Breath deep, this is Colorado!

Roxborough Park

2 minutes of incredible scenery of an amazing park just south and west of our homes!

A dozen free-colorado-insider things....

1. The Great Outdoors

Enjoying Colorado’s natural beauty is the most obvious budget-friendly option. Just-right temperatures year-round draw outdoor enthusiasts to our open lands and thousands of miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, wildlife watching, fishing and much more.

Check out

 Quick Guide to Estes Park and 

Magical Moments on Colorado's Public Lands for ideas on where to head first. 

Hanging Lakes anyone?

 

Wildlife Refuges

2. National Wildlife Refuges

Colorado is home to seven National Wildlife Refuges that are free and open to the public. The refuge system was created to conserve America’s fish, wildlife and natural areas across the country. Each of Colorado’s refuges is home to diverse ecosystems where visitors can spot everything from bison and moose to hawks and bald eagles living and nesting among some of the state’s most spectacular scenery. Learn more about wildlife watching in Colorado >>

 
U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel in Colorado Springs
 
 
 
Denver's 16th Street Mall
 
 
Red Rocks Amphitheatre's towering sandstone rock formations in Morrison, CO
 
 
 
 

Only in Colorado!

3. Geologic Marvels

In Colorado Springs’ Garden of the Gods, those who walk the trails that meander around the park’s otherworldly red-rock figures search for geologic formations in the shapes of kissing camels, cathedral spires, praying hands and sleeping giants — and a few that seem to teeter in gravity’s grip. 

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is the state's second-largest city, but it's first in the hearts of many visitors as a place of spectacular beauty with dozens of family attractions, natural landmarks and unique museums.

Morrison 

 

is comprised of massive, slanting red-rock outcroppings that rise from the earth to create an acoustically ideal natural amphitheater. Joggers love to run up and down the calf-burning steps (on non-concert days), hikers weave around the rock formations on a network of easy trails and all visitors enjoy the views of downtown 

Denver

 

People Are Strange...

4. People Watching

16th Street Mall and Pearl Street Mall — in Denver and Boulder respectively — are the two most popular outdoor pedestrian malls in Colorado. They’re also the perfect place to get to know the character of these two Front Range towns. Peek in the shops, lounge on green areas and benches, and watch the local characters come and go.

 

Air Force & Pioneers Museums

5. Air Force Academy and Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

Take in two symbols of American pride in Colorado Springs. The U.S. Air Force Academy’s visitor center and iconic chapel give you a glimpse of cadet life, academy history and the chapel’s beautiful stained-glass windows. At Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, permanent and rotating exhibits highlight the history and culture of the Pikes Peak region. View artifacts from Ute, Cheyenne and Arapaho cultures; photography by local artists depicting the history of the area and a special exhibit about Colorado Springs founder General William Jackson Palmer. Find more attractions in Colorado Springs >>

 

Adultish Tours...

6. Brewery, Winery & Distillery Tours

With more than 200 breweries, 100 wineries and 54 distilleries (and counting) Coloradans are known for their creative libations. Many around the state offer tours of their operations. See how major producers use the mountain spring water and Colorado ingredients to make locally inspired varieties and seasonal blends. Learn more about brewery, winery and distillery tours >>

 

Dinosaurs in our midst!

7. Dinosaur Walks

In Picket Wire Canyonlands outside La Junta, you can stand in a three-toed impression left in the bedrock by a brontosaurus 150 million years ago. The footprints, located in North America’s largest dinosaur track site, are reached after a very flat five-mile hike, bike or horseback ride. At Dinosaur Ridge near Morrison, you can take self-guided tours (guided tours are $4) of exposed fossils and footprints, as well as the excavation sites, including the site where the world’s first stegosaurus was discovered in 1877. For more, read Where to See the Dinosaurs of Colorado >>

 

The Only Place On Earth!

8. Only-in-Colorado Events

Coloradans celebrate heritage and holidays with great pageantry. Events listed on our site range from holiday fests to historic tributes to just plain zany gatherings. Check our events page for free winter carnivals, farmers’ markets, artwalks, Oktoberfests, balloon festivals and much more, which can be searched by city, region, date and event type.

 

Driving trails worth the time!

9. Scenic and Historic Byways

While driving is not technically free, you won’t have to pay admission on Colorado’s scenic and historic byways — 25 routes that pass through the Rocky Mountains, the canyons and gorges of the Western Slope and the sun-kissed prairies of the eastern plains. With so many pathways connecting the dots between historic sites and vast acres of majestic scenery, Colorado’s the best state in the union for road tripping. Learn about quirky roadside attractions in Colorado >>

 

Inside Colorado History

10. Historic Districts

Colorado Historic Districts in classic mountain hamlets such as BreckenridgeCrested ButteDurangoTellurideGeorgetown and Manitou Springs have maintained several of the structures built in the towns’ earliest days, giving visitors a peek into the past. Check each town’s visitor center for walking tours of sites with the most storied bygones. 

 

Ghost Towns

11. Colorado Ghost Towns

Abandoned yet well-preserved mining towns offer a fascinating window into the state's rough-and-tumble past, when fortune-seekers, outlaws and cowboys roamed the West. Many Colorado ghost towns are accessible by off-road vehicle or ATV in the summertime, including Independence near Aspen, St. Elmo near Buena Vista and Animas Forks near Silverton

 

Museums

12. Free Museums

From the works of local artists to authentic moon rocks, Colorado's free museums house a bounty of treasures. Stroll through the sculpture garden at Leanin' Tree Museum & Sculpture Garden of Western Art in Boulder; or learn how Loveland earned the nickname Sweetheart City USA at the Loveland Museum/Gallery (admission to art exhibits in the main gallery costs $5). More >>

CO Wildlife Infographic

This is what everyone needs!

Russell Stover Chocolates (Montrose)

  

Where: Montrose When: Monday-Saturday 9:00 am -6:00 pm; Sunday 11:00 am -6:00 pm
Closed on major holidays.

Chocolate! One of the basic food groups, right?

Wander the aisles of this huge factory outlet store, and pick up a sample or two, or three, or … now, don’t get carried away! You’ll see that the store employees have thoughtfully opened sample boxes of various candies throughout the store. Please don’t “help” them out by opening additional boxes to sample!

Russell Stover is a major employer in the Montrose area, with a production facility located in the building behind the outlet store. Sadly, no tours of the candy-making process are available.

 

 

Warning: the taste and aroma of chocolate may prove too much for you, and you’ll likely end up making a purchase before your friends manage to drag you out of the store. Ask for the free gift wrapping, and pretend you aren’t going to eat it all yourself.

Update: Check out the lovely, brand new building (as of late 2012) that replaces the former one on the same property. The front area features special chocolates by the piece as well as a multitude of boxed chocolates and other treats. The back room has lots of specials on seasonal-themed items and “not-quite-perfect” candies that taste great but aren’t quite pretty enough to make it into the fancy boxes.

 

For more information, contact:

Russell Stover
2185 Stover Avenue
Montrose, CO 81401

970-249-5372

www.russellstover.com

 

Garden of the Gods!

 


Garden of the Gods (Colorado Springs)

What: Garden of the Gods Park, Visitor Center, Trading Post

 
Where: Colorado Springs
When
Park hours:
 Summer 5:00 AM – 11:00 PM; Winter 5:00 AM – 9:00 PM

    Visitor Center hours: Summer 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM; Winter 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM;
closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Days
    Trading Post hours: Summer 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM; Winter 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM; open all year

Drive, hike, mountain bike, or horseback ride among spectacular red rock formations and all-around, jaw-dropping natural beauty. Technical rock climbers, who must first register at the Visitor Center to obtain a permit to climb, scale the towering cliffs of sandstone. Garden of the Gods Park is home to rock formations with intriguing names such as Giant Footprints, Kissing Camels, Siamese Twins, Three Graces, and Tower of Babel.

Legend has it that two surveyors came upon this natural wonder. One commented that it would be a “capital place for a beer garden.” His partner, Rufus Cable, having a greater appreciation for the uniqueness of the landscape, was taken aback. “Beer garden? Why, it is a place for the Gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods!”

 

 

The Visitor & Nature Center is worth a stop, with interesting exhibits, complimentary park maps, and even a free sample of fudge. The cafeteria offers a wonderful view of the region, with majestic Pikes Peak as a backdrop.

Ask for a schedule of the free Nature Talks held on the terrace of the building, and free guided Nature Walks.

If all this free stuff has you itching to buy something, or if you just like to browse, be sure to head over to Garden of the Gods Trading Post toward the southwest end of the park. This adobe-style building has been expanded numerous times, and now houses the largest Trading Post in Colorado.

The range of merchandise boggles the mind. You’ll find the odd little five-and-dime sort of trinkets that the kids always seem to crave, as well as t-shirts galore.

However, you’ll also discover a wonderful collection of Navajo rugs, sand painting, Pueblo pottery, gorgeous southwestern-style jewelry, and other beautiful items in the Art Gallery.

On the other hand, perhaps you’d be interested in a mounted jackalope trophy? Ask for another free taste of fudge at the Trading Post’s café before you head off into the park again for a picnic.

Check out both websites for coupons offering discounts on food and merchandise, as well as discounts for a 12-minute movie offered at the Visitor Center.



For more information, contact:
Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center
30th Street & Gateway Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
(719) 634-6666

www.gardenofgods.com

Garden of the Gods Trading Post
324 Beckers Lane
Manitou Springs, CO 80829
(800) 874-4515 or (719) 685-9045

Additional directions:
Drive to Colorado Springs on I-25

If you are heading south, take Exit 146 (Garden of the Gods Road)
Drive West 2.3 miles on to 30th Street
Turn left onto 30th Street, and follow it 1.3 miles to the Visitor Center, which will be on your left.

If you are heading north on I-25, take Exit 141 (US 24 / Cimarron) toward Manitou Springs and Pikes Peak

Drive West 2.5 miles on US 24 to 31st Street
Turn right at 31st Street, and follow it 0.6 miles to Fontanero, where you will turn right
Follow Fontanero 1 block to 30th Street, and turn left on 30th Street
Continue north on 30th Street 1.2 miles to the Visitor Center, which will be on your right.