Cheyenne Mountain Zoo#7 in Best Things To Do in Colorado Springs
Animal lovers say that the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a must if you're visiting Colorado Springs with kids. Located south of the city on the side of Cheyenne Mountain, this facility makes it easy to get up-close to hundreds of furry, scaly and feathery creatures. While here, you can also feed a giraffe, take a spin on the zoo's chairlift-style, open-air ride and snap photos with the zoo's residents during animal encounters.
Although the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo houses a variety of animals, the giraffes are by far a visitor favorite. Recent travelers loved being able to feed the giraffes, saying it was a great activity for kids and parents alike. The staff also received high marks from visitors, who say they are attentive and informative. Others complimented the zoo's location, saying the views are incredible and the paths are easy to navigate with a stroller or wheelchair. The cost of your zoo admission also includes entry to the Will Rogers Shrine, which sits a little more than a mile northwest of the zoo's entrance (along the Russell Tutt Scenic Highway). The shrine was built in the 1930s to commemorate actor Will Rogers, who died in a plane crash in 1935. With an elevation of 8,136 feet, the Will Rogers Shrine provides spectacular views of Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak.
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is located about 6 miles south of Colorado Springs. The facility is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Peak season (holidays, spring break and June through September) admission costs $24.75 for adults ages 12 to 64, $19.75 for kids ages 3 to 11 and $0.75 for infants 2 and younger. Admission is slightly reduced during non-peak days (March through November) and value days (December through February). Note that some of the zoo's special activities cost extra. There is free parking on-site. For more information, check out the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo website.
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#1 Garden of the Gods
It's easy to see how this natural landmark earned such an ethereal title: These magnificent red rock formations look as though deities themselves could've carved them. However, the sandstone pillars are, in fact, the work of geological activity along a natural fault line, as well as rainfall over millennia. You can learn about the garden's formations at the visitor and nature center, which houses numerous informative displays and hosts daily nature presentations. You are welcome to explore the park on your own time (either on foot or by bike); the visitor and nature center also offers guided hikes, as well as bike, Jeep, trolley and Segway tours (prices vary by vehicle and tour length). Or, if you're looking for a more authentic "Wild West" experience, you can reserve your spot on a guided horseback tour offered by Academy Riding Stables.
Because there is no admission fee if you are exploring the Garden of the Gods on your own; previous visitors recommended returning to the park throughout your time in Colorado Springs to see the rocks at different times of day. They also offered high praise for the knowledgeable staff at the visitor and nature center. Others were pleased to find out that many of the trails are paved – meaning those using strollers and wheelchairs can still access the park. If you don't want to deal with the landmark's heavy crowds, plan to arrive before 10 a.m. on a weekday.
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