I’m best known around these parts (these parts = the blogosphere) for my Colorado Springs Bucket List. When I started my first blog, Natasha In A Nutshell, back in 2015 one of my first posts was this bucket list. I revised it a year or so later and actually had a pin go viral. Every bloggers dream! That pin is still going strong, with a link that leads nowhere. *whomp, whomp*
When I decided to completely remodel my blog and get rid of all of my old blog posts, that included letting go of my Colorado Springs Bucket List. It was a really hard decision but I knew I could make it better anyway. That leads me here, to an incomplete bucket list that doesn’t fall short of a hot mess. Haha! I promise I am working on it! It is at the top of my blog-to-do-list! Until then I thought a top 20 list could hold everyone over.
Top 20 Things to do in Colorado Springs
- Garden of the Gods – This is an absolute must! If you only have time to do one thing, go see these big, glorious red rocks. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
- North Cheyenne Canon Park – My favorite hiking spot in town. There is definitely not a shortage of trails and after hiking this canon for nearly 7 years we still find somewhere new to explore every time!
- Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – This is the BEST zoo. Honestly, zoos can kind of bum me out. I don’t like the idea of wild animals having such little space to live out their days in. But I love knowing that the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is putting so much time, energy and money into conservation and their animal habitats. Oh, bonus, you can feed the giraffes. AND the elephants, at certain times of the day!
- Ice Cream at Josh & Johns – Ice cream is my favorite. Whenever we go somewhere new, you can bet that I’ve looked up a local ice cream shop to stop at. Josh & Johns does not disappoint. My personal favorite flavors are yellow cake and salted peanut butter cup. They also make their own waffle cones and it always smells like heaven when you walk through the doors.
- Red Rock Canyon Open Space – Love the idea of Garden of the Gods but find it hard to get on board with the crazy parking situation?!? Red Rock Canyon is a nice compromise. You will still get the lovely red rocks but you’ll also get miles of hiking trails.
- The Coffee Exchange – Coffee lover like me?! Well then you just have to try a white zombie at the Coffee Exchange. White zombie = white expresso = nutty deliciousness! White expresso is truly a unique flavor and I love it! It is a bit nutty and you can get a zombie in many scrumptious flavors. My favorites are the gooey (caramel) zombie, the nutty (hazelnut) zombie, and the pond (toffee) zombie. Oh, they also have the best breakfast sandwich in the city!
- Nosh – Easily one of our favorite downtown restaurants. Nosh focuses on smaller plates that are prefect for sharing. They also have some of the best cocktails in town. I love the calamari, wonton nachos, and the bing cherry sours. (UNFORTUNATE UPDATE: AS OF APRIL 29TH 2017 NOSH HAS CLOSED IT’S DOORS FOR GOOD! THE COMPANY THAT OWNS NOSH HAS PROMISES OF SOMETHING BETTER, READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE!)
- Ute Valley Park – Beautiful views of Pikes Peak and a nice little valley. Also a favorite of mine for family photos!
- Watching the sunset over Pikes Peak – This can be done at many places throughout the city but a favorite place of mine is Mesa Overlook off of Mesa Road right above Garden of the Gods.
- Ivywild School – A unique, one-of-a-kind experience. This renovated schoolhouse is home to Bristol Brewery, a place to grab some whiskey or some coffee, a bakery, a place to listen to live music and many other things. There’s definitely a little something for everyone.
- Bear Creek Dog Park – If you have a furry little family member, specifically a dog, you have to go to Bear Creek. I’m convinced this is the best dog park in the United States. There’s a creek and pretty mountain views. Different trails, an agility course… it is the perfect spot for dogs. In the summer it’s full of the prettiest wild sunflowers too!
- Day trip to Manitou Springs – Manitou Springs is like an extension of the city to me. But’s theres so much to do there it’s easy to spend the whole day. The shops and restaurants on Main Street, the drive up Pikes Peak Highway or the Cog Railway and Cave of the Winds have my top votes.
- The Broadmoor – I’m not talking about staying over night, just exploring. Plenty of good food options from every range. And, if you can swing it, the Sunday brunch is the epitome of treat yo’self.
- Old Colorado City – A small scale downtown experience in what used to be the capital of Colorado, many moons ago. Plenty of shops and restaurants to try.
- Pulpit Rock Park – Pulpit Rock can be seen from I-25, in-between the Garden of the Gods and Nevada exits. The park itself contains a 4.4 mile loop but I recommend hiking to the top of the rock regardless.
- a DIY Brewery Tour – Colorado Springs has no shortage of micro-breweries. So if beer is your thing I highly suggest taking day and doing a mini tour. My favorite breweries include Bristol Brewery at Ivywild, Storybook brewing and Phantom Canyon. Head on over to my Colorado Springs bucket list to check out the extensive list of breweries in the area… links coming soon!
- Pioneers Museum – Okay, full disclosure, I have yet to visit the Pioneers Museum. *Gasp* I know, how can I recommend something if I haven’t even done it myself?! Well, because every single person I know who has gone, has gone multiple times. And its FREE! Yes, my friends, go get your history on at the Pioneers Museum fo’ free!
- Cheyenne Mountain State Park – There’s a lot of free hiking in Colorado Springs so for the longest time Cheyenne Mountain State Park seemed unnecessary to me. I mean if I can go all over town and hike and not pay a dime why would I want to go somewhere that costs money?! Okay, so it’s like $7 for a day pass but still! Well, because the views in Cheyenne Mountain State Park are like nowhere else in Colorado Springs. I was pleasantly surprised and I would buy an annual pass in a heartbeat!
- Kimball’s Peak Three Theater – Movie theater downtown that serves alcohol?! Count me in! My husband and I don’t go to the movies very often anymore but when we do you can bet we’re seeing a movie here while enjoying a glass of wine. And this is a big bonus, it is right beside Josh & John’s, perfect for after movie ice cream!
- Palmer Park – Palmer Park is a great place for hiking and mountain biking right in the middle of the city. It’s safe to say, there is definitely no shortage of trails and unlike hiking in the mountains you’ll get views of the city with the mountains in the background.
Whew, it was really hard to just pick 20. It was also hard not to fill all 20 of those slots with places to eat. What do you think, is a top 20 list for the best of Colorado Springs, restaurant addition a good idea?! I think it just might be!
So I wanna know, do you live in Colorado Springs?! Are you visiting the area?
What would you include in your top 20 list that I didn’t? Or what would you remove from mine? Comment below and let me know!