2 Days in Colorado Springs in the Summer
After making the 12-hour drive from St. Louis – hours of which were in the flat state of Kansas, we were excited to see the mountains! However, getting in after dark really prohibits these views so upon arriving in Colorado Springs we went straight to our Airbnb to rest up! However, the next morning we hit the pavement hard and were off to see all we could during our two days in Colorado Springs. Here are some of our favorite things we did during our visit during the summer in Colorado Springs.
Things to Do in Colorado Springs in the Summer
One thing we simply couldn’t miss during our two days in Colorado Springs was a visit to Pikes Peak. At 14,115 feet and 19 miles of roads, Pikes Peak will take your breath away in more ways than one. Of course, the elevation is high, but the sights are incredible. Every time we say one of the spots to pull over while driving to the top, we couldn’t help but do so! There are gorgeous rock formations, wildflowers, and views.
How To Get To The Top of Pikes Peak
- Drive your personal vehicle: This is the method we chose because we wanted to be able to go at our own pace. As I said, there are a ton of scenic overlooks to pull over on along the way. We recommend you give yourself 2-4 hours at Pike’s Peak if choosing this mode of transportation.
- Cost: $12/adult, $5/child, $40/car load max of 5
- Take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway
- Cost: $38/adult, $20.50/children
- For those who have ambitions to summit a 14er during summer in Colorado Springs, you can also hike or bike up and down Pike’s Peak. However, if you haven’t physically prepared for this we recommend you choose one of the previous options!
TIPS FOR VISITING PIKES PEAK:
- Bring a jacket! No matter what the weather is during the summer in Colorado Springs, once you ascend to 14,000 ft you’ll be wanting some layers!
- Drink a lot of water. I know, literally everyone and their brother, uncle, sister, mother, etc. will be telling you to chug water by the gallons if you aren’t from an area with higher elevation. But they’re not lying! We decided to drive Pikes Peak and just walking around at the top of the mountain and climbing some of the rocks there had us feeling somewhat woozy.
- Stop a lot and take pictures. Pikes Peak has some beautiful scenery and areas that you can step out of your vehicle and take photos.
- Get there early. At almost every hot spot in Colorado, you’ll want to be up early to be able to enjoy the scenery without fighting the crowds.
Garden of the Gods
Another place to add to your two days in Colorado Springs is the Garden of the Gods. Garden of the Gods is another perfect outdoor activity to enjoy during the summer in Colorado Springs. It is an intriguing park with incredible rock formations. Here you are able to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, horseback rides, and running trails.
TIPS FOR VISITING GARDEN OF THE GODS:
- Bring a picnic: When we arrived we were shocked by a number of neat areas that you could stop and have a picnic! Instead of eating lunch out, bring some food and snacks with you, and stop and enjoy the beauty here.
- Get there early: Parking is limited at Garden of the Gods and it can be tricky especially as the day goes on.
- Cost: FREE
Glen Eyrie Castle
Visit this beautiful landmark and enjoy a 90-minute tour of the rich history of Glen Eyrie Castle. After the tour, you can also enjoy afternoon tea for an additional cost. This is the perfect activity to enjoy during the summer in Colorado Springs if you happen to be hit by a heatwave.
Location: 3820 N 30th Street, Colorado Springs
Hours: Sunday 1pm, Monday-Saturday 11am & 1pm
Travel Tip: You will need to make a reservation to do the tour by calling 719-265-7050
Cost:$9 per person, free for children 5 and under
Sadly we didn’t get the chance to visit Paradise Cove during our two days in Colorado Springs, but it is another great summer activity to consider adding to your itinerary if you have some extra time. Paradise Cove is about an hour from Colorado Springs making it terrific for a day trip.
It is one of the top swimming holes in Colorado and also had some neat cliff jumping if you dare do to so! Keep in mind that cliff jumping can be very dangerous, I think back to the time I ruptured my eardrum in college from cliff jumping… yeah that wasn’t fun. Be sure to use caution should you decide to jump!
Location: 13800 Main Street, Guffey
Trail Rating: Moderate, 1-mile loop
Seven Falls is a series of seven cascading waterfalls in Colorado Springs. While Seven Falls is what we consider to be somewhat of a “tourist trap,” it is still a place we’d recommend visiting in Colorado Springs if you are looking for another fun, outdoor activity.
TIPS FOR VISITING SEVEN FALLS:
- If you are able to, walk the trail upon arrival instead of taking a tram to the falls. It is a short distance to walk, will save you a little money, and you won’t be waiting for what seems like hours for the tram to come by. 😉
- Unless you’re just looking for exercise we didn’t feel like the trek up the 224 steps was worth it because we had visited many other beautiful hiking trails. Plus the view from the bottom was the most pretty part of Seven Falls!
- Make sure to wear appropriate footwear! Hiking shoes or tennis shoes with good traction are highly recommended. It’s very slippery on the steps.
- Check out this hiking map for assistance in planning your visit.
Location: 6 Lake Avenue, Colorado Springs
Cost: $14 per person; have to take a free shuttle from the parking lot.
Manitou Incline was a once used railroad track now converted to a 2,744 step one mile hike with an average of a 41% incline (68% at its highest) and 2,000ft of elevation change. You’ll be gasping for air once you finally reach the top!
Trail Rating: Difficult
Check out this site for more information.
READ MORE: Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado
Paint Mines Interpretive Park
Paint Mines Interpretive Park is a 750-acre geological park composed of what is thought to be the painted clay formations of Native Americans from over 9,000 years ago. Not only is the appearance interesting it is also home to many different ecosystems such as the Badlands, wetlands, and the prairie. It is truly a unique attraction in Colorado Springs!
Address: 29950 Paint Mines Road, Calhan
Click here for a map of the park.
Places to Eat in Colorado Springs
BREAKFAST IN COLORADO SPRINGS
Power up at Urban Egg for a delicious made from scratch breakfast and build your own Bloody Mary bar! We stopped here before heading to Pikes Peak on our first day in Colorado Springs and this breakfast held us over until we had time for lunch later that afternoon. We really enjoyed their create-your-own omelet with a side of hashbrowns and bacon and the mixed berry crunchy french toast.
Location: 28A S. Tejon St.
Hours: 7am-2pm daily
LUNCH IN COLORADO SPRINGS
The Airplane Restaurant
We didn’t get the chance to dine at The Airplane Restaurant during our two days in Colorado Springs, but we wanted to include it in this guide because it is such a unique place to eat. The Airplane Restaurant allows you to dine in an authentic 1953 Boeing KC-97 tanker!
Location: 1665 N. Newport Rd.
Hours: 11am-9pm daily (reservations recommended to eat on the plane).
While planning our trip to Colorado Springs we asked a few local friends for some of their restaurant recommendations and that’s how we found Amanda’s Fonda. Amanda’s Fonda is a longtime favorite Mexican cantina restaurant with terrific food and margaritas.
Location: 8050 N Academy Blvd., Colorado Springs
Hours: Sunday: 10am-9pm, Monday-Thursday: 11am-9pm, Friday & Saturday: 11am-10pm
DINNER IN COLORADO SPRINGS
Paravicini’s is an Italian restaurant serving up classic Italian favorites in Old Colorado City. It was voted best Italian in Colorado Springs and featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
Location: 2802 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 11am-9pm, Friday-Saturday: 11am-10pm (reservations recommended)
Pizzeria Rustica is located in a historic 1889 building in Old Colorado City. They offer handmade wood-fired pizzas and a large selection of other menu items.
Location: 2527 W Colorado Ave.
Hours: Monday: 5pm-9pm, Tuesday-Sunday: 12pm-9pm (reservations recommended)
Imagine your favorite candy bars or cereals were turned into donut form! That’s what Amy’s Donuts is capable of. Here you’ll find flavors like chocolate strawberry with real strawberry slices, s’ mores with a toasted marshmallow and graham crackers, and Fruity Pebbles with yep, you guessed it, Fruity Pebbles cereal. Want a traditional favorite? Don’t worry they have those too!
Location: 2704 E Fountain Blvd, Colorado Springs
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 4am-7pm, Friday & Saturday: 24 hours
Places to Stay in Colorado Springs
While we were in Colorado Springs we actually stayed at an Airbnb. But here are a few other options for your stay in Colorado Springs if you’d prefer to stay in a hotel.
BUDGET HOTELS IN COLORADO SPRINGS
Rainbow Lodge and Inn: The Rainbow Lodge and Inn is in a great location in Colorado Springs and is just minutes from Garden of the Gods and the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. It also offers complimentary breakfast and amenities.
MID-RANGE HOTELS IN COLORADO SPRINGS
Best Western Plus Peak Vista Inn & Suites: This hotel is just a few miles from downtown Colorado Springs and Garden of the Gods. Free parking, an indoor pool, free WiFi, and complimentary breakfast are just a few of the amenities the Best Western Plus has to offer.
LUXURY HOTELS IN COLORADO SPRINGS
Garden of the Gods Resort & Club: The elegant rooms at this hotel feature gorgeous mountain views and a number of luxury amenities like a 27-hole golf course, two pools, tennis courts, a fitness center, and a full-service salon and spa.
While our two days in Colorado Springs was short, we thoroughly enjoyed our time. Now we can’t wait to go back to explore more!