Where to stay:
If you plan to spend a weekend in Colorado Springs, there are a few different places I recommend staying. You can book a normal stay in a hotel or Airbnb, or you can go glamping!
If you don’t know what glamping is, it’s short for “glamorous camping”. At Cronin Mountain, you can sleep in luxury canvas tents complete with beds, heaters, and bathrooms. The glamping resort is tucked away in the secluded wilderness inside the Cheyenne Mountains just 30 minutes above town!
Read more from our glamping trip at Cronin Mountain and see more in my YouTube video below. Use code TACOS15 for 15% off your stay on
The Broadmoor also offers a mountaintop experience in an all-inclusive resort, a ranch stay, and a fly fishing camp available for rent if you have the means and can find availability!
Book your own stay at The Broadmoor Hotel here: www.broadmoor.com
Things to Do in Colorado Springs:
Hike Seven Falls
Visit Garden of the Gods
One of the most iconic spots in Colorado is Garden of the Gods. These famous red rock formations are on websites, postcards, and company logos all across the state.
These rocks are not only gorgeous to see, they are very easy to access and extremely easy to explore. We love Garden of the Gods so much that John and I even took our engagement photos here!
Read our “Garden of the Gods Guide” for the best viewpoints, first timer’s tips, and driving directions. Plus watch my video below from the time I went horseback riding through the park with Academy Riding Stables!
Ride The Pikes Peak Train
Another famous Colorado spot is Pikes Peak. Although it's not the highest peak in Colorado, it is one of the most visited mountain peaks!
You can drive, hike, or ride the train to the top. When you ride the train up, you receive a nice history lesson about the first sumitters, Pikes Peak’s role in the song “America the Beautiful”, and so much more!
Watch more from our ride up to the top of Pikes Peak below and book your own seat on the train here.
Visit Manitou Springs
Although not technically Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs is nearby. This is technically the location of the train station to ride up to the top of Pikes Peak. There is so much to do in Manitou, but here is how you can spend an afternoon:
I hope this guide helps you plan a memorable trip to Colorado Springs. It is such a wonderful city full of truly iconic, picturesque places to visit!
Read more Colorado vacation guides below:
Normally when we go on adventures, we are sleeping on the ground in our own tent that we have to pack in and set up, but this time, everything was done for us. All we had to do was show up with clothes and some food. It was as easy as that!
We went down to Colorado Springs to check out the newest glamping resort, Cronin Mountain, situated right above the city in the nearby Cheyenne Mountains.
Cronin Mountain is only 30 minutes from downtown Colorado Springs, yet it feels like a secluded wilderness escape. Once we made the switchback-filled drive up the mountain and arrived on site, there wasn't another person around.
The 35-acre property features three canvas tents nestled under the mountainside. They are bordered by a calming stream on one side and a rock face with hiking trails that lead to the private mountain top.
Cronin Mountain is 7,777 feet above sea level, and you can either drive or hike up to it. The tents are situated right at the base and blocked from wind among the trees.
The canvas tents themselves come complete with anything you could need during your trip. The resort is completely off-grid, so even though there is no electricity, they still have heaters, a stove, and a restroom!
The tent comes with comfortable beds inside, a couch, tables and chairs inside and out, coolers to keep food, propane stoves, pots and pans, and all the utensils needed to cook a meal. Again, all we had to bring was our own food and clothes.
You can have some of your food provided if you purchase a luxury, mountaintop picnic with Melody’s Moonlit Memories! Additionally, downtown Colorado Springs is less than a 30-minute drive away.
We enjoyed a sunset charcuterie board atop Cronin Mountain by adding the Luxury Picnic option. We ate cheese, meats, nuts, fruits, and crackers all evening at this ultra-romantic spot all set up just for us by Melody herself. It is a dreamy location perfect for engagements or elopements.
After the delicious spread and semi-strenuous hike up and down Cronin Mountain, we slept easy in the cozy, comfortable room. We never once needed the bear spray that was provided by Cronin Mountain, and we slept through the night without any visitors in our bed except our own dog, Maria.
We could not have asked for a more relaxing, convenient mountain getaway. If you’re looking to dip your toes into the ocean of outdoor adventure and camping or if you just prefer glamping, Cronin Mountain is an excellent option.
Read about other things to do in nearby Colorado Springs in my "Weekend Guide to Colorado Springs".
Riding The Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Getting to the top of Pikes Peak was the only thing my grandparents wanted to do when they came to Colorado. They wanted to stand atop the mountain and take in the view of Colorado, and John and I weren’t going to let them down.
Book your own tickets on the Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway, here!
You can ride, drive, or hike to the top...
We chose to ride The Pikes Peak Cog Railway up to the summit of Pikes Peak on August 21st 2021. We rode it not long after the grand re-opening ceremony of the railway!
During 2019, the railway company decided to remodel and refurbish the old trains and cogs and re-opened in June 2021 after a two-year hiatus. 2021 marked the railway’s 130th year of operation.
Watch more from our ride up in my YouTube video below!
We chose the railway instead of driving or hiking up the mountain for the fun, educational experience. We also made this decision, because the road up to Pikes Peak was closed for a marathon the weekend we were visiting.
Check online before making your trek up!
The marathon, a speed drag race, and a few other events shut down the road and trails over the course of each year. Not to mention, the weather can have an effect in any season. It was only 28 degrees at the mountaintop when we went in August, so make a note to check the weather on their website too.
Book tickets beforehand:
We purchased our tickets online at https://www.cograilway.com/ride/ and reserved seats on the right side of the train for a 9 AM departure time.
I mention our side, because the train does not turn around at the top. Pick your side according to the view you want. The left side peers over Colorado Springs and is more open, while the right side hugs the mountainside and provides views of the mountain landscape.
We arrived just a few minutes before our 8:45 AM boarding time and walked right through the depot onto the train. Before too long, we started climbing up the face of Pikes Peak. Steadily, the train took us from the wooded forest, beyond the treeline, and up through the rocky and windy mountaintop. We could even feel the incredible winds rocking the train back and forth!
Our conductor allowed the previous train to come down the final stretch before making the final ascent up into and above the clouds and finally to the top of Pikes Peak. When the train stopped, we were 14,115 feet above sea level.
We only had about 15 minutes on top of Pikes Peak before we had to get back on the train. It was a little rushed for our liking, but it was so cold at the top that we didn’t complain.
There is a gift shop inside the new visitors’ center, and my grandparents bought some souvenirs. They also got some of the famous Pikes Peak doughnuts. They are made with a special, high-altitude recipe, and they were delicious!
There are lookout platforms all around the top near the train station for views down onto Colorado Springs. Sadly, it was extremely cloudy when we were up there, and we didn’t get any good views until we were boarding the train to leave.
We boarded the train and eventually started our descent. We listened to the announcer continue explaining places, history, and stories as we kept looking out for anything we had missed on the way up. The trip down felt much faster, and we were quickly back at the platform.
We all agreed that it was a great, easy, fun way to see one of America’s most iconic places. We just wished the weather had been better, so we could’ve seen more. Maybe next time, we will brave it and make the drive up to spend as much time as we want at the peak
See more from this ride up and down Pikes Peak in my YouTube video below:
See other things to do in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs!
Talkin' 'bout Tacos:
I'm Taylor, aka Tacos! I am sharing my journeys and experiences from across the world hoping to inspire travel and adventure in all who read!