Our Trip To Colorado / Things To Do In Colorado Springs
I have a small confession to make....I have been MIA from this blog for awhile now because I have been on a vacation in COLORADO! When we got back into Texas, I took a few days just to settle back in and return to our routines before getting back into the swing of things. We spent a total of three days in Colorado, and we truly made the most out of each day. We visited three of Colorado's major cities, and loved every single moment of it. This was definitely hands down my vacation we've ever taken so far. I will be splitting up each day with three separate posts, otherwise it would be a very long post! Today I will be sharing with you all Part 1 of our trip to Colorado, visiting Colorado Springs, and my recommendations for things to do in the city.
First things first, Dustin and I absolutely love road trips. I swear we are practically the same person, we just honestly love all things adventure, road trips, and exploring new places. For years we have wanted to visit Colorado. It's just so much like Maine, and gorgeous mountains, so we knew now that we lived a little closer, we would be able to finally make that vacation happen. The night before heading out we carefully packed everything we would need. I even packed my ACE personal trainer book, but obviously I never did any type of studying, which I was kind of bummed about, but it's vacation, right? We even packed snacks, waters, and made sure our apartment was super clean before we left. I'm kind of a neat freak sometimes, especially when we leave the house, I always want to come home to a clean, and organized home. That night we went to bed a little late, but set our alarm for 4:00am, super early, and we managed to get up, and leave the house by 5:00am. We made coffee, protein shakes, and fed Pablo and North before jetting off on our 11 hour drive to Colorado Springs! We drove 40 hours from Maine to Texas, so we knew 11 hours was going to be super easy. To my surprise, going to Colorado was an easy drive. I'm super thankful we started at 5am because there was little to no traffic basically all day, especially on a Sunday. After getting out of Texas, we entered New Mexico, which to our surprise was absolutely beautiful. We didn't pass through any major cities, but we did see an actual Volcano, so that was a bit different. I figured New Mexico would be flat, with just desert for miles, but it was actually pretty beautiful. New Mexico was filled with mountains, plains, and cute looking taco restaurants. We had no idea that once we hit New Mexico there was a time change, so we were happy that we would be arriving in Colorado earlier than we planned. We only stopped a few times to pick up healthy snacks and take bathroom breaks, but other than that, we made great timing. We arrived in Colorado around 3:30, a little earlier than we had planned. As soon as we got into Colorado, we were instantly surrounded by natural beauty. We stopped at a rest stop just to look around. We were surrounded by beautiful trees, mountains, and finally, fresh air. I was honestly very overwhelmed by how beautiful it truly was. I instantly started crying, just because it was a huge relief to finally feel "at home." and it was definitely my time off the month, so I tend to get a little over emotional (tmi - sorry!) I felt mixed emotions, sadness, happiness, and a ton of relief. We haven't even been in Texas a year, and I already want to move. It's just the total opposite of who I am, and what I like. I am not a city person, by any means. Sure I love shopping, and trying new food, but I am an outdoorsy type of gal. I love swimming, walking in the woods, hiking, and seeing trees everywhere I look. From the moment we got into Colorado, I felt a rush of relief. I finally felt at peace, and so much calmer. Living in the city has definitely made me a little bit more anxious, and honestly, that's not a way I want to live. To be completely honest, I do like Texas, but I know it's not the place where we will settle down. When we arrived in Colorado, I finally felt calm, and more grounded as a whole. Maybe it's being in nature, or maybe it's the fact that it felt a bit more familiar. Whatever it was, I knew I wanted more of that.
Where we stayed:
Lets be real here.... I love nice hotels as much as the next girl, but since we were spending so much money on gas/food/ect on whatever, we knew we needed to save on where we would be staying. Being people who love the outdoors, we have pretty nice tents, air mattresses, and equipment to survive a few days In the woods. So we wanted to try to stay in a state park....but that plan fell through very quickly. On the drive I was calling places like crazy, trying to book a reservation, but almost every state park required a 3 day notice, which was pretty inconvenient.
After a few hours, I finally found a place where we could stay for two nights. We booked a two nights stay at Garden of The Gods RV/Camping Resort. I was happy to find out they had bathrooms, showers, laundry rooms, and even pools. Our tent spot came with a picnic table, fire ring, and even a small grill. It wasn't exactly "in the woods" like we had wanted, but it was safe, and pretty nice. We were very close to the bathrooms and showers, which I was super happy about. When we arrived it was super hot, almost 97 degrees, so we quickly set up our tent, and blew up our air mattress. We knew we wouldn't be spending much time at our camp site, so we quickly unpacked, changed into our bathing suits, and jumped in the car. We drove to the nearest lake and finally got to swim in an a lake, it felt so nice to feel at home, even being in a place we've never been before.
What we did:
Our first night we got into CO Springs around 3, so after setting up our tent we decided to hit the lake. We went swimming at a nearby lake/park and the water was absolutely gorgeous, a perfect temperature. Our first night we went swimming, and walked around downtown. It's so hard to describe how I felt being in that small city. I was at peace, I felt "at home" and honest, happier than I have in a long time. The city was small, and reminded me of Portland Old Port - but so much cozier and nicer. There was so many cute coffee shops, and various places to visit. I loved walking downtown because it was so cozy feeling. We wandered around many small parks in the downtown area, and explored the shops. There was a ton of bookstores, small boutiques, tattoo shops, and a few dispensaries. The look of the city was super calming as well, all of the buildings and shops were painted in warm tones - reds, yellows, oranges. Even in the city, you could see the mountains, and the trees, which made it that much more appealing. We loved being in a city - but still being able to see nature. That night the temperature dropped down to 50, and it was perfect. We talked for hours about how beautiful the city would be in the fall and the winter, and how we could honestly see ourselves here. That night we realized just how perfect Colorado would be for us, even though it was much further away from home, we felt like we were "at home."
Garden Of The Gods
Garden Of The Gods is a 100% free park in downtown CO Springs, filled with insane rock formations, trails to wander around on, and scenic places to take pictures with. We visited early in the morning, on a cloudy day where it was about 70 degrees. We didn't want to hike in hot temperatures, whatsoever. It was the perfect day to wander around in a park.
We loved the fact that this park was free, even though it was absolutely gorgeous. The man who owned it asked his children to keep his park free to visitors to experience the beauty of Colorado. We took loads of photos with my Nikon, and I'm so glad we did. That morning we hit up a coffee shop for coffee and bagels - and I had PUMPKIN coffee - something I was so excited about, because it typically doesn't come out until fall. I was super happy to be able to wander around a park and sip pumpkin coffee. I loved the fact that Garden of The Gods was filled with easy hikes, and everywhere you turned was completely breathtaking.
After we were done exploring Garden of The Gods, we road across town to the Broadmoor Hotel, where you can hop on a free shuttle to Seven Falls. We waited in line for a brief ten minute wait, and then hopped on a shuttle bus. The ride was about ten minutes, and our tour guide explained everything we needed to know about Seven Falls, which was definitely very helpful. Since it was heating up, we knew we needed to constantly hydrate. We finally made it, and had to walk another five minutes to Seven Falls. What we didn't know was that we had to hike, to the falls...on stairs. I was instantly a little terrified to be honest.
When I found out we had to walk 225 steps each way, to see the falls I almost backed out. Dustin and I both hate heights. We're terrified of them. When we realized that kids of all ages were hiking up the mountain, we knew we had to do it. Plus it was a once in a lifetime kind of deal, and we already paid to get there, we couldn't just back out. So we made the climb, 225 steps up the falls. I honestly do not like stairs whatsoever, even on a normal day. I hate climbing stairs, especially open stairs, like the ones where you can easily fall through, or trip. These stairs were open of course, and I was a little terrified, and honestly pretty winded at that point. 225 steps was definitely tough, going up in incline and elevation. When we got up, it was gorgeous. We were able to wander around, take a million photos, and relax a little before we climbed back down. Going back down was pretty scary to say the least. There were times where my legs began shaking because I was worried I would fall. I had to stop worrying and just keep going. Dustin even admitted to his legs shaking and being pretty frightened. I made him go first, so if I fell he would catch me - which made him laugh. The whole trip to Seven Falls was beautiful, and filled with adrenaline. It was definitely beautiful, and worth the trip, and fear.
Things To Do In Colorado Springs
Visit Garden of The Gods Park
Visit Seven Falls Waterfall
Visit the Rocky Mountain Original Chocolate Factory
Wander around in America The Beautiful Park
Go to Einestein Bros & Caribou Coffee for breakfast
Walk around in Historic Old Colorado City
Camp in the various state parks in and around the city
Find a place to watch the sunset near the mountains
Grab a bite to eat at the Pita Pit
Go swimming at any of their lakes
Climb Pikes peak
Visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Climb Manitou Incline
Have you ever been to Colorado Springs? What are your favorite things to do?