Colorado Springs

Old Jan 6th, 2006, 04:48 AM
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Colorado Springs

I am thinking of making a trip to Colorado in August. Part of my trip would include 3 nights in Colorado Springs which I would use as as base for visiting Pike's Peak, Garden of the Gods, Cave of the Winds, Royal Gorge, and maybe a Whitewater rafting trip. Which area would be the most convenient to stay in. I don' need a night life. Just somewhere quiet and convenient to acess these attractions.
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 05:01 AM
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Try Manitou springs. It's close to Colorado springs but much quieter. Dont forget to visit the two minings towns in the mountains: Cripple creek and Victor. Paul
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 05:38 AM
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Just as a warning here...skip the Royal Gorge. It was out of the way (for us) and the biggest waste of time. Complete tourist trap.
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 06:00 AM
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I agree Manitou Springs (unless you want a cheaper chain motel off I25); my visitors always love the Royal Gorge (less touristy than Cave of the Winds or driving up Pike's Peak, but what's wrong with touristy?), but maybe you would like the train ride through the bottom rather than a tram ride over or a walk across the bridge.
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 07:13 AM
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What do you recommend most in that area?
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 09:16 AM
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What about Seven Falls? We loved it there.

http://www.sevenfalls.com/
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 10:13 AM
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My top pick would be the Cog Train up Pike's Peak.

http://www.cograilway.com/
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 12:19 PM
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My pick would be Garden of the Gods and the Olympic Training Center. I agree with Mazey-skip Royal Gorge. Check out the Air Force Academy also.
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 05:04 PM
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Manitou is delightful - it's like a step back in time- sort of a classic Route 66 feel. The Embassy Suites and the Amerisuites are close to I-25, fairly centrally located, and offer a nice breakfast with the room.
Will you be alone or traveling w/ a companion or family? I only ask because the Entertainment books offer some discounts for the places you've mentioned. There is a local website with some printable coupons too:

www.pikes-peak.com/ASP/coupons.asp

The Flying W Ranch is wonderful, if you enjoy chuckwagon dinner shows.

I personally like the Royal Gorge - check out their website and make your own decision. It is touristy though. If you are looking for a fantastic canyon, I highly recommend The Black Canyon of th eGunnison National Park, near Montrose, CO. (I'm not sure how far it is from Co. Springs). It is absolutely gorgeous. Here is the website: www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm

Remember that Colorado Springs is 6000 ft. + in altitude, the evenings can be chilly even in August so you'll want to bring a sweatshirt and some long pants.

If you will be travelling with kids, I would say that you HAVE to go to Casa Bonita in Denver. Some will flame the food, but you don't really go for the food. The restaurant is set up like a Mexican village and has a waterfall with cliffdivers.

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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 05:53 PM
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I would suggest taking a horseback ride through Garden of the Gods. With the 2-hour ride, you really get to see a lot of it, and the guide will point out the various rock formations.
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 04:59 AM
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We were there last summer and really enjoyed the Olympic Training Center - they only take Visa and cash, like the commercials!- and you can't miss the chapels at the Air Force Academy, they're amazing!
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 05:56 AM
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definetly do not go to casa bonita. the food is awful. colorado has outstanding mex food, just not there.
about 90 mins drive to buena vista for some fabulous white water on the arkansas river.
black canyon is quite a long ride. the drive and seeing the canyon would use a full day. pretty ride though. rafting in buena vista would use a whole day as well.
garden of the gods is excellent. and the academy is kind of interesting but would see olympic center first.
cripple creek/victor also offer gambling if this interests you. maybe lodging for a good price too - i don't know.
if you are into pottery, on the west edge of the springs in van brigle pottery. you can tour or shop.
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 08:30 AM
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If the yellow ribbons and Jesus fish on the back of SUVs get you down, consider another desination, say, 125 miles north.
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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Yes - DO NOT go to Casa Bonita unless you like bad cafeteria style food and lame entertainment in a rather unclean setting.
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 03:07 PM
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I second the Flying W Ranch for a night of fun and laughs. Our reunion group had dinner there one night and had a great time.
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Old Jan 9th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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Victor CO - I can stll hear Lowell Thomas on the radio......... neat town if you like to be out just wandering around.

I visited Cripple Creek the very week they legalized gambling in it - 1991 ? I bet it's changed a bit since then, eh ?
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Old Jan 9th, 2006, 09:51 AM
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Here's a vote for downtown Colorado Springs--stay at the Antlers hotel. Certainly close to Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods. There is a great hiking/outdoors store downtown, Mountain Chalet that can steer you to good whitewater rafting nearby, probably down the Arkansas River.

The rest of the Springs is pretty forgettable (except the Broadmoor area but it's expensive).
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Old Jan 9th, 2006, 10:20 AM
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There are some neat B&B's in the Cripple Creek/Victor area if you decide to go there--old Victorian homes with breathtaking scenery. I don't think it's widely publicized, but in Cripple Creek there place called Mt. Pisgah that you can drive to the top of (10,000 ft elevation), and you will get a breathtaking 360 degree view of the Rockies and the Continental Divide.
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