By Plane -- Major airlines offer nearly 100 flights a day to Colorado Springs Airport, located north of Drennan Road and east of Powers Boulevard in the southeastern part of the city (tel. 719/550-1972; www.flycos.com). Airlines serving Colorado Springs include Allegiant, American, Continental, Delta, Frontier, and United.
Getting To & From the Airport -- Several companies provide airport shuttle services; call tel. 719/550-1930 or visit the airport’s website for information.
By Car -- The principal artery to and from the north and south, I-25, bisects Colorado Springs. Denver is 70 miles north; Pueblo, 42 miles south. U.S. 24 is the principal east-west route through the city.
Visitors arriving on I-70 from the east can take exit 359 at Limon and follow U.S. 24 into the Springs. Arriving on I-70 from the west, the most direct route is exit 201 at Frisco, then Colo. 9 through Breckenridge 53 miles to U.S. 24 (at Hartsel), and finally east 66 miles to the Springs. This route is mountainous, so check road conditions before setting out in winter.
The Experience Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak Convention and Visitors Bureau is at 515 S. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (tel. 800/368-4748 or 719/635-7506; www.visitcos.com). Ask for the free Official Visitor Guide to Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region, a colorful booklet with a comprehensive listing of accommodations, restaurants, and other area visitor services, as well as a basic but efficient map. You can also pick up more detailed maps at the Visitor Information Center as well as in local bookstores. An excellent one is the Pierson Graphics Corporation’s Colorado Springs and Monument Valley Street Map. The Visitor Information Center, at the southeast corner of Cascade Avenue and Cimarron Street, is open from 8:30am to 5pm and Saturday from 9am to 1pm. From I-25, take the Cimarron Street exit (exit 141), and head east about 4 blocks.
Visitors to Manitou Springs -- and every Colorado Springs visitor should also get to Manitou Springs -- can get information from the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, 354 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, CO 80829 (tel. 800/642-2567 or 719/685-5089; www.manitousprings.org). You can also contact the Pikes Peak Country Attractions Association at the same address (tel. 800/525-2250; www.pikes-peak.com).
Heads-Up -- At an elevation of 6,035 feet, Colorado Springs has two-thirds the oxygen found at sea level; Pikes Peak, at 14,110 feet, has only one-half the oxygen.
It’s easy to get around central Colorado Springs, which is laid out on a classic grid pattern.
If you focus on the intersection of I-25 and U.S. 24, downtown Colorado Springs lies in the northeast quadrant, bounded on the west by I-25 and on the south by U.S. 24 (Cimarron St.). Boulder Street to the north and Wahsatch Avenue to the east complete the downtown frame. Nevada Avenue (Bus. 25 and Colo. 115) parallels the freeway for 15 miles through the city, intersecting it twice; Tejon Street and Cascade Avenue also run north-south through downtown between Nevada Avenue and the freeway. Colorado Avenue and Platte Avenue are the busiest east-west downtown cross streets.
West of downtown, Colorado Avenue extends through the historic Old Colorado City district and the quaint foothill community of Manitou Springs, rejoining U.S. 24 -- a busy but less interesting artery -- as it enters Pike National Forest.
South of downtown, Nevada Avenue intersects Lake Avenue, the principal boulevard into the Broadmoor hotel, and proceeds south as Colo. 115 past Fort Carson to Cañon City.
North and east of downtown, Academy Boulevard (Colo. 83) is a good street name to remember. From the south gate of the Air Force Academy north of the Springs, it winds through residential hills, crosses Austin Bluff Parkway, and then runs without a curve 8 miles due south, finally bending west to intersect I-25 and Colo. 115 at Fort Carson. U.S. 24, which exits downtown east as Platte Avenue, and Fountain Boulevard, which leads to the airport, are among its cross streets. Austin Bluffs Parkway extends west of I-25 as Garden of the Gods Road, leading to that natural wonder.
City street addresses are divided by Pikes Peak Avenue into north and south; by Nevada Avenue into east and west.
Although Colorado Springs has public transportation, most visitors prefer to drive. Parking and roads are good, and some of the best attractions, such as the Garden of the Gods, are accessible only by car (or foot or bike for the truly ambitious).
By Car -- The American Automobile Association (AAA) maintains an office in Colorado Springs at 3525 N. Carefree Circle (tel. 800/283-5222 or 719/591-2222; www.aaa.com), open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm and Saturday from 9am to 1pm.
Car Rentals -- Car-rental agencies in Colorado Springs, some of which have offices in or near downtown as well as at the airport, include Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National/Alamo.
Parking -- Most downtown streets have parking meters; the usual rate is 25¢ for 15 minutes to a half-hour. Look for city-run parking lots, which charge 25¢ per half-hour and also offer day rates. Outside downtown, free parking is generally available on side streets.
By Bus -- Mountain Metropolitan Transit (tel. 719/385-7433; www.springsgov.com) provides city bus service. Buses operate Monday through Friday from about 5am to 7:30pm, except major holidays. Fares on in-city routes are $1.75 for adults; 85¢ students, children 6 to 11, seniors, and passengers with disabilities; and free for children 5 and under. Bus schedules can be obtained at terminals, city libraries, and the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.
By Bike -- Bicycles are more a form of recreation than transportation in Colorado Springs. There are trails all over town, but they don't necessarily connect.
By Taxi -- Call Yellow Cab (tel. 719/777-7777) for taxi service.
On Foot -- Each of the main sections of town can easily be explored without a vehicle. It’s fun, for instance, to wander the winding streets of Manitou Springs or explore the Old Colorado City “strip.” Between neighborhoods, however, distances are considerable. Unless you’re particularly fit, it’s wise to drive or take a bus or taxi.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.