cool places to visit in colorado: Manitou Springs

  • Entrance fee: None
  • Parking fee: None – $0 – 5.00 per day. Certain areas are free.
  • 1 LB home made chocolate: $ 16.00
  • Taffies: $ 9.00

Manitou Springs is one of the coolest places to visit in Colorado.  The unique shops and restored old town look give it a comforting small town feel that you and your family will love.

My family loves this place and keep asking to go back.  What is it about this place that keeps the streets flowing with local tourists from all over Colorado?

I think it is the spirit of the place.  It has a certain feeling of calm, openness to it that is hard to explain.  It’s peaceful.  It has an old town, quaint feel to it where it seems like most people there are content.  The shops are very unique selling product connected directly to real people not giant corporations selling things mass produced and stamped with “made in China”.  It’s nice to feel that connection.  The feeling that when you buy something it is helping the person that opened the store.

“Manitou”, a Native American word for “ great spirit”, describes this beautiful mountain community. Eight naturally carbonated mineral spring fountains, located throughout this historic town, run free for all who wish to enjoy the healing benefits. The Ute, Cheyenne and other Native Americans considered this area sacred for the healing springs and clean mountain air.

The Naturally-Occurring mineral springs have a rich history in giving and restoring health to people who traveled thousands of miles to be healed by the magical waters. Today, health and wellness continues to be a draw for residents and visitors who come to the area for its unparalleled quality of life and holistic, spiritually uplifting personality.

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manitou cool places colorado

manitou cool places colorado

denver museum free days

Denver museum free days

Here at DimeTravel we talk a lot about traveling for cheap.  But nothing beats free!!  If you happen to be in Colorado visiting you should know that Denver Museum of Nature and Science has free days!? Yes.

We have talked about The Denver Museum of Nature and Science on a few different articles about travel to Denver, Colorado.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a great place for the whole family.  The prices are reasonable for a pretty fulfilling time: 15USD for non-members and 12USD for members of the museum.denver-museum-free-days

SCFD COMMUNITY FREE DAYS

The Scientific & Cultural Facilities District is a voter-approved special district in the seven-county metro area that provides a stable source of supplemental funding to more than 300 scientific and cultural organizations inside the district’s boundaries. The SCFD collects a one-tenth of 1 percent sales-and-use tax (or one penny on every $10 spent), providing approximately $40 million each year to area cultural attractions both small and large.

denver museum free days

denver museum free days

A fee still applies to IMAX films, Planetarium shows, and temporary exhibitions. Reservations and amenities (lunchroom, coat and lunch storage, bus drop off, etc.) for school groups are not available on SCFD Community Free Days.

2015 SCFD Community Free Days

  • Monday, January 5

  • Sunday, January 25

  • Monday, March 2

  • Sunday, April 12 (Earth Day)

  • Saturday, April 25 (Día del Niño)

  • Sunday, May 31

  • Monday, June 29

  • Sunday, July 26

  • Monday, August 17

  • Sunday, September 27

  • Monday, October 19

  • Monday, November 9

denver colorado things to do

I have lived in Colorado for 10 years and I can tell you from personal experience that there are many Denver Colorado attractions and LOTS of things to do.  Denver is Colorado’s capital and most populated city so there are are COUNTLESS activities here.

If you are in Denver and cannot find things to do, then you just have not looked!  There are amusement parks, sporting events, concerts, museums, parks, resorts and world class restaurants.  If you like clubs, then you will love the night life in Denver!

denver colorado things to do

denver colorado things to do

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is my favorite place to take my kids.  The price is reasonable for an amazing learning journey for the whole family.  It’s 15USD for non-members and 12USD for members of the museum.

There is a planetarium, a great dinosaur exhibit and lots about the species of North America and the world.  There is an incredible exhibit that explores the human body.

Elitch Gardens Theme and Waterpark is a decent amusement park in Denver.  This place

denver colorado things to do elitch gardens

denver colorado things to do elitch gardens

alone has LOTS and LOTS to do.  There are constant concerts, shows and special events hosted at Elitch Gardens.  The prices vary based on your age:  Adults – 34.99, Children – 31.99, Seniors (62+) – 29.99 (children under age 3 – FREE).  Parking will cost you 15USD.  So, all this stuff adds up but its worth doing at least once or twice.

During hot Denver summer’s check out the Elitch Garden’s Water park.  Definitely check the schedule of Elitch Garden because sometimes they are closed or have huge special events that you may not want to miss.

childrens museum

childrens museum

If you have children under 10 you may want to take them to the Children’s Museum.  Kids LOVE this place.  And the smaller they are the MORE they will enjoy it.  People don’t talk about it much, but its one of those hidden gems that kids really get a kick out of.  The children’s Art museum is great if you have small kids

 

Dave and Busters is like an adult version of Chucky Cheese, its like a play ground for adults.  With sports bars, birthday party areas, restaurants, video games for all ages.

At night Denver comes alive.  On the weekends there are so many clubs and people of all ages going out to dance and drink that its VERY hard to find parking.  If you can, it’s best to just get a hotel and walk or get a taxi around town.  It’s not impossible to find parking, but it’s going to cost you anywhere from 6-15USD for only a few hours.  You can park from night until day there for 6USD though.

 http://www.denver.org/restaurants/denver-bars-clubs/

Here are some great resources of Denver Colorado activities:

Denver Colorado things To Do

Denver OutdoorRec Hiking

Parks And Recreation – If you are into outdoor activities, here is Denver’s official site for parks and recreation.  You can browse by category (Fitness, Health, Wellness, sports) and by season:

Skiing is a BIG deal in Denver!  I must admit I have never been.  These days when I tell people I live in Colorado, they either asking me about the legalized marijuana or skiing and I don’t have any experience with either one.. seriously.. I did not inhale..

If you love to ski then you must look into checking it out if you are in the city:

http://www.winterparkresort.com/

http://www.coloradoski.com/

 

north korea dmz

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about North Korea.  There was the movie “The Interview” that sparked a little bit of international tension.  North Korea was then blamed for responding with a huge infiltration of Sony and responded with the usual mass destruction threats.  They recently gotta a firm talking to from China for a maniac from NK  that got into the country and killed four Chinese citizens.  ANDDDD Kim Jong Un’s sister just got married!!  Congrats Kim Yo Jong.

We talked a little about some Americans that have visited North Korea in the past and received a long stay in prison.  All of the recent talk about North Korea has inspired me to talk about my own personal visit to the border of Hermit Kingdom.

dmz north korea

dmz north korea

My visit to the DMZ was very educational.   I was on the South Korean side of course.  If you happen to be in Korean, I HIGHLY recommend it.  You are escorted through a military base to get there.  Once you are at the staging area you are given a military briefing on how ridiculously dangerous it is and why.  Then you have to read and sign a release form that states something like “the US Army is not responsible for your death or bodily harm while you at the actual DMZ”.  This is necessary since every now and then someone is shot.  They want you to know the danger is REAL.

My trip to the DMZ showed me how petty and completely irrational nations can be.  They actually had a “flagpole” war.  The south built a flag next to the boarder that the North saw, so they responded be building The Panmunjom flagpole, a 160 meter tower which is the fourth largest flag pole in the world as of 2015.

dmz north korea

dmz north korea

They built this flagpole in a town they built called Kijŏngdong.  Kijŏngdong can clear fit 200 plus families but is clearly empty and has been for many years.

Aside from all of the horrible deaths from boarder skirmishes that have happened over the decades, the most alarming thing that I saw and the DMZ was the disparity between North and South.  You don’t need binoculars to see that the North has very little infrastructure. From looking, the North does not even look like a developing country.  It is like a baron waste land with the decrepit, vacant town Kijŏngdong (and it huge flag) in the middle of nowhere while the South looks like New York or Tokyo.  If you look at the North and South at night you see that North has very little lighting in Pyongyang with the South is lit up like a galaxy.

courtesy http://matthewniederhauser.com courtesy
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As of 2015, there are about 25 million people living in the DPRK.  So there are are 25 million sides of North Korea and it is not all bad.

Unfortunately, the politics there have made an unprecedented level of suffering.