20 Things To Do In Manitou Springs

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Manitou Springs is a charming and historic town tucked between Colorado Springs and the base of Pikes Peak. With only around 5,000 residents, it offers a peaceful atmosphere perfect for a relaxing getaway while providing easy access to the larger city. Established in the 1800s, Manitou Springs has a rich history that can be appreciated in its Victorian architecture, museums and galleries. However, it is best known for natural wonders, like the spectacular Garden of the Gods and surrounding mountains.

The town is named after its eight healing mineral springs, which have attracted visitors for centuries, and each has its unique properties and taste. Take a self-guided walking tour to sample the waters and learn more about their healing properties. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or just looking for a peaceful escape, Manitou Springs has plenty of hidden gems to discover. From exploring hidden corners in the town itself to conquering the trails of the surrounding landscape, tick off your list these things to do in Manitou Springs, Colorado.

Manitou Springs, Colorado

20 Things To Do In Manitou Springs, Colorado

1- Tour The Cave of the Winds Mountain Park

View Of Williams Canyon From Cave Of The Winds
The view of Williams Canyon from Cave of the Winds in Manitou Springs, Colorado.

The Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is just a short walk out of the main town and home to several natural wonders.

The eponymous Cave of the Winds is the main attraction, a network of underground caves and striking rock formations.

Visitors can take guided tours of the subterranean caverns and discover underground waterfalls and fossils.

Above ground, visitors can explore the park’s various walking trails, take in incredible views of the surrounding mountains from the observation deck, or try their luck at panning for gems.

Those looking for more adventure can take on the Wind Walker Challenge high-ropes course or go on the zip line.

Head to 100 Cave of the Winds Rd, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

2- Take In The Beauty Of Rainbow Falls

Viewfinders Overlooking Williams Canyon From Cave
Visiting Williams Canyon is one of the things to do in Manitou Springs today.

The beautiful Rainbow Falls waterfall is tucked away in a small park across the road from the Cave of the Winds.

The waterfall cascades over colourful rocks, creating a stunning display of colours and patterns, making it particularly popular with photographers.

Walking trails lead to the falls and along Fountain Creek, letting visitors explore the surrounding area.

More hiking trails lead away into the mountains, making it a great starting place for a longer trek.

Alternatively, enjoy the beautiful scenery, taking advantage of the various picnicking spots.

Wander along to US-24, Cascade, CO 80809, United States.

3- Admire The Manitou Cliff Dwellings

You’ll find the Manitou Cliff Dwellings outside the modern town, a cluster of well-preserved ancient Puebloan ruins.

Marvel at the unique architecture of the dwellings, built over 700 years ago, directly into the cliffside.

Along with the dwellings, you can also browse a museum displaying unearthed Ancestral Puebloan artifacts and learn about the daily lives of the people who once lived there.

The site provides a fascinating glimpse into the history and native culture of the area.

Venture out to 10 Cliff Rd, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

4- Learn About The Town At Manitou Springs Heritage Centre and Museum

Manitou Springs aerial view
Looking for things to do in Manitou Springs? Check out our list of 20.

The Manitou Springs Heritage Centre and Museum is a small but fascinating museum dedicated to preserving the town’s history and culture.

Visitors can explore exhibits on the area’s Native American history, the town’s development as a health resort, and its role in the Pikes Peak region’s mining boom.

Go to 517 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

5- Browse The Works Of Manitou Art Centre

Whether you want to appreciate the work of local artists or tap into your own creativity, the Manitou Art Centre is well worth a visit.

The centre has classes and workshops for adults and children in various mediums, from painting to ceramics to jewellery-making.

Beyond educational and interactive offerings, Manitou Art Centre also hosts exhibits and events showcasing the work of local and regional artists.

Head into 513 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

6- Take A Ride On The World’s Highest Cog Railway

manitou springs pikes peak train with sprinkling of snow
One of the top things to do in Manitou Springs is to ride Pikes Peak Train.

The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway is a historic rail line that carries passengers up to the summit of Pikes Peak.

The railway has been running since 1891 and remains the highest cog railway in the world.

The journey to the top takes around three hours, giving passengers plenty of time to enjoy the views of the surrounding landscape.

At the top, visitors can pick up souvenirs from the gift shop, take a break in the café, and explore the various hiking trails before heading back down.

Hop aboard at 515 Ruxton Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

Top tour: Pikes Peak COG Railway & Garden of Gods Tour.

7- Amuse Yourself At Manitou Springs Penny Arcade

For a fun and affordable family-friendly attraction to while away an afternoon, the Penny Arcade is a great option.

Located in the heart of Manitou Springs, it’s been a landmark for decades where visitors can enjoy a slice of nostalgia by playing games and winning prizes.

Featuring a slew of vintage video games and classic arcade activities, visitors can enjoy a blast from the past in authentically retro surroundings.

Find it at 930 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

8- Explore The Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods with blue sky and greenery
One of the best things to do near Manitou Springs is to visit the Garden of the Gods.

Stretching to the north of Manitou Springs, the Garden of the Gods is best known for its stunning red rock formations, attracting over two million visitors annually.

Some of the most famous landmarks to look out for are the Balanced Rock and Kissing Camels.

The park covers around 1,300 acres, riddled with over 15 miles of trails for hiking and biking.

It’s also popular with rock climbers looking to scale the striking formations.

Various guided tours are available to help visitors get the most out of their park exploration, including pony trekking.

Stop by the visitor centre to learn about the natural and human history of the area.

Head in at Garden of the Gods Rd, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

Top tour: Garden of the Gods, Manitou Springs, Old Stage Jeep Tour.

9- Hunt For Treasure At Garden of the Gods Trading Post

Garden of the Gods Trading Post is a historic trading post in the eponymous park.

Opened in 1929, it offers visitors a unique shopping experience featuring Native American jewellery, pottery, crafts, western art and books, so it’s the perfect place to hunt for unique souvenirs.

It also has a café and an ice cream shop, making it a popular rest stop. 

Stop by Garden of the Gods Park, 324 Beckers Ln side, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

10- Shop Local At Commonwheel Artists Co-op

Another great place to shop for unique, local souvenirs is the Commonwheel Artists Co-op, an eclectic art gallery founded in the ‘70s by a group of local artists.

The Co-op showcases locally produced art and encourages visitors to explore their own creativity.

The co-op features a wide selection of art and crafts created by over sixty members, ranging from jewellery, pottery, and paintings to fibre arts, glass, and photography.

The gallery also hosts a variety of events, including live music performances.

Head into 102 Cañon Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

11- Wander Around Miramont Castle Museum

Miramont Castle Museum is a Victorian-era castle located in West Manitou Springs.

Built in 1895 as a private home, it was transformed into a museum in 1976.

The museum has a collection of artifacts, including period furnishings and vintage clothing from the early 20th century.

Take a guided tour of the castle to learn more about its history and afterwards, enjoy a traditional high tea in the castle’s tearoom.

Pop into 9 Capitol Hill Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

12- Take A Walking Tour Of The Natural Springs

While in Manitou Springs, you should appreciate the springs the town was named after.

Most of the springs are in a cluster along Manitou Avenue, which runs through the heart of the town.

Each is marked by its own unique structure, from stone wells to bronze sculptures.

You can drink from many of these fountains and experience the taste of the naturally fizzy water.

Start with the springs along Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

13- Enjoy The Peace Of Seven Minute Spring

Just across from the memorial park, Seven Minute Spring is another lovely spot to take a break.

The little park is centred around one of the town’s historic springs.

As well as an excellent place to rest, the park features a pretty wooden gazebo, a sculpture garden, and various information plaques extolling local history and geology.

Find it at 422 Washington Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

14- Have A Drink At Manitou Brewing Company

Glass of beer on a table in a bar on blurred bokeh background.
Tasting craft beer is one of the fun things to do in Manitou Springs.

Stop by the Manitou Brewing Company for some delicious beverages brewed right there from all local ingredients.

They offer various drinks, from IPAs, stouts, and lagers to hard ciders and tasty cocktails.

The restaurant also features a menu of classic pub fare, so it’s a great spot to stop for lunch.

The brewery hosts various events and live music throughout the year, so it’s a great spot, even if you’re not a craft beer aficionado.

With both indoor and outdoor seating, it’s perfect for a cosy break, whatever the time of year.

Go to 725 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

15- Dare To Fly At Adventures Out West Pikes Peak Ziplines

a person ziplining over the landscape
Ziplining is one of the fun things to do in Manitou Springs.

Enjoy the stunning scenery from a different perspective by heading to West Pikes Peak Ziplines.

Visitors can experience the thrill of soaring over the foothills of the Rocky Mountains on various zipline courses, each offering.

The zipline courses are perfect for both first-time riders to seasoned thrill-seekers. In addition to ziplining, the park also features a ropes course and hiking trails for those who prefer to keep their feet closer to the ground.

Head to 1335 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

Top tour: Manitou Springs Colo-Rad Zipline Tour.

16- Take A Tour Through Time At Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site

Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site is an open-air museum at the northeastern edge of the Garden of the Gods showcasing local life in the late 18th century.

Visitors can explore historic buildings, interact with costumed actors, and watch live demonstrations of various traditional trades, such as blacksmithing.

The site is open through the summer from May to October.

The museum hosts various annual special events, particularly around traditional holidays.

Go to 3105 Gateway Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80904, United States.

17- Trek Through Red Rock Canyon Open Space

Between Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City, Red Rock Canyon Open Space is a 789-acre park known for its uniquely striking geology.

Visitors can explore the park’s many trails to appreciate the vibrant red rock formations and views of the surrounding mountains.

You can explore the park on foot, bike, or on horseback.

It’s also another popular destination for rock climbers, with plenty of impressive structures to scale.

Start at 3550 W High St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904, United States.

18- Enjoy A Show At Iron Springs Chateau Dinner Theatre

Iron Springs Chateau Dinner Theatre sits at the western edge of Manitou Springs.

The historic theatre was originally built in the late 19th century and has been entertaining audiences with family-friendly stage shows for over 50 years.

A large part of Iron Springs Chateau’s appeal is its dinner theatre experience, where guests can enjoy a range of hearty American dishes while enjoying the show.

Head to 444 Ruxton Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

19- Appreciate History At The Ghost Town Museum

The Ghost Town Museum provides a glimpse into Wild West era Colorado, housed in an old train depot and features exhibits depicting life in the Old West.

Visitors can view displays of various artifacts, including historic mining equipment and antique vehicles.

You can also get involved with interactive exhibits, including panning for gold, using an old-fashioned butter churn, and trying your hand at a shoot-out.

Head to 400 S 21st St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904, United States.

20- Take A Break In Manitou Springs Memorial Park

If you’re looking for somewhere peaceful to take a quick break from exploring the town, head to Manitou Springs Memorial Park.

It’s named for its central memorial honouring the locals who served in the military.

The quaint local park is conveniently located right at the heart of town and offers lovely views of the surrounding mountains and nearby Garden of the Gods.

The park features a large playground and a picnic area, perfect for a laid-back afternoon with the family.

It hosts community events throughout the year, including concerts and local festivals.

Relax at 502 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, United States.

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Steve Burden is an avid traveller and experienced writer. As a former pro wrestler, Steve used to travel frequently for work throughout the USA and Europe. Having spent the last decade travelling all over the world in search of new sights and experiences, he has turned his love for travel into a new career helping others decide on the best places to visit, as well as what to see when they get there.