With more and more states locking down in hopes to stop the spread of COVID-19 in their state, the list of places to travel in the U.S. grows even more bleak.
D.C. just issued a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for visitors hailing from 27 different states – more than half the country.
Connecticut went even further and has a whopping 34 states (and D.C. and Puerto Rico) on their mandatory 14-day “self-quarantine” list or you’ll be fined $1,000.
Beach “police” are harassing visitors on America’s boardwalks reminding visitors to wear masks and social distance.
And with more and more states laying down the law in terms of visiting – it doesn’t look hopeful for a summer vacation.
I mean really…
… what American is actually going to pay to get harassed or pay their own stay in self-quarantine prison?
However – if you’re still itching to get out and take a summer vacation trip – there is hope!
Colorado Springs is the perfect adventure spot – full of hiking, mountain views, and a refreshing break for the body and mind in the great outdoors.
In fact, I just returned from an 11-day trip and it was a literal breath of fresh air.
So if you’re looking to move about and actually have a fun summer vacation full of freedom while experiencing America’s beauty – check out these places in Colorado Springs (and their surrounding towns) for the ultimate summer vacation!
Garden Of the Gods
This National Natural Landmark draws an estimated six million visitors from all around the world each year.
The beauty of the 1,367-acre park composed of sandstone formations and a mountain view is truly a unique experience with something for everyone.
Some choose to visit to simply snap a few photos and explore the bellowing rocks.
And with 21 miles of trails to hike suitable for all levels of fitness, many outdoor enthusiasts love the challenge of hiking and exploring new trails.
If you’re a history buff and want to learn all about the red rocks and wildlife, there is even a visitor and nature center full of exhibits and even a gift store – not to mention stunning views of the park.
Best of all – both the park and visitor center are free.
Of course, if you’re looking for extra add on experiences like rock climbing or horseback riding there is a fee – but it’s well worth it!
Rainbow “Graffiti Falls”
If you’re looking for a unique experience, head over to Rainbow Falls, also nicknamed “Graffiti Falls” because of the creative and colorful (yet illegal) graffiti painted all over the bridge.
Located in Manitou Springs (about 5 miles from Colorado Springs), you’ll get the chance to actually walk in the bubbling water and cool off, and as a bonus the graffiti bridge shields you from the hot Colorado sun.
This tiny spot is a favorite of locals, as you can walk in the water right up to the waterfall and snap some gorgeous photos as you listen to the water crash down.
While you won’t find enough to occupy your time for an entire day, it’s definitely a must visit on your trip.
The view of the waterfall and the bridge covered in colorful graffiti is a stunning contrast and makes for some pretty cool photos.
The Purple Onion
If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat that won’t break the bank – check out The Purple Onion a Turkish/Greek spot in Colorado Springs.
This little hole in the wall joint opened up in March of 2020, just 1 day before restaurants were shutdown due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Thanks to locals who posted on social media – the restaurant stayed afloat due to deliveries and is now open for public dining.
They have traditional gyros and wraps – and even a few with some flare like “The Hangover” which includes fries inside or “The Western” which is a gyro with BBQ sauce.
You have your choice of lamb, beef, chicken, or falafel – and the portion sides are more than generous.
Green Mountain Falls
Tourist spots can be fun, but sometimes it’s nice to get away from the crowds.
This peaceful mountain town (with a population of 640) is like a serene piece of heaven on earth.
You can do everything from fish to sit in the gazebo and have a picnic lunch, all while soaking in the breathtaking mountain views.
They even have little shops selling original wood carvings and other creative knickknacks.
This tiny 1.1-mile town has trails, waterfalls, and gorgeous wildflowers – it’s a hidden gem and a must addition to your trip!
Finally, if you’re looking to soak in a view of the entire city from up high – Palmer Park is the place to go.
Elevation Outdoors Magazine even named it “Best Urban Park” in its Best of Rockies 2017 list.
From the scenic overview, you can get a view of Colorado’s famous “Pikes Peak” – nicknamed “America’s Mountain.”
The best time to go is at sunset – where you can watch the blazing sun set amongst the mountain backdrop – truly a site to see.
Choose The Outdoor Route
With more and more cities issuing mandatory quarantines just to visit, it’s time to break away from the madness and consider a vacation to Colorado Springs.
You’ll enjoy the peace and quiet of nature – and you can’t beat the mountain views and sunsets.
While masks are mandatory in indoor spaces in Colorado Springs – there is much grace in the outdoors – and many people walk around free without a mask while soaking in the nature views!
It’s like life is normal again… at least for a moment.
So don’t give up hope for a summer vacation just yet – an experience in the great outdoors may be just what your soul needs to unwind.
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