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Colorado Springs is full of adventure, art, amazing sites and so much more. The city of about 425,000 people sits on the front range of the Rocky Mountains, with "America's Mountain" (Pikes Peak) set as its back drop. Colorado Springs is home to a number of military establishments: Ft. Carson (Army), Schriever AFB, Peterson AFB, The United States Air Force Academy, and Cheyenne Mountain (NORAD). The city is about 1 hour south of the southern suburbs of the Denver metropolitan area. Within about 2 hours, residents of Colorado Springs can be at World Class ski resorts and within about 30-35 minutes can be on the other side of Pikes Peak in the mountains.
It isn't an easy task to keep a list to just 10 things to do and see, when there are so many great places to visit in the Colorado Springs area, but here are a few of the favorites.
1. Cog Railway to Pikes Peak - or - Drive to Top of Pikes Peak on the Pikes Peak Highway. Pikes Peak is just over 14,100 ft and the views can be incredible from the top. In the summer you'll want to get up there in the morning, as it is common for afternoon mountain thunderstorms to come rolling in by about 2:00 p.m.
2. Garden of the Gods Park - The amazing rock formations are incredible to see. You can tour the park in a vehicle or park in one of the public parking areas and hike the trails through the park. You will see Kissing Camels, Cathedral Spires, and Balanced Rock among the many rock formations. Often times mountain sheep are in the area and can be seen. The park also has a visitors center and gift shop with wonderful displays, some of which are interactive.
3. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo - At 6800 ft above sea level, it is one of the highest zoos in the country. On the side of the mountain you'll be treated to wonderful exhibits, have an opportunity to feed many of the animals, and experience wildlife in a more natural habitat. The zoo also has season passes available and can be a great way to enjoy it over and over again.
4. Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center - If the arts are more your thing, the fine arts center has a wonderful collection of Latin American art, Mexican clay and folk art, sculpture gardens and so much more. It's often the site of outdoor concerts.
5. The Broadmoor Resort - Are you looking for luxury? The Broadmoor AAA Five Diamond resort can certainly provide you with that. Tucked up against the foothills, it features a wonderful hotel, restaurants, shopping, walking paths, a picturesque lake and world class golf courses. You'll be pampered and have the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful getaway.
6. Seven Falls - This is a series of seven waterfalls in the Broadmoor area. The drive to the falls is full of beautiful scenery, sometimes called the "Grandest Mile of Scenery" in Colorado Springs. It features jagged rocks, crystal clear streams, and rare flowers, along with some wonderful trails to hike and bike on.
7. The Olympic Training Center - If you love the Olympics, you have to take a tour of the place where many of the world's best athletes train. Gymnasts, volleyball, swimming, and judo train here, along with other sports. The tour takes you through the facilities and gives you a close up look at how the Olympic athletes train and often times you'll have the opportunity to see some of the athletes in person.
8. The Pikes Peak Center for Performing Arts - The go to for Colorado Springs concerts, theater, and comedy. There are a number of shows that occur here every year.
9. The Cliff Dwellings - The ancient Anasazi people once lived in the red cliffs in Colorado Springs. At the Cliff Dwellings you will witness the architecture as well as learn about these ancient people and their lives. The dwellings were relocated from Mesa Verde before opening to the public in Colorado Springs, in 1907.
10. The United States Air Force Academy - This military academy sits on the North end of Colorado Springs. The landmark Air Force Protestant Chapel can be seen for miles. The base allows visitors to look around the campus and see what life is like for the USAFA cadets. The visitor's center provides a video history and background information for guests, along with a gift shop.
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