Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Colorado Springs Favorites!

Good morning! Michelle asked yesterday about some of my favorite things around Colorado Springs - I've also asked my mom and sister to contribute their favorites since we are all here together!

Here are our top choices ~ enjoy!

Free Ideas:
* Garden of the Gods (beautiful red rocks, walking trails)
* Glen Eyrie (conference center owned by The Navigators; they have lodging and teas, tours available as well obviously those are not free!)
* Focus on the Family (Odyssey play area, lunch spot, book store, history of the ministry)
* Air Force Academy (Chapel and Visitors Center)
* Cheyenne Canon (at the base of Cheyenne Mountain: hiking trails, water fall)
* Olympic Training Center (athletetic training facility for Olympic Athletes)
* Pioneer Museum (local history includes traveling exhibits and long-standing history of Colorado Springs)
* The Broadmoor (five star hotel, historic to Colorado Springs)
* Go for a drive up west Hwy. 24 through Woodland Park - beautiful scenery!

Other Ideas:
* Rock Ledge Ranch (homestead with demonstrations, they have great seasonal festivals here as well)
* Pikes Peak: you can drive up, but I would not suggest it (your car may never be the same), there is also a train depending on the weather/snow.
* Royal Gorge bridge (about an hour south of Colorado Springs)

* Flying W Ranch (chuckwagon dinner, western band sings after dinner, western town to browse before dinner)
* La Baguette (French: I love the chicken salad croissant and we're having lunch there today!)
* Marigold's (breakfast, lunch and bakery)
* Jose Muldoons (Mexican food)
* Fargo's (pizza)
* Adam's Mountain Cafe (Manitou)
* Olive Branch (downtown; healthy cuisine)

* American Classics Marketplace
* The Gatherings
* Colorado Country Antique Mall
* Current
* Old Colorado City

Please chime in with your favorites from the area as well! Maybe I will discover something new!


Michelle @ My Gluten-free Kitchen said...

Thank you so much for posting this list of favorites! Quite a few of those are already on our list of must-sees and must-dos but some of those are new.
We went back and forth on whether to do the Flying W dinner but ultimately decided the 8:00 showtime was a little late for doing with our kids & still getting them home & to bed for getting up early the next morning. Maybe next time we can catch that too.
I'll look forward to checking out some of the shopping places you mentioned.
My SIL there said her daughter loves a place called Lil Biggs. It is your typical pizza place kind of thing but it has fun dress-up areas for toddlers to play. We're going to go there one night.

Liz said...

One of my new favorite places is the Wisdom Tea House in Monument. Very worth the extra 15 minute drive north from CO Springs! THey have yummy food, it's a fun girly lunch! And some fabulous choices for iced tea too.

Our personal favorite for Mexican food is Amanda's Fonda near Manitou Springs.

Il Vicino restaurant downtown is our favorite oven fired pizza! SO good!! Have you been there?

Wooglin's Deli and Poor Richard's downtown are also great healthy places to eat.

And some easy hiking trails along with a great playground for kids is Black Forest Park.

Rachel said...

This is a great list. We also enjoy Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (pricey for just a day admission, but the annual membership is reasonable), and Black Forest and Fox Run Regional parks...not far from town, but feel like mini getaways.

Hope your time here is restful!

Debbie Fisher (debbiedee) said...

I've been to Pike's Peak, but that was a LONG time ago. My brother and SIL took my youngest son to CO for spring break and they went to Pike's Peak, Focus on the Family and made tape that he and my nephew got to keep. They also went to Garden of Gods and one of their favorites was the Lego store in Denver.

Monica Wilkinson said...

Hi Liz -

You reminded me of some more great restaurants! I have not been to Amanda's Fonda - but I think to most of the others. I just drove by Il Vicino twice today on our way to/from La Baguette!

I am excited to learn about the place in Monument, hadn't heard of that one!


Megan said...

Oh man, you made me sad! I so loved being able to walk down to Rock Ledge Ranch whenever I wanted to!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever done the radio shopping show in Colorado springs . Google it you call into this radio station and get good deals on restaurants and auto stuff I got great tickets to flying w ranch Zoo ticks in denver at a fraction of cost there is no hidden cost just turn on radio and listen to it I was a skeptic but tried it and loved the deals. My friend did have a slight hiccup with them sending out the coupons in a timely manner but I had no problems there are some great deals for Colorado spring

Anonymous said...

Hi Monica:

Let me know if you check out The Wisdom Tea House in Monument. Sounds like "My kind of place"
Hope you had fun at La Baguette today!
Did the snow last long?

Love, Grandma

Melissa said...

I totally remember eating at Fargo's and the Olive Branch - YUM! I would say my favorite scenery spot is the Royal Gorge, and I remember walking through the grounds at the Broadmoor Hotel; beautiful! Can you still ice skate there?

Let's see...We used to camp in the foothills just north of CS in Castle Rock. Eating at the Village Inn was a favorite. Great breakfast food and hot chocolate!!! Old Chicago restaurant in downtown CS has a great menu, and it's fun to walk around the historic area while you wait for your name to be called. Try their fried cheese sticks with honey mustard sauce for dipping. FABULOUS! It's been so long I can't think of anything you didn't already list

Julie Willis said...

Oh! I remember Fargo's. My Grandfather would take us there. It seemed huge and so fancy. The pizza was great!

Have you been up to Woodland Park? Is it still a small town? They used to have Woodland Park Days. A plane would come through and drop old fashion money and the children would scurry for it.

Whenever you talk about CO it makes me miss it more. I don't know if I'll ever make it back there, but it was a nice to place to spend my preteen years.

Anissa said...

My husband and I enjoyed our anniversary at the Pepper Tree restaurant. Had a peppered steak with Mango chutney. That was 9 years ago, no idea if it is still a good place, but it was impressive to us.

Anissa said...

Wow, I just looked at the Pepper Tree Restaurant online - $40 per person for dinner, and that's just the entree! Wonderful place but definitely only for very special evenings!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Hi Monica. I'm Carrie's friend, Meredith.

Let me just say that Wisdom Tea House in Monument is FANTASTIC!!!!! The Kashmiri chai is to die for! And The Rock House in Palmer Lake is a fun ice cream place with some local flavor.

Il Vicino and Salsa Brava are two of my favorite local eating spots. I've lived here six years and never been to La Baguette! (Hanging my head in shame.)
There's another place south of downtown that I really like called Shuga's.

Let me know if you guys decide to trek up to the Wisdom Tea House!

Oh, and I also told Carrie I think you would enjoy my friend Janna's blog: www.mustardseeds.typepad.com

Michal said...

You forgot the Omlette Parlor!!

Jessica said...

Hey Monica! We visited my husband's uncle (who is in the Air Force) and he took us to breakfast at King Chef's. It's a real local joint and I'm not sure if it's in Manitou or Colorado Springs. I'm thinking it's in Colorado Springs. It looks kine of shady but they have awesome breakfasts there! I suggest sitting out back in the little tent. Yummy! Thanks for your list of tourist options. Can't wait to go back!

Phebe said...

Thanks for the great links for our great city! I love living here! I noticed that Family Fun did an article on vacationing in Colorado Springs in their most recent issue. All this attention to our city makes me feel like a celebrity or something!

Lee said...

Hi Monica!
You forgot The Pantry off Hwy 24 on the way to Woodland Park. It is past the old location of Drummer Tweeds.....(by that building at the fork in the road on the way to the North Pole). Drummers is one of my FAVORITE places to shop for lodge decor and it is now in Woodland Park. The Pantry has the best...and I mean it...best pancakes... Yum.

The Loop for Mexican in Manitou.
Pike's Perk for hot cocoa....any location. :)
Terra Verde downtown for some chabby chic. :)
Oph.and the Farmers Market in OCC on Saturday morning.
Now, I'm homesick. :)
Enjoy your time, Monica.

Carrie Isaac said...

You can hike for free at Glen Eyrie! There's a hike up a canyon to Dorothy Falls - tons of fun. You do have to register on their website before they will admit you on the property to hike.

Helen Hunt Falls is a great little waterfall in Cheyenne Canon Park - you can also hike up a little ways from Helen Hunt Falls to Silver Cascade Falls.

The BEST coffee shop in Colorado Springs is Agia Sophia in Old Colorado City. Fabulous coffee and amazing atmosphere. It's in the original city hall for OCC. Order a cold drink - it comes in a very cool tall glass. :)

Pizzeria Rustica in OCC is also very good - they have Restaurant.com gift certificates, which could make for a nice deal!

Carrie said...

Oh yes, and if you want antiques, you should drive down to Florence, about an hour south of the Springs. The entire downtown is antique shops. Lots of fun!

Lee said...

I woke up this morning craving pizza from Panino's (off 8th street). And just needed to tell you that it is the flatest pizza-I've ever had. :)

All this COS talk has this Michigan farm wife a little homesick. :)

Anonymous said...




claire said...

The Broadmoor is hands-down my favorite R&R spot in CS (a hot chocolate or ice-cream accessorized walk around the lake is not expensive), but there are other favorites as well: Montague's coffee house, Palmer Park, The Egg and I for breakfast, the Garden of the Gods Club (I was at a wedding there once -- such a view!), hiking Cheyenne Canon.... The Craigs Trail outside of Woodland Park has special memories, as does the 4th of July Celebration at Memorial Park. What a wonderful place, one I miss!

angie said...

I recalled that you had posted this list, and am now using it as a very helpful tour guide. Our family is going to CO Springs on 11/9 for a few days. My husband will stay on the following week for business.
If you have any additional suggestions for this time of year (and weather), I'd be so grateful.
Thank you, Monica!

Tamara said...

((thank you)) for sharing this list! We are staying at Glen Eyrie right now and the presence of God's hand is everywhere. It's amazingly beautiful and words just cannot capture the quiet beauty. We are having fun with the scavenger hunt and learning along the way.

Monica Wilkinson said...

@Tamara: I love that! I was just there on Monday as well! :) So glad you are enjoying your time here.

Tamara said...

We spent the day doing the Glen Eyrie scavenger hunt with our daughter (super fun and informational) and quiet moments "A Day Alone with God" - just an amazing gift. I really don't want to leave the beauty tomorrow, but will savor the moments we have left tonight. I looked for your books in the bookstore - it would have been incredible to have a weekend with you leading a women's group here. I'd be first in line :)