Manitou Springs sits at the foot of Pikes Peak, and is about 25 miles southwest of Monument, CO. It's also about 3 miles north of Garden of the Gods. There are several Bed & Breakfast, RV Parks, and hotel and motel accommodations. To get there, see below for directions.
Manitou Springs was so named because of the eleven springs located throughout the little town. Because of these wonderful springs, feed by the snow from Pikes Peak, Manitou has been considered sacred by the original inhabitants, the Ute and Cheyenne peoples.
The Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods, and Pikes Peak area attracts many visitors each year, due to the absolute funkiness of the community. The main street downtown offers numerous restaurants, eclectic shops, art galleries, and souvenir shops.
The town sponsors a variety of events that are a lot of fun. My personal favorite is the, Annual Clayfest and Mud Ball. Or simply, the Clayfest. It's been going on for the last 15 years. The locals call it the "Potter Games." Amateur and professional potter's gather together to share new techniques, socialize, teach, and show off their skills. There's nothing you can buy, you can only watch. Pottery wheel lesions are usually offered for a nominal fee.
Another fun event is the Manitou Springs Great Fruitcake Toss. The annual toss has become quite a draw! It usually happens the first Saturday in January. And it's the perfect answer to what to do with that fruitcake you received over the holidays. This year was the 14th celebration. This year was attended by over 1,000 people using everything from cannons to slingshots. And if you didn't receive a fruitcake this year, you can buy a very moldy old one that you can toss yourself!
Coming soon are the Emma Crawford Coffin Races. This year the event will be on October 24, 2009. The object of the races is to see what team can get the coffin with Emma in it across the finish line first. Each team must provide their own coffin, and their own Emma! All Emma's must wear a helmet. Also part of the festival is the parade. Emma's wake is Thursday night, the parade begins Saturday at noon, and the races at 1:00 pm. A good time is had by all!
Some of the other wild and crazy events in Manitou are: The Pikes Peak International Auto Hill Climb; the Pikes Peak Ascent; the Pikes Peak Challenge; the Annual Barr Trail Mountain Race; Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cook-off and Carnivale Parade; Huck Finn Day; Old Time Ice Cream Social; Commonwheel Co-Op Arts and Crafts Festival; Breakfast with Santa; and more! Tons of things to do in Manitou Springs.
If you are planning to be in Monument, CO, for any particular reason, or plan to purchase one of the beautiful homes in the area, you simply must make plans to visit Manitou Springs, one of the more unusual towns in all of Colorado.
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Marianne Snygg, GRI, ABR, ASP
ERA Herman Group Real Estate
Colorado Springs and Monument Real Estate