Updated: Dec 30, 2021
Colorado Springs is one of those places where you can spend a whole week or you can visit for a day. There are beautiful views, plenty of activities, and great places to eat! Plus, it's the perfect day trip from Denver (about an hour to hour and a half away). Here's how to spend a day in Colorado Springs, CO:
Start your day off early at Mountain Shadows Restaurant! It's a great breakfast spot in Colorado Springs. They have everything from breakfast burritos and eggs, bacon, and hash browns to cinnamon rolls! There is an outdoor patio so you can enjoy beautiful Colorado weather (maybe except for when it's freezing outside)! I tried the eggs, bacon, and hash browns and they were delicious!!
2223 W Colorado Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
After you eat a big, delicious breakfast you'll need to walk it off a bit. Garden of the Gods has walking/hiking paths and (hard core) rock climbing opportunities. Garden of the Gods is full of red rock structures, some of which are in really cool formations! As you walk the paths throughout the park and enjoy the different formations, you might also see some wildlife! The park is free to the public, as requested by the children of the property's former owner in honor of their father's love for the land. It's one of my favorite places in Colorado and it has an interesting history!
1805 N 30th St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
While visitors probably think Rainbow Falls got its name from the colorful graffiti surrounding the falls, it's believed that it actually got its name from the rainbow that appears in the waterfall's mist (seen by Native Americans who lived in the area). The graffiti that you may see in other pictures is often cleaned off the rock walls that surround the waterfall, but graffiti still decorates the bridge that runs next to the falls. The walk up to the falls is very short and easy! When I visited, a $1 entrance donation was required. Also, please note that Rainbow Falls is closed from November to April and it is only open on the weekends the rest of the year.
Manitou Brewing Co.
Manitou Brewing Co. has a variety of food options; they have wings, tacos, burgers & sandwiches, and Mac and cheese! They obviously also have a bunch of different beers (you can get a flight to try several kinds) and a small selection of wines and spirits. It's a great place to stop for lunch before strolling through Manitou Springs. They even have a patio so you can enjoy the weather!
725 Manitou Ave
Manitou Springs, CO 80829
Manitou Springs was first known for its mineral springs back in the mid-1800s. By 1900, Manitou Springs had become a resort town and visitors were able to easily travel to town via the railroad spur from Colorado Springs built in the 1880s. Now you can walk up and down Manitou Avenue and shop, eat, and explore the parks! You can also taste one or all of the natural springs in the area!
After you've walked off your lunch, take in the views from the top of Pikes Peak! There are several different ways you can get to the top of the mountain, but I recommend driving or taking a tour. Take your time, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and a donut at the summit (14,115 ft up), and soak in the 360 views of Colorado! A one day pass for Pikes Peak is $15 for adults and $5 for kids, or $50 for a carload (up to 5 passengers). The trek to the top is several hours so make sure you account for time when scheduling the previous activities in your day.