National Museum of World War II Aviation

#14 in Best Things To Do in Colorado Springs
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(Paul Gordon/Courtesy of the National Museum of World War II Aviation)

Key Info

755 Aviation Way

Price & Hours

$15 for adults; $10 for children 4-12
10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday

Details

Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 3.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

From the informative docents to the well laid out exhibits, past travelers found little (if any) fault with the National Museum of World War II Aviation. A few people even made a daytrip from Denver to visit. Exhibits trace the development of aviation as well as the role it played in before and during World War II, with a particular focus on American aviation. Additionally, 18 restored aircraft are located on-site for visitors to view, including a P-47 Thunderbolt and P-38 Lightning. A few select cars and trucks are also part of the museum's collection.

The museum is open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for adults with discounts for seniors, children and military members. (Tip: Purchase tickets on the museum's website in advance to save a few dollars per admission ticket). World War II veterans always get free admission. Tickets include not only touring the museum, but also a tour of the WestPac restoration facility where visitors can watch experts restoring aircraft and their workshops. Parking is free and available on-site. The museum is located about 10 miles east of downtown.

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It's easy to see how this natural landmark earned such an ethereal title: These magnificent red rock formations look as though deities 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) or take a guided hike from the nature center. The park partners with Adventures Out West to provide bike, Jeep, trolley and Segway tours; it works with Amp'd Adventures for guided electric bike tours. (Note: Tour 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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Courtesy of Colorado Springs CVB
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