Colorado, Destinations, North America

Hidden Gems In Colorado Springs

One last shoutout to the place I once called home

As most of you know, I am no longer a Colorado resident. I have betrayed my fellow native Coloradans and switched over to the dark side….California. Before we moved, I had to pay one last visit to Colorado Springs, the place I called home for all of my college years.

I have written another more comprehensive post titled Top 12 Things To Do In Colorado Springs that is worth giving a look if you’re visiting for your first time. But for you seasoned Colorado Springs visitors, I have prepared a list of the hidden gems. These are the things that don’t appear first on your typical Colorado Springs guide.

Willowstone Antique Marketplace

Willowstone is a giant warehouse full of antique goods from independent vendors. You can find anything from 25 cent postcards to $40,000 couches shaped like dinosaurs. You could spend hours getting lost up and down the aisles of this vintage wonderland.

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Marigold Cafe and Bakery

Back in the day, my now husband and I would stop in Marigold to split a homemade crème brûlée. Today, our entire family makes a point to stop in to Marigold for lunch in Colorado Springs. The food is remarkable and the restaurant is just off the beaten path enough to get away from the hustle and bustle of the college crowd.

Paint Mines

Located just 45 minutes east of Colorado Springs is Paint Mines Interpretive Park, an excellent place for hiking. The hike is unlike any other in Colorado — flat, easy, colorful and chalky. Check out my full post to learn more about this awesome place.

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America The Beautiful Park

For as outdoorsy Colorado Springs is, they sure do lack open grassy parks. If you’re looking for a spot to spread out a picnic blanket and chill, head on over to America The Beautiful Park. You’ll know you’re there when you reach the giant circle statue which is also a water feature you can play in.

Bristol Brewing Company

To this day, Bristol Brewing Company remains the coolest brewery I have ever been to. Bristol is located inside of Ivywild School, which is also home to a coffee shop, office space and bakery. Bristol has gone along with the school theme and incorporated composition book menus and clipboard check holders. Grab a spot on the patio for a sweet view of Pikes Peak.

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Manitou Springs Incline

The Manitou Springs Incline is hardly a hidden gem at this point, because it is becoming so well known. Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning because it should make your list of non-touristy things to do in the city. This hike is not for the faint of heart, as it’s over 3,000 steps up to the top, but the view is great and the locals cheer you on each step of the way.

Gold Camp Road

Yeah, it’s haunted… but this hike is perfect for those that get bored easily! If you’re looking to park closest to the collapsed tunnel, use the upper lot past Helen Hunt Falls on Cheyenne Canyon Road and head northwest down Upper Gold Camp Road. This hike is a little dangerous due to the loose rock and ghosties.

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I’m really going to miss being a short drive from Colorado Springs. It’s such a fun town with so much to explore. I’m thrilled that Colorado Springs is becoming more of a tourist destination, and that people are journeying away from Denver to see more of beautiful Colorado. Enjoy your journey!

Thanks for reading,

Emma

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