Overlooking view of Downtown Colorado Springs

28 Best Things to Do in Colorado Springs (in 2022)

As a Colorado local, I love spending a day exploring the many fun things to do in Colorado Springs.

If you’re wondering what to do in Colorado Springs, I’ve got you covered in this article! From delicious food tours to great hiking trails to historic museums, there’s something for everyone on this list. 

One note before we dive in: many of the things to do in Colorado Springs now require reservations ahead of time. Be sure to check the website for places you’re interested in – especially for the more popular attractions like Pikes Peak.

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

28 Best Things to Do in Colorado Springs

Garden of the Gods

Walk under striking red rock formations

Scenic view from the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 634-6666 | Website | Hours: 5 am – 9 pm daily | Entrance: free | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

Garden of the Gods is one of the first landmarks people associate with visiting Colorado Springs. The park is full of fascinating rock formations in brilliant shades of red. You’ll find some of the best easy Colorado Springs hikes here. Most of the trails through the park are paved, so they’re stroller and wheelchair-friendly. 

You will also find picnic tables and easy walks to see the various formations. Also, be sure to stop in at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center before making the turn into the park to get the lay of the land, learn the park’s history, and see some amazing views of the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak. 

Pikes Peak

Visit the mountain that inspired a classic national song

View of author and the Pikes Peak on the background
Bring a jacket, even in summer!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 385-7325 | Website | Hours: Summer 7:30 am – 7 pm daily, Fall 7:30 am – 6 pm, Winter & Spring 9 am – 4 pm | Entrance: $XX, adults, $XX under 13 | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

There are lots of ways to get to Pikes Peak. You can drive, hike, bike, or take the recently refurbished Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the top. Since it sits above 14,000 feet, you’ll want warm clothes regardless of when you visit. See the spot on America’s mountain that inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write “America the Beautiful” more than 100 years ago after a trip here.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Spend time at a mountain zoo

View of a giraffe in Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Make some new friends!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 633-9925 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily | Entrance: $19.75 – 29.75, adults, $14.75 – 24.75 under 12

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is more than 6,000 feet above sea level, and is designed so guests can get nice and close to the animals. Feed a giraffe, watch the wild animals, and take in an animal demonstration at this unique zoo!

🛎️ Need a Hotel? Find hotels near Colorado Springs attractions including the zoo!

The Broadmoor Seven Falls

Check out beautiful, sparkling waterfalls on this hike 

Overlooking view of the The Broadmoor Seven Falls in Colorado Springs

📍 Google Maps | Phone:  (844) 602-3343  | Website | Hours: Summer 10 am – 6 pm daily, Closed Tues – Thurs, Off-season 10 am – 6 pm daily, Closed Mon – Thurs | Entrance: $17, adults, $11 under 13 | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

Seven Falls is less than a mile from Colorado’s best-known hotel, and is the only waterfall in Colorado on National Geographic’s list of International Waterfalls. The 224 steps to the top of the falls are a challenge, but you’ll get cool views of the box canyon and a stream as you hike up, plus amazing views from the top.

Air Force Academy

See the picturesque training grounds for elite aviators

The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs
(photo: quiggyt4 / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 333–2025 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily | Entrance: free

The Air Force Academy has a striking campus up against the Rocky Mountains, and there are several outlooks for visitors around campus where you can take in the beauty of the area. You can also pop in to the Air Force Academy Visitor Center, the Planetarium, the Falcon Athletic Center, and other campus spots. The Space Age-looking Cadet Chapel is an unusual stop as well, but it’s being renovated until Spring 2024 so you won’t be able to go inside.

Because you’ll be entering a military base, be sure to have a valid photo I.D. like a current driver’s license or passport. You may also be asked to share proof of insurance and vehicle registration and may want to have your car rental agreement on hand. Security personnel may also search the vehicle.

📚 Related Reading: If you’re staying in Colorado Springs for several days, check out my list of 22 Fun Day Trips from Colorado Springs!

Olympic Training Center

See where Olympic and Paralympic athletes train

View of a big globe in Olympic Training Center
(photo: EQRoy / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 866-4618 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily, Closed Sundays | Entrance: $15, adults, $11 ages 5-12, free under 5

Colorado Springs is known as Olympic City, USA – come see where the city got its nickname! The Olympic Training Center near downtown Colorado Springs has housing, dining, and extra-curricular activities for athletes training to be the best. Up to 512 athletes can stay at the center at one time, and there is also a museum dedicated to past athletes at the Training Center. Come see where some of your Olympic heroes may have trained!

👉 Read Next: 59 Fun Things to Do in Denver, Colorado

Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center

Learn more about these majestic, mysterious animals

A sleeping wolf in Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 687-9742 | Website | Hours: Summer, 12 pm – 7 pm; Off-season 12 pm – 3 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: $25 peak season, $20 off-season adults, $15 under 12 

The Wolf & Wildlife Center offers tours to teach visitors about the importance of wolves, coyotes, and foxes to the ecosystem and to help them understand the animals better. They also work to promote the preservation and conservation of forests and other lands. Tours of the property provide an up-close look at wolves while visitors learn more about them.

There is a special kids’ tour as well, but be aware that it discusses the fur industry, canned hunts, and other hardships these animals can endure. It’s not graphic, but you may want to call ahead to get a better idea of what will be shared if you have a sensitive child.

Sunrise Balloon Tour Over Colorado Springs

View of a hot air balloon up in the sky of Colorado Springs and mountains on the backgorund

Tickets: From $250 | 👉 Book Your Sunrise Ride Here

One of the coolest ways to explore Colorado Springs is from the air. Booking a Colorado Springs sunrise balloon tour is one of only two attractions on this list (along with Garden of the Gods) that makes our list of the 33 best things to do in the state of Colorado. Take in incredible views of Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, and the Rocky Mountains. Sure, it’s a pricey thing to do in Colorado Springs, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime bucketlist experience for the truly adventurous.

Museums & Cultural Attractions

Rock Ledge Ranch

Walk back in time at this living history museum

A vintage windmill in Rock Ledge Ranch
(photo: Gary Reinwald / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 578-6777 | Website | Hours: Wed – Sat 10 am – 5 pm, Sun 1 pm – 5 pm; June – Aug | Entrance: $8, adults, $4 ages 6-17, free under 6 

Rock Ledge Ranch is a living history museum with demonstrations and historical reenactments. You can experience the occupation of the Camp Creek Valley by the Utes in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Victorian life in 1875 at the Chambers Family Rock Ledge House, and early 20th century life in the Edwardian Orchard House. There are blacksmith demonstrations, farm animals, a garden, and other activities showing Colorado life from hundreds of years ago.

Pikes Peak Alpine School

Tackle ice, rocks, and more at this climbing school

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 368-9524 | Website | Classes: from $105 | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

Pikes Peak Alpine School offers rock, snow, and ice climbing as well as ski tours. Climb at several Colorado Springs spots including Garden of the Gods and Red Rock Open Space or try backcountry skiing at Pikes Peak. 

Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

Learn about the culture and history of the Colorado Springs area

The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum from the outside
(photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 385-5990 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily, Closed Sundays & Mondays | Entrance: free

The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum in downtown Colorado Springs displays examples of early pioneer art like quilting, pottery, and painting. It also has exhibits on the history of the area, along with art celebrating Native American crafters. Other exhibits celebrate the area’s time as an early health resort, and more recently as a military training center. 

Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association

Celebrate Colorado’s Wild West heritage with a trip to a rodeo museum

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 528-4764 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily, Summer; 9 am – 5 pm Wed – Sun, Winter | Entrance: $8, adults, $5 ages 6-12, free under 6

Check out the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and the Museum of the American Cowboy while you’re in Colorado Springs. You’ll learn about the history of rodeo and see exhibits about famous rodeo stars of past and current times.

Cave of the Winds

Tour some underground caverns for a close-up look at stalactites and stalagmites

View from the inside of Cave of the Winds

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 685-5444 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily, Winter; 9 am – 6 pm daily, Summer | Tours: from $26, adults, $17 ages 4-12, free under 4 | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

Cave of the Winds has one of the highest show caves in the U.S., which was discovered in 1881. There are three different tours to choose from to wind through the underground caverns. You can also go on rides at the outdoor fun park or try the climbing wall or Via Ferrata for an extra kick of adrenaline.

Manitou Cliff Dwellings

See reconstructed Ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings 

View from the Manitou Cliff Dwellings in Colorado Springs
(photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 685-5242 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily | Entrance: $12, adults, $7.50 ages 4-11, free under 4

The cliff dwellings in Manitou Springs were relocated from Southwest Colorado in the early 1900s. The ruins traveled by train and horse-drawn wagons to their current spot. When they reconstructed the ruins, the builders used concrete mortar instead of adobe mud or clay so the buildings are sturdy enough to tour. 

📚 Related Reading: If you’ll be visiting other parts of Colorado as well, be sure to bookmark our Ultimate Colorado Travel Guide!

The Peterson Air & Space Museum

Tour Colorado’s oldest aviation museum

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 556-4915 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 3 pm daily, Closed Sat – Mon and federal holidays | Entrance: free

Colorado Springs has long been associated with aviation – learn all about the city’s ties to flying, military fighting, and space at this Air and Space Museum. The museum is built on the site of Colorado Springs’ first municipal airfield and you’ll see vintage planes, rockets, and other aircraft while you tour the area. 

Western Museum of Mining and Industry

Discover Colorado Springs’ mining history 

A old rusted digger in Western Museum of Mining and Industry
(photo: Lost_in_the_Midwest / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 488-0880 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 4 pm daily, Closed Sundays | Entrance: $12, adults, $6 ages 4-12, $8 students 13+

Learn about the impact Colorado Springs and its people had mining and ranching, and vice versa! You can walk through a replica mine shaft, check out a 1895 Corliss steam engine, and view a rescue pod used to save the Chilean miners. You can also see other machines used throughout the history of mining. 

Penrose Heritage Museum

See one historic family’s impact on Colorado Springs

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 577-7065 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 4 pm Tues – Sat, 1 pm – 4 pm Sun, Closed Mondays | Entrance: free

The Penroses were a wealthy Colorado Springs family that made their money in mining. Spencer Penrose was responsible for the construction of the Pikes Peak Highway, the Broadmoor, and other landmarks in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region. See how this wealthy family lived in the early 20th century and view 30 carriages and 15 race cars, among other artifacts. 

Glen Eyrie Castle

Visit this respite from a busy world

The Glen Eyrie Castle from the outside
(photo: Mary-Elizabeth Hain / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 265-7050 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily 

This castle was built by the founder of Colorado Springs, General William Jackson Palmer, for his family. It is now owned by the evangelical Christian group the Navigators, who use it for events, but it’s still open to the public for tours, afternoon tea, or to visit the book and coffee shop. You can also spend the night at the castle and check out the beautiful hiking trails on or near the property.

👉 Pro Tip: If you want to tour the castle or go to tea, you’ll want to make reservations ahead of time! 

National Museum of World War II Aviation 

Learn about military aviation during WWII

Aircrafts inside the National Museum of World War II Aviation
(photo: Lost_in_the_Midwest / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 637-7559 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: from $15, adults, from $11 ages 4-12, free under 4, from $13, seniors & military, free for WWII vets

You’ll learn about the huge leaps in aviation technology that happened during World War II and learn the stories of those who built and flew these planes. There are 28 restored aircraft at this museum, plus plenty of artifacts and documents sharing the history of the war. 

What to Do Outdoors in Colorado Springs

Helen Hunt Falls

Take a short walk to this pretty waterfall

View of a bridge over the Helen Hunt Falls

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 633-5701 | Website | Hours: Summer 5 am – 10 pm daily, Off-season 5 am – 9 pm | Entrance: free

There’s a very short walk to an overlook where you can see Helen Hunt Falls, or you can make a longer hike of it and trek to the top. You’re also near the Seven Bridges Trail, so if you’re up for exploring more hiking trails, you can link up with that as well.

Florissant Fossil Beds

Visit one of the most diverse fossil deposits in the world

The author's kids exploring in Florissant Fossil Beds
Checking out some petrified trees!

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily, Closes at 4:30 pm in Winter | Entrance: $10, adults over 15, free for kids

Take one of the hiking trails past massive petrified tree stumps or take a trek along the Geologic Trail on a trip to the very distant past. Visit the Hornbek Homestead where single mom Adeline Hornbek and her four kids turned their 1870s homestead into a thriving ranch.

👉 Read Next: 29 Fun Things to Do in Boulder, Colorado

Paint Mines Interpretive Park

Hike past technicolor rocks

The Paint Mines Interpretive Park in Colorado Springs

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 520-7529 | Website | Hours: Dawn to Dusk daily | Entrance: free

This park gets its name from the colorful clay that Native Americans collected to make paint. The colors come from oxidized iron compounds, and vary from white to red to yellow and even green. Spend plenty of time on the hiking trails through the park, taking in the ever changing light and color playing across the rocks.

Whitewater Rafting

Get your adrenaline rush

People enjoying whitewater rafting in Colorado Spings
(photo: Travis J. Camp / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

Colorado is known for its whitewater rafting opportunities! Your best bet for rafting near Colorado Springs is going to be along the Arkansas River, and there are plenty of outfitters with guides who will take you on a variety of trips. From low-key floats with just enough excitement for the kids to seriously challenging rapids and overnight trips, you’ll find something to suit you!

Manitou Incline

Test your mental and physical mettle on this lung-busting trek

View of a stairs along the Manitou Incline
(photo: melissamn / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 685-5089 | Website | Hours: 6 am – 6 pm daily | Entrance: free

The hike up these stairs is less than a mile, but don’t let that fool you – this is a serious Colorado hike! The 2,744 stairs have up to a 68% grade and have been a challenge for military trainees, fitness gurus, and Olympians. You’ll want to get plenty of exercises and be ready for the elevation before attempting to climb the Incline, and bring plenty of water. Most people can count on taking at least an hour or more to summit the Incline.

👉 Pro Tip: You’ll need to make a free reservation to climb the Incline on the website. There is nearby parking starting at $1 an hour. 

Mueller State Park

Watch for wildlife at this scenic park

Old dead tree and the overlooking view in Mueller State Park

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 687-2366 | Website | Hours: 5 am – 10 pm daily | Entrance: $9 per vehicle

Mueller State Park has elk, bears, deer, and a variety of birds for watching. It also has beautiful scenery and sweeping mountain views, along with a variety of gorgeous hikes for all levels! Bring your gear to fish, or go snowshoeing in winter.  

Red Rock Canyon Open Space

Hike, mountain bike, or climb among these striking rocks

Rock formations in Red Rock Canyon Open Space

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 385-5940 | Website | Hours: Summer 5 am – 11 pm daily, Off-season 5 am – 9 pm daily | free

Red Rock Canyon Open Space is near Garden of the Gods, but much less crowded! You can hike, mountain bike, or climb with an outfitter or on your own on the craggy rocks. There are plenty of easy hiking trails to do with kids, along with more challenging hiking or biking trails. 

Food & Drink

Manitou Springs

Stop for a bite to eat in this historic town

View of a store in Manitou Springs
(photo: RaksyBH / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

Whether you want a burger, pancakes, or an ice cream cone after a day of hiking and exploring, downtown Manitou Springs can suit your cravings! Stroll the quaint historic street and pop into a shop for coffee or ice cream, or grab a seat at a sidewalk cafe.

Rocky Mountain Food Tours

Check out a speakeasy, a celebrity chef’s restaurant, and more on a tour of local eateries

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (719) 322-5731 | Website | Tours: from $75 

The woman-owned Rocky Mountain Food Tours offers several different tours to sample local Colorado Springs restaurants and bars. A food tour takes you to several great restaurants, while the cocktail tour and the craft beer tour specialize in boozy creations. This would be one of those fun things to do in Colorado Springs for a Girls’ Trip or bachelor party in the area!

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As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Colorado Springs! For even more ideas on what to do in Colorado Springs, check out my extensive list of hikes in and near Colorado Springs as well. Happy exploring!

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