Colorado Springs: Like No Place Else
High and Dry
The altitude (6,000-plus feet above sea level) and clean, dry air originally lured Victorian tuberculosis sufferers to the Springs to heal.
“America’s Mountain” towers over the city, reminding us we sit at the foot of the Rockies. Katharine Lee Bates wrote the words to “America the Beautiful” after looking out from the summit of Pikes Peak. You can explore the mountain several ways: Drive up the Pikes Peak Highway, ride the Pikes Peak Cog Railway train or hike up Barr Trail. If you’re a cyclist, you also can bike down from the 14,110-foot summit with local outfitters.
Whether you’re an urban cowboy or the real deal, don’t miss the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, one of the nation’s oldest and best exhibitions of riding, roping and other athletic skills. The annual summer event draws professional rodeo cowboys from all over the world. The Springs is also home to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy, 101 ProRodeo Drive. That’s also the headquarters of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and, incidentally, a great place to view some fine Western art.
U.S. Olympic Training Center
One of just three such facilities in the nation, the OTC, at 1 Olympic Plaza, is home to young athletes who are in training for the next Olympics. Swimmers, cyclists, weight lifters, archers and more hone their skills in a campus setting that provides them with everything they need to become future champions. Tours are given daily and there’s a fine small museum highlighting the achievements of past Olympians.