Introduction Fresh air, sunshine and spectacular views motivated Gen. William J. Palmer to found Colorado Springs as an upscale vacation spot. Today the same qualities inspire travelers to visit, and now the city offers a host of cultural and recreational options to boot.
Pikes Peak serves as a rousing welcome. From just about any vantage point in the city, you can spy the landmark hovering above in all its glory. Taking the Barr National Recreation Trail to the summit on horseback or on foot are some of the fun things to do here. You can catch the Pikes Peak Highway 10 miles west. A 19-mile toll road leading to the 14,110-foot summit begins above the timberline at 7,400 feet. While you’re in the area, investigate the Cave of the Winds. And at the base of Pikes Peak is Garden of the Gods Park, a must-see freebie where the Great Plains meet the Rockies.
Be sure to save a day for museum hopping on your vacation. See Native American, Hispanic and 20th-century American art at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, and stay for a play afterward. Take in displays about the history of Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. And learn about the history and champions of rodeo at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy.
By CarNorth-south access is via I-25, which skirts the eastern face of the Rocky Mountains and is concurrent with US 85/87 through much of Colorado. I-25 is the fast route into or through Colorado Springs, with interchanges at major streets; US 85/87 leaves the interstate briefly in favor of downtown streets. Another major north-south thoroughfare is Powers Boulevard (SR 21), which runs near the airport in the eastern section of the city.
Yet another north-south route leading into town is Nevada Avenue (SR 115 in the southern part of the city), which offers a shortcut from US 50 between Cañon City and Pueblo. East-west travel is via US 24, which comes into the city from the eastern plains as Platte Avenue and from the western mountains through Ute Pass.
Street SystemI-25 is the major north-south artery and fastest means of travel through Colorado Springs. Nevada Avenue (SR 115 in the southern section of the city) runs parallel to I-25 and provides access to many downtown streets.
US 24 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Bypass) travels east to west, becoming Platte Avenue when it crosses I-25 into the eastern section of the city; it leads to Manitou Springs and Pikes Peak in the west. East-west roads that interchange with I-25 are Garden of the Gods Road, Fillmore Street, Woodmen Road and Uintah Street.
ParkingDowntown on-street parking is metered, 75c-$1 per hour. Commercial garages and lots are available for 75c-$1 per hour, with a daily maximum of $6.75-$7.50. Prepaid “Easy Park” cards are accepted at most meters and can be purchased at the City Administration Building at Nevada and Colorado avenues.
Colorado Springs, CO
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
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503 W Garden of the Gods Rd. Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Colorado's statewide sales tax is 2.9 percent; an additional 3.12 percent is levied by the city, 1.23 percent by the county and 1 percent by the Pikes Peak Rural Transit Authority. The county has a 2 percent lodging tax and 1 percent rental car tax.
Memorial Hospital, (719) 365-5000; Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, (719) 776-5000; St. Francis Medical Center, (719) 571-1000.
515 S. Cascade Colorado Springs, CO 80903. Phone:(719)635-7506 or (800)888-4748
Colorado Springs Airport
Rental car agencies serve the Colorado Springs area from downtown and the airport. Hertz, (719) 596-1863 or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.
No passenger trains serve Colorado Springs.
TNM&O Coaches Inc. and Greyhound Lines Inc., (719) 635-1505, 120 S. Weber St., serve the Colorado Springs area.
Colorado Springs is served by Yellow Cab Co., (719) 777-7777. It is best to request cabs by phone. Taxis are on the meter system, with the charge about $4.90 for the first mile and $2.90 for each additional mile, for up to four passengers.
Buses operate in the metropolitan area Mon.-Fri. 5:35 a.m.-9:35 p.m.; Sat. 6:35 a.m.-6:35 p.m.; and Sun. 7:30 a.m.-5:35 p.m. in the downtown area; check individual routes for current schedule information. The fare for in-town routes is $1.75, transfers are free with paid fares and are good for 2 hours and 2 one way trips. Day passes are $4. Phone (719) 385-7433.