Fun. That’s the adjective I would use to describe the book “100 Things to Do in Colorado Springs Before You Die.”
Author Kirsten Akens lists not only the typical “to-dos” in the Pikes Peak Region but also writes about a few things not ordinarily mentioned in such books.
Included in the not-so-ordinary are several attractions in and around the Central Colorado region, namely Great Sand Dunes National Park, Salida, Buena Vista, Orient Land Trust, Holy Cross Abbey, Royal Gorge Bridge, Florissant Fossil Beds and rafting the Arkansas River with Echo Canyon.
The book is neatly broken down into “Food and Drink,” “Arts and Entertainment,” “Sports and Recreation,” “Culture and History” and “Shopping and Fashion.”
She then makes suggested itineraries and further lists some of the activities by season.
Among the attractions in Central Colorado, she recommends visiting the Sand Dunes for stargazing. I can’t say I have done this since the 1970s when I was a kid, but this reminder has me making plans.
Close to the Dunes in the San Luis Valley, she writes that “Bats are a big deal at the 2,200-acre protected open space ... known as Orient Land Trust.” She offers a handy tip at the end for Colorado Springers that will keep visitors in the area a little longer.
Closer to home, the book directs readers to “Play and Stay in Buena Vista.” Among things to do in the area she talks about Mount Princeton Hot Springs, the Buena Vista Roastery Café, Deerhammer Distilling Company, CKS Main Street, Rock Paper Scissors and The Village.
“Get Active in Salida” is No. 89 on her list, where she writes, “The best place in Colorado to climb a fourteener (or two or three) is the Upper Arkansas River Valley’s Chaffee County because hikers can choose from 14 of these high-elevation peaks.” FIBArk, Salida ArtWalk and Amicas Pizza are all listed by name.
Reminders and fresh ideas of where to spend time living in the best region, in the best state in the U.S. are welcome, and this book delivers just that.
The book retails for $16 and will be available in bookstores and online in May.