Pikes Peak as seen from Garden of the Gods

Located in the foothills of Pikes Peak, one of the most spectacular mountains in the U.S., Colorado Springs is a haven for hikers, mountain climbers, skiers and those looking for the type of rest and rejuvenation only breathtaking natural beauty can deliver. Pack the camera and spend the day ascending 14,110 feet to the summit of the Peak, which is accessible by car, along a 19-mile highway, by cog rail (a unique train usually found in the Alps) or on foot via numerous hiking paths. The view from the top is so magnificent it inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write "America the Beautiful." Back down on the ground there is a plethora of man-made attractions to explore, including the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the United States Air Force Academy and an authentic old western town reconstructed from buildings that were abandoned after the region's gold mining era. Don't miss the Tactile Gallery at the Fine Arts Center, an innovative exhibit space designed for the physically challenged, which showcases pieces that are "touchable" and offers Braille and large print labels.

The local convention bureau's slogan once was "There's more Colorado in Colorado Springs" and it's easy to see why. WIth a 14,110 foot mountain (Pikes Peak) towering over the town and signature red rock spires of Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs also boasts waterfalls (Helen Hunt-free and Seven Falls-fee), caves (Cave of the Winds), and numerous hiking, biking and running trails. It is also within easy distance of the Royal Gorge and world-class river rafting on the Arkansas River. Manitou Springs, a quaint old town borders the west side.

Its proximity to Denver makes it an easy drive to major-league sports teams and touring plays and musical productions.