Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a beautiful and fun city to visit any time of year. Stay downtown at the historic Mining Exchange. Or kick back at the Residence Inn Colorado Springs Central for an economical option.
Colorado Springs is spread out, and it’s challenging to get around with public transportation. Having your own car is recommended.
Day 1: Air Force Academy and Old Colorado City
Start your day with breakfast at Le Tartine. The vegetarian breakfast croissant topped with avocado is a Southwestern French fusion delight.
After breakfast, visit the Air Force Academy Visitor’s Center. Even if fighter jets aren’t your thing, the military academy boasts unique architecture and a gorgeous mountain backdrop.
In the afternoon, go to Old Colorado City, a historic district known for eclectic shopping. Grab an ice cream cone at Colorado City Creamery, or relax with a latte at Agia Sophia.
For the evening, head downtown to Rico’s for wine, tapas, and live music. Its relaxed vibe is perfect after a busy day.
Day 2: Pikes Peak and the Broadmoor
Go to Adam’s Mountain Cafe in adjacent Manitou Springs for a hearty breakfast. I recommend the huevos rancheros with New Mexican green chili and a cup of Seattle orange spice house tea.
Take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the top of Pikes Peak ($35, three hours). Pack an extra layer of clothes — it’s chilly up there. Enjoy one of the world-famous donuts at the Summit House.
Next, try the Broadmoor resort for upscale relaxation. Visit the spa, or enjoy walking around the lake. Espresso News is ideal for a quick bite and coffee.
For dinner, enjoy Colorado cuisine at the Blue Star. They serve a changing selection of seasonal food in the dining room and bar.
Day 3: Garden of the Gods and Olympic Training Center
Start your morning at the Garden of the Gods park. The park features paved trails with a front-row view of rock formations. Bring your breakfast with you for a morning picnic with incredible views.
Go downtown for some shopping. Zeezo’s has tons of magic tricks and costumes for kids of all ages. Sparrow Hawk has a curated selection of kitchen tools and cookware.
Enjoy lunch at Jack Quinn’s. This Irish pub features both Irish and Colorado-inspired food. It’s never too late to order a traditional Irish breakfast, and they have the best fish and chips in town.
After lunch, take a free tour of the Olympic Training Center. This 45-minute walking tour is a fascinating look into how future Olympians train.
At night, feast on Colorado-style Mexican food at Jose Muldoon’s. They keep the chips and salsa flowing, and their topolobampos will satisfy the biggest appetites.