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Rocky Mountain Food Tours

Planning a trip to Colorado Springs? Here’s the perfect 3-day itinerary that includes delicious food, cultural activities, and outdoor excursions!

Millions of people visit Colorado Springs every year to see its amazing mountain views and incredible hiking trails. It’s widely known for being the home of Pikes Peak (a.k.a. “America’s Mountain”), The U.S. Olympic Training Center, Garden of the Gods, and several of the country’s most prominent military bases including the U.S. Air Force Academy.

After checking out some of the city’s main tourist attractions and well-known hikes, get to know the local scene. In this article we’ve included some helpful insider tips that will make your visit authentic and memorable.

Colorado Springs is home to award-winning coffee roasters and breweries, unique restaurants, and an amazing downtown that is a Certified Creative District. What better way to experience a place than through its food, art, and culture?!

For those of you looking for a truly local look into Colorado Springs, follow this itinerary for the perfect three-day stay!

 

Day 1 – Explore Downtown Colorado Springs

Morning

Photo Courtesy of Story Coffee

Start your morning off with a fresh cup of coffee from one of downtown Colorado Springs’ amazing coffee shops. There are so many, and you really can’t go wrong, but here are a few of our absolute favorites you should be sure to try out!

  • Story Coffee Company – This amazing coffee and pastries served in a real tiny house located in Acacia Park, right in the heart of downtown.
  • Switchback Coffee – Get cozy in this bright plant-filled environment serving coffee brewed right next door.
  • Wild Goose Meeting House – A local hot spot, this cafe serves delicious lavender lattes and savory breakfast nachos.
  • Loyal Coffee – Clean and modern, this cafe serves arguably the best cup of coffee and some delicious toast with unique toppings.
  • Building Three – This is the perfect place to read or get some work done as you sip your coffee in defunct elementary school turned hip market.
  • Good Neighbors Meeting House – Venture into a quaint historic neighborhood to find this cafe serving sweet and savory waffles alongside their locally roasted coffee.

Enjoy your coffee as you take a stroll and pop into some of the cute boutiques in downtown Colorado Springs. Our favorites include The Local Honey Collective, Terra Verde, and the Rocky Mountain Soap Market — we dare you to not spend all of your money!

Insider Tip: The Downtown Partnership offers an awesome self-guided art walk! Download the free app, Otocast, and start exploring the incredible sculptures and murals right in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs.

 

Afternoon

You only have three days in Colorado Springs, so make the most of it by going on a Rocky Mountain Food Tour as early as possible! Rather than worrying about picking one place to eat, visit a handful of Colorado Springs’ top restaurants in a few hours. While each of our tours is special, they all come with impeccable flavors and an inside scoop into the culinary scene of Colorado Springs.

For those with limited time, we recommend taking The Original Colorado Springs Food Tour, which is from 2:00-5:00pm every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Get a taste of five unique, local destinations in downtown while seeing the behind the scenes of Colorado Springs’ foodie culture. Your expert guide will show you around and give you the lowdown on Colorado history.

Insider Tip: Come hungry and ready to dine and dash! This tour has been running since 2010 and is rated #1 by visitors. Tickets start at only $58.99 for adults and $46.99 for children. Buy your tickets and view the calendar here.

 

Evening

Photo Courtesy of Pikes Peak Center and Broadmoor World Arena

After your walking food tour, head to see an independent movie at Kimball’s Peak Three Theater. While you can’t miss the vintage marquee on Pikes Peak Avenue, the interior is modest and cozy, almost like you’ve been invited to a secret screening. Grab a wine or local beer on tap before heading in to claim your seat. Advanced tickets are advised by not required.

Or, if you’re feeling a little bit more showy, check out a production at the renown and professional stage of the Pikes Peak Center. From comedy to concerts to full-blown productions, this world-class events center has been wowing audiences since 1982.

Insider Tip: Both of these theater events are in walking distance from where the food tour ends!

 

 

Day 2 – Manitou and Garden of the Gods

Morning

Photo Courtesy of Garden of the Gods Market & Cafe | Facebook

If you’re a morning person, great! If not, we suggest you set an early alarm this time! Garden of the Gods is Colorado Springs’ not so hidden gem. The park is famous for its iconic sandstone spires, 15 miles of hiking trails, and insane views of America’s Mountain, Pikes Peak. But what you may not know is that while it’s beautiful at any time of day, it really shines at sunrise —  so grab a front row seat as the sun shines on this incredible scenery. Once the sun has risen, take some time to explore the many trails around the park. You won’t regret the early morning wakeup call.

After your time at Garden of the Gods, head to Garden of the Gods Market & Cafe for breakfast— we suggest ordering the Banana Bread French Toast or the Mountain Man Hash. Take some time to browse the market’s selection of local food and beverage products before you leave!

 

Afternoon

Photo Credit Patrick Betts | Front Range Climbing Company

Head west from Garden of the Gods into the quaint neighboring mountain town of Manitou Springs. Spend the afternoon shopping for souvenirs and fun trinkets in the many shops, sipping soda water from Manitou’s natural spring water fountains, and playing old arcade games in Manitou Springs’ vintage Penny Arcade.

If you’re looking for more of a unique adventure, checkout these other attractions near Manitou Springs and Garden of the Gods!

  • Manitou Cliff Dwellings – Explore history as you walk through Anasazi ruins that date back 800 to 1000 years, located minutes from downtown Manitou Springs.
  • Cave of the Winds Mountain Park – Take a guided tour through massive limestone caves, zip line above the canyon floor, or launch into the air on the “Bat-A-Pult.”
  • Front Range Climbing Company – Head back to Garden of the Gods for a day of jaw-dropping views and guided rock climbing routes that will make you feel like a true Coloradan.
  • Horseback riding through Garden of the Gods with Academy Riding Stables, where you’ll receive a guided tour through the park from a real cowboy.

Insider Tip: There are eight natural mineral springs in Manitou that you can drink from. See what all the fuss was about in the late 1800s and try some for yourself! Click here for a self-guided map.

 

Evening

Photo Courtesy of Manitou Brewing Co.

After a long day of exploring, head to Manitou Brewing Co. where you’ll find beer made on location from the freshest Pikes Peak water. Grab a flight of beer and a juicy burger — we suggest the Incline Burger or the Bronco Burger — and enjoy the hippy vibes of Manitou Springs.

If you’re not too tired after dinner, head to SunWater Spa to enjoy the sunset over the mountains from one of their hot mineral water cedar pools — not a bad way to end your day!

Insider Tip: If you’re local using this guide for a staycation, then take advantage of the 10% discount SunWater Spa offers to all Colorado residents!

 

 

Day 3 – Mountain Hike and Local Museum

Morning 

Photo Courtesy of cospringstrails.com

Get your last bit of Colorado nature in with one of Colorado Springs’ beautiful hikes or walking trails. There are so many to choose from so we’ve narrowed it down for you!

  • Manitou Incline – Looking for a sweat? Bring a lot of water for your journey up the 2,744 steps of the Manitou Incline. The old railroad service track offers fantastic views of the city and a massive cardio challenge.
  • Red Mountain –  This hike is conveniently located near downtown Manitou Springs. The incredible views of the whole city are well-worth the uphill challenge.
  • Red Rock Canyon Open Space – This hike is great for the whole family — with options ranging from a relaxing nature stroll to a more intense uphill climb.
  • Seven Bridges – Explore the seven bridges of the beautiful Cheyenne Canyon. This option is great for families with kiddos.
  • Section 16 Trailhead – Offering views of Red Rocks Canyon and Garden of the Gods, this trail is perfect for intermediate hikers looking to get a light workout in.

 Insider’s Tip: Make sure to head out early to avoid an afternoon thunderstorm, which are notorious in Colorado, especially in the summertime!

 

Afternoon

Photo Courtesy of The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

After enjoying the serenity of nature, contemplate the finer things in life with a leisurely stroll through one of our incredible local museums. If you’re into fine art, head to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Located in downtown Colorado Springs, The Fine Arts Center has an incredible permanent exhibit and is usually host to a not-to-be-missed traveling exhibit, as well. If you prefer history, check out The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum (free!), where you’ll encounter innovative exhibits and educational resources on the history of Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. Have the kids in tow? Take them to the Ghost Town Museum where they can pan for gold and play antique arcade games.

Insider Tip: The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is free every second Saturday and first Friday of every month!

 

Evening

Photo Courtesy of Ivywild School

If you have time for one last stop in Colorado Springs, head to Ivywild School. This once bustling elementary school has been converted into a hip spot for food, drinks, and entertainment. Have your pick of food and drink between Bristol Brewery & Pub, Principal’s Office, and Axe and the Oak. If you have a little bit of extra time, stop into Yobel Market and explore their selection of ethically made goods from around the world.

Insider’s Tip: Feeling fancy? End your stay in Colorado Springs by first enjoying an aperitif at the Principal’s Office, then head across across the street to Prime 25 for a more gourmet dining experience. This indulgent steak and seafood restaurant serves up delicious food in a posh atmosphere.

 

From history to food to a little outdoor fun, we want you to experience Colorado Springs like a local! Follow this step-by-step itinerary, and you’ll be sure to have an amazing three-days in Colorado Springs.

Cheers, Your Rocky Mountain Food Tours Team

(So, what’s a food tour, anyway…?)

 

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