On November 12, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Not so long ago, Colorado Springs’s restaurant scene was limited to chains, local hangouts and The Broadmoor . But, like that of Denver, it’s grown by leaps and bounds. Of course, it can’t change its demographics — if you’re expecting to get your pick of sushi bars, falafel huts and dim-sum joints, you’ll be sorely disappointed. But if eclectic contemporary dining is your bag, you’re in luck. The city proper is rife with wine bars and tapas-style boîtes, from the funky to the sophisticated, as well as cute elegant mountain lodges, collegiate bakery-cafés and even a couple of craft beer pubs (Colorado is, after all, a world-renowned suds hub.)
On November 12, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:You’ll find plenty of delicious food experiences in Colorado Springs. Of course, it’s not the biggest foodie town, but you’ll still go home with a happy stomach. Here’s our list of the five best food experiences:
1. Five-Star Penrose Room at The Broadmoor is the cream of Colorado Springs’ dining experiences. It’s famed far and wide for its elaborate décor and tasting menus amid panoramic views and live music for dancing.
2. The Broadmoor also boasts another spectacular favorite in the Lake Terrace Dining Room’s Sunday brunch, which pulls out all the stops, lining its lavish buffet with as many as 100 different items.
3. The Craftwood Inn, set in what were once the coppersmith’s quarters in Manitou Springs, is notable for its focus on game: at any given time, the contemporary menu features wild boar, deer, rattlesnake, elk, even antelope.
4. The Cliff House at Pikes Peak, meanwhile, blends Rocky Mountain charm with urbane culinary style. (yes, it is view-blessed.).
5. Restless foodies, meanwhile, might consider a trek to Denver, where another uniquely Colorado gem is to be found: both the décor and the menu at Beatrice and Woodsley derive inspiration from local history, and the result is positively magical — think aspen trunks, wall-mounted chainsaws and delicacies ranging from goat to guinea fowl.
On November 12, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Colorado Springs offers an array of side-trip-worthy music venues. The 2,000-seat Pikes Peak Center regularly welcomes philharmonic orchestras from around the world, as well as touring Broadway musicals and other performers. The extremely popular Jack Quinn Irish Alehouse and Pub is a blast for traditional Celtic seisiúns and sing-alongs, held weekly. On the less rowdy side, jazz aficionados will thrill to discover Motif, an intimate hideaway of a jazz club housed in a converted garage, as well as Deco Lounge in the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, where live combos perform for wine-sipping habitués on Friday nights. Also, The Broadmoor’s Penrose Room features a dance floor for swaying to the stylings of the house trio amid gorgeous views.
Rockers, however, might be happiest heading down to Denver, where legendary theaters such as the Ogden, the Bluebird and the Gothic tend to offer the best in show when it comes to buzz bands.
On November 12, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:What with Air Force cadets and Colorado College co-eds on the prowl, downtown Colorado Springs is nightlife central. Jack Quinn Irish Alehouse and Pub is a blast for traditional Celtic seisiúns and sing-alongs as well as trivia contests; Phantom Canyon Brewing Company boasts a billiards hall with foosball as well as pool tables and, of course, craft brews on tap. On the less rowdy side, jazz aficionados will thrill to discover Motif, an intimate hideaway of a jazz club housed in a converted garage, as well as Deco Lounge in the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, where live combos perform for wine-sipping habitués on Friday nights.
The Broadmoor offers other options for an enjoyable night out. Many locals make the trek to the resort for sing-alongs with the ragtime pianist in The Golden Bee — cozy amid carved mahogany, brass fixtures and pewter flourishes — or for that matter to spend a swanky evening dining and dancing in the Five-Star Penrose Room .
On November 12, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Colorado Springs’ high-desert climate is known for two things above all: first, its much-ballyhooed 300 days of sunshine, and second, large swings in diurnal temperature.
So here’s an overview of what you should pack:
1. Sunscreen. This is a must and you’re bound to be in the sun all day long, depending upon the season.
2. Layers. You’ll need to pack layers in order to fend off the chills in the evenings and early mornings.
3. Hiking Gear. Of course, Colorado is also famed for the incredible hiking opportunities its Rocky Mountain landscape affords. But trust the outdoor enthusiasts who insist that you’ll regret it if you don’t choose proper footwear and wickable clothing — especially socks. (Perspiration-soaked cotton is, to put it bluntly, a bummer.).
4. A camera. You’ll probably kick yourself if you come back from your trip without any photographic evidence of your adventures, so be sure to pack a camera and the appropriate cords and gizmos that come along with it.
On November 12, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Colorado Spring’s location east of the Southern Rocky Mountains protects it from any extreme winter weather, so you don’t have to worry about warding off frostbite while you’re trying to enjoy a vacation. Summers are generally hot and dry, but nothing too steamy to prevent outdoor activity. But if you’re more the contemplative type, autumn is spectacular, as Cheyenne Mountain and the surrounding landscape of cliffs and canyons light up in scarlet and gold.
If you’re an activity-minded guest of The Broadmoor , the best time to visit Colorado Springs is either the summer or Yuletide, when the events schedule is packed with sporting, culinary, holiday-themed and other fun fare.
Regardless of when you visit, beauty abounds. You’ll find plenty of outdoor adventure to keep you busy, whether there’s snow on the ground or the trees are green. Depending on your sport of choice, you’ll find skiing, snowboarding, hiking, kayaking, rafting, swimming, horseback riding and so much more to do in Colorado Springs.
On November 12, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Since it’s home to numerous military bases, it’s often assumed that Colorado Springs lacks much of a free-wheeling cultural scene. But as a college town in close proximity to the artist’s colony of Manitou Springs, that notion doesn’t hold much water, especially these days. The city’s actually filled with galleries, museums, theaters and cafés. Among the most notable is the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, a regional treasure with a strong emphasis on Western and Southwestern works; it also supports its own theater, staging both plays and musicals throughout the year. The Pikes Peak Center is a 2,000-seat performing arts space that brings in an array of touring shows and concerts, from classical to rock. And for cinephiles, there’s Kimball’s Twin Peak Theater, boasting an arthouse roster as well as a full bar.
On November 12, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:The Shops at The Broadmoor’s offers heaps of luxury retail outlets for you to peruse — you’ll find Tory Burch, Lilly Pulitzer and others in the Boutique at the Broadmoor. There’s the Broadmoor Christmas Shop, where you’ll find lavish holiday décor and the Broadmoor’s Pet Boutique offers gifts to take home to the pet you left behind. The hotel offers even more boutiques and specialty shops to meander through.
The most eclectic, colorful shopping in Colorado Springs is actually to be found just outside of city limits, in artsy Manitou Springs. The galleries, antique stores, bookstores and boutiques lining Manitou Avenue are endlessly browse-worthy, the kitsch being just as much fun as the genuine finds.
Old Colorado City is another historic charmer; the first, albeit rough-and-tumble, capitol of Colorado Territory, it’s now a quaint shopping district composed of nearly 100 shops and restaurants (as well as a farmer’s market come summer).
If you’d just as soon stick to your favorites, however, The Promenade Shops at Briargate is your best bet — think Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Eddie Bauer, Victoria’s Secret, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pier 1 Imports and so on.
On November 12, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Recreational and sightseeing opportunities abound around Colorado Springs.
Perhaps the most celebrated is Garden of the Gods, a national landmark whose stunning sandstone formations rise in rosy-hued, elaborately jagged peaks around the visitors who hike, cycle and picnic in the park.
Another favorite is Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the world’s highest. It whisks you more than 14,000 feet above sea level for extraordinary views of the Rockies.
And provided you’re neither acrophobic nor claustrophobic, a visit to Royal Gorge Park is a breathtaking must, as seen from the world’s longest single-span aerial tram.
Also just outside city limits is Manitou Springs, a charming artist’s colony with a history as colorful as its quaint buildings (it was built as a European-style health resort, centered on its namesake springs, to attract tuberculosis patients). For such a small town, it’s surprisingly packed with attractions — not only a funky shopping district but also the Cave of the Winds, a Paleozoic-era boon for spelunkers, and Miramont Castle, a national historic landmark from the Victorian era that’s at once a jaw-dropping mishmash of architectural styles, and, some say, a home to ghosts.
Of course, sports buffs will have a field day (so to speak) at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, which conducts walking tours that offer pride-swelling glimpses of our athletes in full stride. But depending on the season, they might also just as soon talk to the concierge about scoring tickets (and arranging transportation) to a Rockies, Broncos, Nuggets or Avalanche game in downtown Denver, a little over an hour away.
On November 11, 2011Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Although Colorado Springs isn’t really a brunch town, brunch is still in demand, as in most places. You’ll find brunch spots all over, including within the Five-Star Broadmoor .
1. The Broadmoor’s Lake Terrace Dining Room’s 100-item, ice-sculpture-dotted Sunday buffet is a lavish treat set amid the burbling of its centerpiece fountain, and the strains of live piano music.
2. Across the lake at The Broadmoor, Charles Court’s brunch-time repertoire is less jaw-dropping but no less gratifying, especially if you score seats on the awning-decked terrace overlooking the lush resort grounds.
3. The Mountain View Restaurant at nearby Cheyenne Mountain Resort serves a champagne brunch on Sundays, complete with bottomless bubbly and mimosas.
4. Locavore favorite Adam’s Mountain Café in Manitou Springs isn’t open for brunch per se — but it does serve excellent, carefully sourced breakfasts and lunches with a vegetarian focus.
5. If it’s a blowout brunch you seek, you might consider taking a day trip to Denver, kicking it off with the Dom Pérignon Champagne Brunch at Ellyngton’s in The Brown Palace hotel, which is historic, legendary and posh.