Top Colorado Springs Tourist Attractions


Known as Olympic City USA, Colorado Springs tourist attractions provide beautiful scenery, outdoor adventures, historic sites, family fun, and unique experiences that make it an appealing tourist destination.


  • Colorado Springs is a scenic gateway to Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains, offering stunning natural attractions like the Garden of the Gods.
  • The city has a rich history and culture, with landmarks like the Air Force Academy and Old Colorado City.
  • Outdoor activities abound, from hiking and biking to whitewater rafting and ziplining.
  • Accommodations range from luxury hotels like The Broadmoor to budget-friendly campgrounds and vacation rentals.

Destination Overview: Introducing Colorado Springs

Surrounded by majestic mountain peaks and sweeping plains, Colorado Springs offers visitors breathtaking natural scenery. The city provides convenient access to iconic attractions like Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, and the scenic highway Gold Camp Road.

In addition to its beautiful landscape, Colorado Springs has a vibrant arts scene. Cultural institutions like the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center showcase works by prominent artists. The city also hosts annual events that celebrate local traditions, such as Territory Days and the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo.

Between the stunning vistas and wealth of museums and events, Colorado Springs appeals to tourists with diverse interests. Families enjoy kid-friendly attractions like the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, while thrill-seekers take on adventures like ziplining over Williams Canyon. With this combination of natural and cultural highlights, it’s easy to see why Colorado Springs draws over 6 million visitors per year.

Local Experiences and Culture

To truly experience Colorado Springs, visitors should engage with local culture and communities. Old Colorado City, a National Historic District, offers a glimpse at Colorado’s frontier history with artisan shops and restaurants housed in historic buildings. Tourists can also attend cultural events like First Friday Art Walks that connect them with local artists.

Trying local cuisine is another way to dive into Colorado Springs’ culture. Restaurants take advantage of the region’s plentiful produce, meat, and dairy, serving up dishes like green chili and rocky mountain oysters. Breweries and distilleries also craft regional specialties, producing unique spirits using local ingredients.

By exploring Old Colorado City, interacting with artists at local events, and sampling the region’s distinctive food and drink creations, tourists can gain an authentic understanding of Colorado Springs. These activities provide opportunities to support small businesses while learning about Colorado’s cultural heritage.

Outdoor Adventures

One of Colorado Springs’ biggest draws is the wealth of outdoor recreation, easily accessible from town. There are over 80 hiking trails winding through lush forests and along rocky ridges surrounding the city. Popular paths include the Manitou Incline, which climbs over 2,000 feet in less than a mile, providing stunning views. Mountain bikers also have over 100 miles of trails to explore in the area.

In addition to hiking and biking, tourists can enjoy activities like rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and ziplining. The Garden of the Gods offers world-class rock climbing amidst its dramatic sandstone formations. Rafting companies lead trips down Clear Creek and the Arkansas River, providing Class III-V rapids. Three zipline courses allow adventurers to soar over Williams Canyon, Seven Falls, and the Royal Gorge.

Here are some of the major Colorado Springs attractions:

  • Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
  • Cheyenne Mountain State Park
  • Pikes Peak
  • Cripple Creek
  • Downtown Colorado Springs
  • Red Rock Canyon
  • Glen Eyrie Castle
  • Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
  • Bear Creek Regional Park
  • Royal Gorge
  • The Royal Gorge Bridge
  • Manitou Incline
  • Olympic Training Center
  • Western Museum of Mining & Industry
  • Ghost Town Museum
  • National Museum of World War II Aviation
  • Manitou Cliff Dwelling Museum

If you’re willing to venture a little farther, here are some of the best tourist destinations throughout Colorado:

  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Steamboat Springs
  • Glenwood Springs
  • Estes Park
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Hanging Lake
  • Black Canyon
  • Cañon City
  • Natural History Museum: Denver Museum of Nature and Science
  • Bear Creek Regional Park
  • National Ballpark Museum

With this huge variety of outdoor activities, Colorado Springs appeals to thrill-seekers and families alike. Those seeking an adrenaline rush can mountain bike down Pikes Peak, while young visitors enjoy hiking easy trails through the Garden of the Gods. The city’s diverse natural playground has an adventure for everyone.

Historical and Cultural Landmarks

Beyond its beautiful landscapes, Colorado Springs offers many historical and cultural sites that provide insight into the region’s heritage. The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum houses over 130,000 artifacts documenting the history of the Pikes Peak region, including exhibits on Native American culture, the frontier era, and 20th-century development.

Other landmarks showcase unique aspects of the area’s history. The Air Force Academy and neighboring Space Foundation Discovery Center exhibit aeronautical achievements with aircraft displays and spaceflight simulators. Further highlighting scientific innovation, the Nikola Tesla Wardenclyffe exhibit at the Colorado Springs Science Center includes the scientist’s original lab equipment.

By exploring local history museums and cultural institutions, visitors can enrich their understanding of Colorado Springs and the milestones that shaped this mountain community. These attractions make the city much more than just a gateway to nature.

Accommodation and Dining

Colorado Springs provides diverse lodging options to suit different budgets and styles. Luxury seekers can enjoy five-star amenities at historic hotels like The Broadmoor, which offers swimming pools, a spa, and fine dining. Budget travelers also have many choices, including campgrounds in the Pike National Forest and Old Colorado City vacation rentals.

Once settled, visitors have over 850 restaurants to choose from. Colorado Springs’s dining scene ranges from quick bites like burgers and tacos to elegant venues offering contemporary American and international cuisine. Foodies also have ample opportunities to try local specialties, with restaurants serving up dishes like Colorado lamb, trout, and craft beer.

Between the variety of lodging and dining, tourists can comfortably experience Colorado Springs regardless of their budget or tastes. The city’s accommodations and culinary options allow any traveler to feel at home.

Family-Friendly Attractions

With its beautiful scenery and wealth of kid-centric museums and activities, Colorado Springs is an ideal vacation spot for families. At the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, children can view over 175 exotic animals and ride a mountain coaster that winds through the zoo’s habitats. The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum also engages young visitors with hands-on exhibits exploring local nature and culture.

In addition to museums, families enjoy attractions like the Cave of the Winds Mountain Park, where visitors can go on lantern-lit tours and pan for gems. At Santa’s Workshop in the North Pole, kids can ride carnival rides, meet Santa year-round, and watch Christmas shows. Between these engaging activities, parents may also find time to relax amidst beautiful mountain scenery.

With attractions ranging from roller coasters to gemstone panning, Colorado Springs offers entertainment the whole family can enjoy. Garden of the Gods Park contains one of the world’s most scenic networks of paved trails, allowing visitors to admire the park’s red rock formations and views of Pikes Peak while hiking or biking.

Adventurous travelers can also enjoy wildlife viewing opportunities in the area. The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center provides a sanctuary for rescued wolves and other animals native to Colorado. Through regularly scheduled educational programs, visitors can observe wildlife like gray wolves, foxes, and bison in a natural setting.

Whether admiring dramatic landscapes along mountain trails or spotting animals at a wildlife sanctuary, tourists will find that Colorado Springs’ beautiful natural assets rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit.

Unique Experiences

In addition to its wealth of natural and cultural attractions, Colorado Springs offers some truly unique experiences that visitors can only find in this Rocky Mountain community. At the base of Pikes Peak, the Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway transports passengers to the 14,115-foot summit aboard the world’s highest cog railroad. Views from the open-air observation cars encompass forests, sheer cliffs, and sweeping vistas.

Another unique experience in Colorado Springs is visiting Nikola Tesla’s original lab at the Colorado Springs Science Center. This exhibit houses authentic replicas of Tesla’s electrical inventions, allowing visitors to learn about the scientist’s innovations through hands-on activities. By generating electrical arcs on a Tesla coil and experimenting with wireless power transmission, tourists gain insight into this genius inventor.

From train rides up soaring peaks to experiments with historic scientific equipment, Colorado Springs provides one-of-a-kind excursions found nowhere else. These activities exemplify the city’s adventurous spirit and wealth of unique opportunities waiting to be explored.


What are the top 5 must-see attractions in Colorado Springs?

The top 5 must-see attractions in Colorado Springs are:

1. Garden of the Gods – Iconic red rock formations and hiking/biking trails.

2. Pikes Peak – Summit the mountain by highway or cog railway.

3. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – See exotic animals and ride the zoo’s coaster.

4. United States Air Force Academy – Explore aircraft/space exhibits and campus.

5. Manitou Springs – Soak in mineral springs and explore quirky local shops.

What is the best way to experience local culture in Colorado Springs?

The best ways to experience local culture in Colorado Springs are to shop and dine in Old Colorado City, attend a cultural festival, take a brewery tour, or spend time interacting with artists at local galleries and events.

What outdoor activity would you recommend for a first-time visitor?

For a first-time visitor, I’d recommend hiking through Garden of the Gods. This park offers stunning red rock formations along easy paved trails, allowing you to admire iconic scenery accessible to hikers of all ability levels.

Is Colorado Springs suitable for a family vacation?

Yes, Colorado Springs has many family-friendly museums and attractions, like the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Cave of the Winds Park. The area also offers plenty of kid-appropriate outdoor activities, like easy hiking trails, gem panning, and train rides up Pikes Peak.

Where is the best place to see wildlife near Colorado Springs?

The best place to see wildlife near Colorado Springs is the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. This animal sanctuary provides opportunities to observe gray wolves, foxes, bison, and other native Colorado species in a natural setting through scheduled educational programs.


About the author

Shannon Persad

As a seasoned journalist and Colorado native, I bring a deep-rooted connection and comprehensive understanding of Colorado to my work at My appreciation for the state’s rich history, vibrant culture, and pressing environmental issues drives my commitment to exploring its evolving landscape—from the bustling urban centers to the tranquil mountain towns.