justice in the slightest. You can also rent sand boarding/sledding gear too if you’re feeling extra adventurous!
3. Pikes Peak
If you’re asking yourself whether it is worth is to go to the top of Pike’s Peak, the answer is yes! There are many options on how you can get there too – Hike (Keep in mind that it’s a 26 mile round trip.), drive, or take the Peak Cog Railway! We drove to the top, and I personally recommend that over the Cog because there are so many pretty sights along the way up that are must-sees and you can stop at your leisure. We lucked out with this gorgeous, warm weather at the beginning of March!
4.Rocky Mountain National Park
Once again this isn’t exactly in Colorado Springs, but only a little over two hours away and worth the drive. If you are in Colorado, you can’t miss seeing the Rocky Mountains. This has been on my bucket list for so long, and I definitely want to go back in summer and see the gorgeous flowers and waterfalls! We hiked the Alberta Falls and Bear Lake Trails (both not recommended by the park ranger at the time – the snow was several feet deep and us Texans weren’t exactly prepared but we braved the hike anyways!) Luckily, I did have the comfiest crew neck from Aggieland Outfitters to keep me warm during the hike, you can shop it here!
Shop my Crewneck: Navy Crewneck
5. Estes Park
Estes Park is a little town in Colorado, known for being near the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park! This town is filled with historic little shops, and it’s not uncommon to see deer and elk roaming around! We almost stayed here for our trip, but ended up staying in Colorado Springs as it was closer to other things we wanted to do. If you are solely traveling to Colorado for the Rocky Mountains, I definitely recommend staying at Estes Park!
6. Ivywild School
This is an old school transformed into a brewery. Yep, you heard that right! And it is actually so freaking cool inside. The hallways and everything still look like it is a functional school, but instead the Principal’s office is replaced with a bakery, shops in place of classrooms, and at the end of the hallway is the Bristol Brewing Company! Another Brewery we loved while in Colorado Springs was Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. The beer was great and I’m not even that into beer, and the food was phenomenal!
7. Garden of the Gods
This is probably a given, but I can’ t not mention Garden of the Gods! I wish we would have spent more time here, because it truly is breathtaking. Keep in mind it does get pretty crowded since this is top of many tourist lists, so I recommend going on a weekday or at non-peak times if you’re able to! And even better, there is no entrance or parking fee for this park!
8. Air Force Academy
Coming from an Air Force family, I knew the Academy was something I had to see! Self-guided tours are available daily, and there is so much to do and see on this base! The Chapel is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, the inside is completely lined with stained glass that is absolutely breathtaking! Other points of interest include hiking and biking trails, Eisenhower Golf Course, Arnold Hall, and more!
10. Rent a cruiser bike!
Last but not least, I highly recommend riding bikes around town while in Colorado Springs! If you don’t have bikes with you, there are plenty of shops offering bike rentals where you can rent from anywhere from a few hours to days at a time! One of my favorite parts about biking is getting to explore and find new things you would have never seen before! If you’re not really into exploring shops around town, renting mountain bikes is always an option too!