Category Archives: Colorado

Visit Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

Early travellers were drawn to Colorado Springs for the high altitude, sunshine, mineral waters, and dry climate. Present-day travellers visit for many of the same reasons.  At 6,035 ft., Colorado Springs  even surpasses Denver, the mile high city. Most travellers fly into Denver International Airport and drive 75 miles (121km) south on Interstate Highway 25 to Colorado Springs, the second largest city in Colorado.

Where to stay

Terrace Garden of the Gods Resort photo credit: John Cameron

For unparalleled views of The Garden of the Gods Park and Pike’s Peak, stay at the luxurious Garden of the Gods Collection. We loved the over-sized, quiet, comfortable suite, the infinity pool, and the delicious breakfasts.

Things to Do

The poetically named Garden of the Gods, containing 300 million years of geologic history, was donated to Colorado Springs in 1909, with the proviso that it be operated permanently as a city park, open to the public.

Climbers in Garden of the Gods Park photo credit: John Cameron

Hiking, biking and horseback riding are popular activities in the 1334-acre park. If you only have time for one trail, the paved Central Garden Trail is the best introduction to the geology and plants of the Garden. Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center is a Trip Advisor traveller’s choice for #1 park in the US. Admission to the park and the state of the art visitor center is free.

Kissing Camels Golf Course photo credit: John Cameron

Golf at Kissing Camels Golf Club at Garden of the Gods Collection.   J. Press Maxwell and Mark Rathert designed this challenging, well-routed and well maintained 27-hole championship track.   Five sets of tee boxes (look for the colourful camel markers) make this an enjoyable course for every level of golfer.

Cheyenne Mountain Golf Course photo credit John Cameron

Cheyenne Mountain Resort features an immaculately groomed 18-hole Pete Dye championship track designed to challenge golfers at all skill levels.

Cheyenne Mountain Resort boasts tour-quality greens and broad fairways on a course set beside a private, 35-acre lake. Hole nine is a short par four. Keep your tee ball left for a short approach in and a good opportunity for birdie.

Manitou Springs Stagecoach photo credit: John Cameron

Colorado Springs was named for the natural mineral springs in nearby Manitou Springs. This historic, quirky town is known for its mineral water. Manitou Springs’ visitor center can supply you with a map to the springs and a cup. The eight springs (or fountains) are easily found walking along Manitou Avenue. Each spring has a distinctive taste due to the difference in mineral content. Our favorite is the Shoshone Spring, which has the highest lithium content.

Colorado is teeming with natural hot springs but unfortunately, there are no local options for residents and visitors of Colorado Springs. The nearest hot springs are 2 hours drive, depending on the traffic.

 

Cycle Denver

Mile High City Action

Denver’s B-cycle bike-sharing program is a great way to explore the city. Bike stands are conveniently located near all the top attractions, including the stylish Denver Art Museum (DAM) with 70,000 pieces in nine permanent collections and international touring exhibits. A museum dedicated solely to the works of abstract expressionist, Clyfford Still sits nearby. Before leaving the area, stop by The Cell – a museum devoted to the study of terrorism and the History Colorado Center, featuring high-tech, hands-on explorations of 10,000 years of Colorado’s people.

Further uptown, via the South Platte River bike trail, the Museum of Contemporary Art showcases the latest work from regional, national and international artists. To encourage discussion and exploration of art and ideas the MCA sponsors “Museum Quality Drinking: Curated Art and Cocktails” nights on the chic rooftop patio café.

Larimer Street photo: Janice Wright

When it’s time to relax, take the free 16th street shuttle back to Larimer Square to sample nouveau Mexican creations at Tamayo or comfort gastro pub fare on the city’s best roof top patio at Ignite. For up to the minute cocktail creations, stop by Green Russell for a nightcap. High end shopping and dining entice visitors to the tony Cherry Creek Area on the bike trail of the same name. Skiers are a little over an hour from Loveland, a local favourite on the eastern side of the Continental Divide.

For one last look at Colorado’s mountains, check out the roof of the Denver International Airport where glowing man-made peaks of Teflon-coated fabric silhouetted against the Rockies represent Colorado’s 54 “fourteeners” – mountains that top out at 14,000 feet.

Published in Dreamscapes winter/spring 2013

 

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Travel Planner

  • Denver Tourism: www.denver.org
  • Denver Art Museum: www.denverartmuseum.org 720-865-5000,
  • Clyfford Still Museum: www.clyffordstillmuseum.org 720-354-4874
  • History Colorado Center: historycolorado.org 303-447-8679
  • Warwick Hotel: www.warwickdenver.com 303-861-2000,
  • Tamayo: www.richardsandoval.com/tamayo 720- 946-1433
  • Ignite! Fire Crafted: www.ignite-denver.com 303-296-2600
  • Green Russell: greenrussell.com 303-893-6505