You also can ride the revived Royal Gorge Route Railroad passenger train through the gorge, seeing it from the bottom up instead of the top down. The train leaves on a regular schedule from the depot in Cañon City and offers more plush accommodations than most of Colorado's historic trains. Learn more about attractions in the Royal Gorge region.

While in town, you'll find wine tasting at the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, several art galleries and antique shops, and several places to grab a bite. If you're interested in criminal history, try a visit to the Museum of Colorado Prisons, appropriate because Cañon City is also home to several state and federal penitentiaries. And if you're visiting in the spring, you might catch the annual Music and Blossom Festival, celebrating the cherry and apple crops to come.

The area is also becoming a hot spot for mountain biking in Colorado, with the expanded Oil Well Flats trail system just north of Cañon City. Thanks to the region's topography and mild climate, singletrack seekers can hit trails practically year-round.

Hidden-gem attractions include Skyline Drive, the Cañon City Queen Ann Tea House and Tunnel Road.

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