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Three perfect hours... in Colorado Springs

Monday, November 19, 2007 Leave a Comment

Colorado Springs is only an hour away, but it feels closer to Santa Fe than Denver. For a nice day trip, head south to the city at the foot of Pike's Peak and check out... the zoo.

This could be you, feeding the giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

This zoo is totally close-up and hands-on.
You can feed the giraffes fiber crackers (which they can eat all day long, it's good for them) and pet their soft cheeks and let them nuzzle your hand and try to steer clear of their black sticky tongues.

They've got lions and six cubs, bears, gorillas, elephants, hippos. All the good stuff. And it's built on the side of the mountain, so you get great views and a workout.

Then there's the petting zoo, where you pet the goats, feed the chickens, ride the ponies, take a spin on the way-too-fast carousel. Notice the sign that says it was built in 1896 as you whip around and around and try not to panic.

After the zoo, head down the mountain to the historic and stately five-star "Grande Dame of the Rockies" -- the Broadmoor Hotel. Built in 1896, the Broadmoor has hosted Presidents, foreign dignitaries, movie stars, CEOs and golf legends. Plus, they'll valet your car for free, even if you're just coming for lunch.

Take the kids to the Tavern and order a couple of beers in a slender frosted glass. Check out the wine bottles lining the hallway on the way to the bathrooms: Meurseault from 1901; Burgundy from 1904; Port from 1910. Incredible.

The Tavern is the type of place where you order shrimp cocktail and prime rib and champagne cocktails. But if you're here with the kids, rest assured: anywhere that has prime rib on the menu has to serve a mean French dip sandwich, and the Tavern's will not disappoint. They serve it with a sweet, hot horseradish, and fresh cut french fries served in newspaper wrapping. It makes even Coors Light taste good.

End the afternoon with a stroll around the Broadmoor's lake, where several pairs of swan paddle (did you know swans mate for life?). The Broadmoor has imported a pair of black Australian swans, who trumpet to each other and occasionally give each other a little nuzzle on the neck.

All in all, a good day, and the kids will nap all the way home.


  • The Sports Mama said:  

    I love this zoo! Its one of my favorite memories from when I lived in Colorado! :)

  • Unknown said:  

    I was just doing my stroll of all the lovely ladies on our blogroll and was thrilled for your Co. Springs report. You see, we are STAYING at the Broadmoor in a couple of weeks for my hubby's birthday. Is it wrong I'm more excited for that than Christmas? :-)