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Garden of the Gods, Pike’s Peak & Massive Biscuits in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Best things to do in Colorado Springs Colorado - Carrie Smith Nicholson - garden of the gods

Garden of the Gods

I’m really excited to interview Carrie Nicholson of Hashtag Colorado Life about Colorado Springs, Colorado. Carrie’s tips for the best things to do in Colorado Springs are awesome because she and her husband have the perfect mix of views on Colorado… he’s a native and she moved there from Texas. She loves the outdoor lifestyle of Colorado and the family-friendly culture of Colorado Springs.

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Best things to do in Colorado Springs Colorado - Carrie Smith Nicholson - pikes peak

Drive up to Pike’s Peak for incredible views

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs is located at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains at 6,000+ feet of elevation. It is about an hour outside of Denver, Colorado, making it a popular destination for travelers who want to enjoy the local mountains, hiking, and snow. Pike’s Peak and the Pike National Forest offer hiking trails and a cog railway that leads to the 14,114-foot summit. Garden of the Gods is a free national landmark that consists of towering red rock sandstone formations. It is the perfect spot for taking beautiful pictures for your Instagram account. The U.S. Olympic Training Center and the U.S. Air Force Academy are also located in Colorado Springs.

The weather in Colorado Springs offers the traditional four seasons. And Carrie says that sometimes you’ll experience all four seasons in one day. Carrie loves the winters in Colorado Springs and how much snow they get, even though the city isn’t located in the mountains. She recommends visiting in the fall because there are so many outdoor festivals, events, and concerts. There are corn mazes, Glow in the Gardens (Denver), and Boo at the Zoo. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of the top-rated zoos in the country.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Visit Colorado Springs, the local visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests. The Get Out Pass also features big savings and (sometimes) free admission to many local attractions in Colorado Springs and the nearby communities. I’ve used the Nashville Get Out Pass with my family and loved it.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Colorado Springs Colorado - Carrie Smith Nicholson - denver biscuit company biscuit

Biscuit sandwich from Denver Biscuit Company

Getting around Colorado Springs

The local airport is Colorado Springs Airport (COS), which is a 20-minute drive to downtown.

Carrie says that due to the large size of the city it’s best to rent a car. There is always plenty of parking no matter where you are headed. For the best offers, visit Avis, Budget, or Hertz.

Uber and Lyft are also excellent ways to get around.

When you only need a car for a couple of hours, you can rent by the hour with Zipcar. Join now to get $25 loaded into your account.

Best things to do in Colorado Springs Colorado - Carrie Smith Nicholson - cheyenne mountain zoo - electric safari

Electric Safari at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Carrie Nicholson about Colorado Springs, Colorado. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Green dots = best things to do in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Who is Carrie Nicholson Smith?

Carrie Smith Nicholson is a travel blogger and podcaster. After living in Texas her whole life in 2015 she moved to Colorado with her husband (who was born and raised there). Together, they started a travel business called Hashtag Colorado Life, where they help newcomers and natives explore Colorado like locals. Their book “Moving to Colorado: A Guide for What it Costs and Where to Live on the Front Range” is a valuable resource for anyone considering relocating to Colorado.

Her work has been featured in NBC News, Yahoo! Finance, GOBankingRates, Redbook, and many other media outlets. When she’s not writing about fun Colorado adventures, she enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, camping, and trying local Colorado cuisine.

Best things to do in Colorado Springs Colorado - Carrie Smith Nicholson - 2019 headshot

Check out the article and podcast below that feature Hashtag Colorado Life :

You can connect with Carrie on her website and on Facebook and Instagram.

Big thanks to today’s affiliate partner – AwardWallet

This episode is brought to you, in part, by AwardWallet. Using airline miles and hotel points makes travel affordable, but keeping track of all of those loyalty programs can be a challenge. That’s why I use AwardWallet to track my miles and points balances, reservations, and special goodies like free hotel night certifications and airline companion passes.

Having everything in one easy to use dashboard helps ensure I don’t let any rewards expire and makes logging into my accounts super easy. Go to to start your free account.

Best things to do in Colorado Springs Colorado - Carrie Smith Nicholson - view of the city

View of Colorado Springs from the mountains

Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Helsinki Finland - Shelly Nyqvist with headphonesListen to the next episode when Shelly Nyqvist of Your MeScape shares the best things to do in Helsinki, Finland. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Colorado Springs? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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Related episodes

To learn more about Colorado, listen to these other episodes: