The list of new Colorado Springs attractions is growing by the day and visitors and locals are both thrilled with all the new adventures that await. Not only that, some old favorites are making a surprise reemergence, much to the delight of pretty much everyone. The Pikes Peak region has long been known for fun attractions, stunning outdoor scenery and some of the best shopping and dining around, but we are also known for being pretty, well, extra, too. Naturally, that means we still want more, more, more! More fun, more attractions, more ways to get out and explore. Here’s a preview of what is about to hit our fair city as we head into our sesquicentennial — our 150th birthday.
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum
The United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum is poised to open in early 2020 and it stands to be spectacular. Colorado Springs has some pretty rad museums already — and quite a variety of them, too. From the Wild West Ghost Town Museum and the Western Museum of Mining and Industry to the Space Foundation Discovery Center and the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, the city is not playing around when it comes to making learning and history fun. Or maybe it is playing around in all the best ways … The new Olympic and Paralympic Museum fits perfectly in our already fabulous roster of cool attractions. The new attraction boasts an exciting and interactive digital museum experience that will allow guests to immerse themselves in the Olympic experience. Exhibits will focus on memorable moments, athletic feats, authentic artifacts and a Hall of Fame. It’s located in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs and mere blocks from fine dining and incredible shopping in Old Colorado City, not to mention all of the other aforementioned attractions.
The Grand Re-Opening of the Flying W Ranch
After a heartbreaking fire and multiple issues with flooding closed the Flying W Ranch, Colorado Springs was more than a little worried the beloved attraction would not re-open. However, the Flying W Ranch is about to be back and, if it’s possible, better than ever before. Opening on May 21, the ranch will offer space for large parties and weddings, fun events and, of course, their famous chuckwagon dinners. We’re talking barbeque, baked potatoes, biscuits and beans, plus vegetarian options like pasta, applesauce and soups and gluten-free options, too. The meal will be accompanied by a fun and humorous show and the musical talents of the world-renowned Flying W Wranglers who will treat attendees to cowboy songs. The ranch’s hiking trails will be open, the petting zoo animals will be ready for maximum snacks and cuddles and the night sky will be sparkling clear and bright for campfire fun.
The Summit House Complex Opens on Pikes Peak—America’s Mountain
The heavy snows have not deterred construction on the Pikes Peak Summit House complex and the building is still close to completion within the timeline. Contractor GE Johnson has been sharing regular updates with those breathlessly anticipating the new complex. It has not been an easy build — building anything at 14,115 feet is going to be difficult — but all the progress so far has shown the Summit House is more than worth the effort. Visitors can expect an eco-friendly building with a goal of net-zero waste and economic water usage. And that’s just the mechanics. On the lighter side of things, the new Summit House will offer an outdoor dining terrace and an indoor dining area, a gorgeous indoor exhibit area that will educate visitors on the history of the mountain and the Pikes Peak region, a gift shop and views — magnificent, sweeping views that can touch five states on clear days. Pikes Peak’s world-famous hot and fresh donuts will still be sold each day, as will their rich, decadent fudge. You’ll still be able to hike, bus or drive your way to the top (and even bike your way down) and, pretty soon, you can take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the summit. Speaking of which …
Next Year: The Pikes Peak Cog Railway Returns in 2021
The Pikes Peak Cog Railway has long been a favorite way to reach the summit of Pikes Peak—America’s Mountain. Not only do riders get a peek at the peak in a way that highway drivers cannot, it’s super relaxing and accompanied by an informative guide that talks about the flora and fauna, points out unique points of interest and the Pikes Peak region. The contractors, Stacy and Witbeck, have been hard at work completely replacing the railway track, updating the depot, and ordering new trains. The same weather that has made the Pikes Peak Summit House more difficult has also made work on the tracks a challenge, but all parties have expressed confidence in an excellent outcome in 2021. In the meantime, Cog Railway employees are continuing to upgrade the car bodies and renew the interiors for guests when the train re-opens.
Celebrate the Colorado Springs Sesquicentennial
This city has been rocking it for 150 years now and there is so much to celebrate — including the awesome new and renewed attractions we’ve shared so far. If you want to celebrate Colorado Springs’ sesquicentennial, we suggest you start by refreshing yourself on the region’s history. We shared a few of the local museums above, but there is are many more to see! Visit historic Old Colorado City (bonus points for going during Territory Days), check out Manitou Springs, the first health and tourist destination in the region, take a trip through Cave of the Winds or hop on a horse (or in a Jeep) and cruise through the world-famous Garden of the Gods. Folks have spent 150 years making the already-exceptional region even more fun, so there will be no shortage of ways to celebrate, no matter how you like to roll.
There is so much to do in Colorado Springs that visitors have to keep coming back to try to tackle their bucket lists. Heck, even locals who have lived here for decades are still discovering new ways to experience the city, especially with the new additions added every year. Better get started!