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A 6-Day Colorado Adventure for All Ages
Under Colorado's bluebird skies, families feel a little closer, kids' smiles are bigger, and memories shine brighter. For adventure-seeking families, Colorado Springs and the surrounding communities, including the art-centric Manitou Springs and historic Cripple Creek, offer a crowd-pleasing playground for all ages. With a plethora of kid-approved activities and plenty to keep grownups entertained alike--from interactive museums to golf courses and whiskey distilleries--you'll balance the fun for all.
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    CO.A.T.I. food hall
    Day 1
    Colorado Springs
    At Kinship Landing, check into a bunk-bed suite or book the camp deck for an urban glamping experience the kiddos will love. The latter is a campsite perched four stories above downtown with views of Pikes Peak, Cheyenne Mountain, and the Front Range, along with amenities such as a full bathroom with plush towels. 

    On your first morning, get the day started with breakfast at a local favorite, Denver Biscuit Company, then take your vacation experience to the next level with a scenic ride on the Pikes Peak Cogway that climbs to 14,115 feet where you can explore the Summit Visitor Center, the most sustainable high-altitude structure in the country, and savor one of the famous donuts made on premises along with 360-degree views, interpretive exhibits on the history of the mountain, as well as a revamped gift shop. 

    For lunch head to CO.A.T.I. food hall for a wide array of street food-style vendors, serving up everything from soulful seafood to Korean eats. Once fueled, see one of the most-photographed views in the area at the Garden of the Gods. This 1,367-acre National Natural Landmark has 300-foot sandstone rock formations, a mountain forest, and colorful wildlife, all providing a feast for the senses. You’ll enjoy a cultural feast at the Flying W Ranch Chuckwagon Dinner and Show this evening. You’ll get caught up in three-part harmonies of the open range with an authentic Old West experience that combines a Chuckwagon spread of smoked meats and all the fixings and a stage show starring the Flying W Wranglers, the world’s second-longest-running Western performance band.
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    Day 2
    Sports Glory and Local Gems
    Begin your day at Wild Goose Meeting House for classics like a breakfast burrito or sandwich in a communal atmosphere. You’ll want to take your time at the 60,000-square-foot U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum which shares inspiring journeys of athletes through 12 different galleries and interactive exhibits, including virtual engagements with Hall of Famers.

    From there, walk across the bridge to America the Beautiful Park. Joining the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail, it’s a community space honoring the natural beauty of the city—which is also known as Olympic City, USA—with mountains in the backdrop and a four-story sculptural fountain in the shape of a ring.

    Next, take a lunch break and enjoy the community atmosphere at the food hall Ivywild Kitchen. Located in a former elementary school, it’s a gathering space for food and culture. Grab a meal and take it out to the patio of Axe and the Oak distillery (one of Colorado Springs’ first whiskey distilleries) to soak up the fresh air and bright mountain sun. 

    Take the rest of the afternoon to play golf with the kids at The Broadmoor and enjoy its sweeping views. Or browse local shops or visit another museum like the community-built Pikes Peak Children’s Museum. When the day winds down, have dinner at Rasta Pasta for Caribbean-meets-Italian fare.
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    Day 3
    Manitou Springs
    Start off your day at The Well’s Gift Horse Bar & Cafe, an all-day concept eatery serving coffee drinks and pastries, then hit the road and go west. Between Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods, Manitou Springs is a community known for its mineral springs and a daring incline that gets your blood pumping with over 2,500 steps of elevation. Explore downtown, where at the Penny Arcade you can play arcade games for just a penny, plus try your hand at Skee-Ball and go on outdoor rides. Take a walk around to check out small shops showcasing Manitou-made products. Pro tip: bring a reusable water bottle so you can taste the carbonated water from eight different springs. 

    Visit the Cave of the Winds Mountain Park, where you’ll find cave tours, spectacular scenery, rides, and attractions ranging “from mild to wild.” Get an adrenaline rush on a zip line, challenge course, and more. For outdoor climbing fun, the Via Ferrata features vertical canyon walls, dual zip lines, and amazing views. Explore the awe-inspiring architecture of the ancient Anasazi at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings for thrills of a different kind, the fascinating history of ancestral Puebloan homes, seen in preserved cliff-dwellings that you can also walk through, replicas, and exhibits. 

    On the way out of town, have a picnic at Red Rock Canyon Open Space, known for its sculpted canyons and ridges. And end your day in Green Mountain Falls by checking into The Little Beaver Inn, a hotel that pairs contemporary design with creature comforts, a rustic vibe, artistic touches, and a location that neighbors Pike National Forest in a picturesque valley.
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    The Royal Gorge cabins at Echo Canyon
    Day 4
    Cripple Creek and Victor
    Get a taste of bygone communities when you explore Colorado’s mining history with a drive along the Gold Belt Scenic Byway. This National Scenic Byway encompasses the onetime “Roads to Riches” and connects Cripple Creek and Victor (places where the gold rush was among the largest in the world) to the communities of Florence, Cañon City, and Florissant.

    Stop by Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument to check out fossils from an ancient ecosystem, including some of the world’s largest petrified redwood tree stumps and detailed insect and leaf fossils etched in stone, dating back 34 million years.

    Dig deeper into the more recent past at Cripple Creek and descend 1,000 feet underground on the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine Tour, one mile north of town. Continue to neighboring Victor, a well-preserved mining town five miles down the road and situated at nearly 10,000 feet on the southwest slope of Pikes Peak. Here, you won’t get stuck in traffic or a stoplight because there aren’t any. See structures dating back to the 1890s and visit the Victor’s Gold Camp AG & Mining Museum to see antique farm implements and vintage equipment. 

    Ease into the evening with a drive that’s among the most scenic and historic in Colorado along Phantom Canyon Road. On arrival in Cañon City, check into Royal Gorge Cabins at Echo Canyon, a collection of vacation cabins and glamping for letting the outdoors in. After an action-packed day, grab dinner at 8 Mile Bar & Grille, a local favorite in Cañon City.
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    The Royal Gorge Route Railway
    Day 5
    Royal Gorge
    Get your engines going with a trip on the Royal Gorge Route Railway. A breakfast of fresh ingredients is included, along with a feast for your eyes—you’ll get incredible perspectives of the Royal Gorge and Colorado Rockies. Or go for greatness with one of the Ride & Raft experiences which includes a guided white-water rafting excursion in Bighorn Sheep Canyon, suitable for children as young as six, along with a ride on the train. Follow your rail ride with a casual lunch at the Happy Endings Caboose Café, housed in a renovated 1920s orange caboose, serving up delicious coffee and food. 

    Keep the momentum going and explore Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, home of the highest suspension bridge (it hangs 956 feet above the Arkansas River) and zipline in the U.S. You’ll also find gondola rides, a Via Ferrata (a guided climbing experience) and what some have called the world’s scariest skycoaster. For something more lowkey, visit the Royal Gorge Dino Experience. And follow it on a high note with a cruise on Skyline Drive, a 2.6-mile scenic route on the top of a razorback ridge.
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    Day 6
    Return to Colorado Springs
    Make the most of your last hours in the Colorado Springs area with an easy hike in the Paint Mines Interpretive Park that brings together geology, archaeology, and ecology in a living classroom. Among the four miles of trails rising around 500 feet, take in grassland, hoodoo formations, colored clay, and sandstone spires. 

    Head back to Colorado Springs to visit Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to spot hippos, giraffes, penguins, otters, and elephants—and go “way beyond watching” through interactive experiences including giraffe feeding, rhino and elephant snack time, and goat and grizzly bear encounters. Then have lunch at Birdcall in Colorado Springs, famous for its all-natural, crispy chicken sandwiches.