Reach the summit of Pikes Peak to see the view that inspired the “purple mountain majesties” lyric in “America The Beautiful" – and gaze out over the vastness of the country from more than 14,000 feet in elevation. The recently reopened (after a three-year renovation to the tune of $100 million) Pikes Peak Cog Railway will shuttle you to the top with a slew of scenic views along the way, where you can enjoy the brand-new visitor's center. Don’t even think about coming down the mountain without a world-famous fresh-baked high-altitude donut.
Colorado Springs isn't just Denver's smaller sister-city to the South, it's a whole new place to explore with a storied history all its own. Old Colorado City, the original capital of the Colorado territory, has transformed over the past century. Its frontier-era Main Street has swapped saloons for modern storefronts, and the city has grown around it – all with a gorgeous Rocky Mountain backdrop. Outdoorsy types will soak up the scenery, from spectacular waterfalls rushing down a box canyon and hiking an almost vertical cable car track to meandering through otherworldly red rock formations and wading into a babbling river full of rainbow trout.
But that's not all that draws visitors from around the globe. There are world-class museums, resorts, restaurants, and golf, too. Tourists can visit the U.S. Air Force Academy, train with Olympic athletes (or learn how they train), and even play penny arcade games. Its proximity to Denver makes it an easy day trip, too. The region has no shortage of ways to get acquainted with the Wild West and the frontier spirit that shapes the city’s character and heritage. So rustle up your inner cowboy and start exploring the best things to do in Colorado Springs.
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