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Domestic airlines serve the local Colorado Springs Airport (COS), which has direct connections to several U.S. cities. More travelers fly into Denver International Airport (DEN), about 80 miles north. It takes a little more than an hour to drive from Denver to Colorado Springs, a straight shot on Interstate 25. You can book a ride with Colorado Department of Transportation’s Bustang, a network of buses connecting Colorado Springs to major towns and cities throughout the state. Rideshare services can whisk you around the town’s many breweries. To easily access the great outdoors, you’ll want a car.
The sun shines for 300 days a year in Colorado Springs, making it a four-season destination for outdoor recreation. The warm summer weather, with average highs in the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit, draws the most visitors. If you visit from June to August, come prepared with rain ponchos for the occasional thunderstorms, which usually don’t last too long. Late spring and early fall are pleasant times to visit, when you can look forward to fewer crowds and cooler temperatures, typically in the 50s and 60s. Unlike other popular destinations in the state, Colorado Springs doesn’t get too much snow in the winter months, when the still-chilly temperatures range in the upper 30s and low 40s.
Positioned in the Pike National Forest, iconic Pikes Peak is one of the state’s famous “fourteeners,” meaning mountains rising more than 14,000 feet above sea level. You could hike the arduous Barr Trail to the top, though driving the Pikes Peak Highway gives you the same views without all the sweat.
A designated National Natural Landmark, the Garden of the Gods ranks among the most unusual city parks in the country. Its red-rock landscape is dotted with narrow sandstone pillars and cathedral-like rock spires. The picturesque formations and more than 21 miles of trails make it the most popular hiking spot in Colorado Springs. Come here for scenic walks, mountain biking, climbing, and horseback riding.
The town of Manitou Springs has long drawn visitors for its natural mineral springs, which still bubble today. This old hippie enclave has plenty of galleries and more quirky storefronts to browse in its historic district.