A famous attraction in Colorado is the Garden of the Gods. Right next to this park is a famous little town called Manitou Springs, which is personally my favorite town in Colorado. This post is a guide that I go by when I take friends to here.
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods is a free national landmark located right outside Colorado Springs. It featured Red Rock formations that were created millions of years ago when a fault line shifted. It’s Colorado’s busiest park and any tourist website will have this listed as top things to check out.
The park itself is not very large. If you were to walk around the main formations without stopping, it would only take 20 minsish. The main trail, Perkins Central Garden Trail, is only 1.1 miles long. Walking along this trail will give you different angles and pictures or these rock formations.
If you want to park by the formations, the main lot is the North parking lot which is right along the easy paved walking trail. This lot fills up super quick and is really small. If you are showing up after early AM hours, it will be really difficult to finding a spot here. If you don’t mind the extra walk, I suggest just parking at the visitor center and walking over. the North parking lot can be pretty hectic even if you do find a spot.
You can leisurely do the entire walk with pictures in an hour to an hour and half. So what to do after you’re done with Garden of the Gods? Go to Manitou Springs
I said it before, but I’ll say it again, Manitou is my favorite town in Colorado. It’s a small artsy town with a hippyish feel to it. You almost feel as if you take a step back in time. Every shop is pretty much locally owned and a decent part of the town is the penny arcade!
Places to check out
For some outdoor activities, I recommend checking out Manitou Incline or hike a local hidden gem, Graffiti Falls. Both are pretty different in what they can offer. Manitou Incline is pretty popular and very intense climb. You start at 6500 feet elevation and go another 2000 feet in less than a mile. As you can imagine, that’s pretty vertical for a short time. Make sure to take your time and brings lots of water. Also, be prepared for heavy crowds here. Grafitti falls is one of my favorite and not nearly as packed. A shot day hike that brings you to waterfalls whose surrounding walls are covered in graffiti.
Dining a must go to in my opinion is Manitou Brewery. They have awesome beer and typical delicious pub food. If the weather is nice you can opt out to sitting on their shaded patio. Another one of my favorites is Heart of Jerusalem Cafe. This place serves amazing and budget friendly Middle Eastern food.
After your beer, make sure to check out my favorite, The Penny Arcade. Here you will find an array games that cost 5 cents to a couple dollars. The arcade is full of vintage and new games alike. It has a little something for everyone. It’s more of hands on gaming museum than arcade in my opinion.
- Wake up early and get to Garden of the Gods.
- Next go hike up the incline or go see a waterfall in Manitou Springs
- After being outside for awhile, go quench your thirst and hunger at Manitou Brewery.
- Next end the day walking around the shops and spending some time checking out the Penny Arcade.