Once a booming mining town, Colorado Springs now leads the nation as one of the top places for technology companies to settle. Picturesque Pikes Peak , at 14,110 feet, is the city's backdrop and beckons your attention. The towering Rocky Mountains run north and south of the city, with high plains to the east giving it a vast, open feeling.
For charming window-shopping stroll along Colorado Avenue where historic buildings have become beautifully decorated contemporary shops. Art galleries are plentiful, many of which are Southwest and Indian themed and pay tribute to the area's cultural heritage. Break from shopping to dine at Meadow Muffins . Finish with a free tour of the nationally-acclaimed Van Briggle Art Pottery , whose work appears in some of the world's finest art galleries.
Serving as the gateway to such popular attractions as the Garden of the Gods , Cave of the Winds and the majestic Pikes Peak , everyone eventually passes through Manitou Springs. Stroll through dozens of quaint shops like the Antique Emporium . Stop for a healthful lunch at Adam's Mountain Cafe before heading up to tour Miramont Castle .
Long-standing million dollar estates mix with new homes along the foothills and slopes of Cheyenne Mountain, establishing this as the most elite area of town. The Broadmoor Hotel anchors this neighborhood, lending historic charm and beauty to the community. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun are perched atop this area and snake through the mountainside offering awesome city views. Seven Falls , located just beyond the Broadmoor Hotel , is a natural wonder. Drive right up to the falls, or if you are more adventurous, hike up Cutler Trail to get a more private view.
The most noticeable attribute of the downtown area is its lack of billboards and skyscrapers cluttering the skyline, giving it a clean, vibrant look. Shop for vintage clothing or a Rolex watch at any of the many quaint shops. Rack 'em up and slam 'em back at Phantom Canyon Brewing Company , or party into the night at funky Rum Bay or art deco Ritz Grill . Martinis and cigars are on the menu at MacKenzie's Chop House . Local culture can be found at the McAllister House Museum or for a more sophisticated exhibit visit the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center .
Far north of town, situated on rolling hills, is the prestigious United States Air Force Academy (USAF). Catch a USAF football game at Falcon Stadium and you might get treated to an exciting fly-over by Air Force jets in tight formation. Follow up the day with a visit to the Western Museum of Mining , just east of the Academy.
A mixture of upper class residences splashed with strip centers and an abundance of eclectic restaurants situated near the picturesque Rocky Mountains make this a highly desirable place to live. Enjoy a Victorian tea and tour at the historic Glen Eyrie Castle , quietly nestled in the foothills. For a more rowdy evening, stomp in at the Flying W Chuckwagon for great food and Old West entertainment.
This area blends forested parks with fabulous shopping and dining. Have time for a quick hike? Palmer Park offers several easy trails with fabulous views and numerous picnic tables. For a day's worth of shopping wander over to the two-level Citadel Mall . Nearby Zugspitze serves the city's finest international gourmet lunches. Afterwards, shop in its remarkable gourmet store for hard-to-find items.
Hills covered with newly developed middle-class neighborhoods run north to south for miles. See historic aircraft, missiles and exhibits at the Peterson Air & Space Museum , located on Peterson Air Force Base. Catch a flick at the newly built IMAX Theater, with 16 movies to choose from. During the summer it is hot dogs, peanuts and baseball at Sky Sox Stadium .
Whether here on business or a well-deserved vacation, be sure to get out and behold the view of Pikes Peak that inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write "America the Beautiful." Rest assured, the city with small town charm and big natural beauty will bring you back again and again.
Colorado Springs is nestled at the base of the nation's most spectacular mountain, Pikes Peak . This rugged frontier environment naturally lends itself to a local cuisine dominated by hearty dishes and an abundance of smooth, hand-crafted brews. Food and drink is not just nourishment—meals are an event here, something to be savored. Of course, one should not overlook the city's history as a genteel resort community—this refined sensibility appears on many menus of sophisticated restaurants across town. Dining in Colorado Springs is a singular experience. In addition to a high standard of excellence in preparation and presentation, diners at nearly every restaurant in the area are treated to a view unlike any other—that of the snow-topped Rocky Mountains.
Along Highway 24, stretching through Manitou Springs and to the base of Pikes Peak , are a number of upscale restaurants with fine dishes to tempt every palate. The most popular establishments are on the Broadmoor Hotel property, including the Golden Bee , an authentic English pub which serves beers by the yard and hosts nightly sing-alongs. Restaurants of a historical character housed in landmark buildings abound, like Briarhurst Manor , Cliff House , Craftwood Inn , La Petite Maison and the Stagecoach Inn . With perennial appearances on readers' choice lists, the Steaksmith is also a favorite, thanks to an environment perfectly balanced between elegant and comfortable. The district also holds several specialty eateries, including the Colorado City Creamery, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor and Tajine Alami , a Moroccan-themed restaurant.
The heart of Colorado Springs is a dining hotbed, with a liberal mix of simple and fancy decors and old-fashioned and modern tastes. Historical Colorado Springs is on display at Fargo's Pizza Company , housed in a restored Victorian home, and at Giuseppe's , a renovated railroad depot. MacKenzie's Chop House is another upscale option, with a menu of choice beef cuts and a selection of more than 30 specialty martinis. Art buffs will appreciate El Tesoro and the Warehouse , eateries with a modern aesthetic, which combine dining with art viewing. If casual is more your style, check out Zeb's for laid-back barbecue, or Jose Muldoon's and Nemeth's El Tejon for great southwestern plates. Great food can also be found at the Ritz Grill and Phantom Canyon Brewing Company , two restaurants that draw brew connoisseurs from across the country.
Dining diversity abounds in the area, but great taste is the thread that runs throughout. Whether you desire the finest dining experience or just a quick bite with friends, the town has a number of establishments from which to choose. As if these were not enough, you will also find numerous bars, breweries and pubs to tempt your tastebuds. The clean, crisp mountain air is sure to make you work up a healthy appetite—get out there and sample all the sights, smells and tastes of the city's culinary community!
The northern neighborhoods of Colorado Springs hold a wonderful blend of traditional local tastes and a variety of world cuisine. If you crave the old-fashioned goodness of steak and potatoes, the County Line Smokehouse or the Country Buffet serve up huge portions of country favorites in a comfortable, casual environment. Flavors are a bit more continental at the Marigold Cafe & Bakery , a French-themed eatery that has cultivated a devoted following in the community during more than 20 years in business. Spicy Caribbean fare can be found at Isla Bonita, and India Garden is the city's exotic Indian hot spot. If pasta is your preference, try Antonio's or Carrabba's Italian Grill , both of which give conventional Italian a modern twist.
Southern Colorado Springs does not have an abundance of restaurants, but those it has are of superior quality. The most casual is probably Luigi's , a family-owned Italian restaurant with a menu full of homemade standards. For German fare, try another ethnic enclave called Edelweiss . For a full-course meal in the most sophisticated of atmospheres, make a reservation at Winery Fine Dining. The price is rich, but so is the food, and the experience is well worth it!