Fountain is a small city in central Colorado’s El Paso County that’s located along the Interstate 25 corridor between Denver to the north and Pueblo to the south.
With a population of just slightly more than 25,000 residents, it’s brimming with quaint and historic western charm, and it’s most popular for its natural beauty and the abundant state and national parks nearby.
Day trips to nearby Colorado Springs are also great ways to explore and learn about the area; more so than Fountain, it’s where visitors will find the most dining, lodging, and activity options.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Fountain, Colorado.
1. Fountain Creek Regional Park
At nearly 500 acres, Fountain Creek Regional Park is full of wide-open spaces and activity options that make it a popular destination for nature lovers of all stripes.
The park includes several nature trails that are easy to moderately difficult; they wind their way through miles of diverse habitats that are home to lots of animals.
Due to their convenience and idyllic nature, the trails can get busy during peak times, but less so during the fall and winter months.
The park’s ponds are open to fishing and are regularly stocked, but remember, you’ll need a valid Colorado fishing license to be in compliance.
2. The Last Drop Coffee Shop & Café
Colorado features a relatively fit, trendy, and affluent population, and they love their beer, wine, and coffee.
The Last Drop Coffee Shop & Café is a contemporary and inviting independent coffee house located on South Santa Fe Avenue in Fountain.
It’s only been open since 2018, but in that short time, it has attracted a loyal group of customers.
Though many visitors come in search of their caffeine fix only, their menu includes tasty breakfast food like bagels, cake, and burritos too.
For those on the run with little time to spare, there’s a convenient drive-thru window as well.
3. Fountain Community Theater
Even in rural towns in remote parts of the country, you’re probably never far from a community theater; for travelers looking to experience something a little different than the standard tourist attractions, they’re great ways to get entertained on the cheap and support the local community.
The theater is run by a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing the community’s residents together by offering them a variety of performing arts that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
Their performances include old classics, musicals, comedies, and a few that defy description, and the producers and performers are volunteers who live and work in the area.
4. Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
Colorado has a fascinating pioneer history that includes gold booms and busts, wild cowboys, and wars between federal soldiers and the Native Americans who called the Rocky Mountain State home for countless generations before it was officially tamed.
The Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum is a free attraction that’s open from Monday through Tuesday from 10 AM to 5 PM.
It’s full of historically significant exhibits that include weapons, Native American artifacts, old photographs, and first-hand accounts of those who lived in the area more than a century ago.
Visitors generally stay about an hour, but most agree that it was one of the most educational and entertaining stops on their trip to the Fountain area.
5. North Cheyenne Cañon Park
North Cheyenne Cañon Park is conveniently located just a few miles southwest of Fountain and is spread over more than 1,500 acres of land that features stunning cliffs, an abundance of wildlife, and a canyon that’s more than 900 feet deep.
The park has plentiful hiking trails as well. Many of them follow North Cheyenne Creek, which is a much-visited location for swimmers during the summer when the Colorado Sun can make for surprisingly hot temperatures.
First-time visitors may want to visit the park’s visitor and nature centers to get an overview of the layout and amenities before heading out on their own.
6. The Flying W Ranch
The Flying W Ranch is a working cattle ranch set along the eastern border of the Rockies. It’s been providing visitors with a variety of recreation and entertainment options since the early-‘50s.
Aptly located on Chuckwagon Road in Colorado Springs, it is just a short drive for those staying in Fountain.
During the summer season, it’s not uncommon for the ranch to host nearly a thousand visitors per day, so for those looking for alone time with Mother Nature, it might not be the best fit.
For those looking to whoop it up in a family-friendly environment with live entertainment and tasty cowboy grub, it’s in a league all its own.
7. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Zoos are great places to spend vacation time, and though there’s often not much difference from one zoo to the next, they’re among the most memorable experiences for those traveling with children.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is home to animals of all shapes and sizes from all over the globe, so whether it’s toothy predators, mild-mannered herbivores, or poisonous snakes you’re after, you’ll likely find it here.
There are a number of interactive, staff-led activities for kids, and the pathways that lead between the distinct animal areas are accessible for strollers and wheelchairs.
Check out the on-site memorial to Will Rogers before heading off on your next adventure.
8. Pikes Peak
At almost three miles high, Pikes Peak is a massive icon of the Colorado skyline that’s been a center of recreation and wonder since the state’s settler era.
Regardless of the ages and physical fitness levels of those you’re traveling with, having access to the mountain won’t be a problem, because it’s open to exploration by car and on foot.
No matter which option you choose, you’ll enjoy some of the most amazing panoramic mountain views you’re ever likely to see, but those who’ve taken the Cog Railway have said that it’s a particularly fun and beautiful way to take in the natural wonder.
9. Cliff House at Pikes Peak
For those interested in experiencing a memorable meal and stay in the most scenic of locations and who don’t mind paying a hefty price, Cliff House at Pikes Peak in Manitou Springs would be a great choice.
The Cliff House is perhaps most well-known for its packed wine collection that’s purported to include more than 1,000 varieties. It’s cuisine features both traditional and contemporary fare made from fresh, local ingredients during the growing season.
The restaurant and inn have won several awards from internationally known travel and culinary organizations. For those spending a night or two, there are a variety of packages that include rooms, meals, and activities like river rafting, hiking, and wine tours.
10. The Garden of the Gods
Featuring amazing rock formations cut into ancient sandstone, The Garden of the Gods is on the must-visit lists of many tourists who’ve come to the American west for its unparalleled natural splendor.
The one-of-a-kind attraction includes more than 300 individual formations that are open to visit year-round. Visitors who’ve never been before should make it a point to check out the welcome center before heading out to explore.
For those who’d like to see the site as part of a tour, there are a variety of options, including transportation by trolley, 4-wheel drive vehicles, horses, and even Segway.
11. Western Museum of Mining & Industry
Since the beginning, Colorado’s economy has been shaped by the mining industry.
Back in the gold rush days, most mines were small mom and pop affairs, but over the years, the focus has shifted to larger corporate mines that make relatively thin margins on the labor and equipment intensive business.
The Western Museum of Mining & Industry is the perfect place to learn about this interesting slice of local history. It’s even possible to give a few tried and true forms of hand mining a go while on-site.
Self-exploration is okay, but many guests choose to sign up for guided tours, which are included in the cost of admission.
12. Art on the Streets
For more than two decades, Colorado Springs’ Art on the Streets has been a well-attended event that’s put on through a partnership between local artists and art lovers, businesses, and civic organizations.
The idea is to adorn the city with vibrant art and leave it up for an entire year, or until someone decides they want to buy it.
Each June, the old makes way for the new, and a variety of tours and treasure hunt-style activities are aimed at finding the works in fun ways that are the perfect activities in which to meet locals and get an overview of the city’s layout.
13. Labor Day Lift Off
Labor Day Lift Off may be Colorado Springs’ signature attraction; it draws thousands annually and takes place over the Labor Day weekend.
The event’s showpiece is the launching of the colorful hot air balloons that number more than 70. For those who’ve never witnessed a mass launch, it’s an amazing sight to behold, and usually one that ends up being one of many visitor’s most memorable Colorado experiences.
It’s a free event that’s held over two days at Memorial Park, and in addition to the balloons, includes live entertainment, great food, and lots of fun activities for the whole family.
14. Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Though there are many ways to experience Pikes Peak, according to most visitors, there’s one clear standout, and that’s the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway.
The railway has been running for well over a century. Though it doesn’t reach the peak’s top at over 14,000 feet, it does go to the 8,000-foot level, which gives those on board some of the most panoramic views of the Rockies they’re ever likely to see.
The grades can be steep and the progress slow, but there’s something about being onboard a historic train that harkens back to the days when the state was wild and largely unsettled.
15. Paint Mines Interpretive Park
For those looking to spend their time wisely and get the most bang for their hard-earned travel dollars, the Paint Mines Interpretive Park in nearby Calhan should be on the top of their list of must-see Colorado attractions.
The park is most well-known for its fantastic rock formations and archaeological sites that date back nearly 10,000 years.
There are also miles of trails leading to the park’s distinct areas, as well as plenty of informative signs along the way, so you’ll learn about the things you’re seeing.
Admission to the park is free, but unfortunately, climbing on the rock formations isn’t allowed, so come prepared to stay on the designated trails.