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Educational

Top Rated Attractions in Colorado Springs

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Peterson Air & Space Museum

Anyone with an interest in mechanical things that leave the ground will enjoy this museum. It is located in the original art deco-styled Colorado Springs Passenger Terminal Building. With its military setting, it looks exactly like one of those buildings used in 1950s sci-fi movies when horrible, giant ants terrorized man. The focus of the museum is on early aviation history, with an emphasis on World War II. Since it is inside Peterson Air Force base, you will need identification to enter and access is restricted. Entry to the museum is free.

Pikes Peak

Towering 14,110 feet (4,300 meters) above Colorado Springs, this mountain serves as one of the nation's most famous landmarks. Believed to be the sacred home of the Ute people, this summit vaults wondrously above mosaicked landscapes, and can be seen at its majestic best from the Garden of the Gods balcony. The Barr Trail, a 13-mile (20.9-kilometer) path meanders itself along precarious slopes, providing an arduous yet rewarding way to reach the summit. The Pike's Peak Cog Railway, and the Pikes Peak Highway, alternate paths that lead to the summit, wind through stands of pine and aspen before cresting above treeline. A soul-stirring experience for many, Pike's Peak is best known for having inspired Katherine Lee Bates to pen the utterly patriotic America the Beautiful.

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 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.

Colorado College

Often dwarfed by the US Air Force Academy, this private college has been a part of Colorado Springs since 1874. The campus sports a classic college setting, accented by a Rocky Mountains backdrop. Cutler Hall, the school's original building, still stands as the landmark structure of the campus, and Bemis Hall resembles something from the Swiss Alps and will make you wish your school had offered such dorms. The hockey program enjoys a huge local following and ranks as one of the top collegiate teams in the nation.

Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site

A heavy indicator that this historical center offers an authentic experience can be gauged by the simple fact that it offers sarsaparilla as a beverage. While most such attractions focus on Colorado's "Wild West" days, this center, which is listed on the National Register of Historical Places, underscores the state's homesteading past with renovated buildings, including a Blacksmith shop, and characters in period clothing. Lectures, military re-enactments and a live 1880s baseball game are some of its educational features.

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