Here’s a sample of area attractions you might want to check out during your visit. Some are scheduled events on the GT-47 Official Schedule Most are less than an hour’s drive from the event hotel. Some are right on your doorstep! Consider coming early (discount hotel rates are available) to enjoy one or more of these attractions, and plan on attending the Rallye Glenwood Springs the following week. The oldest continuously run rally in the United States, the Rallye Glenwood Springs is staged yearly by the MG Car Club, Rocky Mountain Centre. For a list of recommended area attractions by type, Click Here. Click on the label of each attraction shown below for more information.
Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark. The park features dramatic views of 300′ towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. This world-class Visitor & Nature Center and museum is the most visited attraction in the region and has all new interactive exhibits. The park offers guided Jeep, Segway, and electric bike tours as well as daily adventure programs so you can immerse yourselves in this amazing place.
At just over 14,000 feet, Pikes Peak is visible from just about everywhere in the area. The drive up the mountain is on well-paved roads and absolutely worth the trip. It’s about as MGA friendly as any of the state’s fourteeners, with paved switchbacks and plenty of turnouts. In an MGA, you can expect to be in second gear in several places during the drive up. The park suggests that you budget three to four hours for the round trip, plus the time you spend at the top. Alternatives to driving your own vehicle include a trip up via the brand new Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Either way, spectacular views await you during the climb and at the Pikes Peak Summit House.
In a few brief moments, the ground falls away beneath you. One thousand feet below, the Arkansas river tumbles through a series of rapids. You shift your gaze from looking down, to looking across. Your aerial tram takes you close to a remarkable engineering feat, a suspension bridge hanging out over the v-shaped cleft in the earth known as the Royal Gorge.
Built in 1929 by engineer/entrepreneur Ron Piper, the Royal Gorge Bridge spans the narrowest gap in the gorge, more than a quarter mile across. Only two 150-foot towers and 4,200 steel cables support that expanse. More than 1,000 tons of steel were used in its construction. At the time, the Royal Gorge bridge was the highest suspension bridge in the world. Remarkably, no one was seriously hurt or killed during its construction. Not bad for a job that paid all of 50 cents per hour.
Note: Advance purchase tickets are highly recommended for fast park access upon arrival. Ticket includes access to America’s Bridge, Aerial Gondolas, the Plaza Theater and Spectacular views of the Royal Gorge. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages into the park, but not into the restaurants. There are picnic areas in the park.
As the tram moves across the gorge, you see people walking on the 1,292 wooden planks that make up the length of the the bridge. That’s your next stop. Once on the bridge, you may feel a slight movement. Feel free to look over the railing. The canyon walls drop off immediately below your feet to the depths below. Don’t forget to take some photos!
If you’re really fearless, there’s the Royal Gorge Cloudscraper zip line, running 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River. As if the bridge wasn’t enough!
If heights aren’t your thing, you can explore the bottom of the gorge on a three hour trip courtesy of the Cañon City and Royal Gorge Railroad, which makes the 12 mile run through the gorge along the Arkansas River. The train itself is a favorite of railroad buffs, voted one of America’s top trains by Trains Magazine. The Royal Gorge train is specially equipped with open air observation cars. Looking up at the vertical walls gives you a real feel for just how enormous the gorge is. It’s all thanks to the patient effort of Arkansas river, carving out one foot of depth every 2500 years or so.
The Royal Gorge tour is on the GT-47 event schedule. We’ll be caravanning over to Cañon City to see this breathtaking attraction, which is about an hour from the host hotel. https://royalgorgebridge.com
This town’s rich history, exciting attractions and stunning views of the Rocky Mountains will fill your visit with lasting memories. Once bustling with gold-seekers, Cripple Creek is still a place to visit for those looking to strike it rich in its many casinos. Take a tour of a modern, working gold mine and compare it to a tour of the historic Mollie Kathleen Mine. Visit interesting museums, like the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum and the Cripple Creek Jail Museum. Historic train rides are available through the Gold Mining District and there’s live entertainment at the historic Butte Theater. A self-guided competitive tour/rally is on the official schedule.
The National Museum of WW II Aviation features 28 restored and flying WW II era aircraft, ranging from trainers to fighters. These aircraft were instrumental in the Allies’ success in both the European and Pacific theatres in World War II, and transformed modern warfare forever. From the powerful P-47 Thunderbolt to the innovative, twin boom P-38 lightning, these aircraft outflew and outgunned the best the Axis powers had to offer.
Among the working aircraft at the museum you’ll find a Lockheed P-38 Lightning, a pair of Grumman Tigercats, a P-47D Thunderbolt and a North American B-25 Mitchell, similar to the bomber flown by Jimmy Doolittle in his 1942 raid on Tokyo. The facility also maintains an archive of more than 4,000 artifacts from the era.
The museum recently moved to a new 40,000 SF facility, which includes an extensive restoration shop. Ten period aircraft are currently under renovation. Tours are available of the shop, as well as the museum. A museum tour is a planned activity for GT-47. This tour is expected to book up quickly. A complete list of the museum’s aircraft can be found at www.wwiiaviation.org.
Are you a fan of the Olympics? This is the only US Olympics museum in the United States. The museum is on the campus of the US Olympic complex, which includes the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee Headquarters, 20+ National Olympic Governing Bodies, more than 50 National Sport Organizations, and the Colorado Springs Olympic & Paralympic Training Center. The USOC Training Center also hosts tours so you can see where and how our athletes work towards Olympic Gold.
Just minutes away from our host hotel, Old Colorado City is the perfect blend of small town charm and historic character that makes this destination a favorite of both tourists and locals alike. You can shop ‘til you drop at over 100 unique businesses perfect for strolling the day away down the beautiful, brick, tree-lined sidewalks. Fine galleries, specialty shops, eclectic boutiques, award-winning restaurants, charming local art galleries and other services offer hours of entertainment. During the evening, enjoy live music and performances from some of the pubs and restaurants as well as some of the country’s best local beer, wine, and distilled beverages.
Cave of the Winds is located in Williams Canyon, a few miles northwest of Colorado Springs near the town of Manitou Springs.
School-age brothers John and George Pickett are credited with discovering the cave in 1880, though its believed that Ute and Apache tribes knew about it for centuries before then, and that the cave was considered sacred, the home of the Great Spirit of the Wind.
Today, Cave of the Winds consists of10,765 feet of surveyed passageways, a large portion of which is open to the public. Guided group tours are available daily.
Because of its size and impressive collection of mineral formations, Cave of the Winds remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in Colorado. The cave has been an active tourist destination since 1881.
Between four and seven million years ago, the 500 million-year-old limestone formation that houses the cave lay below the water table. Rainwater and carbon dioxide formed an acidic mixture on the surface and began eroding the sensitive limestone. More water seeped into these pockets, eroding more limestone and gradually carving out the many rooms and passageways that remain accessible today. The cave’s mineral deposits, in the form of stalactites and stalagmites, began forming after the water table dropped and the cave filled with oxygen. Flowstone is also present. Resembling frozen waterfalls, flowstone appears to flow like a curtain along the side of a cavern or passage. https://caveofthewinds.com
On the grounds of the Broadmoor Hotel is the Penrose Heritage Museum. View the museum’s collection of 15 race cars that have participated in the Race to the Clouds, one of the oldest motorsport events in the U.S., second only to the Indianapolis 500. Included in the collection is the first motorized vehicle to climb the mountain and digitized video dating back to the first running in 1916 that tells the story of the race and the development of the Pikes Peak Highway.
The rodeo holds a special place in the heart of American culture, inspiring songs, movies, books and art. Learn about the sport’s historical beginning and what contestants must go through in order to become champions. Cowboys and cowgirls are equally honored by the museum, due to their direct impact on the founding of the West.
Hillside is a beautiful botanical garden overlooking Pikes Peak and the Front Range.
According to a recent survey, the RMNP is more popular than the Taj Mahal! And, you only have to drive two hours to get there. Important: RMNP uses an advanced registration system for park entry. You can book entry passes at recreation.gov
If you’re arriving on the first weekend, Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing is holding their annual Big Bore Thunder vintage race in Pueblo, Colorado on Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5. Come see a variety of vintage race cars, including a large contingent of MGs, go wheel to wheel at Pueblo Motorsports Park, located an hour south of the GT-47 hotel.
Spectator admission is free and races start at 8:30 am. For more information, visit RMVR’s website.