Manitou Springs Travel Guide

  • Manitou Springs
    by GuthrieColin
  • An open area above the Kiva
    An open area above the Kiva
    by GuthrieColin
  • Heavily weathered wood used for the structure
    Heavily weathered wood used for the...
    by GuthrieColin

Manitou Springs Highlights

  • Pro
    basstbn profile photo

    basstbn says…

     Has a certain charm of its own, close to tourist attractions. 

  • Con
    jkhanley profile photo

    jkhanley says…

     Not a lot of parking available 

  • In a nutshell
    Toughluck profile photo

    Toughluck says…

     Have to go back, several times. 

Manitou Springs Things to Do

  • Look at the Construction

    One thing that did bother me a little bit is that the site does not openly admit that it is a recreation. Many attempts have been made to realistically portray this site as an actual Anasazi construction. When touring the ruins look at the construction style and look at the attention to detail that was taken.From the thatched roofs to the round...

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  • Explore the Cliff Dwellings

    One thing I was very happy about was that the public is allowed to explore inside the ruins. Anasazi ruins in the four corners areas are being more and more closed off to protect them. This is NOT an actual ruin so having people run through there and touch things will not be damaging it much.The construction has many informational signs that...

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  • Annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races

    This is one of the spectacular festivals that makes Manitou Springs sorta-unique especially as a place where people can be strange, different, and freakish. It definitely rhymes in with the "Keep Manitou Weird" campaign that's been going around for a few years. Of course, Colorado has at least two of these wacky Coffin Races, the other being the...

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  • Cave of the Winds

    Located atop a ridge, the Cave of the Winds is a nice place to visit. You'll climb nearly 500 feet (180 meters), by car to reach the modern entrance. The trails are well managed and easy to walk. There's just over 200 steps (up and down) inside the cave. Hand rails help and when we went (summer) it was all dry. There were several kids on the tour...

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  • High atop Pikes Peak

    Ever want to gasp for air, become exhausted with little effort? No? Then don't go to Pikes Peak. It's one of only two mountains in the U.S. over 14,000 feet (2600 meters) that have 'easy' ways to the top. You can drive (toll road) - about 1-1 1/2 hours; you can take the cogwheel train - about 1 hr 15 min; or you can walk 16 hours. Regardless,...

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  • Cliff Dwellings

    Be sure to visit the Cliff dwellings and tour the museum. Take time to read the info on the self guided tour sheet that is given to you as you enter the gate. Allow about 2-3 hours for this activity. This is a great treat for children as well as adults.

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Manitou Springs Hotels

Manitou Springs Restaurants

  • Briarhurst Manor

    Briarhurst Manor is bombarded with negative reviews for its wedding services and its dining food. So I've always been hesitant to try the restaurant out, even though i was deadly curious about the place. I agree, the food is "Very" expensive and you don't really get to portions for what you are paying. In a way, you are paying for the ambience of...

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  • Sandwiches and Coffee

    Late coming down the mountain, so we stopped here, as suggested by the innkeeper. A variety of sandwiches, plenty to choose from. Old Deli favorites, with a western twist. Variety of coffee and sodas.

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  • Stage Coach Inn

    We have a variety of tastes in our group, from little to no meat to a 'meat and potatos' type guy. The Stagecoach Inn offered something for everyone. Yes, it's mainly beef and chicken, but there were salads and other choices. It also includes a bar.

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Manitou Springs Nightlife

  • by iamloved1 Written Feb 11, 2010

    Check out Improv Colorado, Colorado's Most Audience-Friendly Comedy Team, when you visit Manitou Springs or Colorado Springs. They perform at a couple of places around town, depending on the night of the month. They take suggestions from the audience (minus the occasional off-color offer) and make wacky hilarity - it's different every night! Great fun for the whole family!

    Dress Code: No dress code

    Related to:
    • Singles
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

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Manitou Springs Transportation

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    Station at the Top 2 more images

    by Toughluck Written Sep 6, 2009

    Maybe this isn't the right area, but it's transportation to the top of Pike's Peak. Afterall, you have a choice. Drive, walk or take the train, i.e., cog rail. We took the rail. It's a great way to go. Sit back and relax. Enjoy the scenery, try to avoid the silly jokes made by the conductor on the way up.

    While there are many precautions for those with medical problems and some for those with mobility concerns, the cog rail is a great way to get to the top. There's nothing you have to do, but breath. Even if you couldn't get out at the top, the trip is worth it. You'll need to be able to get on and off without more than minor assistance, but after that, all you need to worry about is breathing the thin air up on top. A friend went up and was so short of breath that she moved only short distances from bench to bench. She's been identified with a cardiac problem.

    I'd rather ride up than drive, because as it turned out, many on the way down, slept, even just a little. The lack of oxygen and the exhaustion are real. I'd hate to drive down feeling that tired.

    Oh, on the road (what little we saw of it), there were no guard rails, wide 180 degree turns, with a little space for error. It was paved. Still, I'll ride for what it's worth.

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Family Travel

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Manitou Springs Shopping

  • All kinds of stuff

    Manitou Springs is a Mecca for shoppers of souvenirs, Indian pottery, Tibetan aromas, and even Christmas toys. You also can just walk and look around, because I think stores are almost like a museums of old culture that lived in Manitou Springs.

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  • Great Gifts and Vintage Clothes

    Safron is a wonderfully unique shop with great vintage women's clothing (NICE women's vintage) and accessories as well as beautiful gifts. It's always nice to chat with the owner. You can tell that she is very much into textiles and very knowledgeable about all of the products her shop offers. I have purchased wonderful scarves, jewelry, cards, and...

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  • Manitou Springs Hotels

    20 Hotels in Manitou Springs

    311 Reviews and Opinions

Manitou Springs Local Customs

  • Town of art

    Manitou Springs is very artistic town, there are many art shops with paintings, photos (unfortunately not many of those), metal and leather art works, pottery. Even some cars are art, like the one on the picture.

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  • In style of Indian dwellings

    Some residential houses built in old times design matching the color and sometimes design of Indian dwellings, as this house near Memorial Park.

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  • Houses of Manitou Springs residents

    Manitou Springs residential houses are not only located on the hills for you to train your legs’ muscles every time you climb them, but also they are remarkable by their tiny size. Many of them have only 2-3 room, and I mean rooms, not bedrooms, of a small size. Sometimes when I see how small houses outside are, I am thinking of them as hotel...

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Manitou Springs Warnings and Dangers

  • Zealous Police

    We visited this town and got socked with a $25 ticket for parking more than a foot from the curb. The ticket claims that we were over 2 feet from the curb, a great exaggeration. Before we pulled out we noted that our small Kia Rio was not protruding out in the street any further than the car parked before or behind us. The ticket says you can go to...

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  • If you drive a car

    Please, hold to speed limits on the streets of Manitou Springs. Because this town is so small and there are often many pedestrians, the authorities are very strict about traffic rules. Moreover, streets have many pedestrian crossings, and residents of Manitou Springs don't tolerate cars with high speed, they may just get out on the street and walk...

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Manitou Springs Tourist Traps

  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo
    Entry with realistic replica next to unrealistic

    by GuthrieColin Written Oct 28, 2012

    As I was visiting the ruins I continuously asked myself about the authenticity of the construction. Some things seemed a bit amiss. My suspicions were confirmed when I read later that the Anasazi never did actually live in the Manitou Springs area. They did not build in this location and these ruins were in fact constructed using remnants from other Aanasazi ruins. So although the stones were likely touched and used to build other dwellings, this site is a fabrication.

    It was relocated in the early 1900's as a museum and tourist attraction. This may explain why the "museum" is willing to have people walk around and explore the ruins. Having noted that all of these ruins are not an original construction it is still very interesting to see.

    The Anasazi-style buildings were constructed with a very real degree of respect and resemblance to the true ruins that exist in the 4-corners area.

    Unique Suggestions: I did not have an issue with the in-authentic nature of the dwellings. Even though it is not an original construction, it does give one a good idea of what other structures that are in more fragile condition would feel like if they were is slightly better condition.

    Fun Alternatives: Go in with an open mind.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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Manitou Springs Off The Beaten Path

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    by leafmcgowan Written Apr 24, 2007

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    A beautiful open space off of highway 24 across from Old Colorado City, and inbetween Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, is a free hiking and picnicking space. People started using this canyon as early as the Archaic period (ca. 7,000 B.C.E.) from evidence found archaeologically. Because it was close to Fountain Creek - it was an ideal space for settlement. During the late 1800's the area was raped for building supplies needed for pioneering Old Colorado City and its surrounding communities, such as Manitou Springs. Gypsum, sand, and sandstone was quarried from these hills ... the Kenmuir Quarry was most popular in the area until the early part of the 20th century. In 1886, the Colorado-Philadelphia Company Mill used the land to refine the ore shipped by train from the gold mines in Cripple Creek and became one of the largest mills of its kind in the United States until the Golden Cycle Mill was built in the early 1900's. In the 1920's - John George Bock purchased the property with intent on building a resort there with a community center, high-rise tower, commercial center, and a golf course - by 2002 their family only succeeded in building a few residences, outbuildings, two doze mobile home sites, a 53 acre landfill, and 2 gravel quarries. In 2003, the City of Colorado Springs purchased the property from the Bock's to be used as a public open space.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking

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Manitou Springs Sports & Outdoors

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    Trail Running

    by Small_World Written Jun 18, 2005

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    The view from this trail was incredible. The mountain wasn't unbearably steep, but you could reach some height pretty quickly that afforded fantastic panoramas.

    The picture is of me running, wishing I had trained on some hills and that my legs didn't feel like lead.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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Manitou Springs Favorites

  • Manitou Springs City Hall

    The building was built as an additional building of Mansions Hotel, torn down in 1925. After the death of the owner. Mr. Earnest, including Mansions Park to the rear, was offered to the City of Manitou Springs. The voters decided to purchase Soda Springs Park instead. A large dancehall addition was constructed in the 1920s, when the building was...

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  • Cliff House Hotel

    The town of Manitou Springs grew up around the gold mines in the Pikes Peak area in the late 1850s. The structure that became the 20-room boarding house known as "The Inn" originally was a stagecoach stop on the route from Colorado Springs to Leadville, one of the most famous stagecoach runs of the American West.In 1886 Edward E. Nichols, who came...

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  • Cliff House Hotel

    California real estate developer James S. Morley bought The Cliff House at Pikes Peak in 1981, turning the historic building into a 42-unit apartment building. But in its second disaster of the century, the building caught fire in March, 1982, the fourth floor roof sustaining so much damage it had to be replaced. In addition, the interior was...

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