Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau
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Colorado Springs
Convention &
Visitors Bureau

515 S. Cascade Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903


Motor Coach

Detailed Itineraries

Students Day 1

Begin the first day of adventure with a visit to the U. S. Olympic Training Complex, located 10 to 15 minutes from downtown Colorado Springs, at One Olympic Plaza. Gather at the Olympic Visitor Center for a free tour conducted by a member of the training center staff. This tour includes a fifteen-minute film, Hall of Fame display, Olympic Pathway featuring all 45 Olympic/Pan American Games sports, and guided walking tour of the training facilities. Stop by the U.S. Spirit Store where Olympic sports merchandise and gift items, available no where else, may be purchased. A visit to the Olympic Training Center is free. Call 888-659-8687 for guided tour information or 719-578-4618 for general information. Allow approximately 1 1/2 hours for this visit.

The next stop will be the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center and world famous Garden of the Gods Park, located on the west side of Colorado Springs at 1805 North 30th Street (west at exit 146 off of I-25). The park is a registered National Natural Landmark as well as part of the city's free parks system. At the center, be sure to see the 12-minute film, "How Did Those Red Rocks Get There?" which details the history and geology of the park. Enjoy many hands-on exhibits detailing the geology, ecology, and culture of the area and listen to park naturalists give presentations on various topics regarding the natural history of the area. Three gift shops specializing in Colorado-made items, lunch, and/or the famous fudge offered at the Café at the Garden add to the fun at the center. Free nature walks are offered daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. with more frequent walks scheduled in the summer months. Step-on-guides are also available. Stop at the infomation kiosk on the upper level of the center and get a free color map of the park. There is ample parking at the center for coaches as well as in the park. Allow at least 2 hours for visitor center and tour of the park. Summer hours are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and winter hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call 719-634-6666 for further information.

Across the street from the visitor center, the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site offers a self-guided adventure during which the history of the Pikes Peak region comes alive. Step back in time and discover historic structures restored to their original condition, watch the black smith at work, and listen to interpreters present the history of the ranch and the area. Special events are always offered at the ranch and include an 1880's baseball game, military reenactments, musical performances, lectures, horse-drawn equipment demonstrations, and annual holiday activities. This is a working ranch and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Summer hours are: June-Labor Day, Wednesdays-Sundays 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Autumn/Winter hours: Labor Day-Christmas, Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sundays, noon to 4:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the site or at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center. Call 719-578-6777 for more information.

The group might also consider going horseback riding in the Garden of the Gods. Academy Riding Stables is located at 4 El Paso Boulevard (if coming from Highway 24, go north on 31st St., west on Colorado Avenue, north on Columbia, west on El Paso Boulevard) on the west end of the park, and offers one and two hour guided, leisure trail rides. Enjoy spectacular views of the Garden of the Gods and its fascinating rock formations while accompanied by real cowboys. Riders must be at least 8 years of age and reservations are recommended. Call 888-700-0410 for more information.

A lunch stop option is on the west end of the Garden of the Gods Park at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post. The Trading Post can be reached by going west through the park to Balanced Rock or by taking US 24 off of 1-25 at Exit 141 to the Manitou/Garden of the Gods Road exit. The Trading Post is Colorado's largest and oldest gift shop and Southwest art gallery. Enjoy a lunch at the Balanced Rock Café of buffalo burgers, soups, sandwiches, wood-fired pizza, and homemade fudge. Relax on the back patio and take in the history of this Trading Post that has welcomed visitors for 100 years. Allow 45 minutes to one hour for lunch and shopping. Open all year. Summer hours are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and winter hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call 1-800-874-4515 for further information.

Everyone has had lunch, learned all about the geology of the area, and now it is time for adventure and entertainment at the Cave of the Winds in Manitou Springs. After leaving the parking lot at the Trading Post, proceed south on Beckers Lane to Manitou Avenue. Go west on Manitou Avenue and exit right onto west Highway 24. Proceed about 1/2 mile to the Cave of the Winds entrance. The caves were discovered over 100 years ago by two young boys playing on the hillsides above Manitou Springs and offer an opportunity to stroll through chambers that are millions of years old. Join in the Discovery Tour, a relaxing walk accompanied by a guide who will explain the geology and history of these caves that are among the nation's oldest. Another option is the Lantern Tour during which a guide and the group will use hand-held, candle lanterns to view the spectacular rooms, nooks, and crannies. Dressed in 1800's style, the guide will tell stories of the early owners of the caves and its early visitors who also used candles to make their way through the mysterious formations. The group might also be interested in returning to the Cave of the Winds in the evening to enjoy Laser Canyon. This is a sight and sound extravaganza using the technology of lasers and stereophonic sound that explodes onto the canyon walls five stories high. Cave of the Winds is open all year. Cave tours are from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, Labor Day weekend through Memorial Day weekend, last tour at 5:00 p.m., Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, tours are 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Laser show at 9:00 p.m. nightly. Tours are available during the summer and reservations are suggested. Group rates are available. Call 719-685-5444 for information and reservations.

Another choice for a stop is the Manitou Cliff Dwellings located on west Highway 24 just east of the Cave of the Winds. The Cliff Dwellings present a unique look at Native American culture. Wander leisurely on a self-guided tour and explore the ancient Anasazi ruins (c.1100-1300 AD). There are many informational signs throughout the ruins that give explanations on their construction and the people who built them. The preserve has two museums featuring cultural displays of prehistoric, Southwestern Indian artifacts. Traditional Indian dance performances can be seen June through August, and groups are offered such activities as handpainting Indian pottery. Crafts, pottery, and jewelry made by Native Americans are offered in several gift shops. Open seven days a week, weather permitting, the Cliff Dwellings has a variety of hours throughout the year: June, July, and August: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; March, April, October, November, and December: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; May and September: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; January and February 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call 800-354-9971 for more information.

Next stop will be in unique, downtown Manitou Springs. Exit the Cave of the Winds or the Cliff Dwellings and go east on Highway 24 and exit to Manitou Avenue. Head west on Manitou Avenue where coach parking can be found at the Wichita Parking Lot (east side of town next to the Stagecoach Restaurant) or at the Soda Springs Park (take one-way Cańon Avenue and a left at Park Avenue in front of the Cliff House Hotel). Walk to the Arcade located in the 900 block of Manitou Avenue in the heart of downtown Manitou Springs. For over 65 years, the owners have been collecting coin-operated machines. There is one city block of pinball, skeeball, horse derby, classic antique games, and much more. Summer hours are 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., and winter hours are 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Call 719-685-9815. Adjacent to the Arcade, enjoy a stop at Patsy's Old Fashioned Candy and Popcorn Stand where since 1903 they have been offering delicious salt water taffy, gourmet popcorns, nuts, fudge, ice cream, hot dogs, and cotton candy. Expect to spend at least an hour or more at the Arcade. Make time to stroll around Manitou Springs with its many shops and where in the late 1880's, developers began a resort that provided water therapy to visitors and tuberculosis patients from the many mineral springs present in the area. Take a sip of water from the Navajo or Cheyenne Springs adjacent to the Arcade. To learn more about this fascinating history of the Manitou Springs mineral waters, contact the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce at 719-685-5089. The Mineral Springs Foundation was formed to restore the major springs and has successfully restored 9 of them. The foundation offers guided walks to these springs at which time guides encourage sipping the waters and discuss the importance the healing waters had to the history and develoment of Manitou Springs.

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Related Links
Garden of the Gods

Manitou Springs

United States Olympic Training

United States Olympic Complex

Escort Notes
High Altitude Tips

Garden of the Gods

United States Olympic Complex

Manitou Springs

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