This article is written in partnership with the Colorado Springs CVB. All opinions are my own.
When looking for larger-than-life family adventure, I can’t think of a better place than Colorado Springs – Olympic City USA. It’s where Olympic spirit and outdoor adventure meet.
Colorado Springs, Colorado sits on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains at the foot of Pikes Peak. It is the home to the Olympic Training Center, US Air Force Academy, and more than 55 other area attractions. Whether you want to live like an Olympian or just play like one, you’ll find plenty of fun things to do with the kids in Colorado Springs. Here are our top 5 attractions/sites you won’t want to miss on your next trip.
#1 Walk Alongside Olympians
Colorado Springs is Olympic City USA. Why? Many Olympic and Paralympic athletes live and train here. It’s also the home of the U.S. Olympic Complex which includes:
- U.S. Olympic Committee
- U.S. Paralympics
- Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center
- 23 National Governing Bodies of Sport
- 2 Official Olympic Training Sites: Velodrome and World Arena Ice Hall
The Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center provides housing and training for more than 500 athletes and coaches. The center is open to the public year around, Monday through Saturday. Public tours (fee) allow visitors to explore the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Rotunda, shop at the U.S. Olympic Store and check out the Visitor Center’s art exhibitions.
The new U.S. Olympic Museum is currently being constructed and it set to open late fall 2019.
#2 Explore Pikes Peak
Imagine the panoramic view you’ll discover when you reach Pikes Peak’s summit at 14,000 feet. The views go on for miles and miles making it easy to see why it’s the most visited mountain in North America. You can explore it a few different ways.
Pikes Peak By Car
Drive along the picturesque 19-mile highway to the summit. Along the way you’ll find the North Slope Recreation Area, three lakes if you want to bring along your fishing poles, picnic areas, and countless hiking trails.
Hiking Pikes Peak
There are plenty of hiking trails to choose from. For an easy family hike, the Crags Trail is a 4-mile out and back trail inside Pike National Forest. The views from the top are stunning!! You’ll see Crystal Reservoir and an unobstructed view of the Rockies.
#3 Ride the World’s Highest Cog Railway
The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is a 3-hour, 8.9-mile ride that takes you up to the Pikes Peak summit. You’ll travel up the mountain past cascading streams, forests of evergreens, and up above the timberline to the peak.
Once on top, you can step off the train and see for as far as the eye can see. The views from the summit are stunning.
#4 Garden of the Gods
In the foothills along Pikes Peak, you’ll find stunning red rock formations at the Garden of the Gods. Here you will find ample opportunities to hike, bike, picnic, horseback ride, and climb. This city park was designed as a National Natural Landmark in 1971 and is one of the state’s top 10 Not-To-Miss Experiences.
Venture out on the parks 15 miles of trails that range from easy to moderate. If you want an up-close-and-personal view of these red rocks, get a climbing permit and up you go!
#5 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Voted as the #5 Zoo in the US by Trip Advisor readers, The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the ONLY mountain zoo you’ll find in the United States. Your family can visit the Rocky Mountain Wild exhibit and discover animals native to Colorado like the Canadian lynx, moose, mountain lion, and bald eagles.
Tour the zoo with a bird’s eye view when you ride the Mountaineer Sky Ride or get up and close with the giraffes during feeding time. The zoo is home of the largest herd of reticulated giraffes in the United States and offers a Giraffe Feeding Experience daily.
Whether you are family looking to embrace the Olympic spirit or just play like an Olympian, Colorado Springs is a destination full of larger-than-life adventure. Start planning your next trip today.