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Known as Little London in its early days, the city was founded by Gen. William J. Palmer in 1871. A Civil War hero and railroad magnate, Palmer influenced much of the state's settlement, but Colorado Springs was his home. He founded the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad and purchased land to create a resort town — Colorado Springs — along its route.

Things to See & Do Today

The city sits at the foot of one of America's most famous landmarks, Pikes Peak, upon whose summit Katharine Lee Bates was inspired to write "America the Beautiful." Visitors still converge on the peak, where they can drive, ride the Pikes Peak Cog Railway or even hike to its 14,115-foot summit. Every summer, skilled drivers gather to race from Mile 7 on the Pikes Peak Highway to the fourteener’s summit on the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

One of the nation's most fabulous city parks, Garden of the Gods, is nestled in the foothills of Pikes Peak. The stunning red rock formations draw those with cameras in tow to capture a perfect shot of the rocks framing snow-capped Pikes Peak.

But there's much more to attract and hold visitors' attention. There are more than 50 area attractions, ranging from the Pioneers Museum and American Numismatic Association Money Museum to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the recently restored Broadmoor Seven Falls

Additionally, one of three U.S. Olympic Training Centers is located here, and visitors can watch world-class athletes in action. Another worthy stop is the U.S. Air Force Academy, an elite military training academy just north of the city. You can visit several areas of the academy, including the stunning Cadet Chapel and the Honor Court.

The also city thrives on arts and culture, with its Colorado Springs Philharmonic and Pikes Peak Center for performing arts. Admire one of the most impressive collections of Latin American and American Indian art in the U.S. at Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; or take a stroll in the Downtown Colorado Springs Creative District, home to more than 50 pieces of public art and a wealth of galleries. 

Get a taste of the city’s Western roots at the COS Rodeo, where bull riding, barrel racing and concerts draw crowds to Penrose Equestrian Center on select dates during the summer months.

 

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