Hanging out in the Pikes Peaks area? Make sure you check out everything on offer in Downtown Colorado Springs. With an exceptional food scene, cool outdoor spaces, and unique attractions, it’s one of the best neighborhoods in Colorado’s second-largest city.
Downtown Colorado Springs prides itself on having a small-town vibe with big-city amenities. Check out world-class attractions like the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum, or get under the skin of the area’s rich history at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. You’ll have epic mountain views at every turn, but for more pretty scenery, check out green spaces like Monument Valley Park.
Are you ready for a trip full of family fun and epic activities? Ramp up your itinerary with this guide to Downtown Colorado Springs, including what to see & do, where to eat & drink, and where to stay.
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What to see & do in Downtown Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
If you want to delve into every aspect of Colorado Springs, start your trip at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. This museum is passionate about preserving the heritage of the Pikes Peaks region and takes visitors on an exciting journey through history to the bustling city you see today. A range of exhibits explores how Colorado Springs has left its mark on art, tourism, and different industries.
Step into the cool granite of the El Paso County Courthouse. The elaborate Italianate design and smooth marble columns make the 1903 building an atmospheric place to jump into the city’s history.
Historic and cultural artifacts explore everything from Ute tribes to famous 19th-century writers. Whatever your interests, you’ll find a way to connect with the area around you, whether that’s through geography, women’s rights, or the huge collection of pottery and quilts. Kids can throw themselves into trade on the Santa Fe Trail with an immersive exhibit about Bent’s Fort.
U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum
Looking for an uplifting activity in Downtown Colorado Springs? The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum will show you the very best of American sporting excellence. It’ll inspire you with stories from incredible US athletes and give you the chance to try out some sports for yourself.
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum is one of the world’s most accessible and interactive museums. Innovative technology and an inclusive ethos give everybody a chance to throw themselves into the world of sport.
Immersive exhibits will engage all your senses. Feel the rush Olympic athletes feel as they walk into an Olympic stadium, then learn how they train to be world-class with VR and simulation experiences.
You’ll learn about every aspect of athletics, from its ancient beginnings to the incredible scientific advancements today. The virtual hall of fame lets you meet over 150 sporting legends, and with AI technology, you can have a conversation with one of your heroes.
Fine Arts Center
Get your creative juices flowing at the Fine Arts Center. The huge 1.6-acre site has something to spark everyone’s imagination, with a museum, theater, art school, music room, and library.
The museum in the Fine Arts Center has over 20,000 pieces in its permanent collection, with plenty of rotating exhibitions from international artists. Its main focus is the contemporary cultures of the Southwest and the Americas. You’ll be able to get stuck into the regional creative scene and learn more about Native American, Hispanic, and Spanish colonial artwork. Keep your eyes peeled for pieces from famous artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and Jackson Pollock.
If the Fine Arts Center has given you the creative bug, why not take one of their workshops or classes? You could learn how to enhance your painting technique, try out pottery, or learn about the psychology of music.
Monument Valley Park
If you want to get back into nature for a while, hang out in Monument Valley Park. The two-mile-long park rests along the banks of Monument Creek. With 150 acres of thriving greenery, tranquil lakes, and dreamy views of the surrounding peaks, it’s the perfect place to refresh. And if you’re feeling active, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy.
The Horticultural Art Society of Colorado Springs keeps its award-winning public gardens in Monument Valley Park. Explore the beautiful spaces, fresh with the scent of blooming roses and lavender. Wander through gazebos, woodlands, and rock gardens and see if you can find the gnome home.
Get stuck into outdoor life, with walking trails, sports fields, an outdoor pool, and fishing ponds to keep everybody happy. If you’re interested in geology, seek out the Geographic Column. Kids will love the fun stripes cut into the landscape, while budding scientists can analyze the 24 layers of stone.
McAllister House Museum
For a big slice of Colorado Springs history, visit the McAllister House Museum. It’s the oldest building left in the city and paints a picture of life in early Colorado Springs. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the McAllister family, who played a huge role in shaping the city you see today.
Major Henry McAllister was close friends with General William Palmer, the founder of the city, so he had plenty of influence in the final decisions. He also helped establish Colorado College, and his daughter, Matilda McAllister, was the first woman in the city to drive her own car.
The McAllisters built their house themselves in 1873. In 1961, a preservation group restored the house to its former glory and opened it as the McAllister House Museum.
Inside the adorable English-style cottage, find authentic furnishings reflecting 19th-century life. With grand marble fireplaces and bedrooms in their original state, you’ll get to see behind the curtains of this influential family.
Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum
Rev up your engines and head over to the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum, one of Colorado Springs’s must-visit museums for motorcycle lovers. Race headfirst into motorcycles and their history, with fun memorabilia and an impressive collection of vehicles.
The Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum has 75 different classic and antique motorcycles spanning 70 years of innovation. Admire bikes from top brands like Harley Davidson, Honda, and Mustang. Many of the staff are huge motorcycle enthusiasts themselves and are more than happy to answer your questions.
Not only do you get to see these stunning vehicles in the flesh, but you can also get a thorough look at motorcycle history and culture. Browse a huge collection of photographs, fine prints, and artwork celebrating life on two wheels. It’s brilliant for lovers of vintage treasures or anyone interested in branding. Marvel at magnificent memorabilia like banners, trophies, clothing, sidecars, and accessories.
Pikes Peak Center For The Performing Arts
Want to catch a show during your stay in Colorado Springs? Check the program at Pikes Peak Center For The Performing Arts. This concert auditorium provides some of the best entertainment in the city.
This sleek, modern venue puts on a fantastic range of shows and has been designed to deliver the very best acoustics. The Pikes Peak Center For The Performing Arts was built in 1984 and was the first true symphony hall in the Pikes Peaks region. It houses a massive 2,000 people, but as you sink into your plush seat, you know you’ll be in for an intimate experience.
You’ll find a huge choice of tickets on sale at Pikes Peak Center For The Performing Arts, hosting 200 performances every year. It’s home to the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and regularly hosts National Broadway Tours. Laugh your heart out to the latest comedian, see your favorite band in concert, or sing along to a cheesy musical.
America the Beautiful Park
Take in the mountain scenery at America the Beautiful Park. The 16.9-acre park is one of the most popular places to visit in Colorado Springs on summer days. But with interactive artwork and interesting architecture, this is no ordinary park.
The star of America the Beautiful Park is Continuum, a surreal four-story fountain framing a huge circle around a mountain backdrop. Water rushes down through the middle, and you’ll often find kids running in the spray when the Colorado Springs weather is warm.
Kids can start their interest in art early at the Fantasy Playground. As well as hammocks, spinner bowls, and turntables, there are also fun pieces of interactive art called quirks.
There are lots of walking and cycling paths throughout America the Beautiful Park, but if you want to make a day of it, the park connects to Pikes Peaks Greenway. A popular Colorado Springs day trip, this 16-mile trail winds through the whole city, running alongside trickling creeks and stopping at different parks along the way.
Where to eat & drink
Downtown Colorado Springs has the highest concentration of independent restaurants in Southern Colorado. That’s a whole lot of unique flavors to get through. Despite attracting some serious culinary talent, this city is very easy on your wallet, so you can tuck into gourmet dishes guilt-free. The nightlife scene will throw you into local culture with warm welcomes and plenty of unique experiences.
Get your pasta fix at Red Gravy. This cozy bistro serves up hearty St. Louis-style Italian dishes. Feast on recipes passed down through generations of Italian immigrants in the brick interior or on the patio. For authentic Cajun and Creole dishes, try Springs Orleans. They have funky décor and regular live music in the courtyard.
Looking for a lavish way to end your day? Graze the fresh, sustainable seafood at Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar. Wash down your gourmet fish dishes with a fun choice of cocktails.
The super trendy Warehouse Restaurant & Gallery is part restaurant and part art gallery. Admire interesting works while you dine on a menu almost as creative as what’s on the walls. Specializing in game meat, the unique chef only uses local, seasonal ingredients.
Enjoy the local atmosphere at Oskar Blues Grill & Brew. This buzzing joint is the place to be for craft beer. Stick around for live music on the weekends. You’ll be greeted like an old friend at Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub and Restaurant. Hearty food, happy hour drinks, and live music deliver the classic Irish pub experience.
The laid-back Streetcar 520 has gorgeous industrial chic décor and regular events. Graze an eclectic choice of bar snacks, cocktails, and beers in this vibrant space designed to bring people together.
Literally descend into Wonderland down at The Rabbit Hole. This underground haunt serves whimsical food and cocktails in dark and mysterious spaces.
Where to stay
With its proximity to many of the city’s top attractions, Downtown is one of the most popular areas to stay in Colorado Springs. There’s a wide variety of excellent accommodations in the neighborhood, from cool boutique hotels to smaller guesthouses and inns.
This chic hotel has everything you need to switch off after a day of exploring. Let off steam in the gym and heated indoor pool, or sip a coffee in your light and airy bedroom. Start each day with a hearty hot meal at the breakfast bar and end it in the stylish lobby with a great choice of international dishes.
Just a short stroll from some of the neighborhood’s top attractions, this friendly hotel is passionate about giving you the ultimate Colorado Springs experience. They’ll give you insider knowledge on everything from hiking trails to local restaurants. Get chatting with the staff and other travelers at their outdoor café and bar for inspiration.
This relaxed hotel is steps away from Monument Valley Park. Relax in your colorful room with wonderful views of the Pikes Peaks. Or make the most of excellent amenities, including a fitness center and an indoor pool. The onsite restaurant cooks made-to-order breakfasts and tasty evening snacks.
Glorious mountain views and welcoming spaces invite you to stop and linger for a while. Wake up to a complimentary breakfast, then work out in the gyms and indoor pool. Wrap up the day by taking in the surrounding peaks at the chic rooftop bar.
This lavish world of marble and leather is housed in a former 1902 stock exchange. Dine at the on-site Springs Restaurant or take in the grandeur with a cocktail in the lobby. Reach ultimate indulgence in the spa with everything from traditional Swedish massage techniques to gold-infused treatments.