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Colorado Springs Itinerary 1-day/0 nights+ traffic question

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Colorado Springs Itinerary 1-day/0 nights+ traffic question

Unfortunately, we will have just 1 day in Colorado Springs, and no nights (on an August weekday). We will be driving in for the day from Denver. I will not be doing the Cog Railway this trip...I have a fear of heights so will wait to do it with my whole family (maybe) on a later trip! This is a short mother/son (tween) adventure.

The things my son would like to see that day:

--Air Force Academy (open 8-6, visitors' center open 9-5)

--Olympic Training Center (tours on the hr, 9-4 [last tour at 4], store 9-5)

--Garden of the Gods (visitor center 8-8, park 5-11)

--Manitou Springs (just a stop to experience a spring or two--suggestions re which ones appreciated)

I know there are so many other wonderful things to see and do in the area, we just can do what we can with our time this trip.

I am thinking maybe the Broadmoor for a meal, if it works out, time-wise.

After going over the route, I am thinking maybe having something to eat before leaving Denver, the first stop Air Force Academy, then maybe lunch and springs in Manitou Springs, then Olympic Training Center, then Garden of the Gods/Broadmoor.

Thoughts and suggestions appreciated...including re traffic I might encounter during rush hour from Denver. THANKS!

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1. Re: Colorado Springs Itinerary 1-day/0 nights+ traffic question

Does it matter what time you leave Denver? I might suggest getting an early start to your day (maybe 6:30am) to avoid traffic, then you'll be at the AFA right when it opens. From there, you could do Garden of the Gods for a hike, then head out to Manitou Springs for lunch.

After Manitou, you could go to the Olympic Training Center, then go back to the Broadmoor for a light dinner/drinks. My son is 13, and he loves the Golden Bee at the Broadmoor. Another option might be a stop downtown Colorado Springs for dinner there before heading back. You would miss the Broadmoor, but downtown makes more logistical sense going from the OTC back to the Interstate to get to Denver.

When you head back, you won't hit too much traffic if it is later in the evening. But overall, what traffic you are going to hit will depend to an extent on where in Denver you're coming from. Denver is a pretty typical city with traffic going in and out morning/evening, however, there are some exceptions to that. So for example, if you're coming from North of town and leave at 6:30am, you may hit some traffic near the Tech Center (south of town). And of course an accident on I-25 could slow things down, but you can't predict that.

All in all, don't let traffic worry you too much. Yes, Denver has it, but nothing crazy for the most part.

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2. Re: Colorado Springs Itinerary 1-day/0 nights+ traffic question

law_girl_75 , thank you SO much for all this information. If we go into downtown Colorado Springs for dinner, any suggestions? (My son is 12.) As for where we'll be coming from--somewhere downtown. It's the only day we'll have a car, probably, so I wanted to stay in town to walk around...still bidding on Priceline so unsure exactly where we'll be! Thanks again!

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3. Re: Colorado Springs Itinerary 1-day/0 nights+ traffic question

Oh, law_girl_75 , we can leave at 6:30 AM...if we can pick up the rental that early. I need to check. My son suggested we get a really early start....As for returning to Denver, I am assuming it would be after the crunch of rush hour...

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4. Re: Colorado Springs Itinerary 1-day/0 nights+ traffic question

Good advice from law_girl. I'll second the suggestion of the Golden Bee if you have the interest of going to the Broadmoor. Where are you staying in Denver? The early start is important if you're going to pull this off.

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5. Re: Colorado Springs Itinerary 1-day/0 nights+ traffic question

For downtown restaurants, it depends on what you and your son typically like. If you asked my 13 year old son, here is where he would tell you go to:

Fujiyama: Sushi, but they have some other dishes. A good place, and for some reason this is my son's favorite.

Melting Pot: Part of the chain of fondue restaurants. My son's second favorite.

Il Vicino: Casual, wood fired type pizza place. Good with kids, but definitely nothing fancy. Pizza is good, though!

Phantom Canyon: A brewery that has some really good food in a historic building downtown. Fine with kids.

If you have room after dinner, and you're looking for dessert, check out Josh and John's - excellent ice cream made on site.

With my kids, a common evening out is dinner at Il Vicino then a quick walk around the corner for ice cream at Josh and John's. We do this about once a month or so and all my kids (ages 13, 11 and 4) love it.

6. Re: Colorado Springs Itinerary 1-day/0 nights+ traffic question

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