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Where to stay/Intinerary Help

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Midwest
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Where to stay/Intinerary Help

My husband and I are going to Colorado Springs and Denver mid-May for 6 days. We love to hike and enjoy the outdoors plus a little shopping and eating. We plan on Pike's Peak, but not sure where else to go and was wondering if anyone could help. We were planning for most of our time to be in the Colorado Springs area. Any suggestions for hotels near Colorado Springs and then one for a night or two in Denver? In Denver, we would like to be near airport as we will be returning a rental car. Thanks!

Maryland
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1. Re: Where to stay/Intinerary Help

I visited the Denver area in early April and stayed in Manitou Springs. This is a cute little town, however there was major road construction taking place right through the middle of town. There are lots of cute shops and a nice gallery area as well. Pikes Peak was worth it but call first to make sure the COG Railroad is running and if there are seats available for the time you will be going. Cave of the Winds and Garden of the Gods are worth going to but don't necessarily require an entire day each. A nice bonus about downtown Denver is their FREE shuttle bus service that runs along the pedestrian mall area -- lots of restaurants, etc. The Denver airport is quite a distance from downtown Denver so we opted to hang out in town until late evening and then venture out to the Fairfield Inn at Denver Airport . Since the airport hotels are all clustered together on Tower Road, I assume they all offer the same level of service and amenities. We had an extremely pleasant stay and a wonderful continental breakfast at the Fairfield. A bonus for those who need it is that the Applebees (or was it Bennigans) on Tower Road delivers to the hotels. The rental car places were close by too, so we could take our time getting ready in the morning and not have to worry about rushing to return the car and get to the airport.

Loveland, Colorado
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2. Re: Where to stay/Intinerary Help

Here's a few suggestions on what to do in the Springs

-The cog railway up Pike's Peak. It's so much better than just driving up the mountain!

-Garden of the Gods. Beautiful park in the Springs with huge red rock formations, you'll never see anything like it again,i promise!

-The Air Force Academy.It's on the north end of town. HUGE campus with lots of old jets sitting in fields that you can walk around and learn about. The campus is miles and miles long and is a beautiful drive through.

-Olympic Training Center.Where all the Olympians train, you sometimes see some of the famous ones working out. They have tours that you can take through the facility.

-Downtown Colorado Springs. Lots of cute little restaurants and great shops and boutiques.

-Cheyenne Canyon.Beautiful canyon on the southwest end of town with great hiking and walking trails.Or you can drive through up to Helen Hunt Falls,which is really pretty.

-Seven Falls. A series of 7 Falls in Cheyenne Canyon that are beautiful! If you go at night, they light all the falls up and it's so pretty!!

-Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.The only zoo in the US on a mountain! It's really a pretty cool place, with a wonderful giraffe exhibit.

-Will Rogers Shrine.From the zoo,you keep driving up the mountain to the shrine. You will the absolute BEST view of the Springs up there. It's incredible and I highly recommend it!!!

Day trips outside of the Springs:

-Canon City. About 45 mins away. They Royal Gorge is located just west of Canon City which has the highest suspension bridge in the world.It's incredible! Canon City is also CO's headquarters for white water rafting. Lots of great rafting on the Arkansas River. You can take an adentuous trip through the Royal Gorge, or just a float trip. I recommend RaftMasters, Echo Canyon, or Royal Gorge Raft. Co.

-Cripple Creek. A really fun gambling town about 45 mins. west of the Springs. It was an old mining town that they spruced up,but it still has that old west feel to it. It is a really fun place to see,even if you don't gamble. You can take a back road there that is ssooooo beautiful! It's called the Old Stage Road and it connects from near Cheyenne Canyon and the zoo through the mountains into to Cripple Creek. It's a dirt road, but you won't need an SUV to do it,but it's so pretty!!

-Breckenridge. 2 hours from the Springs and the drive there is breathtaking! Breck is one of CO's most popular ski towns and has lots of fun stuff to do in the summer. lots of shopping and restaurants that are yummy.I'd definitely recommend a trip here because you can really experience the beauty of Colorado's mountains.

-Rocky Mountain National Park. 3 hours from the Springs. Only 1.5 hours from Denver. You might want to do this the day before you leave since you'll be staying in Denver the night before you leave. RMNP is just beautiful.The mountains are incredible, there are lots of lakes to hike to, great trails, it's just amazing, and shouldn't be missed!! Estes Park sits at the entrance to it and it is a great town to explore.

Now for places to stay in the Springs.....most of the stuff you will be seeing is on the southwest end of town, so if you stay on the north end you'll have a 30 minute drive everywhere. I would recommend a hotel at I-25 and Circle Ave. There is a Doubletree, Courtyard Marriott, Best Western(i think) and a La Quinta that is very nice. If you have more $$ to spend, the Cheyenne Mountain Resort is amazing! Or of course the Broadmoor,but it's super expensive!

As for hotels in Denver, definitely one off of Tower Road if you want to be close to the airport. I don't know any specific hotels that are good,because i live in Denver and have never needed to stay in a hotel!

Phew,ok that's all! Hope this helps you plan your trip!!! =)

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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3. Re: Where to stay/Intinerary Help

Lots of great advice for Colo Springs!! We enjoy Old Chicago Pizza for dinner and like to visit the Cheyenne Mtn Zoo. Garden of the Gods is awesome. Do the Cog Railroad to the top of Pikes Peak. A drive to Cripple Creek might be fun, see the mining history and also do a little gambling.

Manitou Springs is a great place to stay, there is a place called Cliff House that is a top place to stay. There are also other motels and hotels, check here on Trip Advisor to pick some good ones!

Woodland Park...
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4. Re: Where to stay/Intinerary Help

Plenty of great activities and suggestions above. I would plan for half of your trip to be in the Pikes Peak area and the rest to be in the Denver area. Denver is a much larger area with many more sights to see (including plenty of close by destinations such as Rocky Mountain National Park). Colorado Springs is nice - but I'd be hard pressed to fill 6 days here :)

As for restaurants, few of our favorites include Paravicins in Old Colorado City, Poor Richards north of downtown, Marigolds off of Garden of the Gods, Olive Branch downtown for Breakfast, Phantom Canyon downtown, Wines of Colorado in Cascade (by the Pikes Peak highway, great summer patio dining), Wooglin's Deli near Colorado College, La Baugette (many locations including downtown and Old Colorado City), Conway's Red Top for fast food burgers, Amanda's Fonda near Manitou Springs, Salsa Brava in Rockrimmon or Sonterra Grill downtown, El Tesoro downtown near the Antlers, Mollica's Italian Market on Garden of the Gods...

Winston, GA
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5. Re: Where to stay/Intinerary Help

Hi Everyone,

I just returned from Vegas and lost, (I heard someone bombed the Luxor parking Deck today....where we actually parked a few days)

Anyway.. Good News is I am going to Colorado for my honeymoon. We are staying in Denver for 1.5 days and

should I skip the zoo or go??? I have no kids, but is the zoo really all that? I was going to go to the:

16th mall briefly,

Science Museum (Titanic Ex.),

Coors, and some Railrod museum in Golden.

I Am Then: HEADED FOR Divide, Co (near cripple creek)n for 9 days (I was planning to go to Mesa Verda (Real cliff dwellings/large) and also GREAT Sand Dunes Park 750 ft. sand dunes**, This will take 2 of my days, I also plan 1/2 day in Ouray at the Vapor Cave natural Springs at Wiesbaden Spa (Ouray) Check this out. Don't stay at the hotel, just stop here. Southwest Colorado has alot to offer. Maybe on my drive down from Denver, I should stop at Rocky Mtn Park briefly?Also, I heard that Garden of the Gods takes 5+ hours and is nice, but we were told to skip the Air Force Academy.

I hope you have fun in Colorado!!!! I heard it gets cold at night, check weather.com

Anaheim, California
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6. Re: Where to stay/Intinerary Help

Can't imagine spending 5 hours at Garden of the Gods, unless I was going on a 3 hour hike. We never spend more than a couple there.

As for the Air Force Academy, IMO it's worth it, but to each his own. There's a short video about the history of the academy, very large gift shop plus displays inside. The chapel is beautiful and if the cadets are still there, the lineup before they head to lunch is fun to watch. I prefer the drive from the south gate, but last time I was there only the north was open. From visitors center to south gate was closed to visitors - not sure if that's permanent for security reasons now or if it's reopened.

Winston, GA
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7. Re: Where to stay/Intinerary Help

I don't know if it's available, but it is a cabin in Divide (i am staying here in July) Great Rates

Sleeps 4 with outdoor deck looking at Pike's Peak, Also 35 minutes to Colorodo Springs

http://www.vrbo.com/62207

Very Secluded (near cripple creek, Be sure to see the Mollie Kathleen gold mine in Cripple creek, I think it will be a winner! may be called kathleen Mollie Also, another forum said RAFTMASTERS HAS GOOD REAFTING, be sure to ho w/ the kids.

-Alice

Winston, GA
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8. Re: Where to stay/Intinerary Help

Ok, thanks, what is Garden of the Gods, interesting rock formations and gardens? I went to ROCK City in Tennessee, it was neat, also if you ever get to Chattanooga, TN, go to Ruby Falls, it is a falls in a mountain. I live in GA (from Buffalo, NY),

but Tennessee is more beautiful than GA.

I have a feeling, i will go to Colorado and definately not see enough and have to return.

Anaheim, California
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9. Re: Where to stay/Intinerary Help

Garden of the Gods is red rock formations. There are some famous ones not to missing like the Kissing Camels and Balanced Rock. You can hike, bike, rock climb, etc. here if you choose to. In the summer there are narrated bus tours that take about 30 min. We normally drive through - pull off at some photo op spots, stop in the visitors center/gift shop, and occassionally have a quick bite to eat in the cafe.

It's very pretty and definitely worth seeing, just not for 5 hours I don't think.

Anaheim, California
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10. Re: Where to stay/Intinerary Help

AwaitingColorado - one more suggestion. Based on your comment about the falls in the mountains, I'd suggest Seven Falls. Go at night when they light the falls up in different colors. You can hike it up a LOT of stairs to the top or take the elevator. Very pretty.