Like a Local
Quirky, under-the-radar highlights only a local could recommend.
May Natural History Museum
Locally known as the Bug Museum, a collection of 100,000 butterflies, beetles, spiders, moths, scorpions, and other insects caught around the world since the 1900s is the centerpiece of this throwback roadside attraction off Highway 115. Among the fantastical specimens handed down through the generations and pinned inside century-old wooden cases are neon-colored butterflies and beetles the size of small cats.
Brooklyn’s on Boulder Street
This small haberdashery that advertises hats, bow ties, neck ties, belts, and cuff links is actually a front for the secret gin bar within. After ringing the bell for “service,” guests are escorted to a dimly lit modern-day speakeasy that serves only gin-based cocktails. Expect classic gimlets and martinis, where the cost of a $9 drink is written out as 900 cents.
Jack Quinn’s Tuesday Pub Run
If you’re visiting Colorado Springs, chances are you are the active type. And luckily, a like-minded community awaits you at Jack Quinn’s, an Irish bar home to a Tuesday running club. Locals, non-locals, runners, and walkers are all welcome to partake in the 5K course that winds through Monument Valley Park and ends downtown with a cold pint – or hot toddy, depending on the season – at the Tejon Street establishment.
Red Rocks Open Space
The red sandstone rocks of this 789-acre park resemble those in Garden of the Gods, just on a smaller scale. Situated on the west side of the city, the park is a popular hiking area for locals, consisting of 10 miles of trails that traverse eroded canyons, glassy ponds, and parallel ridges (called “hogbacks”). It’s on these hogbacks where hikers spot shark’s teeth and ammonite fossils (there’s even a documented dinosaur track preserved here).
Ghost Town Museum
If you’re into the HBO show Westworld, this museum is like walking onto the set. A replica of the kind of old mining towns that use to dot this region during the late 1800s and early 1900s, this outpost is punctuated by a boardwalk that connects a blacksmith’s shop, saloon, livery stable, and Victorian home and chauffeurs you into rooms filled with animated figures and thousands of authentic artifacts.