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Soothing hot springs. Majestic rocky mountains. Sweeping views. Fresh crisp air. Colorado. The centennial state has long been hailed as a winter wonderland; globally sought after for its quaint ski towns and picturesque wintertide landscapes. It’s not as commonly flocked to for its summer scene. However, it is equally as delightful and the weather is just perfect. Like, literally ideal for doing anything outdoors. So, what are the unique things to do in Colorado Springs for Summer?

Colorado Springs is located on the eastern part of the state. Historically, many associate Colorado Springs with the Gold Rush era of the United States. Most are aware of the rich history of the area, but not as many realize what an absolute gem of a city it is to visit. Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, hiking, a quaint inn, to pamper yourself or to indulge the history buff in you, Colorado Springs has something to offer you.

Pike’s Peak

I classify this as a must do in Colorado Springs. It’s a unique thing to do in Colorado Springs not necessarily because it’s unlike any mountain you’ve ever visited before. It’s because you can drive to the summit and the drive to the top is an epic experience in itself.

Brunette woman standing atop Pikes Peak, one of the most unique things to do in Manitou Springs
This is the summit of Pikes Peak, 14,115 in elevation

You do need to climb a bit to this spot though.

Entrance is $15 per adult, $5 per child or $50 per carload (up to 5 people). It’s open year round, weather permitting!

Tip: For safety purposes, there are strict vehicle guidelines to drive your car to the summit of Pikes Peak. It’s worth double checking, here.

Manitou Springs

You heard it here first, Manitou Springs in Colorado is a total hidden gem. This charming town is just 6 miles west of Colorado Springs. It’s extremely walkable and there are many quirky shops, eateries and things to see in close proximity of one another.

Cliffhouse at Pikes Peak, a unique things to do in Colorado Springs!
Cliffs House at Pikes Peak – a 5 Star historic Boutique Hotel in Manitou Springs

I’ve stayed at the The Cliff’s House at Pikes Peak in Manitou Springs on a couple different trips. Staying here is an event all on its own. It’s a luxury 5 Star historic hotel, but the prices are accessible, and much more so if you’re only staying for a night or two.

The inn has two restaurants. One is a casual ambiance, where you dine on the porch of the inn. You can sip something over a fire, or enjoy a nice meal. The other has a more formal flair, where you fine dine while listening to live music, indoors. The food is delicious… they serve an amazing breakfast spread that is included with the cost of your stay.

Cave of the Winds Mountain Park

Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is a unique theme park located atop the hills of Manitou Springs. Whether you’re a grown up kid or an actual kid, you can have fun here. You can go zip lining or do a thrilling obstacle course. They also have a ride where you’re propelled off a 200 foot high cliff.

We did the haunted cave tour which I highly recommend. There are no photos or videos allowed, so you’ll just have to take my word for it! You carry your own candle lit lantern the entire tour, are at times in pitch darkness, or have to crouch down tunnels that are just a few feet high. With a tour guide and small group, you explore not only the cave system, but all the scary stories from its past! If this is not a unique thing to do in Colorado Springs, I don’t know what is!?

Glen Eyrie Castle

One rarely, if ever, associates North America with castles… did you know that there are actually 145 of them in the United States? I’m sure your mind immediately wandered to Hertz Castle in California. However, did you know one of them is actually located right in Colorado Springs and is called Glen Eyrie? This is absolutely one of the most unique things to do in Colorado Springs!

Castle surrounded by beautiful greenery. Brunette woman in a white dress standing in front of it.
Glen Eyrie Castle, and its grounds are absolutely beautiful in the summer

The castle was originally the home of General Palmer, who founded Colorado Springs. If you stay at the castle, you can stay in General Palmer’s former bedroom. It still has the original claw foot tub, bed frame and other details. Since the castle has been converted to a hotel, there is a restaurant, book store, coffee shop and cafe on site now.

You don’t have to stay at Glen Eyrie in order to enjoy the beautiful grounds or explore. You can visit the property during the day and take an official tour of the castle. Our tour guide was personable and hilarious. You can also treat yourself to the high tea experience, take beautiful photos or go for a hike on the sprawling property.

Tip: The first time we stayed at Glen Eyrie, we did not know that the Castle turned hotel is owned by a religious organization at the present time. While this did not bother us, it is imperative to note that that the ‘hosts’ of the castle are volunteers from the Christian church that currently owns the property.

Garden of the Gods

Everyone loves Garden of the Gods. No, seriously, if someone goes to Colorado Springs, 99.9% of the time, they will absolutely visit Garden of the Gods. May I be perfectly honest?

I was a bit underwhelmed. It’s kind of unfair to Garden of the Gods, because it reminded me somewhat of Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, which is mesmerizing. Valley of Fire actually ruined me, because anything that looks similar to me now dulls in comparison. At least so far. But don’t let that discourage you from checking it out, because many seem to love it!

Tip: It’s open daily 9:00am – 6:00pm and it gets crowded… even during weekdays. If you want to take pictures, or, even just evade the masses, I’d definitely arrive right as the park opens if you can.

The Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel
The Stanley Hotel which inspired Stephen King’s The Shining

Technically, the Stanley Hotel doesn’t really belong on this list because it isn’t in Colorado Springs. But, the reason why I included it is because it’s only two hours away by car, in Estes Park. And if you’re on a trip and you’re that close to The Stanley Hotel, you should go.

The Stanley Hotel is considered by many to be the most haunted hotel in America. And can I tell you something?


It’s mega haunted. On the way home from a road trip to Colorado Springs, we decided to detour to visit the Stanley for one night before heading home. We ended up staying there for days, but that’s a story for another time.

Have you ever visited any of these places in Colorado Springs? Let me know, below!

Travel Tips & Resources to Help You Plan an Epic Trip!

Going – I’ve subscribed to Going (formerly, beloved, Scott’s Cheap Flights) for awhile now and it’s an amazing resource for finding… did you guess cheap flights? Yes, you can set your preferences from airports to flight class and get destination deals right to your inbox. It’s fab! I use the Premium paid version, but they have a FREE version too. So what are you waiting for?! Let’s get Going! – the majority, if not almost all of my stays are booked on It’s a reliable site to book and manage your reservations. It’s a great way to find boutique stays and unique accommodations at the best rates! You can also easily communicate with your accommodation through the app.

Expedia – If I am looking for a flight to a specific destination for specific dates, I find myself booking many flights on Expedia. It’s user friendly and straight forward. I often find the most cost effective rates, while earning points for every flight I book (in tandem with the points I receive from the credit cards I pay with).

Viator – most of the activities, tours and excursions I book for my trips are booked through Viator. Whether you’re seeking a guide for the day, a group tour, a cooking class, Viator has you covered!

Get Your Guide – this is another great marketplace to find tours, excursions and activities to book for your upcoming trip.

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