Colorado Springs Essentials
Eat, shop, hike where the locals do. This guide has all the top spots.
Food and Drink Essentials
7635 N. Academy Blvd., 719-531-9999
3180 New Center Point, 719-622-1099
Health-conscious folks come from all over town shop here for fresh, organic (and sometimes locally produced) fruits and veggies, and the city’s best meat and seafood.
SIP A LATTE
This is the Springs’ answer to Starbucks (though you’ll find them everywhere, too). Other popular coffee houses include the Dogtooth Cafe, a small neighborhood coffee shop at 505 E. Columbia St. (719-632-0125), where Fido is welcome to join you.
SPLURGE ON DINNER
The Penrose Room at The Broadmoor
1 Lake Ave.
Colorado Springs has a glut of great local restaurants, but if you want the only five-diamond restaurant in the state, check out the Penrose Room at The Broadmoor. You’ll be pampered by the highly trained staff, too. It’s one of the few remaining restaurants around with a dress code, so check before you go.
Runner-up: Marigold Cafe & Bakery (4605 Centennial Blvd., 719-599-4776), where the food is always excellent and the breads, desserts and pastries to die for.
GET A GREAT BEER
Phantom Canyon Brewing Co.
2 E. Pikes Peak Ave.
The city has several terrific brew pubs, most of which also serve pretty good pub food. Phantom Canyon is the most popular, right downtown with nearby parking and a list of brews that will please suds-hounds. Also try Judge Baldwin’s, across the street in the Antlers Hilton (719-473-5600), and the award-winning beers from the Bristol Brewing Company (1647 S. Tejon St., 719-633-2555).
The Golden Bee at the Broadmoor
1 Lake Ave.
This replica English pub often has live music and dancing for the price of a drink. There’s also dancing for diners in the Broadmoor’s Penrose Room, its most elegant eatery.
TAKE THE KIDS
Mr. Biggs Family Fun Center
5825 Mark Dabling Blvd.
There’s a miniature golf, bowling alley, go-karts, laser tag and video games all indoors.
Runner up: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road, 719-633-9925). See meerkats, giraffes, grizzlies and 169 other species of other animals.
HOLLER YOUR HEAD OFF
Colorado College men’s hockey team
Colorado Springs Sky Sox
Locals are big fans of Colorado College Tigers, who play at the Colorado Springs World Arena (3185 Venetucci Blvd.) during hockey season. In the summer locals catch the Sky Sox, the local AAA minor league baseball team, at Security Service Field, (4385 Tutt Blvd.). The Sox are the farm team for the Colorado Rockies in Denver.
ENJOY SOMETHING FOR FREE
U.S. Olympic Training Center
1 Olympic Plaza
719-866-2536 or 719-866-2538
Few cities can offer residents a firsthand look at the facilities and athletes actually training for future Olympic Games. The complex offers tours and also has a fine little museum on site.
SPEND A SUNDAY AFTERNOON INDOORS
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
30 W. Dale St.
The newly expanded arts center has been a mainstay of the city’s cultural scene since the 1930s. It includes a theater where live performances are featured year round, as well as galleries that showcase its permanent collection of Southwestern art collection as well as traveling exhibits. There’s also a hip little bar and a fine cafe for lunch or dinner.
TAKE A DAY HIKE
Garden of the Gods
1805 N. 30th St.
This city park is worthy of being a national monument with its dramatic red sandstone rock formations. Hike on easy, paved trails or tackle rougher terrain on the park’s perimeter. Acres of scrub oak and pine provide habitat for bears, mountain lions, coyotes and deer, which you’ll see at dawn and dusk. Best of all there is no admission to the park.
TAKE YOUR DOG FOR A RUN
3650 Maizeland Road
This 737-square-mile nature center on a mesa overlooking the city has hiking and biking trails and a nature trail. You can hike with your dog offleash in the Yucca Flats area of the park, and there’s a fenced dog park at the old baseball field near the Maizeland Road entrance.
GLIMPSE A GREAT CITY VIEW
Drive up to the summit, elevation 14,110 feet, on the 19-mile Pikes Peak Highway or take the COG Railway to the top for a day trip. You’ll be looking down at the city and on a clear day you can see all the way to the Kansas border. There’s a restaurant and gift shop at the top.