13 Best Non-Touristy Things To Do In Colorado Springs, Colorado - Updated 2021

non touristy things to do in colorado springs
Hannah
Hannah
Updated

With its dizzyingly dramatic landscape, vibrant art culture, and breathtaking outdoor activities, Colorado Springs is a city that constantly dazzles and delights. With otherworldly rock formation to scale and exceptional art galleries to explore, there is plenty to see and do in this brilliant Rocky Mountain metropolis. You should certainly visit well-known landmarks like the majestic Pikes Peak and attractions like the United States Olympic Training Center, but there are also plenty of fantastic, non-touristy things to do while you are in town! In a city famous for the plethora of natural parks, it’s good to get off the beaten path once in a while. From zipline adventures to massive, moving sculptures, read the list below to get more ideas for your itinerary. If you want to explore off-the-beaten-path Colorado, check out these best non-touristy things to do in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

1. Learn all about glassblowing (from USD 120.0)

This four-hour class will teach you all about the safety precautions and the in and outs of glassblowing. The first hour is about safety measures, and then the next three hours will be spent playing with molten glass. Participants will learn about basic styles like an implosion, a mushroom marble, pendants, glass ice cubes, and other easy-to-make glass items. This is such a fun and cool experience, and you’ll surely have an awesome time.

Liquid Arts Glassblowing Experience

Duration: 4 hours

75 reviews

2. Go on a hiking tour of Palmer Park (from USD 59.0)

Learn about the history, local flora, fauna, wildlife, and some fun facts about Colorado Springs and Palmer Park in this nice outdoor hike. The hosts will adjust the hike according to your experience level and based on your expectations, so no need to worry about getting too exhausted. The hike can be an easy one with less than 200 feet (60.9 meters) of elevation, to a more challenging 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) trek with up to 600 feet (182.8 meters) of elevation. There are plenty of beautiful spots along the way perfect for taking photos.

Palmer Park Hiking Tour

Duration: 2 hours

21 reviews

3. Check out Starr Kempf's Kinetic Sculptures

Posted by Carolyn O'Leary on Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Adding must-sees in Colorado to your itinerary? On a gusty day, watch Starr Kempf’s whimsical sculptures come to life in the wind. These monumental sculptures are made of steel but gracefully move and ripple under the influence of a breeze. Ranging from fantastical birds to massive spires and abstract shapes, the sculptures were started in 1977 and are a beautiful example of kinetic art. While three of Kempf’s sculptures are located in the ENT Center for the Arts, many more pieces are still standing on the lawn of the artist’s former house, and visitors can admire the artwork from the street.

Starr Kempf's Kinetic Sculptures

Address: 2057 Pine Grove Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80906, USA

Website: Starr Kempf’s Metal Sculptures House

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm

Price: Free admission

4. Visit the Tuberculosis Huts

Nordach Sanatorium, Austin Bluffs, Colorado 1906
Source: Photo by user Unknown author used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

In the years following the Gold Rush, thousands flocked to the dry, desert climate of Colorado Springs to seek relief from tuberculosis or “consumption.” As clean air and sunshine were thought to be a “cure” for the disease, the town became a popular destination for TB rehabilitation, and tuberculosis huts were created to offer a comfortable stay for patients seeking treatment. Designed by Charles Fox Gardiner, these small buildings had a simple interior with a calling system for nurses, and had plenty of windows for patients to take in as much of the “healing” climate as they could. Today, many of these huts have been re-purposed, but there are a few that have been maintained as a monument to the tuberculosis patients and to Colorado Spring’s healing history.

Tuberculosis Huts

Address: 7665 Assisi Heights, Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

5. Marvel at the collections in May Natural History Museum

Posted by May Natural History Museum on Tuesday, 11 March 2014

If creepy crawlies don’t make your skin crawl, then a visit to the May Natural History Museum is a must. With over 7,000 insects on display, this museum has one of the largest, privately-owned collection of tropical bugs in the world! For over 80 years museum founder James May traveled the world in pursuit of vibrantly-hued moths, clever arachnids, and more, to add to his massive, historic selection. Visitors today can peruse case after case of deadly scorpions, vivid butterflies, and shiny-backed beetles, as well as many other fascinating finds from all nooks, crannies, and corners of the globe. With a collection this cool, it’s hard to not bug out!

May Natural History Museum

Address: 710 Rock Creek Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80926, USA

Website: May Natural History Museum

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily from May 1 to September 30)

Price: 7 USD

6. Zoom along on a zipline adventure (from USD 186.0)

With its soaring mountain peaks and wind-toughened forests clinging to the rock faces, the vistas of Colorado Springs are incredibly impressive. Glide through this magnificent landscape on a thrilling zipline adventure tour! Over the course of three hours, an experienced guide will lead you through an adventure course at Seven Falls, where you will coast past amazing vistas as you fly down five massive ziplines. Get a bird’s eye view of the dramatic landscape as you navigate two swaying suspension bridges and feel your adrenaline pulse as you traverse a 180-foot (54-meter) rappel past rocky ledges. This family-friendly tour is an exhilarating way to experience the area.

Fins Course Scenic Zipline Tour

Duration: 3 hours 15 minutes

4 reviews

7. Dine at The Airplane Restaurant

The Airplane Restaurant, Colorado Springs
Source: Photo by user Xnatedawgx used under CC BY-SA 3.0

After a busy day of sightseeing, you can feast your eyes on aviation history as you fill your belly with delicious food. Inside this unique restaurant, there are hundreds of aviation pictures, unique flight souvenirs, and a fully intact Boeing KC-97 tanker that was built in 1953! There are even tables within the plane itself where you can eat. This place offers a historic decor, delicious lunch and dinner menu, and retro artifacts and memorabilia. If you want a unique dining experience and you’re looking for some weird things to do in Colorado, stop by this brilliant restaurant for a meal.

The Airplane Restaurant

Address: 1665 Newport Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80916, USA

Website: The Airplane Restaurant

Opening hours: 11am - 9pm (daily)

8. Review regional history at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

Posted by Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum on Monday, 19 November 2018

Delve into the state’s heritage at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. This interesting establishment brims with fascinating facts and educational exhibits about the regional history of Pikes Peak, and includes more than 80,000 photographs and over 45,000 items. Stroll through the wonderful exhibits and galleries and view carefully curated collections of archaeological items, fine art masterpieces, important manuscripts and maps, plus so much more.

Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

Address: 215 S Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, USA

Website: Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: Free admission

9. Soar through the Garden of the Gods on a Segway tour (from USD 118.0)

Travel by segway to some of the most picturesque spots in the gorgeous Garden of the Gods. This superlative natural park is filled with spectacular formations of bright red rock and is one of the highlights of the Colorado Springs area. On this hour-and-a-half-long tour, admire amazing vistas and visit breathtaking landmarks around Juniper Loop, one of the park’s most renowned areas. As you traverse this impressive mountainous landscape, your guide will share stories about the park’s history, highlight must-see formations, and point out the amazing local wildlife and flora.

Colorado Springs, Old West, Garden of the Gods Segway Tour

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

2 reviews

10. Get a bird’s-eye view on a hot air balloon ride (from USD 355.0)

For unparalleled views of the city’s vistas, a hot air balloon ride is an unbeatable experience. Marvel at unprecedented panoramas of landmarks like Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods as you enjoy a bird’s eye view of the striking Rocky Mountains on this four-hour tour. Glide through the air at sunrise and watch for wildlife like deer and bighorn sheep as the landscape of Colorado Springs unfurls beneath you. When you return back to the ground, a light breakfast and a champagne toast await you.

Colorado Springs Rocky Mountain Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

1 review

11. Go rock-climbing at the Garden of the Gods (from USD 174.0)

A stunning collection of sandstone formations, Garden of the Gods is one of the most spectacular natural landmarks around. While the red spires are remarkable to visit at any time, this four-hour, private tour allows you to explore the park in a unique way. Geared for beginner to intermediate rock climbers, this adventure course teaches you the basic techniques of the sport as you scale the pillars to reach amazing panoramas. All equipment is provided on this excursion, and each adventure can be custom-tailored to your preferences. If you’re looking for unique things to do in Colorado, add this to your itinerary.

Private Rock Climbing at Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

Duration: 4 hours

12. Get goosebumps exploring the Old Gold Camp Road Tunnels

Swan View Tunnel long exposure
Source: Photo by user Mark Ryan used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Discover a spookier side of Colorado Springs and take a trip to the Old Gold Camp Road Tunnels. Local legend claims that this series of three tunnels, especially the third tunnel, are severely haunted. If you’re brave enough to try hiking these tunnels, be warned! Some hikers report ghostly laughter or random scratches appearing, while others have encountered robed apparitions.

Old Gold Camp Road Tunnels

Address: Gold Camp Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906, USA

Price: Free admission

Nearby option

13. Go bird watching up in the mountains (from USD 20.0)

For a more relaxed activity, this bird watching experience will have you up in the mountains to learn all about the birds that are native to the area. The views from this place are simply majestic. If the weather is cold enough, the birds will be brought in and, if you’re lucky, they might eat from your hand. The hosts are incredibly warm and welcoming, and they’ll teach you all you need to know about your new feathered friends. You’ll be served coffee, tea, or cocoa, as well as freshly baked cinnamon rolls. This Airbnb experience takes place in Florissant, about 45 minutes away from Colorado Springs.

Mountain Brunch with the Birds

Duration: 2 hours

27 reviews

A city of adventure, art, and amazement

There is so much to do and discover in the charming town of Colorado Springs. With its plethora of beautiful outdoor recreation options, lively arts community, and family-friendly attractions, Colorado Springs is a dazzling destination. Start planning your getaway today, and add these unique, non-touristy activities to your itinerary.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Hannah is a freelance writer, list making aficionado, and world traveler currently based in Germany. She is an avid explorer, and believes in creating new experiences to put on her bucket list to...Read more

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