I got to thinking on our most recent trip about character. It seemed to me that several of the towns we were visiting had developed their own unique presence. They were not alike in any discernible ways. I felt this most strongly in Ely, NV, Colorado Springs, CO, and Taos, NM. Part of our family moved to Denver in 2021. This did not surprise me as much as how much time they spent in Colorado Springs. It made me want to go there to see what they saw, and so Ruth & I did.
Colorado Springs was one of my first travel destinations. I was not yet 20-years-old when I was first there. I liked it but was not enamored. Myself and 2 friends climbed to the top of Pike’s Peak by car and we saw the Garden of the Gods.
Colorado Springs has survived as an important travel destination because it reinvents itself all the time. Our first stop in town this time was the new Olympic Museum. It was sensational. However, I realized that from then on we were visiting older attractions. We spent time in the town of Manitou Springs, a truly venerable community with a hippie reputation that was clearly still attracting hordes of visitors, went to the Broadmoor Hotel on a recommendation and had a blast, drove through Old Colorado City, and spent time in the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum downtown in a historic building. But then we went to the just newly reopened U.S. Air Force Academy where the main attraction, its stunning chapel, was covered while undergoing restoration and ended the day having a great dinner near it at recommended Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano in what looked like a relatively new shopping center. We did not go to Cripple Creek where we had brake trouble many years ago, did not drive up Pike’s Peak or try the newly restored tram to its top, and Ruth & I did not drive to the Royal Gorge even though our Denver family went there and really enjoyed it. Our time there was a sweet blend of the old and the new, and everything was fun. We will return for certain to do the things we missed.
Colorado Springs has Native American Cliff Dwellings to explore, rafting and zipline activities galore, dinosaurs to see, mountains to admire, a worthwhile day trip east to the Paint Mines Interpretive Park, red rocks to climb, and many trails to hike. It is a city with genuine character that deserves to be a family destination for many years to come.