A Castle Getaway + Inspirational Adventure

Elevate Your Awareness of Colorado History in Colorado Springs

A long weekend getaway to Colorado Springs is a fresh blend of history with nearby active and restorative elements. Less than three hours from Vail, step into General William Jackson Palmer and his wife Queenie Palmers castle at Glen Eyrie. Stay on the affordable retreat property surrounded by soul-stirring beauty. Each days excursion excites and sends you home with intriguing stories and a content soreness.

Planning ahead, pre-book a Glen Eyrie stay (gleneyrie.org). Choose from seven buildings with varying styles and amenities, ranging from the historical castle to contemporary lodges.

Colorado Springs Photo courtesy of Glen Eyrie

Day 1: Ease Your Way In

Arriving midday and hungry for a bite, please the whole gang at the food stand COATI for a midday pick me up (coatiuprise.com.) When youre ready for adventure, head to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum (usopm.org) for an interactive afternoon. Dont forget to bring running shoes to race against Jesse Owens, a 1936 four-time track and field gold medalist.

Begin by viewing the event’s history before walking alongside athletes at the opening ceremony athlete parade in the 360-degree immersive exhibit. Learn the skills and training involved to be a Paralympian. Test your athletic skills at archery, skiing and even bobsled. In addition to athletic prowess, discover how science allows athletes to be their best. See Michael Johnsons gold spike shoe and Amanda McGrorys racing wheelchair. And, dont be shy. Ask the guide if they are an Olympian!

On the way to settling in at Glen Eyrie, stop nearby for an unbelievable sunset above the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center (gardenofgods.com). With 300-foot towering sandstone rock formations and a winding road between, you can surely find the perfect viewpoint for a snapshot. Curious as to how the rocks got there? Visit the Geo-Trekker Theater to step back to the times of dinosaurs and hot magma spanning one billion years.

Photo by Clare Hefferren

Day 2: A Restorative Respite

Today is about rest and reflection. Wake with the mountain goats to explore the nature-filled property surrounded by impressive views and 16 hiking trails steps from the door. Pick up a map at the estate bookstore or simply meander amongst the sandstone. Trail levels range from easy to difficult.

A picnic lunch on the property is recommended. With idyllic overarching trees for shade, spend the afternoon reading, journaling and napping. If kiddos are feeling antsy, the center has a sporting green stocked with outdoor cornhole and board games.

After freshening up, put on your best duds for a festive happy hour at the infamous Broadmoor Resort (broadmoor.com). Stroll the property and revel in over 100 years of European elegance. Below the Pike National Forest, sip a fancy cocktail on the veranda while live music serenades and boats float on the Tarryall River. While this trip recommends a brief visit to the Broadmoor, its certainly warranted to return to enjoy golf, dining, spa and luxurious accommodations.

Photo by Clare Hefferren

Day 3: Lets Get Going

Inspired by the Olympic Center, head to Manitou Springs to climb the Manitou Incline — a feat of 2,744 steps over 0.9 miles and roughly a 2,000-foot vertical gain (manitousprings.org). While the average hiker gets to the top in an hour, seasoned climbers take 30 minutes. Dare to beat the record of 17 minutes and 45 seconds.

After burning serious calories, grab a burger at Townhouse Sports Grill (townhousesportsgrill.com). Enjoy the fresh air and a well-earned frosty beverage on an expansive patio. Allow time to make it back to Glen Eyrie for a 90-minute castle tour. General Palmer, best known as co-founder of the Rio Grande Railroad, and his wife Mary, known as Queenie,” allow access to the Carriage House and the castles first and second floors. Relish in the decorative fabrics, envision a soak in a clawfoot bathtub and dare to enter an underground tunnel.

Whether youre seeking the warmer temps of summer or the cooler temps of fall, Colorado Springs delights with history and adventure. Below the Colorado bluebird skies, youll head home dreaming of railroads and revelry, quenched thirst and vista views.