Direct To explores the treasures found off a direct flight from a local airport. Here we explore Colorado Springs — just a non-stop flight from the Santa Barbara Airport or the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport to Denver International Airport in Colorado, followed by either an easy, 90-minute drive to Colorado Springs or a quick 20-minute flight to continue to the destination by air.
Where to Eat and Drink
Bristol Brewing Company is a legend in this city. The owners of this family-owned and -operated outpost, Mike and Amanda Bristol, have been making beer for nearly two decades. There are two Bristol Brewing locations to grab a pint (or two) on tap at — one is at the Ivywild School just outside downtown, and the other is at the Colorado Springs Airport (before security!) so you can enjoy a brew and watch the planes take off and land.
nd for those seeking a different type of “flight,” a visit to one of Pikes Peak Brewing Co.’s two locations — The Monument Taproom which is about 20 minutes north of downtown, and the Lager House on Tejon Street downtown, which features a rooftop patio with stunning views of Pikes Peak — will not disappoint. The Lager House serves a variety of Pikes Peak beer but specializes in lagers, like the Tejon Mexican and the Knob Hill India Pale, which are brewed at the Lager House location.
This brewery is one stop down from The Exchange, which is the perfect place for people who can’t make it to a brewery firsthand but still want to enjoy a locally made canned concoction. Here, those who are more interested in “coffee” brews than booze can also experience a plethora of choices between both caffeine and cuisine. There are even “coffee flights” that feature four of the most popular cafe creations, served as four-ounce tasters. The Exchange feels like a warm and relaxed hangout to spend some time at, getting work done or meet up with a friend for a chat.
Things to Do
Gain some (more) elevation on the historic Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway. This 3.5-hour roundtrip journey travels along the world’s highest and longest cog railroad up to a legendary “14er,” a peak at least 14,000 feet high, in an unforgettable experience. Since 1891 the railway has been offering those who would rather ride than hike up the chance to climb to the peak. But for those who prefer to get their steps in, hiking to the top and riding down via railway is just as possible with the purchase of a one-way ticket at the top (subject to availability) or a roundtrip ticket (which is just used for the journey back down).
Speaking of hiking, adjacent to the railway is the iconic Manitou Incline, a trail that ascends 2,000 feet of elevation in less than one mile and is climbable via a set of grueling steps. Olympians have even been known to use the incline to train for their epic athletic pursuits, which isn’t surprising because Colorado Springs is no stranger to Olympians.
Places to Stay
Arriving at Kinship Landing doesn’t feel like being at a hotel — it feels like coming home. This cozy, newly opened boutique hotel is right downtown in a fantastic location for exploring the local dining and shopping scene — but it also hosts its own community events at Homa, the on-site, all-day craft cafe and bar.
Be sure to try one of their legendary hand pies, and don’t leave without getting some of the homemade oat milk nitro cold brew (it’s so popular, even the locals have trouble getting their hands on it!). Kinship Landing offers travelers the chance to book one-of-a-kind rooms with unique layouts. From shared bunk options inspired by solo travels and the international hostel experience to relaxing suites with mountain views and balconies and pet-friendly options, everyone will feel welcomed here.
For those seeking a more luxurious experience, across town is The Broadmoor — an enormous luxury resort that first opened its doors more than a century ago. This lavish property is home to 17 restaurants, cafes and lounges, two golf courses, a spa, on-site shopping outlets and much more. The exterior architecture and the interior design seem like something out of a fairy tale. Those who are just passing through the property can enjoy lunch or dinner in The Broadmoor’s Le Jardin room of La Taverne, which seemingly brings a feeling of spring inside (even if it’s snowing), and gives visitors the chance to dine while surrounded by flowers, lush greenery and a showstopping, 16-foot-tall chandelier.