HEY! It’s been awhile.
I’m currently eating a veggie omelette, sausage and toast with strawberry jam because that’s what I ate for breakfast on our trip most days and I have a hard time letting go. Haha. So, I’m continuing the vacation vibes at home through my breakfast for lunch/dinner and sharing the first leg of our road trip with you all today!
Hope everyone had a fun 4th of July weekend. Who else was on the water?
Colorado Springs & Manitou Springs
13 hours through the night and we made it to our first stop – Colorado Springs, CO/Manitou Springs, CO (the two are next door neighbors and our Airbnb was directly between the two). Home of Olympic Athletes, the US Air Force Academy, Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, Seven Falls and lots of history, etc.
We arrived around 7am completely exhausted because none of us really slept on the drive, grabbed breakfast at Uncle Sam’s Pancake House (veggie omelette, sausage & toast with strawberry jam for me) and then took an hour-long power nap at the Airbnb before our first excursion in CO: Pikes Peak Cog Railway.
We took a 3 hour round-trip train ride to the top of Pike’s Peak (14,115 ft) in Manitou Springs! At the top we enjoyed amazing views, “world-famous” donuts and some delicious creme-brulee-esque coffee. Along the route we saw big horned sheep, heard some history of Pike’s Peak and of course snapped a bunch of pictures.
The whole train ride was so cute. It was the perfect first excursion of our trip and it had us giddy and energized because after that, even though we hadn’t slept for almost 22 hours, we went out to dinner at the Stagecoach Inn, went for a spontaneous wine tasting at D’Vine Wine (always down for that and yes it is a chain that is also here in Texas) and then went for a hike at Red Rock Canyon Open Space (that was literally in the backyard of our Airbnb).
Garden of the Gods
The next morning my mom bribed us out of bed at 7am with Rudy’s breakfast tacos and then we headed straight to Garden of the Gods (in Colorado Springs) for a morning hike. The rock formations are absolutely beautiful and can be enjoyed by hiking, biking, rock climbing, or from the comfort of your car. We chose to hike and I think one of my favorite things about our road trip as a whole was how active we were at each destination! I loved it. I wish I could make myself move that often here at home, but the weather in Colorado definitely made it easier. It would get warm during the day (without the humidity we have here in TX) and it would cool off just enough at night to need a light coat. It was perfect!
After hiking Garden of the Gods we headed over to Seven Falls (also in Colorado Springs).
Insider tip: Don’t wait in line for the shuttle. Find parking by the entrance of Seven Falls at closeby trails. Otherwise you’ll be waiting in line for a while.
From the Seven Falls website: “Take 224 steps up a magnificent series of waterfalls located in a 1,250-foot-wall box canyon. These steps lead to hiking trails and the banks of the glistening streams that feed the 181-foot drop of falling water at the falls.”
The hike up the 224 steps along the falls was literally breathtaking! I was winded after about 10 steps. But the hike was really fun and felt dare-devilish because of the steep stairs. The view at the top was lovely and there were nice trails along the stream. We tested our LifeStraw at the top – just as refreshing as spring bottled water but probably better than that.
To end our second day in Colorado Springs we ate some Greek for lunch and walked around Old Colorado City. It’s very touristy with shops, restaurants and bars in old historic buildings. But they also have different events such as art walks and farmers markets although you just have to find them on the right day. That evening we grabbed dinner at the Colorado Mountain Brewery and I thought that was super neat. It was awesome because the building used to be an old roundhouse for trains! And you could definitely tell because the outside of the building still looks the same. It was neat to imagine the roundhouse in use back in the day. The food was also really good and the inside of the brewery was pretty cute too.
Colorado Springs / Manitou Springs offered:
- great views
- great hikes
- fun history
- good drinks and food
It was definitely a fun two-day stop on our 12 day road-trip adventure. I don’t know if I can choose a one thing that I enjoyed most of all. Overall, it was a great first stop.
The next morning we were headed northwest to Wyoming to see the Grand Tetons! But I’ll save that for the next post.