History Buffs — Pikes Peak or Bust!
Pikes Peak or Bust, the mantra of many early settlers heading to this region in hopes of striking it rich during our gold rush days. Today, that is the perfect mantra for History Buffs coming here to learn about those early characters and get a glimpse of the life they enjoyed.
Breakfast of Champions
As you head west on highway 24, there’s a little restaurant called the Donut Mill as you pass through Woodland Park. They’ve been a local favorite for over 35 years, and it’s easy to see why. Whether you just want to grab coffee and a donut, or sit down for some killer biscuits and gravy, you’re gonna thank me later.
Historic Cripple Creek
One of the most lucrative mining towns in Colorado
In its heyday, Cripple Creek saw many fortunes won and lost — the former in the gold mines, and the latter in the saloons. Somehow, this little mountain town has retained it’s character after all these years. Start your visit at their heritage center, high on the hill over looking the city. Admission is always free and their volunteers will be able to direct you to many other historic museums in town, like the Jail Museum and the old Brothel. Take the plunge, a 1,000 foot plunge, into one of the area’s mines at the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, or go for a ride on the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad that passes several old mines. Keep an eye out for the town’s free-range donkey herd, descendants of beasties used in the mines.
Local’s Tip: The drive to Cripple Creek is best during the fall when the aspens are changing!
Time allowance: 3-4 hours
Lunch that hits the spot
Finding a spot to eat can be a little tricky in Cripple Creek where there are virtually no chains and most restaurants are tucked inside other larger businesses. We recommend hitting the Crippled Cow (partly because we love the name and the cast-laden mascot.)
Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama
Boo the villain and cheer the hero!
Iron Springs Chateau is one of the oldest buildings in Manitou Springs, which is interesting in and of itself. The melodrama housed within will transport you to days gone by. The production, typically very tongue in cheek, will have you giggling and grinning and is sure bring your mood up a notch or two. You don’t have to keep quiet in this theater, in fact, your participation is encouraged! Boo when the villain slinks on stage and cheer as hero struts. It’s just one heck of a good time. Be sure to go early and join them for a family-style dinner. You’re going to want the complete experience.
Local’s Tip: Be sure to call ahead for reservations 719-685-5104
Time allowance: 3-4 hours
Is this itinerary right for you?
Share this Itinerary