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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.