Pikes Peak in the Fall as seen from Blue Skies Inn
Click here to check availability and submit a reservation using the ResNexus Secure Server
Click here to return to the Blue Skies Inn Home Page
Click here for seasonal special-rates & packages
Recipes & More about Breakfast
Click here to learn more about the Gardens at Blue Skies Inn
Click here for History of Blue Skies Inn
Click here for Suite Use, Reservation & Cancellation Policies
Click here for Directions to Blue Skies Inn
Click here for Pictures of Suites at Blue Skies Inn
Click here for Extras and Goodies to put in your suite
We welcome children. Click here for our policies regarding children.
Blue Skies Inn has a fully ADA compliant suite. Click here for details.
Business Travelers Click Here
Click here to read about recent news and events at Blue Skies Inn
Click here to visit the Blue Skies Inn FaceBook page
Click here for more info on A Pikes Peak Wedding at Blue Skies Inn
Click here for our Gift Certificate On-line Order Form
Click here for amenities in all suites at Blue Skies Inn
Click here to check availability and submit a reservation using the ResNexus Secure Server
Click here for information about Family Reunions at Blue Skies Inn
Click here to e-mail Blue Skies Inn
Guest Reviews and Travel Industry Professional Reviews of Blue Skies Innn - click here



Area Attractions


Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak viewed from the east. The large red rock formations in the lower left make up the Garden of the Gods. The abandoned railbed of the Manitou Inclined Railroad can be seen as the diagonal line below the Peak. Manitou Springs is in the valley at the base of that line.


BLUE SKIES INN is located in the foothills of Pikes Peak, at the heart of Colorado recreation, with good access to river rafting, mountain hiking, unusual shopping centers and all of the terrain and sights that characterize the Colorado experience.

Every day at
Blue Skies Inn, we look up and see the supreme attraction of the region. Pikes Peak is the easternmost "Fourteener" in Colorado. The Peak summit gains eight thousand feet of altitude in the 13 miles that separate it from Manitou Springs. The 14,110 foot Peak dominates the skyline for up to eighty miles out into the Great Plains. In and around the Pikes Peak massif, one can find every kind of mountain recreation: parks, trails, ghost towns and quirky mountain villages.

Distance & Drive Time to Local Attractions from BLUE SKIES INN
Attraction (click on name for more info)
Distance
Drive Time
Historic Manitou Springs Downtown: Shopping
3 blocks
2 minutes
Garden of the Gods Park
0.5 mile
3 minutes
Pikes Peak Cog Railroad Depot
1 mile
5 minutes
Cave of the Winds
1 mile
5 minutes
Manitou Cliff Dwellings
1 mile
5 minutes
Pikes Peak Toll Road Entrance
5 miles
10 minutes
Pioneer Museum
5 miles
10 minutes
Colorado College
5 miles
10 minutes
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
5 miles
10 minutes
American Numismatic Museum
5 miles
10 minutes
ProRodeo Hall of Fame
7 miles
10 minutes
US Olympic Training Center & Velodrome
8 miles
15 minutes
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
9 miles
20 minutes
May Museum of Natural History
14 miles
20 minutes
Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center
15 miles
20 minutes
Western Museum of Mining and Industry
16 miles
20 minutes
US Air Force Academy: Chapel & USAFA Sports
17 miles
20 minutes
Mueller State Park
24 miles
40 minutes
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
30 miles
45 minutes
Cripple Creek
40 miles
1 hour
Royal Gorge: White Water Rafting & Train Ride
50 miles
1.1 hours
Bishop Castle
70 miles
1.5 hours
Great Sand Dunes National Monument
175 miles
3.5 hours


Speaking of quirky mountain villages:

Manitou Springs Attractions

Manitou Springs straddles the creek dubbed Fountaine qui Bouille by the French fur trappers who were the first Europeans to explore the Pikes Peak region. Mineral springs flow into the creek, inspiring its original name. The rushing waters of Fountain Creek at the base of Ute pass inspired English immigrant and railroad magnate Dr. William Bell to plat out a new town.

Just east of the downtown area, Dr. Bell carved out "The Briarhurst," his personal estate. Blue Skies Inn Bed and Breakfast is located on the eastern quarter of Dr. Bell's estate, which includes his historic 1873 Carriage House, the oldest standing structure in Manitou Springs. The Gothic Revival architecture of Dr. Bell's Carriage House was the inspiration for the board-and batten exteriors of our three B&B buildings.
Historic Manitou Springs
Dr. Bell envisioned his settlement as a health resort where visitors could enjoy the healing spring waters that gush from nine sites around Manitou Springs. Manitou was along the route to the "Pikes Peak or Bust!" gold rush. Present-day historic attractions of Manitou Springs include a new history museum as well as other historic structures.

Within a half mile of Blue Skies Inn, our guests can experience every aspect of Manitou Springs' varied and colorful history. Not-to-be-missed attractions include:


  • Manitou Springs Historic District: Downtown Manitou offers a charming example of turn-of-the-century architecture housing a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Just about every kind of Colorado souvenir one could imagine can be found within easy walking distance in the five blocks that make up downtown Manitou Springs.

  • Manitou Springs Neighborhoods: Just as interesting are the residential neighborhoods that surround downtown. Manitou Springs is a foothills town and every city lot has challenged some designer to fit a house into a limited, often tilted, space. Over a century of individualized construction has produced eclectic and eccentric housing designs that are as varied and fascinating as human nature.
Native American dancers perform at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings
  • Manitou Cliff Dwellings: At the turn of the century, several cliff dwelling structures from the southwest corner of our state were moved to this area as a tourist attraction. They are authentically reconfigured and there is an accompanying museum of artifacts. Along with the Fine Arts Center, this is the place to find exhibits of Native American culture. The Cliff Dwellings are near the entrance to the Cave of the Winds, just one mile away.
  • Mineral Springs: At the turn of the century, Manitou Springs was known as "Saratoga of the West," and many came to soak in or drink the mineral spring waters. Nine springs are still bubbling, and you may taste the water from each one, all different flavored according to the minerals that they contain. Stroll through our city and taste the water at each spring!
  • Cave of the Winds: We're told that this vast labyrinth of caves actually extends under Blue Skies Inn. Until we excavate our own entrance, we recommend you travel to the official entrance north of town about one mile away.

Cave of the Winds has recently expanded to include geologically-intensive guided tours with a wide array of length and difficulty, varying from a stroll underground to an hour long spelunking tour.

Cave of the Winds is open 9AM to 9PM summers, and 10AM to 5PM winters. Call 719 685-4444 to reserve your tour.

The Temple of Silence in the Cave of the Winds
Click here to Return to Attactions Index




Pikes Peak Attractions

Pikes Peak is accessible by trail, road and railroad. Every year on a Saturday in mid-August, thousands of athletes run up Barr Trail from Manitou Springs to the top of the mountain, a thirteen mile run. On Sunday, athletes run up and down Barr Trail for a full Marathon. There is no restriction preventing anyone from running or hiking up Pikes Peak any time of year, but for those of us who are, shall we say, less adventurous, there are other routes to the peak and other attractions that surround the mountain:

  • Pikes Peak Cog Railway: About a mile from Blue Skies Inn is the terminal for the cog-wheel railroad that climbs Pikes Peak many times daily in the summer, and two or three times a day throughout the year. We recommend the Cog Railway as the easiest and most relaxing way to sample every kind of Colorado mountain scenery while enjoying the vast panoramic views of the Great Plains that can be seen from the summit. Wildlife abounds on the train route, including marmots, mule deer, elk and bighorn sheep.
    The trip lasts about three hours, with a layover on the summit. Reservations are highly recommended for high summer. Call (719) 685-5401.
Pikes Peak Toll Road as shown in this c.1914 postcard
The Pikes Peak Highway climbs 8000 vertical feet from Manitou Springs around the west side of the Peak. Shown here in this 1914 postcard as a twisting yellow line, the toll-road is nevertheless a relatively easy drive and does not require any kind of specialized vehicle or equipment.
The Pikes Peak Cog Railroad travels up the eastern side of the Peak along Barr Trail.
  • Pikes Peak Highway: Families traveling with young children who might get restless on a long train ride can nevertheless enjoy Pikes Peak by driving four miles from Blue Skies Inn west on US Highway 24 to the entrance of the famous Pikes Peak Highway. Nineteen miles of highway wind up to the summit, with many scenic stopping points along the way for photos. Open year-round, weather permitting, the cost to travel to the Peak is $10 per person (under 16 free) or $35 per car. For info call 800 318-9505.
  • Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument: This park about forty-five minutes west over Ute Pass is designed to preserve the fossil evidence that Colorado was once a flat rain forest bordering on inland sea. Numerous insect and plant fossils are displayed at the interesting visitors' center
Petrified trunks of ancient sequoias dot the 5000 acres of the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

While Florissant Fossil Beds park offers access to much the same type of terrain as other local hiking trails, the main attraction is giant fossilized tree trunks over ten feet in diameter, still resting where they grew millions of years ago. Much of the background footage for BBC's "Dinosaurs!" was filmed here.

Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

  • Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center: On your way to the Fossil Beds in Woodland Park (about 20 minutes up US Highway 24 - look for the palm trees on the left) is the RMDRC, open 9 AM to 6 PM except Sundays when it is open from 10 AM to 5 PM.

    This large research center features numerous hands-on exhibits and displays depicting the geological and evolutionary history of the Rockies, including numerous dinosaur models and skeletons.
Fees - $9.50 for adults and $6.50 for children - help subsidize on-going research and dinosaur restoration projects at the Center, which can be viewed along with the exhibits.

  • Cripple Creek: An hour's drive through some of the prettiest country in Colorado brings guests at Blue Skies Inn to the mountain town of Cripple Creek. Once the center of the Pikes Peak or Bust Gold Rush in the late 1800's which became a fading ghost town of old mining shacks and homes, this old western city has been recreated as a gambling town. Old facades have been carefully restored, but this place has a little glitz of Las Vegas. The local museum features a superb collection of artifacts from gold mining days, and no one should leave Cripple Creek without taking the Molly Kathleen Gold Mine tour.

  • Mueller State Park: If you travel 40 minutes west over Ute Pass and around the far side of Pikes Peak, visitors to Blue Skies Inn can enjoy hiking in Mueller State Park.
Fall colors at Mueller State Park looking at the west side of Pikes Peak

This beautiful park is set in the rolling foothills on the west side of Pikes Peak and features pine forest, aspen stands, marshes, a rushing stream in a deep valley and mountain meadows full of wildflowers. It is the true essence of Colorado as seen on postcards.

We highly recommend this park as the closest and most accessible means of getting into Colorado mountain terrain. Mueller's extensive network of trails features all degrees of difficulty, permitting one to take a hike as challenging or easy as the visitor wishes.

Click here to Return to Attactions Index




Colorado Springs Regional Attractions

The Colorado Springs Area is well known as a transition point between the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains. Local attractions include:
  • Garden of the Gods: Within a half mile of Blue Skies Inn is our favorite attraction, the Garden of the Gods, a park of natural red sandstone formations. Several Indian tribes considered it to be a Sacred Place. Take a hike and lean against a warm rock of towering proportions.No admittance fee. Horseback rides are available nearby.
The Garden of the Gods
The Garden of the Gods looking south. That's Cheyenne Mountain in the background, the underground home of the US Space Command.

  • U. S. Air Force Academy: Drive twenty minutes north to see where our Air Force officers of the future are schooled. The chapel is noted for its distinctive architecture and interesting use of glass.

  • Olympic Training Center: Located on the original site of the North American Air Defense Command, old barracks have made way for training facilities for our Olympic athletes. Nearby you'll find a cycling velodrome as well.
  • Cheyenne Mountain Zoo: Four miles from Blue Skies Inn, our charming zoo is perched on the same mountain that holds United States Space Command. This pretty zoo climbs up the east side of Cheyenne Mountain with many outdoor exhibitss and magnificent views of the Great Plains.

    We brag that our zoo has the country's largest herd of reticulated giraffes which are traded to zoos in other states. The African Rift Valley exhibit will thrill and delight children of all ages. We'll share some special crackers for feeding the giraffes!.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's new African Rift Valley exhibit allows visitors to get up close and personal with the zoo's giraffe herd.
  • Pioneer Museum: Located five miles from Blue Skies Inn in Colorado Springs' old El Paso County courthouse, this museum has many artifacts of life in the early days in our area. Great western art as well.

  • Colorado College: This handsome college was founded in 1874, contemporaneously with the City of Colorado Springs itself. Located just north of downtown Colorado Springs in a neighborhood of historic mansions built by profits from the Colorado "Pikes Peak or Bust" gold rush, Colorado College has a national reputation for its liberal arts curriculum. The beautiful college campus hosts regular historical lectures, art exhibits and, of course, CC's nationally ranked hockey team, the Tigers.

  • Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center: Five miles east of Blue Skies Inn near the Colorado College campus, this art museum was where Sally took art lessons as a child, still a sentimentally favorite place. It features an impressive collection of southwestern santos and western art.

  • American Numismatic Museum: Near the Colorado College campus, this fascinating, nationally-famous museum is also called the Money Museum. The American Numismatic Association is a nonprofit, educational organization chartered by the United States Congress to promote the study and collection of money, including coins, tokens, medals and paper currency, for research, interpretation and preservation of history and culture from ancient times to the present. This is a "must see" for the coin collectors in your party.

  • The Western Museum of Mining & Industry: Located by the North Gate of the US Air Force Academy, this "hands-on," nationally accredited museum's purpose is to educate the public about the history and continuing contributions of mining in the American West through its collection, restoration, exhibition and interpretation of artifacts related to mining, metallurgy and their support industries.

  • ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy: This is the only museum in the world devoted exclusively to the sport of rodeo and the men and women who have made it a world class sporting event. Visitors are treated to the Hall of Champions gallery, art exhibits, two video theatre presentations, rodeo and cowboy gear and memorabilia, live rodeo animals, rodeo arena, sculpture garden and a unique Rodeo America store.
Sally's son Brandon wonders if Grandpa will help him build his OWN giant metal beetle.
  • May Natural History Museum: A famous entomologist once remarked that if Nature teaches us anything, we can safely conclude that The Creator had "an inordinate fondness for beetles." The Pikes Peak area is the site of a marvelous collection of exotic and rare insects, mostly beetles. The May Museum is located in the canyonlands southwest of Colorado Springs, fourteen miles from Blue Skies Inn along the route to Royal Gorge. Keep an eye out for the giant beetle. (Which is, come to think of it, good advice at all times).
Click here to Return to Attactions Index




Day Trips

Day Trips allow guests at Blue Skies Inn to take advantage of our central Colorado location to experience every type of terrain and ecosystem our state has to offer. The innkeepers can help you plan day trips where you will drive through prairie grasslands, high desert, cedar-forested canyons, ghost towns and alpine meadows, and yet still be in the comfort of your suite before dusk. Listed below you'll find suggested trips -- a popular and famous Colorado attraction and two other must-see sights enthusiastically recommended by the innkeepers.

  • Royal Gorge: Fifty miles away along good highways, Royal Gorge is spanned by the highest suspension bridge in the country. There is a cog railroad to the bottom of the gorge. Many people bungee jump from this fabled bridge.

    For those looking to make a day of it, we recommend the train ride along the bottom of the gorge on the same Denver and Rio Grande Railway "Rocket" that Sally rode as a child.

    The Royal Gorge Route follows the most famous portion of the old Denver & Rio Grande Western train line, 24 miles round-trip, from Cañon City to Parkdale and back.
Colorado's Bridge of Size
The two hour train ride takes passengers through the "Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River." It's an unforgettable journey under the famous Hanging Bridge, which clings precariously to the steep granite walls of the Royal Gorge, towering over 1,000 feet above.

From May 18th through October 7, the train departs daily at: 9 AM, noon and 3 PM. Through the fall, winter and spring the train runs every Saturday and Sunday at noon. Ticket prices are $26.95 for adults and $16.50 for children ages 3-12.

On the way to Royal Gorge, you will pass through Canon City (40 miles), the home of numerous white water rafting companies, who will take you on a wild ride down the Arkansas River gorge.

The Great Sand Dunes

  • Great Sand Dunes National Monument: Sixteeen square miles of 800' sand dunes surrounded by the fourteen thousand foot peaks of the Sangre de Christo Mountains await patient travelers. Dune-climbing is allowed, and there are many picnic areas close to the dunes. A modern Visitors' Center illuminates the geology of this Colorado wonder.
A visit to this best and strangest Colorado landscape involves a three-hour trip south from Blue Skies Inn along good and scenic highways to the historic San Luis Valley. Take the great circle route, with an outbound side-trip to Bishop Castle, and return through some of Colorado's most scenic countryside.

  • Bishop Castle: This wonderful castle, the product of Jim Bishop's thirty-year effort, is located north of the little town of San Isabel, about an hour and a half drive from Blue Skies Inn. The Castle is open during daylight hours. It's a construction site, and the owner makes no effort to obstruct visitors from inspecting every aspect of the castle from tower to dungeon.

    Bishop Castle can be a part of a day trip that includes the San Isabel National Forest, magnificent vistas of the Sangre de Christo Mountains and a bumpy ride along the old Phantom Canyon railroad bed into Victor and Cripple Creek.

    From there you can either take the Old Stagecoach Road back into Colorado Springs, or opt for the paved highway from Cripple Creek to Manitou Springs.

This Castle is no rook

Click here to Return to Attactions Index


Click here to return to the Blue Skies Inn Home Page
Click here for Extras and Goodies to put in your suite
Click here to learn more about the Gardens at Blue Skies Inn
Click here for History of Blue Skies Inn
Click here for Suite Use, Reservation & Cancellation Policies
Click here for Pictures of Suites at Blue Skies Inn
We welcome children. Click here for our policies regarding children.
Blue Skies Inn has a fully ADA compliant suite. Click here for details.
Recipes & More about Breakfast
Click here for Directions to Blue Skies Inn
Click here for more info on A Pikes Peak Wedding at Blue Skies Inn
Business Travelers Click Here
Click here for amenities in all suites at Blue Skies Inn
Click here for information about Family Reunions at Blue Skies Inn
Click here to visit the Blue Skies Inn FaceBook page
Click here for seasonal special-rates & packages
Click here to check availability and submit a reservation using the ResNexus Secure Server
Click here for our Gift Certificate On-line Order Form
Click here to read about recent news and events at Blue Skies Inn
Guest Reviews and Travel Industry Professional Reviews of Blue Skies Innn - click here


402 Manitou Avenue
Manitou Springs, CO 80829


(800) 398-7949
(719) 685-3899

Click here to e-mail the innkeepers


Click here for pop-up image of a sample Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry extraClick here for pop-up image of a sample Bath BasketClick here for pop-up image of Birthday Bash setupClick here for pop-up image of sample bouquet