Ultimate Guide: Things To Do In Manitou Springs CO

Things To Do In Manitou Springs CO

Looking for that perfect blend of peaceful getaway and adventure? You’re not alone. It can be overwhelming, choosing from endless options or worrying about missing out on the must-dos.

We totally get it; we’ve scratched our heads over the same map. But after digging deep, we hit gold with Manitou Springs in Colorado – a place that’s more than just your average vacation spot.

Nestled at Pikes Peak’s base, Manitou Springs is a treasure trove of breathtaking views and one-of-a-kind attractions like the historic Manitou Incline and rejuvenating Mineral Springs.

Our guide is crafted to reveal every layer of this charming mountain town—from iconic spots like Garden of the Gods to quirky local events like the Emma Crawford Coffin Races, right down to the beloved haunts along Manitou Ave.

So, are you ready for an adventure that feels just right?

Key Takeaways

  • Manitou Springs is near Pikes Peak and offers lots of outdoor activities like hiking the Manitou Incline, which has 2,744 steps.
  • You can visit Garden of the Gods for free to see huge red-rock formations and go on guided tours to learn more.
  • The town hosts fun events like the Emma Crawford Coffin Races every October and a Free Summer Concert Series in June.
  • For history lovers, there are places like Manitou Cliff Dwellings to explore ancient Puebloan homes and learn about local legends.
  • Visitors can taste naturally carbonated mineral water from eight different springs around town, each with its unique flavor.

Top Things To Do In Manitou Springs CO

The stunning landscape of Pikes Peak captured in high-quality resolution with a DSLR camera.Discover the allure of Pikes Peak – a must-see attraction in Manitou Springs, offering breathtaking views and recreational activities for all. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history and natural beauty of the Manitou Incline, captivating visitors with its challenging yet rewarding hiking experience.

Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak towers over the region near Manitou Springs, beckoning adventurers and peace-seekers alike. General William J. Palmer and Dr. William A. Bell saw its potential back in 1868, dreaming of a resort area that would draw people to its natural beauty and healing waters, discovered by Dr.

Edwin James. Today, this mountain stands as a testament to their vision, offering breathtaking views and a unique peek into the history of the Pikes Peak region.

Traveling up the Pikes Peak Cog Railway offers an unforgettable journey to the summit, where one can see miles in every direction – a clear day reveals views that stretch out far beyond Colorado Springs.

It’s not just about what you see; it’s about feeling part of something larger than ourselves here at Pikes Peak – whether standing atop or exploring trails like Barr Trail that wind around this monumental peak.

Manitou Incline

We all agree that the Manitou Incline is a must-see for anyone visiting historic Manitou Springs. This unique trail boasts 2,744 steps and climbs an impressive 2,020 feet in elevation in less than one mile.

It’s not just any hike; it’s an adventure that tests your stamina and rewards you with breathtaking views at the top.

Before setting out on this exciting journey, making a reservation online for a specific time slot is crucial. Given its challenging nature, we plan on spending more than two hours to complete the 4.5-mile round trip hike.

Along the way, we embrace the beauty of our surroundings and consider each step as part of an unforgettable experience in Manitou Springs, CO.

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is a sight to see near Colorado Springs. This park is famous for its large red-rock structures. It’s open to everyone all year, and you don’t have to pay to walk around.

Guests can enjoy 15 miles of trails that wind through these stunning formations. Plus, there are free tours led by naturalists who know all about the area.

We always suggest bringing a camera because every turn has something beautiful. If you like learning while exploring, the naturalist-led tours at Garden of the Gods will impress you.

They share stories and facts about this amazing place that has been around for thousands of years. Whether it’s your first visit or your tenth, there’s always something new to discover here.

Manitou Cliff Dwellings

Manitou Cliff Dwellings offers a peek into the past with Ancestral Puebloan architecture from over 700 years ago. The site includes a nature walk for views of Manitou Springs, featuring a privately-owned museum, snack bar, and gift shop.

A great spot for history buffs and those seeking something off the beaten path.

The dwellings showcase the architectural prowess of Ancestral Puebloans who resided in this area centuries ago. It’s an ideal destination to explore for those intrigued by ancient civilizations and seeking a break from bustling tourist spots.

Manitou Mineral Springs

Manitou Springs is home to 8 naturally carbonated mineral springs, discovered by Dr. Edwin James in the early 1800s. The Mineral Springs Foundation was established in 1987 to preserve and promote these healing waters.

Visitors can enjoy self-guided tours to sample the various mineral spring waters found throughout the small town.

The bubbling mineral springs offer a unique experience, allowing visitors to taste and benefit from each spring’s distinct composition while strolling through Manitou Springs’ charming streets.

Events & Festivals in Manitou Springs

Manitou Springs hosts thrilling events and festivals, including the Free Summer Concert Series that features live music in a charming outdoor setting. Another unique event is the Emma Crawford Coffin Races, blending playful competition with historical significance.

These experiences captivate visitors with captivating performances, engaging activities, and local cultural immersion.

Free Summer Concert Series

Our free summer concert series features lively live music events throughout June. You can groove to the beats at the library lawn and Soda Springs Park Pavilion. This is a delightful chance to unwind, sway to the rhythm of some amazing tunes, and enjoy captivating performances under open skies in Manitou Springs.

At these concerts, you’ll be treated to an array of musical genres that cater to varied tastes. From rock bands belting out classic hits to soulful acoustic sessions, there’s something for everyone.

The allure of this series lies in its relaxed ambience and the opportunity it provides for connecting with fellow music enthusiasts from near and far.

Emma Crawford Coffin Races

Emma Crawford Coffin Races are a quirky and thrilling event that has been part of Manitou Springs since 1995. This annual affair, taking place end of October, adds a unique twist to the town’s atmosphere.

As we explore quieter and smaller towns like Manitou Springs, this festival is an opportunity to witness something truly remarkable – participants racing homemade coffins down the streets! It’s an embodiment of the town’s vibrant spirit and quirky charm that draws visitors from near and far.

The event was initially organized by the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce as a lighthearted way to honor Emma Crawford’s legend. The coffin races have garnered attention for their blend of historical significance with modern amusement – making it a must-see for anyone seeking genuine small-town experiences.

So if you’re in search of unconventional yet delightful events while exploring peaceful towns, Emma Crawford Coffin Races promise excitement beyond compare!

Mineral Springs Tours

Manitou Springs boasts eight natural mineral springs, making it an ideal destination for our demographic. These self-guided tours are available year-round and offer a unique opportunity to explore the town’s historical and geological aspects.

The mineral springs add a distinctive touch to the town’s character, providing an enriching experience that perfectly aligns with our love for quieter and smaller towns.

Popular Experiences in Manitou Springs

Embark on walking tours and discover the town’s rich history – from its Native American roots to the Victorian era. Explore the rugged terrain with thrilling jeep tours, revealing hidden natural wonders and majestic wildlife.

Walking tours

Explore Manitou Springs through our self-guided walking tours. You can visit the eight mineral springs while taking a leisurely stroll around town. Art enthusiasts will find joy in “Art on the Avenue,” offering a delightful self-guided art tour featuring local artists’ works at multiple galleries along the avenue.

Soak up the charm of this quaint town as you embark on these unique experiences with us.

Jeep tours

Discover the untamed wilderness of Manitou Springs with our rugged jeep tours. Traverse off-road paths, exploring hidden gems and breathtaking vistas in style. Uncover the enchanting lore behind Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods, as we navigate through rugged terrain – a thrilling adventure perfect for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Immerse yourself in the heart of Colorado’s wild beauty; buckle up for an unforgettable ride tailored to those seeking more than just sightseeing.

Embark on a meticulously crafted journey that delves into the complexities of this ever-changing landscape. Buckle up for an exciting expedition that unravels not only its natural wonders but also its history and culture – offering a firsthand experience to unlock the secrets of this realm.

With our expert guides leading you through captivating trails, you’re set to explore every nook and cranny, unlocking remarkable stories amongst awe-inspiring landscapes.

Nature and wildlife tours

Embark on a nature and wildlife tour to connect with the serene outdoors. Discover the beauty of North Cheyenne Cañon Park, home to diverse flora and fauna. Join tours led by knowledgeable guides for an engaging experience amidst Colorado’s natural wonders.

Delve into the realm of wildlife, uncovering secrets hidden in the heart of picturesque landscapes. Witness firsthand experiences that bring you closer to nature.

Savor guided explorations through everchanging trails, offering glimpses of red rocks and lush greenery. Enjoy bespoke encounters with local wildlife at Starsmore Discovery Center and beyond, immersed in the vibrant ecosystem surrounding Manitou Springs.

Uncover the complexities of this ecosystem while navigating towards unforgettable encounters with Colorado’s native species.

Historical tours

Explore Manitou Springs’ rich history with our captivating historical tours. Wander through the charming streets and learn about the town’s beginnings, including its ties to Native American culture.

Uncover the stories behind iconic landmarks such as Miramont Castle, a stunning Victorian-era mansion that transports us back in time to the late 1800s. Discover how these historical sites have shaped Manitou Springs into the delightful town it is today.

Immerse yourself in guided tours of unique cave dwellings at Manitou Cliff Dwellings, offering a fascinating glimpse into the lives of ancient Pueblo people who inhabited this area over 700 years ago.

Delve into local legends and tales passed down through generations while exploring these remarkable archaeological treasures.

Extreme sports

Looking for some adventure? Manitou Springs offers a range of extreme sports activities, including rock climbing, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting. The ZIPLINE TOUR: COLO-RAD provides an exhilarating 1.5-hour adventure through the scenic landscapes.

With Pikes Peak as your backdrop, experience these heart-pounding activities right here in our quieter town.

Soar through the treetops on a zipline tour or conquer challenging trails on your mountain bike. If you’re up for it, navigate the rushing rapids with a thrilling whitewater rafting experience.

There’s no shortage of excitement when it comes to extreme sports in Manitou Springs!

Exploring Small Towns Near Manitou Springs

When exploring small towns near Manitou Springs, consider visiting Old Colorado City for its historic charm and unique shops. Cascade, located nearby, offers beautiful views and access to outdoor activities such as hiking and picnicking.

Additionally, Canon City boasts the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park for an exhilarating experience observing the stunning landscapes. These smaller towns provide a quieter escape from the hustle of city life while still offering engaging attractions to explore.

Manitou Springs is centrally located in the Pikes Peak Region with easy access to popular attractions such as Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak Highway.

Local Favorites in Manitou Springs

Explore city parks like Memorial Park and Soda Springs Park, visit art galleries showcasing local talent, savor the flavors of Manitou’s cuisine, and uncover unique treasures while shopping in the area.

To discover more delights awaiting you in Manitou Springs, continue reading our ultimate guide!

City parks

City parks in Manitou Springs are a must-visit, with serene spots like Fields Community Park and Soda Springs Park. These green spaces offer the perfect setting for strolls, picnics, and quiet reflection.

Schryver Park is also an excellent choice for those who enjoy fishing, adding to the diverse range of activities available in these peaceful urban oases.

The parks truly encapsulate the essence of tranquility within this charming town. The well-maintained landscapes make them ideal for leisurely walks or simply lounging on a lazy afternoon.

With the variety of offerings including fishing opportunities at Schryver Park, these natural escapes provide a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Art galleries

In Manitou Springs, art enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the vibrant local arts scene by visiting various art galleries. For instance, Cherokee’s of Manitou showcases original oils and bronze sculptures, while Commonwheel Artist Co-op has been featuring local art for over 40 years.

Here, one can admire diverse works of talented artists and gain a deeper appreciation for the area’s artistic heritage.

At these galleries, visitors get to experience an array of creative expressions that capture the essence of Manitou Springs’ culture and history. Additionally, navigating through these spaces provides an opportunity to connect with the local artistic community while discovering unique pieces that embody the town’s artistic flair.

Local food and drink options

When it comes to dining in Manitou Springs, we’ve got some sweet deals! The city’s culinary scene is brimming with local favorites. You can sip on handcrafted brews at Manitou Brewing Company.

And for a unique experience, head to Mona Lisa Fondue Restaurant for some delectable cheese and olive oil specialties. These spots are must-visit destinations for our foodies looking to savor the flavors of this charming town.


When exploring Manitou Springs, you can enjoy the experience of shopping at 21 different places offering local crafts and art. Popular options include Raye Images Art Gallery and Commonwheel Artists Co-op.

Mineral springs tours

When visiting Manitou Springs, exploring the mineral springs through self-guided tours is a must. The historical significance of these springs, which attracted early settlers and Native Americans, adds an intriguing layer to the experience.

These tours offer a unique opportunity for us to engage with the historical and natural elements of this charming town.

The mineral springs provide an educational insight into the area’s history and geology. Exploring these sites allows us to appreciate both the cultural and natural facets of Manitou Springs.

Moreover, it offers a chance for us to immerse ourselves in the local character and gain a firsthand perspective on how these springs have shaped the community over time.

Things To Do In Manitou Springs CO Conclusion

In Manitou Springs, there’s a plethora of activities and attractions awaiting your exploration. From the breathtaking Pikes Peak to the intriguing Manitou Incline, and the serene Garden of the Gods, you’re in for an unforgettable experience.

The town’s vibrant events and festivals will immerse you in local culture, ensuring there’s never a dull moment. Whether it’s taking in the natural beauty or delving into history, every moment spent here promises adventure and discovery.

So come join us as we uncover all that makes Manitou Springs a gem nestled within Colorado’s stunning landscape.

Things To Do In Manitou Springs CO FAQs

1. What can we do in Manitou Springs?

In Manitou Springs, we can explore the ancient Cave of the Winds, hike up the challenging Manitou Springs Incline for breathtaking views, and relax in the healing mineral springs. Don’t forget to visit Pikes Peak – it’s a must-see!

2. Is there any place to shop and eat in Manitou Springs?

Yes! We can enjoy shopping at unique local stores and savor delicious meals at cozy cafes and restaurants. There’s always something happening downtown where you can play, explore, drink, and shop.

3. Can we find any historical sites in Manitou Springs?

Absolutely! We’ll discover history around every corner. From the historic buildings downtown to landmarks like The Broadmoor near Cheyenne Mountain… It’s all there waiting for us.

4. Are there family-friendly activities in Manitou Springs?

Sure thing! Families will love visiting Seven Falls or taking a scenic drive through Cascade, Colorado. Plus, kids always have fun learning about nature at places like Pike’s Peak and Colorado Springs.

5. How far is Denver from Manitou Springs if we want to take a day trip?

Denver is not too far away – making it perfect for a day trip! Just pack your bags early morning… And soon enough you’ll be exploring another beautiful part of Colorado.


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