Spring has sprung and schools are out! Well, for the week, at least. And we’ve got you covered with a Locals Guide for Spring Break in Colorado Springs – Olympic City USA.
Challenge yourself in our natural training grounds
Here in Olympic City USA, there are plenty of places to be active outdoors, and athletes and coaches have long hailed Colorado Springs for its incredible natural training grounds, inspirational views, and stunning vistas.
This spring break, channel your inner athlete, and make a free online reservation to conquer the Manitou Incline. If you’ve always wanted to check out this world-famous attraction, but aren’t sure if you can make it to the top, you can plan to hike up a portion, and then head back on the beautiful Northern Return Trail with connections at steps #395 and #1300.
Not into hiking? No problem. Go for a bike ride (or drive) around Garden of the Gods Park. Surrounded by natural rock structures, Garden of the Gods is the perfect place for an afternoon ride. No matter where you choose to play, chances are high that you’ll run into a Team USA athlete somewhere along your adventure.
Try paddle boarding
There are two beautiful lakes in Colorado Springs to try out your paddle boarding skills. Prospect Lake offers rentals and day passes. Quail Lake offers breathtaking scenery. Both are close by and provide a day of fun in the sun. Regardless of where you go, paddle boarding is a great way to spend a day enjoying the beauty Colorado has to offer.
Reminder, all watercraft use requires a permit.
Enjoy an urban park
Colorado Springs offers many majestic outdoor spaces in walking distance from our vibrant downtown core. America the Beautiful Park is just across from the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum, with easy access thanks to the iconic, new Park Union pedestrian bridge. Here you’ll find a playground, fountain, walking paths, pavilions and trail access along Monument Creek.
Another excellent option is Acacia Park, which will soon break ground on a new playground structure. After your visit, check out a local restaurant or shop. If you haven’t been in a while, downtown has more to offer than ever before!
Go for a bike ride in Bluestem Prairie Open Space
Looking to see some of Colorado’s wildlife? Bluestem is home to many animals, and it is open for all types of activities. This spring break, go for an afternoon bike ride or walk with friends or family. Bluestem offers two bike loops that explore either the north or south end of the prairie. Just be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks. On a hydration break, see who can spot the most birds out of the over 200 species that live there! And, keep your eye out for prairie dogs. Be mindful to stay on the trails as to not disturb any of the natural resources in this fabulous property.
The City purchased Bluestem and takes care of it thanks to the Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) program. TOPS is a 0.1% city sales tax (or 1 penny on a $10 purchase) that works to protect and preserve trails, open spaces and parks citywide.
Explore Old Colorado City
Visit the first capital of Colorado and check out the dozens of shops, galleries and cafes that Old Colorado City has to offer. Established in 1859, Old Colorado City was the state’s first capital when Colorado was just a territory. Now the historic district is a great place to shop, dine, and learn about Colorado Springs’ history. Enjoy breakfast at a café then an afternoon of shopping! Be sure to stop by Bancroft Park to see if there are any fun events happening.
Fun Fact: Bancroft Park is home to a self-cleaning restroom named America’s Best Restroom in 2020 by Cintas.
Visit the Pioneers Museum
Located in downtown Colorado Springs, the Pioneers Museum offers history and fun events, including free, guided tours every Saturday. The tours are at 11 a.m. and require an online reservation made at www.CSPM.org
. Go deeper into history and learn from the amazing tour guides! There are also happy hour trivia nights and plenty of other fun activities. The museum is housed in a restored courthouse that served the area for more than 100 years. It provides a connection to the city’s cultural history and a variety of exhibits that will fascinate visitors of all ages.
Drive up Pikes Peak – America's Mountain
America’s Mountain offers a breathtaking drive to its summit. Each ride is about three hours roundtrip. Pikes Peak also offers great fishing in the North and South Catamount reservoirs. If the summit is your destination, be sure to check out the new Summit Visitor Center that opened last summer. Although some work is still being done on the exterior, it is open to visitors and is serving up not only beautiful views, but also delicious donuts on America’s most accessible 14er. You can also hike to the summit via the Barr or Crags hiking trails.
Before visiting, take a peek at www.pikespeakcolorado.com to make sure you have everything you need for your trip. There, you’ll also find information on the TravelStorys Audio Tour, an engaging way to learn more about the mountain while you drive.
Get in touch with your wild side
Visit the Starsmore Visitor & Nature Center. This historic landmark is at the entrance to North Cheyenne Cañon Park. Perfect for younger park visitors or those looking for a short and easily accessible hike, the nature center offers a rock garden, a creek-side nature trail, and a geology exhibit. The Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center is another awesome spot to learn about local geology and wildlife. Both parks offer a “wild” experience for visitors of all ages and abilities.
Do a self-guided art tour
Check out the Art on the Streets Exhibit open through May. This is a walking tour featuring beautiful public art, including paintings, sculptures, murals and more. These pieces are located throughout downtown, offering visitors a pop of color and local inspiration. Use this map courtesy of Downtown Partnership and start exploring!
Photo of the piece “Air or Water” by artist Byeongdoo Moon located on Tejon Street..
Golf at Patty Jewett or Valley Hi
Take a day and play a round at one (or both) of our municipal golf courses! Tee times can be reserved online four days in advance. Both courses offer a challenging and beautiful 18 holes, or you can always play 9. Golfers can also practice on the driving range. Due to high demand, it is recommended to make a reservation to ensure you get a tee time. Grab a couple friends and head out for a day in the sun!