The 10 Best Things to Do in Manitou Springs, United States

August 9, 2017 Sachiko Swiger

The city of Manitou Springs is a home rule municipality located in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. The town was founded for its scenic setting and natural mineral springs. The downtown area continues to be of interest to travelers, particularly in the summer, as the downtown area consists of many one-story, adjoining, small shops, restaurants, and pubs, as well as a creekside city park with a children's playground made from unusual materials. Among other services, shops cater to tourist interests such as clothing, candy, souvenirs, and outdoor recreation. The main road through the center of town was one of the direct paths to the base of Pikes Peak. Barr Trail, which winds its way up Pikes Peak, is accessible from town. The subdivision Crystal Hills was added to the municipality in the 1960s.
Restaurants in Manitou Springs

1. Manitou Springs Incline

Manitou Springs, CO
Excellent
77%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 565 reviews

Manitou Springs Incline

Reviewed By Matt B - Kansas City, Missouri

This beast is a must do if you are near Manitou Springs. It is a great metaphor for life: don’t stop trying, one step at a time, know when to rest, be prepared, don’t measure yourself against others.

I would highly recommend bringing water, tunes, a small snack, and slip on traction covers for your shoes, like YakTrax, especially if there is any ice or snow. Sunscreen is a good idea too. There is a false summit about 3/4 of the way up. Don’t get discouraged. Just keep moving. Barr trail at the summit will bring you back down. It is about 3 miles long. In my opinion, going back down the Incline itself is a risky idea, especially after you get past the halfway point. Many folks do it, but I chose the trail.

2. Garden of the Gods

1805 N. 30th St., Colorado Springs, CO 80904-1247 +1 719-634-6666
Excellent
81%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 13 reviews

Garden of the Gods

Located at the base of Pikes Peak, this National Natural Landmark and popular park features stunning geological formations, rock climbing, nature trails and the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center.

Reviewed By KARIN D

I have been visiting this wonderful place since I was a child. Back in the 70's, you could actually climb the Ship Rock across from the Balancing Rock. The various trails are wonderful to explore and you can even take your "POOCH" along with you--that's the best kind of hike, as far as I'm concerned. Check out the Trading Post and shop till you drop! They have all kinds of wonderful gifts and jewelry--all locally hand made by the American Indians. It is a bit expensive, but beautifully crafted and worth the price.

3. Manitou Springs Adventures, High Country Excursions

Monument, CO
Excellent
97%
Good
1%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 104 reviews

Manitou Springs Adventures, High Country Excursions

Manitou Springs Adventures High Country Excursions will take you on a personalized Jeep tour of the Colorado Back Country and High Country around the Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek! We now include tours to the summit of Pikes Peak, Cripple Creek and the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center! We will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel close to Manitou Springs! We are open 7 days a week all year round! Snacks, Beverages, and FUN are provided on each tour - Beautiful Scenery and good times is a certainty. Specialty and Private tours are always available.

Reviewed By Kpaula01

I’m so glad I booked this trip for Pikes Peak! My husband and I had a great time! Amanda made our trip memorable. She brought us on spots of the mountain where we can take perfect photos. We didn’t have to worry about anything. All...MoreThank you for your review!! We don't always get to the summit, but we sure try, and have fun doing it. Thank you for taking time to review us, we really appreciate it!

4. Colorado Wolf Adventures

Woodland Park, CO 80863
Excellent
99%
Good
1%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 66 reviews

Colorado Wolf Adventures

Just a few of the Adventures: •Wolf Walks We offer exclusive educational Wolf Walks in the Pikes Peak region. We will stop along the trail to take photos of you with the wolves. The scenery is breathtaking with the towering Red Rock and Pikes Peak as your backdrop.

Reviewed By traveler_dac - Alexandria, Virginia

One of the most amazing experiences of my life! Let me caveat that I'm a wolf-lover and can still remember my first ever report for school about wolves. I love their approach. Walking through the garden of the gods is awesome already and to do it with wolves and people who can share a great deal of information is just incredible. They take a couple hundred photos and really ensure that you have an amazing and personal experience. Great team with a great philosophy.

5. Pikes Peak - America's Mountain

5069 Pikes Peak Highway, Cascade, CO +1 719-385-7325
Excellent
76%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 673 reviews

Pikes Peak - America's Mountain

Welcome to Pikes Peak - America's Mountain! The Pikes Peak Highway entrance is conveniently located 15 minutes west of Colorado Springs on Highway 24. The beauty of being so close to the city is that you can spend your time enjoying the mountain instead of getting to the mountains. Plan for your round trip journey to the summit to take 2-3 hours. The safe, scenic highway provides you the opportunity to enjoy Pikes Peak at your leisure. From the gateway at an elevation of 7,400 feet, you'll encounter some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world as you wind your way through an alpine wonderland of scenic beauty, mountain reservoirs, beyond timberline, overtaking the clouds...All along the way to the 14,115 foot summit of America's most famous mountain. Along the way, you'll discover the North Slope Recreation Area, Crystal Reservoir Gift Shop, Historic Glen Cove Inn, and the Summit House. There are three lakes for fishing, picnic areas, hiking trails, and breathtaking views. Stop and watch one of our "Meet the Ranger" Interpretive Programs and learn about the history, myths, flora and fauna on the mountain. All offer visitor services and basic necessities to make your day both enjoyable and memorable.

Reviewed By juanz564 - Miami, Florida

Took that drive up the mountain and please allow me to say that its beautiful, drive careful and always use a 4x4 vehicle, saw a few cars trying to comedown the mountain hauling rear end and almost fell out the side of the mountain. The summit it’s very high so be careful going up specially if you can’t handle the altitude, but it’s worth it buy one of those oxygen bottle they sell. Go up it’s Gorgeous.

6. Cave of the Winds Mountain Park

100 Cave of the Winds Rd., Manitou Springs, CO 80829 +1 719-685-5444
Excellent
53%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
4%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 2 reviews

Cave of the Winds Mountain Park

Discovered in 1881, Cave of the Winds has been a premier Colorado attraction for more than a century. Explore amazing caverns, experience total cave darkness, and marvel at the beauty of formations hundreds of thousands of years old. Then step outside and walk on the wind on the Wind Walker Challenge Course, fly like a bat on the Bat-a-Pult Zip Line, and dive into Williams Canyon on the one of a kind aerial dive ride, the TERROR-Dactyl. Lots of family fun, amazing views and memories to last a lifetime!

Reviewed By chjeme - Colorado Springs, Colorado

I have recently gone on 2 different tours, one was a caving 101 tour and the other was a combination ghost story/grand cavern/lantern tour. Both tours were lead by John "The Hippie". John was an excellent tour guide, very knowledgeable about the history of the cave and how caves are formed. He is a great story teller, and really seems to enjoy giving tours and making sure that each person had a good experience. He also has great respect for preservation of the cave. With the caving 101 tour, you will get dirty! There are tight spaces and some climbing involved. I had a "fanny pack" style holder for my water, but it got in the way. A camelback style would have been better. I thought it was great fun! There is an industrial style sink for cleaning up afterward. The lantern tour/ghost story tour was also fun. You get a little more of an idea of what it was like touring the cave back in the early days. We have it easy compared to the early days! John acts out some of the stories of the history of the cave. I recommend both tours!

7. North Pole - Santa's Workshop

5050 Pikes Peak Hwy, Cascade, CO 80809-1123 +1 719-684-9432
Excellent
66%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 420 reviews

North Pole - Santa's Workshop

The North Pole Santa's Workshop is a Christmas theme family park that is open from Mid May to December 24. Located at the foot of Pikes Peak highway, where the altitude is 7,500 feet, this park is haven for kids to enjoy the Christmas season 7 months of the year.

Reviewed By Aaron L

Went on a Sunday in mid November and had an excellent time with our 3 and 8 year old kids.

Regular admission initially seems a little steep at $23, but it's worth it. Plenty of rides that the kids *really* enjoyed and outside of Santa and the zip line, the wait was never more than about 10 minutes or do.

Get Santa out of the way first, then use the rest of the day on rides and attractions.

Overall, this place is great and we left looking forward to another visit.

8. Miramont Castle Museum

9 Capitol Hill Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829-1618 +1 719-685-1011
Excellent
33%
Good
45%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
4%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 332 reviews

Miramont Castle Museum

Construction of Miramont Castle began in 1895 as a private residence for Fr. Jean Baptiste Francolon and his mother. Miramont has four floors,The Castle has 30 rooms to view covering 14,000 sq. feet. The building features 9 styles of architecture. Enjoy an elegant High Tea in the Queen's Parlour Tea Room.

Reviewed By VickiShehan - Manitou Springs, Colorado

The place feels heavy I think related to it's long association with the deaths of TB patients it once housed. All the stuff on display isn't true to the building and looks like a little cheap museum with stuff perhaps collected from antique stores. Save your money on this one.

9. Pikes Peak

Highway 24, Colorado Springs, CO 80809 +1 719-385-7325
Excellent
78%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5 reviews

Pikes Peak

There are many things to see and do on our mountain including experiencing spectacular views as you ascend to 14,115 feet, encounter Mother Nature on our hiking trails or watch for wildlife such as deer, elk, bighorn sheep or yellow-bellied marmots. You may even spot the elusive Bigfoot during your visit. The 19 mile journey on the fully paved road to the summit begins in Cascade, Colorado, just 15 minutes west of downtown Colorado Springs. From the entrance, at an altitude of 7,800 feet (2377m) begin to explore the Pike National Forest and the natural beauty of Colorado.Along the way, you'll discover the North Slope Recreation Area, Crystal Reservoir Gift Shop, Historic Glen Cove Inn, and the Summit House. There are three lakes for fishing, picnic areas, hiking trails, and breathtaking views. Stop and watch one of our "Meet the Ranger" Interpretive Programs and learn about the history, myths, flora and fauna on the mountain. All offer visitor services and basic necessities to make your day both enjoyable and memorable.

Reviewed By mrsrouleau - Palm Bay, Florida

One of the scariest drives I have ever been on but the views make it worth the trip. Be prepared for very, very cold temperatures and high wind. Be sure to stop at Crystal Reservoir! And, don't forget to get some awesome donuts at the summit.

10. Penrose Heritage Museum

11 Lake Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80906-3618 +1 719-633-7733
Excellent
81%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 136 reviews

Penrose Heritage Museum

Reviewed By ManitouExpert - Manitou Springs, Colorado

We had visited the Penrose Heritage Museum in the past but that was before they expanded the building and graciously added the Pikes Peak Race Car Museum. So today we took a trip over to the Broadmoor Hotel and stopped into the free museum. The museum is so well designed. They built a structure in the room which portrays the mountain and highway. You walk up the highway and see vintage and more recent race cars and motorcycles displayed to each side of the walkway. Clothing from famous race drivers and garage equipment donated by racers and their families. Tip; park next door in the underground parking garage which is paid parking. Admission to the museum is free.

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