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  • Colorado Springs

    Colorado Springs travel guide

    Overview

    Colorado Springs is a growing city that was originally developed as a vacation destination in 1871, as part of the 'health centre' boom of Colorado, being blessed with the nearby mineral waters of Manitou Springs, its high mountain ranges, and fresh mountain air. Today it is a popular tourist destination (tourism is the main source of income in Colorado Springs), attracting visitors to the magnificent scenery of Pikes Peak Country and the pleasant climate. It is a good base from which to explore the beauty of the surrounding area and most tourists come to marvel at the landscapes of Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, as well as to see the US Air Force Academy.

    Most of Colorado Springs' residents are retired or active military personnel and this lends a conservative mood to the city. Colorado Springs sits at the foot of its most famous landmark, the 14,115-foot (4,302m) Pikes Peak, and a breath-taking journey on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway takes passengers to the summit, from where incredible views over the Rocky Mountain Range, Denver and the endless Great Plains can be enjoyed. The marvellous red sandstone formations of the nearby Garden of the Gods have been sculpted into pinnacles and weirdly-eroded shapes by the wind and rain over millions of years, and the park has numerous walking trails that allow visitors to explore the landscapes away from the tourist-travelled roads.

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    Colorado Springs has a semi-arid climate and the city's proximity to the mountains makes the weather unpredictable and changeable. The city gets plenty of sun in the warm summers and in the cold, snowy winters. In December, the coldest month of winter, the average temperatures range between 17°F (-8°C) and 42°F (6°C), and in July, the hottest month of summer, the average temperatures range between 56°F (13°C) and 84°F (29°C). Snow falls between November and April, with March being the snowiest month. Colorado Springs is not a rainy city, but some rain does fall in the summer months.

    Colorado Springs Municipal Airport
    Location: The airport is located nine miles (16km) southeast of Colorado Springs.
    Time: GMT -7 (GMT -6 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
    Getting to the city: There are buses to Colorado Springs and the surrounding region from the airport. Taxis, limousines, rental cars, and airport shuttles are all available at the airport, and some hotels in Colorado Springs offer pick-up services for their guests.
    Car Rental: Car hire companies at the airport include Avis, Budget, Hertz, Alamo/National, and Enterprise.
    Airport Taxis: Springs Cab, Pikes Peak Cab, Rocky Mountain Taxi, and Yellow Cab offer taxis from Colorado Springs Airport. Taxis are metered.
    Fascilities: Facilities at the airport include ATMs, a visitor information centre, and multiple restaurants and shops.
    Parking Short-term parking costs $1 per 30 minutes up to $8 per day, and long-term parking costs $1 per hour up to $6 per day. There is a free, 24/7 shuttle service to the terminal.

    Useful Contacts:

    Tourists often choose to hire cars in Colorado Springs, especially as most travellers explore widely in the region surrounding the city, rather than just in Colorado Springs itself. However, despite car hire being the most convenient transport option, visitors should note that traffic congestion, narrow roads, and scarce parking could make driving around Colorado Springs itself a bit stressful. For those who prefer not to drive, there are taxis available, but they should be ordered at least an hour in advance by phone. Public transport consists of a bus system managed by Mountain Metropolitan Transport, which operates comprehensive routes in town between 5am and 10pm on weekdays.

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