Old Colorado City was originally set up as a mining supply center for the gold camps of South Park in 1859. This makes the area one of the most historic locations in the entire Pikes Peak region, which means tourists love it. For this reason, the locals have for the most part ignored Old Colorado City. Fortunately, Old Colorado City has seen a resurgence of really eclectic and interesting restaurants, brewpubs, and shops. The focus in this area has really become about the outdoor lifestyle and that’s reflected in our choices of things to do in Old Colorado City.
Red Rock Canyon Open Space: The City of Colorado Springs acquired the 789 acres that comprise Red Rock Canyon Open Space in 2003. 653 acres of this open space was dedicated to only “passive recreation”, this includes hiking, climbing, cycling, and horseback riding. The remaining space can be used for things like picnic areas, and a bicycle-free ride area.
Red Rock Canyon offers varied terrain along with some stunning scenery. The level of difficulty ranges from very easy to moderately difficult. Dogs should be on leash but there are two off-leash dog loops that have been developed on the mesa areas just south of the main entrance to Red Rock Canyon Open Space. The total length of the loops is approximately 5/8 mile.
The park is easy to find and there is ample parking except for busy on weekend days. Make sure you dress appropriately and bring lots of water. This place is a local treasure and once you visit, it’ll move to the top of your list.
Tapateria is our choice for food, this restaurant is located right in the heart of Old Colorado City. They offer authentic Spanish tapas and great wines in a classic Barcelona setting, they also have a private patio for those warm summer nights.
Tapateria offers a wide range of choices from classic Spanish Fare like Chorizo & Figs or Boquerones Huevos (anchovies/hard-boiled eggs/deviled egg sauce/capers) to modern variations like a Shaved Octopus Salad and Bison Carpaccio.
This is a very cozy, romantic destination and well worth the visit. If you enjoy Spanish food or tapas this place will quickly become one of your favorites.
Pub Dog as the name suggests is a dog-friendly pub. This is not some retrofitted old watering hole that decided to let dogs in, the entire place was built from the ground up with the purpose of being what it is, a great place for dog lovers and dogs to hang out.
They serve classic pub food right alongside some great beers, wines, and cocktails. They have a 3,000-square-foot off-leash area for all guests to use. This area is fenced and has artificial turf to make for a clean and enjoyable experience for you and your pup! There are some simple, common-sense rules to follow in the off-leash area that make the experience enjoyable for everyone.
This place is a lot of fun for dogs, dog owners, and dog watchers. It’s a little tricky to find but once you arrive, you’ll be glad you came.
Trails End Taproom is a newish taproom located in the “Red Rock Shopping Center” at the intersection of West Colorado Ave. and 31st. Street. Trails End is a self-serve or self-pour taproom. You get a card, check out the wide range of 40 taps and choices, pour only as much as you want, and pay at the end by the ounce.
Trails end also has a nice menu featuring flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, and a limited selection of Mexican food. This is an extremely bike-friendly establishment, they even have safe storage for your bike. This is a great place to come after a ride on some of the great trails in and around the area.
Biker, hiker, or just a fan of beer and food, this is a great place to stop if you are in Old Colorado City.
The Colorado City Creamery is our choice for the family. located right in the heart of Old Colorado City this place might be the ideal location to people-watch, especially during the summer months. Yes, the ice cream is good, and the staff is super friendly but the tables right outside are a prime location for checking out the sights and sounds of Old Colorado City.
Old Colorado City offers so much in the way of things to do and see, it’s a shame that locals often overlook it as a place to go. The resurgence of establishments in the area along with a growing interest in local businesses have made Old Colorado City a great place for both tourists and locals, don’t overlook this area when you are planning a day or night out.
Check out our other Local Lineups for other parts of Colorado Springs.