There are so many things to do in Colorado Springs that you’ll need at least an entire long weekend to enjoy the most of the area.
Set in the beautiful Rockies, Colorado Springs is the perfect destination for outdoor activities. But you don’t have to be a hiker or a skier to enjoy this city.
You can relax at the legendary Broadmoor resort, tour the beautiful United States Air Force Academy campus, soar on a zipline above waterfalls, or see wolfs up close at Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center.
There sure is no shortage of things to do in Colorado Springs.
Here’s the list of my top picks:
1. Pamper Yourself at the Iconic Broadmoor Resort
The Broadmoor is an iconic five-star resort that is a destination in itself. It’s not just your ordinary place to stay for the night, and it is the perfect base to explore Colorado Springs from.
You can dine here at some of Colorado’s best restaurants, pamper yourself with world-class spa treatments, play golf, swim, and shop at boutique stores.
Set at the base of Cheyenne Mountain, the large, pink, Mediterranean-style hotel opened in 1918. It was inspired by the luxury Asian and European designs seen by founders Spencer Penrose and Julie Penrose in their travels.
The numbers tell the story here. There are more than 700 rooms and suites, an abundance of restaurants, 3,000 acres of meticulously landscaped gardens, five tennis courts, two golf courses, a swimming pool, three outdoor hot tubs, a spa, a theater, a bowling alley, and so much more.
I highly recommend making a reservation at Summit to enjoy the heavenly Chef tasting menu along with the Sommelier wine pairing. Every single wine selected was magnificent, and the meal was beyond superb. The oysters and chocolate cake at La Taverne were delicious, the Lake Terrace room is a beautiful way to start your morning, and the pasta at Ristorante del Lago will have you coming back for more. Lastly, if you have never been to the Golden Bee, you must go and sit at the vintage bar and get your own bee!
If you wish to spend time at the spa during your stay, book well in advance and leave an hour or two (or four!) to spend relaxing in the gorgeous mountain view room, the sauna, or the oxygen room after your treatment.
The resort also provides countless outdoor activities to keep you entertained. My morning ritual was to get my coffee from Café Julie’s and take a leisurely stroll around the lake before having breakfast at Lake Terrace.
2. Get Your Adrenaline Rush Ziplining With Soaring Adventures
This thrilling tour features ten zip lines that will take you on an unforgettable journey along scenic hiking trails, rope bridges, and waterfalls.
You’ll have a chance to see Seven Falls and South Cheyenne Canyon from a bird’s eye perspective. Inspired by the Indiana Jones movies, suspension bridges give an extra boost of excitement and suspense.
You can select one of two distinct courses accompanied by trained guides.
For an ultimate adventure, you can combine both Woods Course & Fins Course.
- The Woods Course (3 hours) – Take a ride through the Woods Course zipline circuit and enjoy pines, creeks, valleys, a natural granite arch, Midnight Falls, and the scenic trails leading to Seven Falls as you soar on five ziplines.
- The Fins Course (3 hours) – Soar over steep drops, unique rock formations, and cliffs across Seven Falls Canyon with five ziplines. Walk over several custom-built suspension bridges and, to top it off, slide down a 180-foot rappel to the canyon floor at the end.
The Fins Course is three hours of heart-pumping adrenaline and is not a course to take lightly. If you are afraid of heights, the suspension bridges will push you to your limits, and the final rappel will have you wishing to be back on the ground! But the views are spectacular, and it is truly one of the most incredible things to do in Colorado Springs.
3. Learn the Art of Falconry With Broadmoor Outfitters
Experience the 4,000-year-old sport of falconry with Broadmoor Outfitters. Known as the favorite hunting sport of kings, this is your unique opportunity to interact closely with owls, falcons, and hawks.
You have the option to book a beginner and intermediate lesson. You’ll learn about this sport’s history, get a flying demonstration, and even hold a trained hawk.
The intermediate lesson includes an excursion through Broadmoor scenic trails accompanied by a guide and hawks so that you can get more practice in the wild.
I personally loved interacting with the falcons, owls, and hawks. Seeing an owl up close and staring into its eyes was like seeing through to its soul. The whole experience was not only fun but very educational. Falconry is a fascinating sport, and the educational side of the experience will have you hanging on every word.
4. Take a Jeep Ride to the Garden of the Gods
The Garden of the Gods is a striking natural wonder and one of the best things to do in Colorado Springs.
Marvel at jaw-dropping rock formations made up of pink, red, and white sandstone and limestone during an open–air jeep tour on secluded dirt roads.
Not only will you see the spectacular red rock park Garden of the Gods but also North Cheyenne Canyon, Helen Hunt Falls, the Shortline Railroad and its 100-year-old tunnels, Old Colorado City, and Manitou Springs.
What a fun way to enjoy the Pikes Peak region!
With its stunning scenery, Garden of Gods is also ideal for outdoor activities, such as mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, hiking, or picnicking.
5. Attend the Winter Polo Classic Tournament (Only in February)
The Broadmoor and Colorado Springs Sports Corporation have joined forces to revive the historic polo tradition in Colorado.
So if you’re visiting Colorado Springs in February, don’t miss a unique chance to witness the winter polo tournament.
The tournament features top polo players from the US.
Polo is a very exciting sport to watch, as it combines fast-paced action with intricate strategy. The combination of horsemanship and ball-handling skills requires a high level of athleticism from the players, making for thrilling competition.
Watching experienced polo players showcase their abilities in an intense match can be very captivating.
With top polo players competing against each other and prime whiskey supplied by Distillery 291, you can bet it will be an entertaining event. Combine it with a stay at The Broadmoor for a luxurious polo weekend.
6. Stay at Broadmoor Fly Fishing Camp & Catch Your Trophy Fish
Stay at a picturesque fly fishing camp in one of the seven rustic cabins, dine like royalty in the Main Lodge, and have a blast fishing in crystal clear Rocky Mountain streams.
Under the guidance of professional and patient fly fishers, you can fish for wild brown, brook, cutthroat, and rainbow trout along a five-mile stretch of the Tarryall River.
These private waters border Lost Creek Wilderness and are suitable for both first-timers and experienced fly fishers.
All the fishing gear and top-notch meals are provided, so you can just sit back and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere surrounded by trees and mountains.
Spend your days reading, hiking, fishing, and getting to know others at camp over a glass of wine and delicious food.
7. Ride on a Mule to Broadmoor Cloud Camp
Perched at 9,200 feet elevation, Broadmoor Cloud Camp contains a mix of lodge accommodations and cabins for couples, families, or groups.
Just getting here is an adventure—Jeep or mule? Neither? OK, then you can take a 3-hour guided hike.
The camp is a wonderful place to relax and unwind. It has a very Western rustic atmosphere with every amenity you could wish for a comfy stay.
The city lights and mountain views are spectacular both day and night. Of course, the best place to take in the scenery is on the patio, where you can sip your favorite cocktails.
The communal dining table at Broadmoor Cloud Camp is a delight and one of the most enjoyable parts of Cloud Camp. The restaurant serves hearty meals prepared by professional chefs.
There is also a wide range of activities at the camp – from archery, evening cooking club, mule ride, hikes, and games to hot tubbing.
In the morning, start your day by watching the iconic flag rising over a cup of coffee and in-house baked pastries.
8. Fall in Love With the Rustic Charm of the Ranch at Emerald Valley
Ranch at Emerald Valley is all about a rustic outdoor experience combined with modern comfort.
The intimate Ranch at Emerald Valley features 10 cozy cabins surrounded by Pike National Forest, sitting at over 8,000 feet elevation.
Indulge in an all-inclusive retreat paired with the great outdoors.
Gourmet meals are served in the Grand Lodge, and days are spent hiking, riding bikes, fishing, horseback riding or simply soaking up the scenery of pristine mountains.
The ranch has top-notch amenities, including cozy fireplaces, a golf course, a world-class spa, and pools.
9. Practice Axe Throwing, Archery, and Shooting
Tomahawk axe throwing, archery, and shooting from pellet guns. If these activities appeal to you, you’ll love the Wild West Experience.
The day starts with a ride up Old Stage Road and continues through South Cheyenne Creek and Seven Falls Park.
The Wild West Experience is all about learning and practicing the skills you would need to survive in the Wild West.
There are hands-on activities and demonstrations to simulate the authentic Wild West time on a beautiful piece of land in Colorado Springs.
Safety glasses, equipment, water, and transportation are provided.
10. Enjoy Mountain Views From Horseback With Old Stage Riding Stables
Enjoy the unique western adventure of horseback riding with Old Stage Riding Stables.
The family-owned stables are located in the stunning Pike National Forest.
Your friendly guides will tell you tales of the old west as you ride along trails surrounded by mountain peaks. You may spot wildlife, flowers, crystal-clear creeks, and spectacular aspen trees.
And when you’re done, stop by the on-site Cantina to grab a drink or two.
Besides horses, you can also meet chickens, quail, a friendly pig, and elk at their rustic ranch.
Though it’s a bit of a bumpy ride to get there, it’s so worth it!
11. Feed Giraffes at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
If you’re traveling with kids, visiting Cheyenne Mountain Zoo will be a hit.
You can see lions, elephants, meerkats, and a lot more, but the highlight is the feeding of giraffes. The zoo sells special treats so you can hand-feed them.
The kids love interacting with various animals, and you can even take a Mountaineer Sky Ride chairlift to enjoy the mountain views and the zoo grounds from above.
The zoo has a timed entry, which helps control the crowd size and makes it more efficient and quick.
There are also eateries on site.
If you love giraffes, this is a must-stop.
12. Hop on Cog Railway to the Top of Pikes Peak
Board the train and ride on a 9-mile track up to 14,115 feet.
The views along the way are exceptional.
Once you get to the top, you will have 40 minutes to take in the breathtaking scenery fully, and you can even purchase donuts from Pikes Peak Summit House.
If you don’t want to go by railway, you can drive by car, take a bike tour, jeep tour or hike to the top via the Barr Trail.
On clear days, you can see 5 US states: Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Kansas in the far distance.
Just make sure to book your train ticket a couple of weeks in advance as they tend to run out quickly.
13. Spoil Your Tastebuds With Rocky Mountain Food Tours
Joining Rocky Mountain Food Tours is one of the most delicious things to do in Colorado Springs.
Explore the Colorado Springs food scene and sample mouthwatering dishes from 4 to 5 local eateries.
Savor the locals’ favorite foods, such as Irish Shepherd’s Pie, Jalapeno Poppers, or Purple Mountain Majesty Ice Cream, while you listen to guides sharing great stories of Colorado Springs’s past.
Rocky Mountain Food Tours provides an immersive experience of local cuisine and culture in a convenient and enjoyable way.
14. Step Back in Time at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site
Take a trip back in time to Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site.
This open-air living history museum offers an interactive experience to learn about the early settlers’ life in the Pikes Peak region dating back to 1775 when American Indians inhabited the area.
You can watch costumed actors dressed according to the respective era perform traditional crafts, such as blacksmithing, feeding chickens, or prepping hay for the barn.
The ranch also has animals, such as cows, horses, chickens, and geese.
You can visit historic buildings like native American teepee and a European settler’s log cabin to get an even better insight into the history of Colorado Springs.
The beautiful location at Garden of the Gods, the historical stories of people who lived here in the past, and the dedicated and knowledgeable staff all add to the Ranch’s charm.
They also organize fun festivals, workshops, and education programs, so keep an eye on their event calendar.
15. Have an Afternoon Tea at Glen Eyrie Castle
Glen Eyrie is an English-style stone castle featuring 95 guest rooms, two dining rooms, 24 fireplaces, and four conference rooms.
The castle was built by General William Jackson Palmer, the founder of Colorado Springs, and is now owned by The Navigators, a Christian organization headquartered here.
Tours of the castle, afternoon tea, and overnight stays are available.
Experience the captivating 90-minute Historic Castle Tour and explore the unique architecture of the Castle, including the Carriage House, first floor, and second floor. The guides reveal exciting tales about The Palmer family and Colorado Springs’ history.
The tours run twice daily at noon and 2 pm, and the reservations must be made upfront.
After your tour, you can stop by for an afternoon tea or buy a book at their bookstore.
Sip on your teas as you soak up the ambiance of the awe-inspiring Castle Music Room. You can also treat yourself to soups, salads, sandwiches, or sweets from their seasonal menu.
16. Tour the US Air Force Academy
Take a self-guided tour of the United States Air Force Academy and witness its world-class educational facilities and cutting-edge athletic center in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Explore Arnold Hall, Cadet Chapel, the Planetarium, the Falcon Stadium, and other interesting campus areas.
One of the highlights is Cadet Chapel, known for its unique architecture and all-faith worship model.
The only downside is that the chapel is being renovated until Spring 2024, so you won’t be able to enter.
You can learn more about the cadet’s military and athletic training at the Barry Goldwater Visitor Center.
One thing to note: Because you’ll be entering a military base, you’ll have to bring a valid photo ID.
17. Dive Into Colorado’s Art Scene at Fine Arts Center
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is a wonderful little museum with an impressive art collection, intriguing temporary exhibits, an art school, and a theater.
Thousands of artwork on display range from the hand-blown glass creations of artist Dale Chihuly and Native American artworks to glass chandeliers and metallic art deco installations.
Another cool thing is the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s architecture.
The art center has a Southwestern flair and was designed in 1936 by Santa Fe architect John Gaw Meem.
Self-guided tours of the museum are available, but advance reservations are required.
18. Explore Colorado’s Cowboy Culture at Prorodeo Hall of Fame
ProRodeo Hall of Fame is a unique place celebrating the rodeo’s history, culture, and characters.
You can learn about rodeo history through artifacts, photos, educational programs, and more.
You can see dozens of saddles, costumes, buckles, and tributes to past rodeo champions or watch a short film about rodeo history.
After you explore all the exhibits, take a stroll outside and check out the Sculpture garden and Rodeo livestock, including horses.
This museum also features fun interactive elements such as a kids’ play area to dress up as little cowboys and cowgirls and rope and ride.
If you’re a rodeo fan, this is one of the must-see Colorado Springs attractions.
19. Try the Birdcage Elevator at Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum has a stunning historical exterior and interior.
It’s located in the restored El Paso County courthouse in downtown Colorado Springs.
The museum is home to permanent collections that are dedicated to a unique local cultural history, such as a display of Van Briggle pottery and the house of author Helen Hunt Jackson.
Other exhibits tell the story of the city’s prominent historical figures, such as Spencer Penrose, and how early city leaders marketed the health benefits of this area to people suffering from tuberculosis.
They also have a big play area with a horse, teepee, wagon, and mercantile store with lots of food, eggs, tin cups, bowls, flour, sugar sacks, and more.
The highlights are a ride in a vintage 1917 operating birdcage elevator and a well-preserved courtroom.
This place has entertainment for all ages. And the best part is that admission is free.
20. Conquer Ice, Rocks, and Snow With Pikes Peak Alpine School
Pikes Peak Alpine School is a mountain school for all things outdoorsy.
If you’re an outdoor and adrenaline junkie, you’ll love all the Colorado Springs activities Pikes Peak Alpine School provides.
They offer rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, ski mountaineering, avalanche education, and more.
Their certified guides are experienced pros who teach everything from the basics to more advanced techniques.
They’ve been providing Colorado Springs with unique outdoor experiences in the Rocky Mountains and high-quality courses since 1989.
These courses are an amazing opportunity to learn from professional guides in one of the most beautiful US mountain regions.
21. Check Out Vintage Race Cars at Penrose Heritage Museum
Penrose Heritage Museum was established in 1941 by Julie Penrose.
The museum showcases a fascinating vintage vehicle collection of the Penrose family. In addition, exhibits tell the story of how Mr. Penrose founded the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and the Pikes Peak Automobile Company.
From historic race cars to horse-drawn carriages and personal artifacts of Spencer and Julie Penrose, you will surely find something interesting.
Considering that tourists and locals are still enjoying some of the most iconic attractions Spencer Penrose created in Colorado Springs, it’s not surprising that there is a place devoted to learning more about the Penrose family’s legacy.
This museum is a great place to visit if you’re looking for things to do in Colorado Springs that are fun and educational.
Admission is free and if you use the adjacent Broadmoor parking garage, the museum will give you a sticker for free parking for up to 1.5h.
22. Get a Behind the Scenes Look at Olympic Training Center
Get a behind-the-scenes look at professional athlete training in Olympic Training Center and see what it takes to be at the top of the game.
The center provides guided tours that include a video presentation and give you a glimpse of the training facilities. Athletes here can perform swimming and shooting, as well as gymnastics, fencing, weightlifting, taekwondo, wrestling, modern pentathlon, and judo.
If you get lucky, you might see athletes training firsthand.
Either way, save time for the gift shop so you can support Team USA.
Reservations for groups of 10 or less are not required.
23. Hike Red Rock Canyon Open Space Trails
Red Rock Canyon Open Space is much less crowded than the Garden of Gods, and the rock formations are equally stunning.
Enjoy beautiful views of the red mountains, lush green trees, and adorable colorful corners.
There are multiple trails you can take in Red Rock Canyon Open Space with easy to moderate difficulty, and they’re well-maintained.
Moreover, the trails are dog friendly, so you can bring your furry friends along on an adventure. There are also picnic tables, a pavilion, and a small bike park.
24. Interact With Wolves at Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
If you’re looking for unique things to do in Colorado Springs, you should check out the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center.
This center is dedicated to the rescue of endangered wolves and education about them.
They offer personalized, one-hour walking tours that allow you to see and interact with wolves up close.
The tour guides will share their knowledge about the wolves, the importance of preserving them, and debunking old wolf myths.
Apart from wolves, you can see coyotes and foxes.
You also have an option of booking an exclusive private VIP wolf encounter. It’s sure to be an unforgettable experience.
25. Fly in Hot Air Balloon With Adventures Out West
Fly above Colorado Springs’ most breathtaking sites, such as the Garden of Gods and Pikes Peak.
Adventures Out West offers hot air balloon rides, and the trips last 45 minutes to an hour, leaving at sunrise.
You’ll be able to take in the incredible scenery of Colorado Springs from above.
Adventures Out West also offers other fun things to do in Colorado Springs, including jeep rides, segway tours, guided hikes, and ziplining.
26. Check Out Fighter Jets at the National Museum of World War II Aviation
National Museum of World War II Aviation is a must-see place in Colorado Springs if you’re a history lover… or, even if you’re not!
The collection of jets here is impressive. What’s equally amazing is that almost all of them are in impeccable flying condition and the few that are not are in the restoration process.
Allocate enough time to make your way through the exhibits.
I highly recommend taking the guided tour. It takes about 2 hours and is well worth it. You’ll get a chance to ask questions, learn the story of technological advancements in aviation during war times and get a behind the scene look into restoration halls.
Besides the aircraft collection, the museum has several fully restored and operational vehicles that were used by the US army during World War II.
27. Go on a Beer Tasting Tour
Love beer? Then a beer-tasting tour is something you should add to your list of things to do in Colorado Springs.
You’ll have the opportunity to taste beers from four local craft breweries, namely Pikes Peak Lager House, Red Swing Brewhouse, Brass Brewing Company, and The Carter Payne.
And you’ll sample up to 15 different local craft beers!
To top it off, there will be savory and sweet food pairings, such as beer cheese soup with pretzel bites. It’s enough food to fill up your belly.
The guides are fun and friendly, and they’ll make sure that you have fun.
28. Have a Blast at a Murder Mystery Dinner Show
Solve a murder mystery while you savor a fantastic multi-course dinner. The actors wear regular clothes and hide in the audience to make it more tricky to find the suspect.
The “crime” will be committed throughout the evening, and you’ll be given hidden clues. Your task will be to piece them together and collaborate with others to solve the mystery. The fun part is that anyone can be a suspect, including you!
As the evening progresses, the suspects become more obvious, and eventually, the “murderer” will be revealed.
The murder mystery dinners take place at Great Wolf Lodge and are a fantastic social activity and a fun way to spend your evening.
29. Admire Cliff Dwellings in Manitou Springs
Manitou Springs is home to some of the most stunning cliff dwellings in Colorado. They comprise of ancient Pueblo ruins that were transported to the area.
You can touch and crawl through nearly all areas of the dwellings and get an insight into how ancient Native American tribes used to live.
The on-site museum is small but interesting and adds to the educational component.
The gift shop is large and full of cool finds.
While in Manitou Springs, you can also grab a bite to eat in the historic downtown.
So there you have it! There are plenty of things to do in Colorado Springs, including fun indoor activities and incredible outdoors. I highly recommend The Broadmoor during your stay in this spectacular part of Colorado.
Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, FOX, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more. When she’s not traveling, she can be found at hockey arenas all over BC cheering on her two young sons.