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Your guide to Manitou Springs
All About Manitou Springs
Just west of Colorado Springs at the foot of Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs is famous for its natural mineral springs and lush mountain scenery. True to its name, the town has eight naturally carbonated springs — each with its own distinctive taste — that drip from drinking fountains located in the city center. Beyond its homegrown bubbly, Manitou Springs is known for its proximity to some classic Colorado high-country adventure, be it incline hikes at Pikes Peak or whitewater rafting the Arkansas River.
Many of the buildings in Manitou Springs date back to the 1900s, when the town became popular as a resort. In the 1960s, artists flocked to the area, igniting the town’s artsy enthusiasm. Today, Manitou Springs boasts a number of lovely galleries as well as a monthly art walk. There are also plenty of local shops and restaurants to explore, including an old penny arcade that features vintage games and rides.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Manitou Springs?
There’s no bad time to secure a cabin in Manitou Springs. For outdoor enthusiasts, the town is at its best in summer, when temperatures are warm enough to enjoy whitewater rafting and hiking. In June, you can experience the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which started in 1916 and features drivers racing up the mountain. Manitou Springs is particularly stunning in the fall, when the trees turn golden and the air is crisp. For a truly unique event, check out the Emma Crawford Coffin Race in October, named for a dead woman whose coffin allegedly slid down the mountain after a rainstorm. Winters are snowy and windy with temperatures often hovering below freezing. But this is a great time for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. February’s annual Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cook-off & Carnival Parade serves up a gumbo contest along with a traditional parade to celebrate Carnival.
What are the top things to do in Manitou Springs?
Garden of the Gods
This 1,400-acre park is situated against a backdrop of the snow-capped Pikes Peak — the towering 300-foot sandstone rock formations can be seen from the many dirt trails meandering through the park. Rent a bike, climb the rocks, or plan a hike to explore the park to its fullest.
Miramont Castle Museum
The Miramont Castle Museum is Housed in a supposedly haunted 1890s Victorian dwelling, this castle illustrates the vibrant history of the area. The enormous 30-room home features an art collection by local artists, as well as many other artifacts and furnishings from the late 19th century. The castle also has stunning gardens and a Victorian tearoom.
Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway
This railway offers a 3.5-hour round trip up Pikes Peak. Founded in 1891, this cog rail offers stunning views of the mountain from its handsome red train. When you arrive at the 14,000-foot summit, you’ll find a visitors center, complete with an outdoor terrace, dining options, free Wi-Fi, and an interpretative exhibit space. Alternatively, you can hike up (or down the mountain) and take the train in the opposite direction.