Our first couple of days we spent mostly around Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs. We drove up Pike's Peak and LOVED the views!!! I unfortunately got sick with altitude sickness the moment I stepped out of the vehicle atop of Pikes peak and didn't get better untill we got the bottom. The views however were spectacular and well worth any issues. We preferred to drive ourselves to save the money vs. taking the cog plus we thought we would get to see better views this way and not be rushed at the top. It was a pleasant 45 degrees at the top. You could see for miles around. It was fun taking pictures of clouds lower than we were.
We drove thru Garden of the Gods and it was quite beautiful too. They have little trails and pathways you can explore.
We preferred the little town of Manitou Springs to that of Colorado Springs just because it has a small town feel and has lot of shops to explore. The streets are VERY busy though. It is hard to find a parking space anywhere you want to go.
We drove thru Salida and did some rafting in Buena Vista. It was lots of fun. Both Salida and Buena Vista are gorgeous!!! The mountains are everywhere. Buena Vista has a riverwalk pathway that everyone walks or jogs. It was very lovely.
Our last stop was 3 days at Estes Park. We visited RMNP. We went on Old Falls Road and Trail Ridge road, which are MUST DO's. We saw lots of wildlife on Trail Ridge Road and some on Old Falls Road as well. The views from Trail Ridge Road are gorgeous. Old Falls road is "One way" and more in the forest and secluded. Also, it is a dirt road. If my husband hadn't been driving I would of been a little worried in places. However, keep in mind that I am scared of heights. We also got up SUPER early to have a better chance of seeing the wildlife.
Around certain parts of Estes Park elk can be seen. They have a riverwalk there and if you go early in the mornings or late in the evenings you might get lucky and see some. Apparently it is way more common in the fall when it is cooler.
Well, my family loved Colorado so much I am now hunting for new places to vacation next year. I am just hoping that I will find some areas that are as beautiful as the ones we saw. Is it even possible???? I was considering possibly the Durango, Ouray, Telluride area??? Can someone please point me in the direction of more beautiful scenic views?? I'm addicted now!!