Once you’ve had a chance to experience all the Olympic and Paralympic attractions, the fun doesn’t have to stop there. Explore even more fun things to do in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region during your visit.
1. Tour the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum honors the Olympic and Paralympic ideas, documents the history of the United States Olympic and Paralympic participation, and celebrates the achievements of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic competitors. The Museum features 12 galleries and lots of great artifacts and interactive exhibits. Named the country’s Best New Attraction in 2020 by USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, the Museum has quickly become one of the top attractions in Colorado Springs.
Things to do at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum:
- Learn about all of the athletes, coaches, teams and special contributors in the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame.
- Explore the complete collection of Olympic torches
- In addition to a nearly complete collection of Olympic medals, the Museum also features holograms highlighting Paralympic medals.
- Browse the Museum Shop for lots of great Olympic and Paralympic apparel and memorabilia.
- Grab a slice of pizza and a drink at the Flame Café.
2. Get to the summit of Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak is known as America’s Mountain, with views so spectacular they inspired the words to America the Beautiful. While the summit is at an elevation of 14,115 feet above sea level, it is one of the most accessible mountains in the world. Visitors can choose to drive, ride, bike or hike to the summit.
Make your visit even more iconic and inspiring with a ride on the recently reopened Pikes Peak Cog Railway. The Cog has been climbing Pikes Peak since 1891 and with all-new track, trains, depot and cog, this breathtaking experience just got even better! Pikes Peak is also home of the second-oldest road race, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Things to do at Pikes Peak:
- Stop frequently on your way to the summit, including Crystal Reservoir and Glen Cove Inn, to enjoy the spectacular scenery.
- Go fishing in the Catamount Reservoirs (bring your own gear and don’t forget your fishing license).
- Get a donut in the Summit House snack bar – simple and simply delicious.
- Drink a lot of water, don’t overexert yourself and dress in layers – it’s always at least 30 degrees cooler at the summit.
- Ride in a tour company van to the summit and take a guided bike ride down the Pikes Peak Highway.
- Hike to the summit on Barr Trail if you’re an advanced hiker.
- Take the nine-mile journey to the summit of Pikes Peak on the world’s highest cog railroad, the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.
3. Visit the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center
The OPTC Visitor Center and Team USA Shop are open to the public, Mon – Sat, 9a – 5p.
This is where the dream begins for many Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. You’ll see where they live, practice and train. A tour of the training center begins with a video presentation, followed by a walking tour of the complex, which lasts approximately one hour. Visit their website below for more details on tickets.
Things to do at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center:
- See stirring video highlights and rotating exhibits showcasing Team USA athletes who live and train at the facility in the interactive, digitally reimagined rotunda.
- Stop to browse for gifts and memorabilia in the Official Team USA Shop.
4. Explore Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods’ magnificent, towering, red-rock formations tell a geological story billions of years in the making. You’ll feel as if you’re in another world, with majestic Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain — as a splendid scenic backdrop to the mysterious rocks that change color based on the time of day and weather conditions.
Things to do at Garden of the Gods:
- Start at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center. Get a park map and explore interactive exhibits to learn about the geology, flora and fauna of the park.
- Take a guided tour through the park (Segway, Jeep, trolley, horseback and e-bike).
- See rock formations such as Kissing Camels, Balance Rock, Three Graces, Cathedral Spires and Siamese Twins.
- Stop in the Garden of the Gods Trading Post for regional art, fun souvenirs and lunch on the shaded patio.
5. Learn about cadet life at the U.S. Air Force Academy
The U.S. Air Force Academy is located on beautiful grounds, nestled in the foothills of the Front Range. With classic and inspired architecture, exciting athletic events and multiple points of interest, you’ll come away with an appreciation for the dedication and sacrifices of the cadets, faculty and leadership of the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Things to do at the U.S. Air Force Academy:
- Visit the recently reopened Planetarium and catch a free movie about different aspects of the universe and space travel.
- See the reconstruction of the iconic Cadet Chapel, reopening in 2023.
- Observe the cadet noon formation, weekdays at 11:30 a.m. during the academic year, weather permitting.
- Attend a sporting event to cheer on the Falcons – football, ice hockey, basketball, boxing and more.
- Learn about cadet life and get USAFA gear in the Barry Goldwater Visitor Center.
- Hike Stanley Canyon and the Falcon Trail, publicly accessible trails featuring beautiful vistas.
Location: 2346 Academy Drive; 15 miles north of USOPMuseum
Take I-25 to the North Gate exit (156) and go west to the guarded entrance gate at Barry Goldwater Visitors Center. Be prepared to show ID and allow guards to inspect your trunk.
6. Go back in time at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is committed to building a lasting relationship to the Pikes Peak Region by preserving and sharing the cultural history through innovative exhibits.
Things to do at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum:
- See the building – it was formerly the El Paso County courthouse. The courtroom on the second floor was used in the television show Perry Mason.
- The newest exhibit is Exploring Colorado Springs’ Story Through Objects (2021 marks the sesquicentennial anniversary of the founding of Colorado Springs).
7. Fly away at the National Museum of WWII Aviation
The National Museum of World War II Aviation in Colorado Springs is home base for a large selection of aircraft, most of them fully restored to flying condition or in the process of restoration.
Things to do at the National Museum of World War II Aviation:
- Go on a tour with a docent, their stories are amazing!