The 10 Coolest Things to See and Do in Colorado Springs

Garden of the Gods is one of Colorado Springs' most well-known parks
Garden of the Gods is one of Colorado Springs' most well-known parks | © Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Ross Walker
25 August 2020

Culture Trip rounds up the best things to see and do in Colorado Springs, a nature lover’s haven.

Garden of the Gods

Park
Map View
The Garden of the Gods is one of the most famous parks in Colorado and is registered as a National Natural Landmark. You’ll see why on the drive there: the 300ft (91m) sandstone formations tower over anything else in Colorado Springs. The park is very well maintained, with paved bike paths and clearly marked hiking trails. You can even climb the giant sandstones if you like and become part of one of Colorado’s most-photographed views.

Seven Falls

Natural Feature
Map View
Hiking the Seven Falls will be tough, but you’ll be so blown away (and cooled off) by the roaring water that cascades down all around you that you’re unlikely to mind. The Seven Falls are between two giant rocks called the Pillars of Hercules, and the path along the way is called Colorado’s Grandest Mile. If simply hiking the falls isn’t enough, sign up for Broadmoor’s Soaring Adventure, a series of zip lines over the falls.

Rock Ledge Ranch

Building
Map View
Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site sits at the entrance to the Garden of the Gods with Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Image shot 2001. Exact date unknown.
© David Muenker / Alamy Stock Photo
Rock Ledge Ranch is a journey through the history of Colorado Springs, the history of Colorado and the history of the Western expansion. The land the ledge was built on was once home to Ute and Plains Indians, and some of their dwellings and structures are preserved for you to see. The Ledge also features a tour that focuses on the Western American expansion through stories of early pioneers.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space

Park
Map View
Scenery in Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Colorado Springs, CO
© Jules Black / Alamy Stock Photo
Red Rock Canyon Open Space is a section of Red Rock Canyon that has been designated as a park. The park features several hiking, biking and horseback riding trails. There is a free-ride bike park that has beginner, intermediate and expert-level terrain for mountain bikers. Red Rock Canyon Open Space is also a great place for dogs, so bring along your pooch and set him or her loose in the leash-free zones.

Peterson Air and Space Museum

Museum
Map View
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.?The Edward J. Peterson Air and Space Museum on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, contains a static display airpark. American and Canadian aircraft can be found in the airpark along with surface-to-air missiles. (Courtesy ph
© APFootage / Alamy Stock Photo
The Peterson Air and Space Museum may be Colorado Springs’ most underrated attraction, and it may be because you need special clearance to get in. Getting the clearance isn’t hard, just call 24 hours in advance and you’ll be able to obtain a base pass. Although Colorado’s first air field is quite small, it houses several unique aircraft and offers multiple exhibits on aviation technology and history.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Park, Zoo
Map View
© Alpha Stock / Alamy Stock Photo
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the highest-altitude and only mountainside zoo in America. The zoo houses animals from Australia but is also especially proud of its giraffe exhibit. If you are traveling with kids, then the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a no-brainer. Take the Mountaineer Sky Ride while there to see the zoo from a bird’s perspective.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park

Park, Zoo
Map View
Entrance Sign - Cheyenne Mountain State Park - Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
© Bill Gozansky / Alamy Stock Photo
Cheyenne Mountain State Park offers hiking, biking and wilderness exploration alongside a few more unique activities. Two activities that make Cheyenne Mountain different from other parks are Geocaching and archery. Geocaching is a scavenger hunt, and all you need is a GPS or smartphone. The archery range is open to anyone and you can purchase a permit for $3.

Ghost Town Museum

Museum
Map View
Ghost Town Museum,Colorado Springs,Colorado,USA
© Richard Cummins / Alamy Stock Photo
Colorado Springs’ Ghost Town Museum was opened in 1954 to chronicle the Gold Rush days of the 1860s and ’70s. The Ghost Town Museum aims to explain how gold-mining towns would spring up over night and then become abandoned after the gold was gone. If you come during a warmer month, your admission includes a gold panning lesson where you can pan for real gold.
These recommendations were updated on August 25, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.