Tucked away near Pikes Peak is the town of Manitou Springs, CO, a quintessential town for tourists since back in the 1870’s. A number of the mineral springs in town are still functional today and visitors and locals alike can relax in one of the many pools located throughout town. There are also plenty of other outdoor attractions, museums, restaurants, and breweries to be enjoyed. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Manitou Springs Incline

Manitou Springs Incline
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The Manitou Springs Incline is regarded by many people as being “the holy grail of cardio” for both athletes and local residents. Formerly a railroad track, the incline is now made up of 2,744 steps that are made completely out of railroad ties. The total distance of the Manitou Springs Incline is about a mile, but the ascension is a 41% incline on average, with a 68% incline at the highest. It’s also a elevation climb of two thousand feet, considered to be one of the world’s highest set of stairs. The Barr Trail should be taken back down.

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2.Cave of the Winds Mountain Park

Cave of the Winds Mountain Park
© Cave of the Winds Mountain Park

The Cave of the Winds Mountain Park offers visitors an opportunity to explore the caves near Manitou Springs through a variety of means. The Discovery Tour lasts between forty-five and sixty minutes and takes guests on a guided tour through the portion of the Cave of the Winds that is electrically lit. The walking tour includes 196 stairs, half a mile of walkways, and fifteen rooms. The Lantern Tour is led by candlelight and is about a mile in length. This is a guided, ninety-minute tour through the unimproved and mysterious Manitou Grand Caverns. Caving 101 is also offered.

100 Cave of the Winds Rd, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, Phone: 719-685-5444

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3.Miramont Castle Museum

Miramont Castle Museum
© Miramont Castle Museum

The Miramont Castle Museum is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the Miramont Castle’s architectural integrity, as well as to providing educational resources and experiences related to the history of the town of Manitou Springs, its artifacts, and its indigenous people. Visitors are invited to come and see what life was like back during the Victorian era. Inside of Miramont Castle, guests can view thirty different rooms adorned with authentic Victoria furnishings. The Queen’s Parlour Tea Room provides a chance to eat both modern day and Victoria fare made fresh every day. The grounds also include the Castle Gardens.

9 Capitol Hill Ave, Manitou Springs CO 80829, Phone: 719-685-1011

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4.Manitou Springs Heritage Center

Manitou Springs Heritage Center
© Manitou Springs Heritage Center

The Manitou Springs Heritage Center, established in 1997, is a non-profit, educational center at the foot of Colorado’s Pikes Peak. The mission of the center is the collection, preservation, research, and interpretation of the culture and history of the Pike Peak region, and the town of Manitou Springs in particular. The Manitou Springs Heritage Center hosts numerous special events and exhibitions throughout the year, including the haunted walking tours known as “Ghost Stories of Old Manitou” during the Emma Crawford Festival each year. The center aims to educate both visitors and locals alike to raise appreciation and understanding of the local community.

517 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, Phone: 719-685-1454

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5.Green Horse Gallery

Green Horse Gallery
© Green Horse Gallery

The Green Horse Gallery is a destination for handmade, fine arts and crafts. The gallery features works and products made by local artists, such as wonderful crafts and one-of-a-kind works of fine art. A diverse assortment of crafts and fine art is showcased by the Green Horse Gallery in Manitou Springs, Connecticut, ranging from hand-colored etchings and oil paintings to silver jewelry, fiber art, sculpture, and pottery. The gallery itself is managed and operated by a partnership between seven local artists. Open seven days a week, from 10:00am until 6:00pm, the Green Horse Gallery sales artwork by more than fifty artists.

729 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, Colorado 80829, Phone: 719-685-0636

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6.Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls
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Rainbow Falls is a hidden waterfall underneath a bridge and is well known for the extensive graffiti that has been painted on the base. The waterfall runs from the Fountain Creek in town and is a nice little falls tucked beneath a highway overpass. The alluring and colorful, albeit illegal, graffiti art along the base of Rainbow Falls has led to the nickname of “Graffiti Waterfall.” The falls are a bit of an off-the-beaten-path attraction, with not too many people aware of its existence outside of the Manitou Springs community. Rainbow Falls is closed during the winter season.

West end of Manitou Springs, Woodland Park, CO 80863

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7.Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama Dinner Theater

Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama Dinner Theater
© Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama Dinner Theater

The Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama Dinner Theater in Manitou Springs provides quality entertainment and hilarious comedy during the evenings to the region of Pike Peak in Colorado. The theater aims to provide old-fashioned fun that is suitable for visitors of all ages, so the whole family can come and have a laugh and a meal. The night starts with a three-course meal, immediately followed by the Melodrama. During the show, audience participation is allowed and strongly encouraged. Following the melodrama, guests can join in for some musical fun during the sing-along intermission, followed by the Vaudeville-style musical revue.

444 Ruxton Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, Phone: 719-685-5104

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8.Sahara Cafe

Sahara Cafe
© Sahara Café

The Sahara Cafe serves authentic, fresh Middle Eastern cuisine to the Manitou Springs community for both lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Food offered at the cafe includes salads, dips, hummus, kebabs, shawarma, and falafel. The menu features specialty platters made from scratch daily using high quality and fresh ingredients. One of the Sahara Cafe’s dessert is a great way for customers to finish off their meal. Dishes are made with “secret” and special ingredients, providing guests with unique, but still authentic, Middle Eastern flavors. The Sahara Cafe also caters several of the local community events.

954 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829

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9.Cliff House Hotel Dining Room

Cliff House Hotel Dining Room
© Cliff House Hotel Dining Room

The Cliff House Hotel Dining Room is considered to be the crown jewel of the culinary crown of Manitou Springs, Colorado, seamlessly combining a sense of romance and history with a refreshing approach to cooking. The Cliff House at Pikes Peak aims to captivate guests with its award-winning cuisine within the setting of the splendor of the Rocky Mountains. It is one of the premier dining establishments in the state of Colorado, receiving the 4 Diamond Award from AAA in Fine Dining and the DiRoNA Award. The Cliff House Hotel Dining Room is where visitors can find artistic, timeless cuisine.

306 Canon Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, Phone: 719-785-1000

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10.Adam's Mountain Cafe

Adam's Mountain Cafe
© Adam's Mountain Café

Adam’s Mountain Cafe serves a variety of global cuisine that is based on the principles of Slow Food, which uses as much organic and local products from the region as possible. While the cafe specializes in vegan and vegetarian dishes, Adam’s Mountain Cafe also offers other dishes featuring meats, such as fresh roasted turkey, organic salmon, shrimp, and Boulder All Natural Chicken. Customers can also find a boutique wine list, craft cocktails, and an array of Colorado craft beers at the cafe. Adam’s Mountain Cafe is a unique and independent eatery in Manitou Springs with antique chairs and tables.

26 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, Phone: 719-685-1430

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11.Manitou Brewing Company

Manitou Brewing Company
© Manitou Brewing Company

The Manitou Brewing Company is a 5 bbl, small brewpub situated in the historic area of Manitou Springs, Colorado. Located near the base of Colorado’s Pikes Peak, the brewery is the closest to the mountain splendor. All of the beer produced by the Manitou Brewing Company is made from the pristine waters found near the peak’s summit. The brewery, pub, and cellar are housed in what used to be the Manitou Burro Line during the latter part of the 1800’s. In addition to the beer styles made on-site by Manitou Brewing Company, the brewery also offers other craft beers.

725 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, Phone: 719-282-7709

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12.Heart of Jerusalem Cafe

Heart of Jerusalem Cafe
© Heart of Jerusalem Café

The Heart of Jerusalem Cafe provides both visitors and locals alike with an opportunity for their taste buds to take a trip across the ocean to “The Heart of Jerusalem.” As guests enter the cafe, they are greeted with the smell of Sage Tea and Za'atar spices, offering a hint of some fo the delightful delicacies that wait them. At the Heart of Jerusalem Cafe, authentic recipes, such as falafels and prize-winning hummus, are seasoned with a variety of imported spices, the meat for kabobs is cut by hand, and the ice cream is hand-dipped and homemade.

718 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, Phone: 719-685-1325

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12 Best Things to Do in Manitou Springs, Colorado

Attraction Spotlight: Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway

Located in Manitou Springs, Colorado, the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway is known as the highest cog railway in the world. The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway ascends around the popular Colorado mountain range, Pike’s Peak.

Renowned inventor, Zalmon Simmons, traveled to the Pikes Peak Region in the late 1880’s. During this trip, the Simmons Beautyrest Mattress Company owner traveled to the top of Pikes Peak on the back of a mule. Although the trip was rigorous and took two days, traveling by mule was the only efficient way to make it to the top of the Peak.

Simmons believed everyone should be able to reach the top of Pikes Peak in an efficient and quick manner. During one a mineral bath in Manitou Springs, a hotel owner suggested railroad to be built to take people to the top of the peak. Simmons agreed to this idea, and began funding the venture.

The Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway Company was founded in 1889. That same year, railroad construction also began. One year later, three engines from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania were brought to the railroad. Eventually, the original three engines used the Vauclain Compound system to operate, and three new engines were brought to the engine. Currently, only one of the original six engines is operational.

In the summer of 1891, the Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway Company celebrated success with the first passenger train that made it to the top of Pikes Peak. In 1925, Spencer Penrose, who also owned and operated the Broadmoor Hotel, purchased the Railway. With Penrose’s direction, the Railway introduced locomotives that were powered by gasoline and diesel, as well as compact railcars that were to be used during the off-season. In 1938, engine No. 7 was created and had the ability to carry 23 passengers. Many people believe that the first rack railcar in the world was this No. 7 engine.

In 1939, the General Electric Company produced what is thought to be the first cog locomotive that is diesel-electric. This locomotive is known as No. 8. From 1940 to 1965, “Streamliner” locomotives, such as Nos. 8, 9, and 10 prevailed.

During the early 1960s, the modern age of the Railway began with tourism booming. Most of the popular railcars during this age came from Switzerland. Eventually, a Swiss engineer named Martin Frick was hired. With the help of Frick, the Manitou & Pikes Peak Railway became one of the most popular and innovative railways in the modern age. In the most recent years, Mr. Frick has served as an advisor to the Manitou & Pikes Peak Railway when they do business transactions with Switzerland and Germany.

The main attraction at the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway is the railroad ride. Visitors take around a three hour journey across approximately 8.9 miles of railroad tracks. When visitors first hop aboard the train, they will travel alongside the Ruxton Creek. Then, the train travels through a dense spruce area full of Engelmann and Ponderosa pine trees. On either side of the train, visitors will be able to see fields of boulders.

The next stop on the train ride is Minnehaha Falls, which can be seen on the up bound and down bound route. From Minnehaha Falls, the train loops through “Hell’s Gate”, which is an opening in the mountains, and Deer Park. The first time guests will have a clear look of Pikes Peak is when the train follows along the Four Mile Siding route.

After spending the next three miles ascending the mountain, visitors are allowed to explore and experience the top of Pikes Peak for 30 to 40 minutes. Although this seems like a short amount of time, most people will get a headache or feel nauseous after hanging out at the top of the Peak for 30 minutes. This is completely normal and due to high altitude.

Guests have a few dining options. While they can’t bring external food on their train ride, they are welcome to purchase snacks from the Cog Wheel Market and take them on the ride. Also, groups of 15 or more can reserve lunch that can be taken on the train or enjoyed after the trip. Lunch options consist of a ham sandwich, turkey sandwich, or salad, alongside a cookie, bag of chips, and bottle of water.

In addition to the Cog Wheel Market and lunch program, visitors are welcome to purchase something to eat from the Café located in the Summit House, which is at the top of Pikes Peak. It’s important to note that the line for the Café is usually long. If you want to avoid spending majority of your time at the top of the Peak in a Café, purchase something before you embark on your train ride.

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515 Ruxton Ave. Manitou Springs, Colorado, 80829, Phone: 719-685-5401

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Venue Spotlight: A Pikes Peak Wedding

A Pikes Peak Wedding is a beautiful venue in Manitou Springs, Colorado that provides spectacular surroundings for romantic wedding ceremonies and receptions, as well as full-service destination wedding packages. Named for the nearby mountain called Pike’s Peak, the eponymous venue features the charming Blue Skies Inn, where the bridal party and guests can stay, along with beautifully manicured gardens and grounds in which to get married. The venue offers all-inclusive wedding packages, which provide a garden ceremony and reception, suite accommodation at the Blue Skies Inn, a ceremony officiant, bridal flowers, a custom wedding cake and an exclusive photo package. Summer ceremonies are held in the Waterfall or Woodland Gardens which are home to stately oak trees and blooming flowers, while winter weddings can be held indoors on the stunning reception space, which features a roaring fireplace and large windows that look out onto the garden. The historic Carriage House has recently been transformed into a charming chapel and can accommodate up to 60 guests for ceremonies.

Amenities & Facilities

A Pikes Peak Wedding offers two event spaces, namely the beautifully manicured gardens for summer weddings and the recently restored Carriage House and Blue Skies Inn for winter weddings. The gardens are perfect for romantic ceremonies in the dappled shade of stately oak trees and surrounded by blooming flowers, followed by an outdoor reception beneath a tent overlooking the gardens. Winter weddings are accommodated in the Blue Skies Inn, which has spacious interiors that can accommodate up to 100 guests for seated dinner receptions, and ceremonies are conducted in the historic Carriage House, which has been recently renovated into a quaint chapel that can seat up to 60 people.


A Pikes Peak Wedding offers all-inclusive wedding packages, which include rental and use of the property, including the gardens, the Blue Skies Inn, and the historic Carriage House, a ceremony and a reception. Also included in the wedding packages are an officiant for the ceremony, bridal bouquets and flowers for the bridal party, and a cake reception with a customized wedding cake and cake cutting services, and a glass flute of sparkling cider for all guests. An hors d'oeuvres reception is also available instead of a wedding meal, which features a buffet of delicious cuisine, freshly prepared on site and served by professional wait staff.

Other amenities and services included in the packages are tables, chairs, and décor (for an hors-d'oeuvres reception), a customized wedding cake, bridal flowers, digital music (supplied by the Blue Skies Inn), a marriage license, and a professional wedding photographer and all photography. The Blue Skies Inn offers luxurious accommodations in the form of deluxe suites for the bridal party and their guests, which must be booked for two nights with the wedding packages. Suites are beautifully appointed with en-suite bathrooms, whirlpool tubs, romantic four-poster canopy beds, and spacious sitting areas with roaring fireplaces. The Inn is also ideal for honeymoon stays.

General Information

A Pikes Peak Wedding is located at 402 Manitou Avenue, Carriage House, Manitou Springs, is wheelchair accessible, and offers secure parking onsite.

402 Manitou Avenue, Carriage House, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, Phone: 719-685-9012

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Venue Spotlight: The Briarhurst Manor Estate

Located in the tiny valley of Manitou Springs, a few miles west of Colorado Springs, The Briarhurst Manor is a beautiful historic Victorian English country manor house that provides a spectacular venue for weddings and receptions of all sizes. Built in 1976 by Dr. William Bell, the founder of Manitou Springs, the stately Briarhurst Manor Estate is a full service restaurant that serves award-winning Colorado cuisine in an extraordinary atmosphere with spectacular views of the Garden of the Gods and Pike's Peak. In addition to being an excellent dining restaurant, the pink sandstone manor house also provides a beautiful location for weddings with stunning outdoor sites for ceremonies with more than five acres of manicured gardens, lawns and a babbling brook with the Victorian English Country Manor Estate and the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. The restaurant can be used for private receptions of up to 500 guests in nine different dining rooms, all of which have awe-inspiring views.

Amenities & Facilities

The Briarhurst Manor Estate features several beautiful sites for ceremonies, services, and elegant receptions. The exquisitely appointed Tudor Manor is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and grounds with a babbling brook known as Fountain Creek, five acres of flowering gardens and lawns with gazebos and unrivaled views of Pike's Peak, which create the perfect setting for idyllic ceremonies. Reception venues at The Briarhurst Manor Estate include the award-winning restaurant, which features nine dining rooms for seated and cocktail gatherings of all sizes up to 200 guests. Outdoor sites include the West Garden and Patio, the Grande Terrace and Gazebo, and the Rose Garden Tea House and indoor spots range from the Conservatory, the West Wing, and the Palmer Room.


The Briarhurst Manor Estate offers a variety of services with the rental of the venue such as tables, chairs, chair covers, centerpieces, décor, a dance floor, furniture, lighting and sound equipment, tents for the gardens, and a photo booth. The venue offers all-inclusive wedding packages that include a range of services such as catering and beverages, including a variety of options such as butler-passed hors-d’oeuvres and platters, attended food stations, carving stations, plated dinners, and dessert stations. Bar services include a host bar, cash bar, or secret family bar, or a combination of all three, and other services include a personalized wedding cake and cake cutting service, and a Champagne toast for the bridal party.

General Information

The Briarhurst Manor is located at 404 Manitou Avenue in Manitou Springs, is wheelchair accessible and offers ample secure parking at the site. Manitou Springs is a resort city just outside Colorado Springs that is renowned for its hot springs and breathtaking mountain landscapes, which is dominated by the towering Pikes Peak. Local attractions in the area include the 1880s Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the Manitou Incline Trail, and the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, which are a group of significant ancient cliff structures that attract hundreds of tourists every year.

404 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, Phone: 719-685-1864

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