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About Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is the most populous city of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. It is located just east of the geographic center of the state and 61 miles (98 km) south of the Denver. At 6,035 feet (1839 meters), the city sits over one mile above sea level, though some areas of the city are significantly higher. Colorado Springs is situated near the base of one of the most famous American mountains, Pikes Peak, at the eastern edge of the southern Rocky Mountains.

With an estimated population of 456,568 (2015), it is the second most populous city in the state of Colorado and the 48th most populous city in the United States, while the Colorado Springs Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated population of 697,856 (2015). The city covers 186.1 square miles. Colorado Springs was selected as the No. 1 Best Big City in “Best Places to Live” by Money magazine in 2006, and placed number one in Outside Magazine’s 2009 list of America’s Best Cities. View other awards Colorado Springs has received.


History of Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs was founded on July 31, 1871 by General William Palmer, with the intention of creating a high-quality resort community, and was soon nicknamed “Little London” because of the many English tourists who came. Nearby Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods made the city’s location a natural choice.

Within two years his flagship resort the Antlers Hotel opened, welcoming U.S. and international travelers as well as health-savvy individuals seeking the high altitude and dry climate, and Palmer’s visions of a thriving, quality resort town were coming true. Soon after, he founded the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, a critical regional railroad. He maintained his presence in the city’s early days by making many grants or sales of land to civic institutions. Palmer and his wife saw Colorado Springs develop into one of the most popular travel destinations in the late 1800s United States.

The town of Palmer Lake and a geographic feature called the Palmer Divide (and other more minor features) are named after him, and a bronze sculpture of Palmer on a horse is prominently displayed downtown in front of Palmer High School, at the center of the intersection of Nevada Avenue and Platte Avenue.


Weather

Colorado Springs receives 17.4 inches of annual precipitation. Average snowfall for the area (included in the previous annual precipitation calculation) is 44.6" total. Average January low and high temperatures are 14°F/ 42°F (-10°C/ 5.5°C) and average July low and high temperatures are 55°F/ 85°F (12.7°C/ 29.4°C).

Colorado Springs has relatively mild winters, with large snow accumulations in the downtown area relatively rare, a strong warming sun due to the altitude, and only occasional episodic periods of sub-zero cold snaps and blizzards from October to March/April. Although the coldest average monthly high temperature of the year in Colorado Springs has historically been January, in recent years December has had a colder average monthly high temperature.


Things to Do

Wondering what to do in Colorado Springs? We offer more than 55 area attractions, including trains, museums, parks, a zoo and more. You’ll find no shortage of things to do in Colorado Springs, where the adventures range from mild to wild! Whether you’re looking for outdoor thrills, or educational and cultural activities, things to do in Colorado Springs are limitless. Keeping your kids entertained won’t be a problem. Check out our fun family itineraries. You are sure to find more great ideas on what to do in Colorado Springs! With so many things to do in Colorado Springs, you’re sure to discover something fun and memorable to do every day.

Learn more at the Colorado Springs Visitor’s Center.