Historic Manitou Springs
Welcome to historic downtown Manitou Springs, one of the first tourist destinations west of the Mississippi. Why such a big draw to such a perhaps seemingly unknown area? Two words: natural springs.
This Colorado tourist destination holds 8 different natural carbonated mineral drinking springs at the base of Pike’s Peak, many visitors believing the springs hold great health benefits. While this is still a big draw to the area today, many people are also drawn to the downtown historic district, the spot full of great shopping, eating, art, and events. Stop at the Visitor Center first (8:30 am to 5 pm) to get a good overview of the area, it’s historic tourism, and it’s present day offerings and then set off for an evening of Manitou Springs exploration.
Start with some shopping at places like the Commonwheel Artists Co-op, Mountains West, or the Trading Post, each offering unique local wares and fun gifts. For dinner you can try some common local eats such as elk and buffalo, most restaurants offering al fresco dining for added ambiance, Pike’s Peak serving as your dinner backdrop. Border Burger Bar and Mona Lisa Fondue are always popular eating choices. For local entertainment outside of possibly scheduled festivals or events during your visit try the Manitou Incline, a former cable car track turned 2,000 vertical foot hike, head to the red-stoned Manitou Cliff Dwellings, or make a b line to Arcade Amusements.