South Colorado Springs: InSider 2016 

From Fountain Boulevard down to Fort Carson, there are almost two separate cities to explore. East of 1-25, it's a mix of ethnic restaurants, markets and unique storefronts. To the west, find the Broadmoor area, rife with tourist attractions and high-class establishments. The twisting streets can get confusing, especially near Cheyenne CaƱon. Just remember: mountains to the west.

click to enlarge The Principal's Office - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The Principal's Office


The renovation of the Ivywild School was the beginning of something great for this Southside neighborhood. The reclaimed elementary school building now houses many locally owned businesses, mostly food and drink crafters, under one roof. The gym is a hive of cultural activities, like themed movie nights and some of the best live music shows in town, featuring local, regional, and national acts. The buzz continues west to 8th Street, an important connector.

Distillery 291

1647 S. Tejon St.


Featuring award-winning whiskey and other spirits, 291 is a unique distillery with a chic tasting room. It is nestled in the heart of the Ivywild neighborhood, next to The Blue Star

The Blue Star

1645 S. Tejon St.


Offering a "contemporary fusion menu," The Blue Star has nailed its recipe for success. And it's not all about the food. With nearly 800 wines available, the wine list has been voted the best in town for at least a decade (go on Sundays for half-off bottle night). And excellent cocktails qualify this top-notch restaurant as a favorite upscale bar hangout, as well.

click to enlarge G44 Gallery - COURTESY G44 GALLERY
  • Courtesy G44 Gallery
  • G44 Gallery

G44 Gallery

1785 S. Eighth St.


Spend a little time off the beaten path at Gallery G44, an intimate space that plays host to local and regional artists in a variety of styles and media.

The Meat Locker

Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave.


With a rotating variety of lunch and dinner specials, the Meat Locker focuses on the quality and season of ingredients, serving up sandwiches, soups and more to compliment your Bristol beer.

Who Gives a Scrap

Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave.


This eclectic little scrap store is minuscule in size, but manages to carry an impressive mix of vintage and up-cycled materials. From scrapbooking paper to game pieces, used books and sewing patterns, the variety is a crafter's dream.

Bristol Brewing Co.

Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave.


Bristol is one of the more prolific of the many Colorado Springs breweries, and one of the most loved for its community focus. High-quality and seasonal variety makes Bristol a staple, and you can find their beer all over town.

Old School Bakery

Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave.


Thanks to highly trained bakers and excellent ingredients, Old School Bakery creates quite the array of pastries, pies, quiches and croissants to go with your Principal's Office latte. Be sure to try the carmelita bar. Pure heaven.

Colorado Farm & Art Market

Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave.


This diverse local market carries produce and homemade food, plus art. Check it out April 17 and May 15 here, and in summer, Saturdays at Margarita at Pine Creek and Wednesdays at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.

Millibo Art Theatre

1626 S. Tejon St.


Art directors Jim Jackson and Birgitta De Pree and their band of merry-makers live and breathe performing arts, from song and dance to improv. With a focus on new and original work, they put on shows for children and adults.

Smiling Toad Brewery

1757 S. Eighth St., #100


If you're looking for a hopping place to hang, Smiling Toad Brewery is — in a word — adorable. This small community brewery has the freedom to experiment with interesting beer and the skill to make it great, not to mention friendly staff and patrons.

Books For You

1737 S. Eighth St.


It's tough to make it as a used bookstore these days, but Books For You has been in business for 26 years, and they're going strong. Clean and well organized, this community-minded store specializes in rare and out-of-print books, including prominently featured local authors.

Sovereignty Wines

1785 S. Eighth St.


Much more than a wine store, Sovereignty Wines carries high-quality wines, beers and spirits from all corners of the globe, and hosts tastings every Thursday. Aside from the expansive stock, friendly staff and great sales make this place special.

The Principal's Office

Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave.


Regarded as some of the best mixologists in the Springs, the bartenders at The Principal's Office put equal love and care into their cocktails and their coffee, hand-making ingredients and coming up with fresh ideas.

Abatina Boutique

1713 S. Eighth St.


If you're looking for cute little shops off the beaten path, Abatina is a good place to start. Cutely-patterned hand towels, printed throw pillows, goat-milk soaps and a surprising selection of kids toys and books are among its extensive stock.

Harlan Wolfe Ranch Demonstration Garden

915 W. Cheyenne Rd.


This is Pikes Peak Urban Gardens' home, and host to a great Saturday Pick 'n' Pay Farmers Market, running 9 a.m. to noon, starting June 4.

click to enlarge Burrowing Owl - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl

1791 S. Eighth St.


Colorado Springs' new vegan bar serves up cocktails, wines, beers and meals made with vegan and — when possible — local ingredients, all in a hip country-lodge-style setting.

Little Nepal

1747 S. Eighth St.


Little Nepal also operates another location at 4820 Flintridge Drive, up north. A buffet at either will take your dollar far. Otherwise, the chicken tikka masala is sweet, gentle death by cream.


Between the opulence of the Broadmoor and the gorgeous views near the base of Cheyenne Mountain, this neighborhood has its fair share of heady pleasures. And although the resort is certainly worth the time spent there, many other excellent business have grown in the area. Keep your eyes peeled for art galleries, shopping opportunities, and some of the classier watering holes in town. Ever done karaoke while sipping Scotch? You're in the right neck of town!

The Public House

445 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.


A charmingly authentic bar and grill with creative craft cocktails, the Public house boasts some surprising alternatives to one's usual bar food, including Southwestern-inspired bites.

Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center

2120 N. Cheyenne Canyon Road


Don't miss the annual Hummingbird Experience on May 21. This year will focus more than ever on the natural beauty of Cheyenne Cañon, with a guided bird walk, a migration game, demonstration tents, a hummingbird discovery presentation and nature photography how-to sessions.

Tinseltown USA

1545 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.


One of the newer movie theaters in town, this is also one of the biggest and best. Look out for screenings of special events and blockbusters on the huge XD screen.

Dining at The Broadmoor

1 Lake Ave.


The 5,000-acre resort perennially earns both five stars and five diamonds, but The Broadmoor is not inaccessible to the general public, and you'll find no higher than its luxurious Penrose Room when you're looking to go really all-out. But Ristorante Del Lago's an Italian gem, Lake Terrace hosts lavish brunches, La Taverne has added a wonderful raw seafood bar and Prime, aged, hormone- and antibiotic-free steaks, the Summit does bistro-casual beautifully (often equally priced to other fine dining spots in town), and Natural Epicurean caters to vegans and vegetarians during day hours with as much alluring vibrancy as a lifestyle magazine spread.

Broadmoor Wine and Spirits

116 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.


This is where wine-lovers with expensive taste will find worldly wines and regional craft beer, alongside your usual Yellowtails and Budweisers. What's more, the store hosts free tastings of the good stuff every Friday.

The Golden Bee

1 Lake Ave.


As the Broadmoor's most relaxed eatery, the Bee offers a delightful night out, with classic English and Irish pub food. The live piano music makes for easy listening and easy dining.

Penrose heritage museum

11 Lake Circle


This fascinating tribute to local history features artifacts and memorabilia from the beginning of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb as well as some gleaming historic carriages.

click to enlarge The Hatch Cover - BRADLEY FLORA
  • Bradley Flora
  • The Hatch Cover

The Hatch Cover

252 E Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.


The Hatch Cover is the kind of place where everyone feels comfortable — a mixed crowd of all ages and occupations. Part sports bar, part classic American restaurant, their specialty is "killer bar grub."

South Academy

For sheer numbers of high-quality Mexican, Korean and Vietnamese eateries, this stretch of Academy is a gustatory destination. You're sure to wind up waddling away from the eating options in this area. But before the food coma sets in fully, don't forget to check out some great, underutilized local shopping options, as well as a library, a movie theater and a few ethnic markets. Take note of the skyline, defined by the odd but beloved historical Satellite Hotel.

Saigon Market

3744 Astrozon Blvd.


This unassuming shop specializing in pan-Asian ingredients carries pretty much anything you can imagine, all shelved together. If you think that is an exaggeration, just know that while you're shopping for your meal you can also pick up a set of kitchen plates, a movie to watch after dinner and a used TV to watch it on.

Rainy Day Anime

2350 S. Academy Blvd.


There was once a time that anime fans had to go to Denver for used manga and T-shirts sporting their favorite Japanese characters. Not so anymore. This store's wide selection includes DVDs, figurines, trinkets and games, as well as a selection of anime- and video game-themed jewelry by local artists.

2 Lucho's

2810 S. Academy Blvd., #150


This sweet little eatery serves up some of the most unique and spectacular Peruvian food, filling a niche in the Springs' food scene. Try the rotisserie chicken, and you won't be disappointed.

Taquería Elvira's

2356 S. Academy Blvd.


Elvira Muñoz opened this quaint restaurant six months ago to high praise from the community, and for good reason. Muñoz serves "comida de la casa" ("house food"), which warms the belly with that loving home-cooked feel.

Tong Tong

2036 S. Academy Blvd.


More Down South

With generous portions and truly authentic Korean fare, Tong Tong does not disappoint. Everything from the kimchi pancakes to the tender bulgogi is full of spicy red chili essence.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park


Cheyenne Mountain State Park, one of the area's newer park properties, is mostly wooded. The hiking trails here range from extremely advanced to beginner-level. However, as the name suggests, plan to do some climbing. You'll need a Colorado State Parks pass to enter, but day passes are available at the gate. And a map is a good idea.

click to enlarge Cheyenne Mountain Zoo - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road


Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is nationally renowned as the only American zoo built on a mountain. Admission hovers around the $15-per-person mark. Along with your entry ticket, you'll receive free admission to the neighboring Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, a monument to the American humorist.

Seven Falls

6 Lake Ave.


The Broadmoor's purchase of Seven Falls brought a mega-dose of luxury to a popular tourist site know for its natural beauty, including fine dining via Restaurant 1858. Pay more for extra fun, such as ziplines, or stick to day-pass prices and enjoy the falls and the surrounding hiking trails.

Pikes Peak Community College

5675 S. Academy Blvd.


This forward-thinking community college claims space at multiple locations, but this campus is its main hub. An active calendar of events also makes PPCC an occasional destination for the general public. Since most of its students are nontraditional, PPCC is always looking for ways to accommodate busy schedules. That makes it ideal for those looking for flexibility and a quality education.

Sunshine Studios

3970 Clear View Frontage Road


One of the larger music venues in the Pikes Peak region, Sunshine Studios welcomes touring musicians of all genres. Rappers, metal bands and more frequent this south-end stage.

Dragon Man's

1200 Dragonman Drive


Part shooting range, part motocross track, part paintball park, part motorcycle repair shop, part arms dealer part military museum, Dragon Man's is 100 percent American spectacle. Dragonman himself, otherwise known as Mel Bernstein from Brooklyn, New York, built the compound from the ground up and prides himself on being the most armed man in Colorado. Pay him a visit for a surreal day that's about as Colorado Springs as it gets.


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