Introducing Colorado Springs

Evangelical conservatives, tourists and military installations comprise the bizarre demographics of Colorado’s second-largest city. Home to a large military base, the US Air Force Academy and the North American Radar Air Defense (the command center monitoring US and Canadian airspace; it’s located in a hollowed-out mountain and is where the president would weather a nuclear missile strike), it’s also the city where bibles were recently distributed with the Sunday paper! In a picture-perfect location below the famous Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs offers a runaway train of listed attractions: hike through Garden of the Gods’ strange red rock formations, take a ride on the cog railway or browse the shops in the low-key downtown area.

I-25 bisects the sprawling metropolitan area. To the east is the central business on Tejon St between Kiowa St and Colorado Ave. Here you will find restaurants, bars, clubs and shops. To the west of the I-25 are Old Colorado City, Garden of the Gods and Manitou Springs.

The Colorado Springs Visitor Center (719-635-7506; www.coloradosprings-travel.com; 515 S Cascade Ave; 8:30am-5pm) has all the usual tourist ­information.

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