14 Fun-Filled Things to Do in Colorado Springs, CO if You’re New to the City

Nestled at the foot of the majestic Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs is a nature lover’s paradise with an abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy. From hiking the iconic Garden of the Gods to exploring the picturesque Pikes Peak, there’s no shortage of breathtaking landscapes to discover. The city also boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene, with charming galleries and lively music venues that showcase the local talent. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking to conquer the Manitou Incline or a foodie eager to explore the diverse culinary scene, Colorado Springs has something for everyone.

So whether you’re searching for apartments in Colorado Springs, homes for sale, homes for rent, or are already a local, this Redfin article will be your guide. Here is Redfin’s list of the top 14 things to do in Colorado Springs, for both newcomers and long-time locals alike.

Colorado Springs

1. Explore Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is a stunning natural landmark in Colorado Springs, with towering red rock formations that are perfect for hiking, rock climbing, and photography. “I know it is a popular area, but it is popular for a reason!” says Bailee Ward an adventure elopement photographer and videographer with Alpine Vows

“Garden of the Gods is a breathtaking natural wonder with towering red rock formations that jut dramatically into Colorado’s blue sky. I also love that there is something for everyone here, you can simply stay in your car and drive through the park or you can set out on a hiking adventure. I love how diverse the landscapes are in a small amount of land. You get juniper and pine trees, wildflowers, and rugged trails that wind through rocky terrain. Not only are the red rocks a site to behold, but the views of Pikes Peak (one of Colorado’s 14ers) and the Rocky Mountains provide such a majestic background to the entire park. I also love that there are several activities that you can do at Garden of the Gods. You can bike, hike, have a picnic, and horseback ride. As a Colorado elopement photographer, I appreciate that couples can get married in the park without a permit, making it a unique and accessible place to elope. Garden of the Gods is located about 5 miles outside of Colorado Springs, so it is really easy to make your way over there for the day without having to sacrifice your time in the car. It truly is a magical place that I think everyone should visit!” says Bailee.

2. Stroll through the Black Forest Farmer’s Market

The Black Forest Farmer’s Market is a local farmers market held every Saturday from late May to early October. “For a true taste of the local scene in Colorado Springs, check out the Black Forest Farmer’s Market where you can enjoy locally grown produce, baked goods, and products from Colorado vendors,” says Amy Lawson, owner of Thrive Nutrition. “After the market, explore the hiking in Colorado Springs which is incredible. Many hikes are free! Check out Helen Hunt Falls which boasts incredible views and a beautiful waterfall.”

3. Hike Mt. Cutler

Hiking Mount Cutler in Colorado offers a relatively short but rewarding trail with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and Colorado Springs, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. “For out-of-towners, I recommend hiking Mt. Cutler,” says Jacob Bogolia of Lumen8, an upscale restaurant and cocktail bar located in Colorado Springs. “It’s only an hour up and down and gives wonderful views of the city and mountains alike.”

4. Partake in Colorado’s mountain biking scene

Colorado is known as an outdoor lover’s paradise and that extends to mountain biking. “Mountain biking in Colorado Springs is an adventure you can’t miss, with trails that cater to all skill levels amidst the stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountains,” says Mark Main, owner of Best CS Homes. “Whether you’re navigating the technical paths of Palmer Park or enjoying the scenic routes in Cheyenne Mountain State Park, the variety and beauty of the trails are unparalleled. Discover the thrill and excitement of mountain biking in Colorado Springs, where every ride offers a new challenge and a breathtaking view.”

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5. Discover the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a unique attraction, offering an up-close and personal experience with over 750 animals from around the world. Visitors can hand-feed giraffes, ride the Mountaineer Sky Ride for stunning views of the city, and explore the diverse exhibits and interactive experiences. The zoo is open year-round and a must-visit destination for animal lovers of all ages.

6. Experience the Manitou Incline

The Manitou Incline is a challenging and popular hiking trail located just outside of Colorado Springs. “A short 20 minutes from downtown Colorado Springs lies the Manitou Incline, built along the route of the original COG railway that ascends Pikes Peak,” says Larry Quinn of Pikes Perk Coffee Roasters and Wholesale. “At just under .9 miles, the trail ascends a lung-busting 2,011 feet in elevation before meeting with the Barr Trail to take a more leisurely, and less steep, hike back to your car. Extra credit for doing it at dawn with a thermos of Pikes Perk coffee for what could quite possibly be your most soul-enriching cup of coffee ever as you watch the sunrise from the side of Pikes Peak, America’s Mountain.” The song “America the Beautiful” was penned by its author after a visit to the summit of Pikes Peak in 1895.

7. Attend the Indian Food Festival

Engage with the local Indian community of Colorado Springs through the Indian Food Festival. “Immerse yourself in Indian culture through food, fashion, and music,” says Monika Celly of Polka Dots and Curry. “Dive even deeper by taking an Indian cooking class with us at Polka Dots and Curry.” 

8. Visit Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak is one of the most famous mountains in the United States, offering stunning panoramic views of Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. Visitors can drive to the summit or take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway for a scenic and unforgettable journey. The best time to visit is during the summer months when the weather is mild and the wildflowers are in bloom. At the summit, visitors can enjoy a hot donut and take in the breathtaking views from over 14,000 feet above sea level.

Colorado Springs

9. Visit the United States Air Force Academy

The United States Air Force Academy is a prestigious military institution with a stunning campus that is open to the public for guided tours. Visitors can explore the iconic Cadet Chapel, visit the Honor Court, and learn about the history and traditions of the academy. The best time to visit is during the academic year to witness the cadets in training and experience the unique atmosphere of the campus. The academy offers free admission, making it a must-see destination for history buffs and those interested in military culture.

10. Explore the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is a cultural and historical institution that showcases the rich heritage and development of the city. Visitors can explore the diverse exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays that highlight the stories of the early pioneers and the growth of Colorado Springs.

11. Enjoy a scenic drive on Gold Camp Road

Gold Camp Road is a historic and scenic drive that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and landscapes. The road follows the route of an old railroad bed and passes through several tunnels and rock formations, providing a unique and memorable driving experience. The best time to visit is during the fall when the leaves are changing colors, creating a picturesque and vibrant display.

12. Visit the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is a vibrant and diverse cultural institution that features a world-class art collection, theater performances, and educational programs. Visitors can explore the galleries, attend a live performance, or participate in a hands-on workshop to experience the dynamic and creative atmosphere of the center. The best time to visit is during one of the special exhibitions or events to fully immerse yourself in the arts and culture of Colorado Springs.

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13. Discover the North Cheyenne Cañon Park

North Cheyenne Cañon Park is a picturesque and serene natural area that offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, picnicking, and birdwatching. Visitors can explore the scenic trails, visit the Helen Hunt Falls, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the park. The best time to visit is during the spring and summer months when the wildflowers are in bloom and the waterfalls are flowing.

14. Experience the Western Museum of Mining & Industry

The Western Museum of Mining & Industry is a fascinating and educational institution that showcases the rich history and impact of mining in the region. Visitors can explore the outdoor exhibits, tour the historic buildings, and learn about the tools and techniques used in mining operations. The museum offers guided tours and interactive experiences for those interested in the industrial heritage of Colorado Springs.

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