Just outside of Colorado Springs and beneath the majestic Pikes Peak is Manitou Springs. This quaint city combines historic roots and resort attraction with a vibrant local community, and it’s a Colorado destination that’s certainly worth a visit.
“Manitou” is a Native American word for “great spirit” — a more than appropriate description of the energy the area holds. Manitou Springs was considered sacred by the Cheyenne, Mountain Ute and Arapaho tribes who had originally settled there.
Since the late 19th century, the town’s mineral springs established the area as a health resort, attracting large numbers of tubercular patients, medical professionals, celebrities and tourists to Manitou.
For wellness enthusiasts today, natural mineral springs can be found throughout the town and are available for the public to use. Take the “Springabout” to learn about the unique mineral qualities in each location, and continue to fill your water bottle throughout your stay.
Soak + Stay
SunWater Spa is a top-notch yoga and wellness facility in Manitou Springs. This sanctuary gives guests the opportunity to relax area’s sacred mineral waters, receive a rejuvenating spa treatment and connect to your spirit in the yoga and movement studio. Founder Kat Tudor is the visionary for SunWater Spa and is active in leading yoga classes for visitors and the local community.
For the ultimate private spa experience, the Nirvana couple’s treatment starts with a 30-minute outdoor soak, followed by a divine 80-minute side-by-side massage in The Nest.
SunMountain Center is a new and impressive addition to the SunWellness family.
This creative sanctuary is ideal for a personal getaway or a group retreat, featuring two historic homes and situated on six acres of terraced gardens and biodynamic farms, with access to walking and meditation trails. The SunMountain kitchen serves guests farm-to-table cuisine, and all overnight reservations include an organic, gluten-free vegetarian breakfast (per reservation night) and a complimentary two-hour mineral water soak at SunWater Spa.
Another great bed and breakfast in Manitou is the Avenue Hotel. Located in the center of town, this option is ideal for those who want closer access to restaurants and shops. A full gourmet breakfast is included in your stay, as well as a complimentary afternoon wine or beer.
Adventurous spirits can play on the edge with Pikes Peak Ziplines. Their three-section zipline course let’s you soar in the air (upside down if you want) from the edge of a cliff. More exhalation can be found on the Terror-Dactyl ride at Cave of the Winds, and get your fitness on the Manitou Incline, an advanced hike that gains almost 2,000 feet of elevation in less then one mile of distance.
Once you’ve accomplished your adventure for the day, visit the Manitou Brewing Co. for one or more of their flagship brews, such as the Manitou Common, or any of the many guest taps they populate. The cozy spot offers both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a food menu with burgers, sandwiches and white queso nachos. For wine lovers, D’Vine Wines is just a short walk away and has tastings, snacks, and bottles for sale.
Don’t leave town before a walk around town for some shopping and a proper candy tasting. Kids of all ages will love the classic arcade area and all the piles of sweets in the display cases of nostalgic stores like Patsy’s Candy and Gift Shop, Pikes Peak Chocolate and Ice Cream, and Goldminers Nuts and Candy. Pelindaba Lavendar shop will fill up your senses with handcrafted home and self care products. And before you head out of town, grab a cappuccino or chai at Good Karma Café.
Photos courtesy of Kim Fuller and Sun Mountain.
Originally published in the Winter + Spring 2018 issue.
Based in Vail, Colorado, Kim Fuller is a freelance writer, editor and photojournalist, as well as a yoga teacher, legacy ambassador for Lululemon Athletica Vail, and co-founder of In Your Element, a yoga and outdoor adventure company. When Kim is not diligently writing and editing in her mountain nook, teaching yoga around town or finding a new adventure, find Kim at a local cafe or craft brewery, where she enjoys the more indulgent side of inspiration.