Who doesn’t love crisp mountain air and sunny skies? If you’re looking for a health-conscious family outing that will rejuvenate the mind, body and soul, Colorado Springs, Colo., will suit you.
With dozens of recreational attractions and leisure pursuits, it’s easy to see why. The hiking trails are a “don’t miss” exhilaration. The Colorado high country offers a source of never-ending clean oxygen that will invigorate your body.
Ivywild School: What used to be an abandoned, rundown school is now a modish place for locals to congregate, shop and eat wholesomely. The cleverly repurposed old schoolrooms display a variety of homespun businesses, from a tasty bakery to a full-blown micro brewery. You can even drop into the principal’s office to have a pale ale in a full bar setting. Ivywild School ( www.ivywildschool.com) gets an A-plus in all subjects.
Venture out: Take an exciting train ride up Pikes Peak on the cog railway ( www.cograilway.com ) for a half-day excursion. On a clear day, the mountaintop vistas are unparalleled – you can see all the way Nebraska. The train’s cars are outfitted with large glass windows that allow for excellent photographs of the Rockies and surrounding valley.
The Manitou Incline ( www.manitouincline.net) is a hike that’s not for the faint of heart: It goes straight up! It is a great way to bond with family and friends as, on your way down the mountainside, you justify why you couldn’t reach the summit.
Explore each nook and cranny of ancient cliff dwellings reassembled into a canyon wall overlooking the enclave of Manitou Springs ( www.cliffdwellingsmuseum.com). The sense of wonder at discovering the ancient stone village adds value to every kid’s delight. If you are pressed for time, simply drive slowly through the park and pull over at your own pace.
Capture jaw-dropping nature photos of the landforms at the Garden of the Gods nature refuge ( www.gardenofgods.com). The distinctive environment supports flourishing greenery accompanied by dramatic erosion-chiseled red rock formations at this popular tourist attraction. Cavort among the rock formations for an experience of a lifetime.
Watch your head on a walking tour of Cave of the Winds ( wwwcaveofthewinds.com). You can witness firsthand the unhurried process of nature’s geological intricacies in this underground cavern. As a bonus, you do have the option of buying a hard hat at the gift shop before your descent into the darkness begins.
Relax: Regardless of where you decide to stay in Colorado Springs, make an appointment at the luxurious 43,000-square-foot Spa at The Broadmoor ( www.broadmoor.com/luxury-spa-resorts); you’re treated like royalty.