Itinerary Day 2

History Buff

A Day in Manitou Springs

Manitou Springs was one of the earliest destinations for visitors west of the Mississippi.  The epic landscape was perfect for early naturalists and the dry temperate climate had great health benefits.  The natural cool mineral springs both Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs are named for, added extra curative powers to the region.

Breakfast

Start the day off right

We sent you for donuts and biscuits and gravy yesterday, so today we’re sending you to one of most health-conscious restaurants in town. Adam’s Mountain Cafe has been educating locals about slow, intentional food for over 30 years now and they locally source as much of their food as they can. I recommend the Huevos Rancheros, though it may ruin all other Huevos for you, forever.

Historic Manitou Springs

One of the West's first tourist destinations

Start your visit at the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce. Their friendly volunteers will help you curate the perfect day in this charming little town. The town is full of art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and character — both the town and it’s people! All of the businesses in downtown Manitou are locally owned and have their own Manitou flair.  Sit for a spell and enjoy a little people watching, or enjoy a few vintage games at the Penny Arcade. As you walk around town, you’ll see many historic plaques on buildings and in front of houses that honor the significance of these places to our local story. Take some time to read these great tales.

Be sure to look for the cold drinkable mineral springs scattered throughout town — the original draw to the area, believed to have tremendous health benefits.  Each spring has a beautifully sculpted fountain around it and are worth the scavenger hunt in and of themselves.  The springs each have a slightly different mineral content and it’s fun to taste test for your favorite.

Tips

  • Mention this itinerary at the Manitou Chamber for a special collapsible drinking cup and a map with all the mineral springs. See if you can find all eight!

Time

  • On-site: 3-4 hours
  • Travel: ~10 min

Take-away

Manitou throws some really unique events, like the Emma Crawford Coffin Races.  Teams of five, four runners and one ‘Emma’, race their coffins down main street for the chance to win prizes and bragging rights.

Miramont Castle

High tea and history mecca!

Originally built by a wealthy priest in the 1890’s, Miramont Castle boasts seven different styles of architecture and houses many rooms of period furniture and clothing. Over the years, the castle has also been the recipient of many private collections and boasts an antique firefighter display, a collection of WWII artifacts, and a sizable bit of Pikes Peak International Hill Climb memorabilia.  In the Great Hall is one of the largest collections of Charles Rockey’s paintings on public display.  Rockey was an icon of Manitou we lost in June of 2019.

Be sure to make reservations to enjoy a High Victorian Tea while you’re there.  This four-course delight is different every day and created by one of the most talented chefs in our area.  You’ll start with a freshly baked scone with clotted cream, homemade strawberry preserves and herbed butter . . . and that’s just to get your taste buds warmed up!  Their tea selection is un-paralleled and you’ll be so stuffed by dessert, you may need to take some home!

Tips

  • The Castle plays the perfect host to great events like the Emma Crawford Wake and Friday the 13th Ghost Tours.

Time

  • On-site: 2-3 hours
  • Travel: ~5 mins

Take-away

Be sure to call ahead for reservations for the Victorian High Tea 719-685-1011.

Manitou Cliff Dwellings Museum

Hands-on with ancient history!

Originally moved from southwestern Colorado in the early 1900’s, Manitou Cliff Dwellings recreates a glimpse into early Pueblo Indian life. They give you the opportunity to walk through history, and imagine what the daily routine was like for these people, also known as the Anasazi. Explore 40 rooms, feel the cool stone, breathe in the smell of the earth and let your mind take you to a different time.

After your day dreams are complete, head inside their four museums for more artifacts and details about the people who originally built these dwellings. One of the museums is built into the rock face and it’s fun to explore just for that alone.  They also have a fantastic gift shop with handmade Native American jewelry, t-shirts, books and so much more.  Lots of fun for the kids, and really interesting for the grownups, this is a place that will keep you all entertained.

Tips

  • Once a month the wolves from Colorado Wolf Adventures visit. There's nothing cooler than hearing their howls echo off the cliff face. Check out their Facebook page for dates.

Time

  • On-site: 1-2 hours
  • Travel: ~5 mins

Take-away

There are no ‘do not touch’ signs here.  Get hands-on with the ancient pueblos in way you can’t do anywhere else!

Dinner

Time for dinner!

Manitou is teeming with awesome restaurants. The Keg has great burgers, an awesome berry salad, and a steak that’s slap-your-mama good. The Loop has great Mexican food and even better margaritas. And Swirl is a quaint little wine bar with great wine-worthy food like tapas and cheese boards.