Hotel at a Glance: Best Western Plus Peak Vista Inn & Suites
This recently remodeled Best Western Plus is located on the edge of the US Air Force Academy, near many of the most popular outdoor attractions in Colorado Springs. A complimentary breakfast should give you enough energy to explore ancient caverns in nearby Cave of the Winds or climb the famous Pikes Peak.
- In-room amenities: microwave and fridge; some suites have mountain views
- Squeeze in a workout at the onsite fitness center.
- Grab a bite: Try deep-dish pizza at Old Chicago, or head to The Margarita at Pine Creek for upscale contemporary American cuisine. Both restaurants are a short walk away.
- Garden of the Gods is a 1,300-acre park with red-rock formations that have been slowly carved by rain and wind over millions of years. Explore this natural wonder via hiking and mountain-biking trails.
- Go shopping at nearby Chapel Hills Mall, where you’ll find Macy’s, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and H&M, as well as several dining options.
Colorado Springs, Colorado: Cultured College Town Where the Mountains Meet the Plains
Colorado Springs is the second-biggest city in Colorado, but it still has a frontier feel; there are vast plains and towering mountains just east of the city. At more than 14,000 feet, Pikes Peak dominates the landscape. The mountain—once thought to be insurmountable—inspired part of the lyrics to “America the Beautiful.” You can hike the mountainside or take in the surroundings by car along the 19-mile Pikes Peak Highway, which doubles as a racing course for motorcycles and cars during the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
You can easily reach the summit of Pikes Peak via the Cog Railway, a three-hour train ride that makes a steep climb past boulders, streams, and trees that are roughly 2,000 years old. Along the way, keep an eye out for Colorado’s state animal, the bighorn sheep; they gather in herds in the mountains.
Though a lot of activity here skews toward the outdoors, Colorado Springs has plenty else going for it, particularly in the artistic realm. Downtown you’ll find the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, home to masterpieces by contemporary American painters that include John Singer Sargent and Georgia O’Keeffe. You can also participate in an art walk through local art galleries on the first Friday of each month from April through December.