There are some great locally-owned stores and shops to be found here in Colorado Springs, and downtown is a great place to begin your exploration for some awesome gift ideas. Here are a few places to get you started, and while you're there, grab a bite to eat at one of the many unique restaurants and cafes found only here in the Springs. Once you get started, you'll be amazed at all you find.
A well-maintained park located on Milam Road just north of Shoup Road. It's a great place to spend an afternoon with friends and family. There are picnic areas and shelters, tennis, volley-ball, and basketball courts, horseshoe pits, playground equipment, and lush grassy meadows and hiking trails. Some of the trails wind their way through burnt areas of the forest. In a 2013 fire, 14,280 acres (22.31 square miles) were burned, at least 509 homes were said to be destroyed, and two people died. This was the most destructive fire in the state of Colorado's history, and certainly one that the residents of Colorado Springs will not likely ever forget.
The Academy Hotel atrium is such a pleasant place for an event such as this, and radio host Mike Boyle of The Restaurant Show on 1470 AM knows exactly how to make it a success year after year. Where else can you enjoy up to three hours of sampling tasty selections from over 30 restaurants under one roof for only $10?
The Keg has been a local favorite in Manitou Springs as far back as I can remember and is known for their Buffalo Burgers and famous Berry Salad. My parents were regulars years ago and it's still a family favorite today. Beef or Buffalo burgers are available in both 5 oz and 9 oz sizes and are served with kettle chips. Just find a seat and make yourself at home.
730 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, CO 80829 719.685.9531
There are three scenic byways that run between Cripple Creek and Canõn City. Phantom Canyon, Shelf Road, and High Park Road, each one unique and worth the trip. The first two are gravel and usually maintained well enough for most vehicles unless we've had heavy rains or snow. Shelf Road may prove to be a bit challenging for the timid, however, High Park Road is completely paved and an easy trip for all. A map of all three roads is available at the Cripple Creek Visitor Center. Be sure to get out and enjoy the fall colors over the next few weeks, and enjoy the ride! A word of caution—all of these roads are in open range territory and you may have to stop for cattle in the road now and then. Don't forget your camera!
Our beautiful fall days are perfect for riding one of Colorado's scenic trains. This train leaves the depot in Cripple Creek on the hour and lasts about 45 minutes. We spotted wildlife looking at us from a safe distance as our coal and steam powered train passed by old, abandoned gold mines. We also viewed the third largest gold mining operation in the country today, currently yielding 1000 ounces a day. At $1300 an ounce, that's $1,300,000 all in a day's work! Today, the historic town of Cripple Creek is home to a host of gambling casinos. Bus transportation to Cripple Creek is available from two locations in Colorado Springs on a regular basis. The train depot is located on your left just as you enter town.
The Donut Mill has been a local and Colorado favorite since 1983. No trip to the mountains via Woodland Park is complete without stopping here. They are located right on the main drag as you're going through town on Highway 24. You'll find fresh cinnamon rolls, fritters, scones, bear claws, strudel, breakfast burritos, biscuits and gravy, a variety of Blue Bell ice cream flavors, and yes, donuts. Hot coffee, cocoa, and a great selection of sodas and teas are also available. Be sure to stop in the next time you're passing through. Rob and his fine staff will be glad you did!
Miramont Castlewas originally built in 1895 as a private residence for Father Jean Baptist Francolon, a French-born Catholic priest. It is located in the Manitou Springs Historic District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.The castle is an architectural example of the Victorian era. Sisters of Mercy operated Montcalm Sanitarium at Miramont, sharing the property with Francolon. Popular folklore has it that the castle is haunted with various apparitions and unexplained phenomenon as reported by visitors and staff. The castle is now a museum that is owned and operated by the Manitou Springs Historical Society. Visitors can tour 42 furnished rooms and gardens. The site also features a tea room and gift shop.
The Candy Bar on Tejon Street opened its doors the summer of 2012 and has been satisfying sweet tooth cravings of those passing by ever since. Aisle after aisle of just about any kind of candy you could desire. They also have ice cream and some great soda selections. The next time you're downtown stop in and say hi and let them know you heard about them on the DiscoverCOS website and Facebook page.
124 North Tejon St. Colorado Springs, CO 80903 719.434.7325