About an hour south of Denver is a place with a considerably different vibe — Colorado Springs. Perhaps you’ve visited Denver or maybe even the ski areas of Vail, Breckenridge, or Aspen in Colorado? Well, located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs offers a noticeably different Colorado experience — and it’s the latest city we featured in the ongoing “Destination Spotlight” — our popular series that airs as part of our nationally syndicated travel radio show.
Sometimes referred to as “Little London” or “America’s Switzerland” or even “America’s Olympic City” — Colorado Springs has over 9,000 acres of parkland, 500 acres of trails and is widely popular with outdoor enthusiasts seeking unique geological features and spectacular scenery. From forested foothills to canyons, grasslands, and mesas, to unique rock formations from its glacial history, to urban commuter trails and neighborhood parks — there are plenty of wonderful outdoor activities to experience.
A popular attraction to explore is the public park — The Garden of the Gods. The Garden comprises 1300 acres of beautiful red sandstone formations along with hiking and a Nature Center. It’s a great way to spend a few hours outdoors and learn about the history of the rock formations formed millions of years ago. The park is free to the public and is truly an amazing geological wonder.
America’s mountain as it’s often called, Pikes Peak, is a must-see and the summit is accessible in several ways including by car — making it a great site for visitors of all ages. If you prefer to hike to the summit, there’s a nearly 13-mile uphill trail to navigate. Another way to ascend to the top that we recommend is via the historic Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway. First established in 1889, it’s the highest railway in the U.S. and is set to reopen after a major reconstruction project in May 2021. Make sure you also try the high altitude doughnuts at the new Visitor’s Center once you reach the top no matter how you get there!
The reference to being the Olympic City is a result of many U.S. athletes having lived and trained in Colorado Springs over the years and additionally it now boasts the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum — which just
opened last summer — and is already receiving awards and gaining accolades for its immersive experiences.
Whether you prefer hotels, home-sharing, or camping — Colorado Springs offers plenty of accommodations to choose from. We’re particularly fond of the legendary Broadmoor Resort — a property that began welcoming guests in 1918 and is considered one of the most regarded and recognizable hotels in the world still today! One really needs to see this property even if it’s just for a cocktail and a stroll around the grounds to understand its place in the history of iconic American hotels, and its importance to the area.
Military and history buffs will enjoy the fact that Colorado Springs is home to the U.S. Air Force Academy, and in addition to an Air Force base, you’ll also find the National Museum of World War II Aviation there as well. Visitors can experience 18 fully restored World War II aircraft on display plus 10 other pre-war and post-war aircraft that have ties to the story of aviation during World War II.
If skiing is your thing — you’ll certainly find some excellent options within a short drive and what will keep you coming back to Colorado Springs is the charm of its downtown, excellent shopping options, special geographic terrain, glorious mountain views, plenty of culinary choices and the ease of accessing it all! Yes, this is a place we feel is certainly worthy of your travel dollars be it for a vacation, business trip, romantic getaway, or outdoor adventure! When you visit, let us know your favorite part of Colorado Springs!
Robert & Mary Carey, Hosts
America's #1 Travel Radio Show
Photo credit: Photos provided by Robert & Mary Carey