Home to the funky and historic west side and the path to Manitou Springs, the west is also home to lots of quaint shops, Garden of the Gods, Red Rock Canyon Open Space and Bear Creek Regional Park. Main roads Colorado Avenue and Cimarron Street (the latter of which becomes U.S. Highway 24) travel west, Centennial Boulevard goes north, and Eighth and 21st streets head south.
Downtown sits in the middle of the Springs' bull's-eye, and with it the seats of city and county government, cultural and historic hot spots, lots of local businesses and big parks like Memorial and Monument Valley. Nevada Avenue, Cascade Avenue and Tejon Street take you from the bottom to the top.
Most everything north is newer and growing, with mushrooming shopping centers and the ever-expanding UCCS. But there's also Black Forest and the United States Air Force Academy, both pretty to look upon and cool to venture into. As in the East, Academy and Powers boulevards are large thoroughfares, as are Woodmen Road and Union Boulevard.
Palmer Park is a destination in itself, as are Sky Sox games at Security Service Field, open space in the plains, the flea market and the county speedway. Locals say there are great north-south roads in town — Powers and Academy up this way — but not-so-great east-west roads. That makes Fountain Boulevard and Constitution and Platte avenues busy.
Down this way lie the Broadmoor Hotel, Fort Carson and Security/Widefield. Watch closely as you drive about: Nevada Avenue becomes Highway 115, Circle Drive becomes Lake Avenue, and Interstate 25 exits grow sparse south of No. 135. Also, Academy Boulevard finally peters out — but not before gifting us a wide array of unique ethnic eateries.