Gas and plane ticket prices may fluctuate over the years, but these five amazing day trips from Colorado Springs won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. If you’re itching to travel but you’re worried about the impact on your wallet, it’s time to consider what a “stay-cation” could do for you!
Colorado Springs attracts visitors from all over the world every single summer. Instead of spending your precious free time driving for days or sitting in airports weathering inevitable delays, why not take a tour of your own backyard? If you haven’t traveled Colorado and the Pikes Peak region with the spirit and enthusiasm of an out-of-state visitor, we think it’s time to immerse yourself in a new adventure and see what all the fuss is about. There’s an entire world of fun just waiting to be had right here in your own backyard.
All distances are calculated from central Colorado Springs. Some distances may be closer or further, depending on your starting location.
1. Visit Bishop’s Castle: A Unique Colorado Destination Near Colorado Springs
There are a variety of unique Colorado destinations near Colorado Springs. For a stay-cation you won’t forget, this unique attraction offers a memorable experience that is just a bit different than the typical tourist destination.
Bishop Castle (72 miles)
Bishop Castle is a uniquely Colorado destination. Mastermind Jim Bishop has been constructing this castle for nearly 60 years and it is a testament to individualism and building a monumental building. The surrounding area is beautiful and you are allowed to walk and climb throughout the entire castle. Quantity and size wins over quality, but it is an amazing structure complete with towers and bridges. Admission is free, although donations are warmly welcomed to contribute to continued upkeep and innovation. Visit BishopCastle.org | 12705 State Highway 165, Rye, Colorado 81069
2. Relax in Mount Princeton’s Soothing Natural Hot Springs
Colorado is home to many relaxing hot springs. Of course, Glenwood Hot Springs is the big one known by everyone, but at 225 miles away, it is a little long for a Colorado day trip. For closer options, check out the close and cozy Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort.
Mount Princeton (100 miles)
Of all the hot springs in Colorado, Mount Princeton has managed to make quite a name for itself as a premiere destination for savvy soakers. Designed like a rejuvenating resort spa, this gorgeous locale is perfect for family trips, ladies’ weekends or romantic getaways. There are adults-only pools, kid-friendly pools and, the coolest of all, a river feature. You can sit in an actual river! Find your perfect place and arrange rocks to capture natural hot water pumped through a pipe into the stream. Mount Princeton also offers accommodations and dining, so you can really make your visit extra special.
Mtprinceton.com | 15870 Co Rd 162, Nathrop, CO 81236
Other Colorado Hot Springs
- Indian Springs
- Hot Sulfur Springs
- Cottonwood Hot Springs
3. National Parks, State Parks and Open Space in Colorado
Colorado is home to some of the most beautiful wilderness in the world and we are fortunate enough to be able to traverse most of it via well-maintained trails and highways, not to mention mountain biking and hiking trails and 4WD/AWD roads. For a hike in the wilderness that’s close to everything but still far enough to make you feel free, check out Spruce Mountain Trail just north of the city.
Spruce Mountain Trail (30 miles)
Spruce Mountain Trail is a beautiful hike, located just north of Palmer Lake. There is a moderate climb to the top of the mesa, and then you can hike a relatively flat loop around the top of the mesa. Stop and have a snack on one of the rock outcroppings and enjoy the view! A round trip on the trail is about 5.5 miles and only about half of it is a challenge to the lungs and thighs. On your way back, check out Palmer Lake and have yourself a meal, an ice cream cone or another stroll around the small community lake that is popular with locals and visitors alike.
Alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/spruce-mountain-trail | 13415 Spruce Mtn. Road, Larkspur, CO 80118
More Cool Outdoor Spaces to Visit:
- Eldorado Canyon State Park
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Paint Mines Interpretive Park
- Red Rock Canyon Open Space
- Rainbow Falls Historic Site
- Indian Peaks Wilderness Area
4. Experience Small Town Charm in the Rocky Mountains
Colorado Springs has become a thriving big city, but Colorado is also home to equally charming small towns. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, maybe pay a visit to a hidden gem known as Sphinx Park.
5. Sphinx Park, CO (100 miles)
Sphinx Park is a well-hidden small town located in the mountains near Colorado Springs, northwest of Woodland Park. As you cruise the scenic route to this amazing location, be sure to watch for the houses built into the rock outcroppings. There are natural waterfalls, incredible hiking and biking and opportunities to float down the South Platte River or do a little fishing or camping. When you’re all done adventuring, Zokas restaurant in Pine along Hwy. 287 has excellent views to quench your thirst for Colorado beauty and tasty eats that will satiate even the biggest appetites. Be sure to save a little room for their incredible Key Lime pie. It will give you a Key West vibe with the Rocky Mountain scene.
trip-suggest.com/united-states/colorado/sphinx-park | On Elk Creek Rd., 1 mi. N. of Pine
Other small town places to visit near Colorado Springs:
- Manitou Springs
- Old Colorado City
- Cripple Creek
5. Discover Cool Stuff to Do In Colorado Springs
You don’t have to go far at all to find fun stuff to do in Colorado Springs. We live in one of the most beautiful destinations in the United States. People drive for miles from all over the United States to see all of the sights that are right in our own backyard. These are some of our favorite places to visit, but we are sure you have some of your own. Have a “staycation” right in your backyard!
Garden of the Gods (5 miles)
The Garden of the Gods is ranked the #1 Best Thing to Do in Colorado Springs by US News and is an iconic Colorado Springs tourist attraction for good reason. It is a stunning place to visit. The towering rock formations are majestic, the trails plentiful and the fun is never ending. You can walk the paved trails, hike on more complex nature routes and even go horseback riding with Academy Riding Stables, one of the few locations for guided horseback rides in Colorado Springs. The Garden of the Gods Visitor Center provides educational experiences that are family-friendly and fun. Across the park, the Garden of the Gods Trading Post boasts some of the best gift shops in Colorado Springs, as well as cold beer and hot coffee.
Gardenofgods.com | 1805 N. 30th St., Colorado Springs, CO, 80904
Other places with fun things to do in Colorado Springs:
- Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
- Pikes Peak
- The North Pole – Santa’s Workshop
- The Cowboy Museum
Colorado has so much to offer, and we have only scratched the surface. With the mountains in our backyard, the possibilities are endless. Best of all, no matter what fuel and airline prices do, you’ll be able to enjoy these journeys without blowing your entire vacation budget on travel costs. Before you head out this summer, be sure you are up to date on your vehicle maintenance. Be sure to drive safely wherever you decide to go in Colorado and always pack a car emergency kit for unexpected challenges. Happy Summer travels from Honest Accurate Auto Service!