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Approximate Duration: 2 hr

Top Rated Attractions in Colorado Springs

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Garden of the Gods

The Garden of the Gods is a public park and United States National Natural Landmark that was deemed a "fit place for the gods to assemble" by Rufus Cable, one of the two surveyors tasked with identifying a site for Colorado City in 1859. With its towering spires of red sandstone pitted against the incongruous greenery of its surrounds, Cable's inspired choice of name is an apt summary of the wonders that it contains. The jagged pinnacles, mammoth needles, and precariously balanced rocks strewn across the landscape are glorious monuments thrust upward, sideways and slanted by tectonic undercurrents, subsequently whipped by the wind into curious shapes. From the biological perspective, the Garden of the Gods is a remarkable merger of the vegetation typical of both highlands and lowlands creating a kind of chronicle of the evolution of planet earth. The land was bequeathed to the City of Colorado Springs by the children of Charles Elliott Perkins who originally owned this parcel of land. The only stipulation was that it must remain “free to the entire world.” Riddled with nature trails and hiking paths, the Garden of the Gods is a popular spot for outdoor activities like horseback riding, rock climbing and hiking that is always free, in keeping with Perkins' wishes.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Spend a day at America's only mountainside zoo. The zoo features endangered species in mountain exhibits that resemble their natural habitat. You can walk the hilly terrain or catch the tram at one of seven stops. Hands-on contact with animals is permitted in front of the Aquatics building - giraffes will literally eat from your hand, and zoo crackers can be purchased at the entrance. Mountain weather changes rapidly, so bring a light jacket.

United States Air Force Academy

This scenic pine filled campus with a Rocky Mountain backdrop is home to America's future Air Force officers. Enter Colorado's third most popular attraction at the North Gate for a glimpse of a B-52 bomber. Travel six miles to the visitor center, chock-full of exhibits, short films and a gift shop. Tour the stunning Cadet Chapel with 17 magnificent spires reaching 150 feet into the sky. Or check out Falcon Stadium where the Air Force Falcons Football team plays, and keep an eye above where the skies are colored with cadets practicing parachuting and flying Thunderbird jets.

Phantom Canyon Brewing Company

The fact that this popular brewery and restaurant sells its own T-shirts at the front entrance is a strong sign that this place is extremely popular. The menu is mostly American cuisine with global influences, featuring everything from burgers to fish and chips to baked ziti. The interior is dominated by hardwood flooring and a wall of windows. Outdoor seating, though limited, is very popular during the warm months. Above the dining area is a huge billiards room. The crowds tend to be of the 30-something kind.

Cave of the Winds

Bring a light jacket and hike this 54-degree cavern which offers three tours. Learn about geology and history on the Discovery Tour, or go back in time on the Lantern Tour, listening to tales from the past and using only lanterns for light. The physically challenging Explorers Trip is an adventure through undeveloped passageways and chambers. Tours range from 45 minutes to four hours. Check the website for more details.

Seven Falls

Partially encased by a one-mile canyon, the sight of seven separate falls splashing together down 181 vertical feet borders on stunning. Picturesque by day, dancing with color at night, this is not to be missed. Ride the elevator to the Eagles Nest observation platform for an great view or climb up 224 steps to reach the one-mile nature trail offering a panoramic peek of the city below. Parking is limited and scarce after 6p. Timings are subject to monthly change.

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