Colorado Springs is at 6,000 feet and Pikes Peak is over 14,000 feet so that means there is an 8,000 feet change in elevation when driving up.
The views were amazing. I was there during the fall and when I stopped at Crystal Reservoir at about 9,000 feet, the view of Pikes Peak with all the fall colors was beautiful.
I did get a headache on the drive back down, but it was still worth it. I also went to Royal Gorge south of Colorado Springs.
That's where the world's highest suspension bridge is located. When you are on the middle of the bridge you can look down 1,000 feet below to the rapids of the Arkansas River.
They have a few rides there including an incline railway that takes you to the bottom. There's not much to do down there except look up at the towering walls and the rapids. Or you can wait to see a train.
They also have an aerial tram that takes you over the gorge that was pretty fun. They have other rides too but I didn't have time to go on them. Beware that they charge you quite a bit to enter the park.
The 3rd place I went to was Garden of the Gods which is located in the middle of Colorado Springs. Here there are lots of amazing red rock formations with lots of rock climbers.
Colorado Springs should be one of the top US vacation destinations. I would love to go back.
I got a great deal on the hotel which made my day great to begin with. We got there and immediately hit the casino floor we sat down at the blackjack tables where they have the "Dealertainers" which are Celebrity look alike singers, they are a blast.
If you are feeling shy about sitting at a Blackjack table those are the tables to go to. They make you feel so welcome and you have a great time with them. They will give you High fives when you get blackjacks and every 30 minutes they get up on a mini stage and start singing just like there celebrity look alike. My favorite was Bette Midler she was great.
After the rounds of free drinks that were flowing we hit up the Strip with our drinks in hands. The Strip is great especially at night with all of the Lights around and the great vibe of people walking.
We walked down to Mandalay Bay and got in line for the club called the Rum Jungle. Lots of loud music and a great place to get your groove on. I danced for hours and burned off some calories which was much needed after all those drinks. After the club closed we then went back to our favorite "Dealertainers" and played blackjack till dawn. It was a great time and I recommend you enjoy the experience I had in Las Vegas!
They have everything you could possibly want from standing coasters, to feet dangling to the entire cart dangling as you go!
The coaster known as the Mantis was a blast, as you were strapped in standing up and experienced the entire ride in that position. You go through a loop, tons of dips, and a corkscrew, and it just a new rush compared to the regular coaster ride.
And don’t forget the Top Thrill Dragster! It is the world’s tallest roller coaster, and the longest drop known. You go from 0 to 120 mph in 4 seconds, and then are launched up a 420 foot height only to come plummeting down on the other side. And guess what? You have to come back! You get to do it backwards! Over-all, if you are a coaster lover, you are crazy not to go to Cedar Point!
Before heading to the Washington, D.C. area we stopped at the Arlington National Cemetery and Visitor’s Center. Quick and easy access over the river brought us to all the wonderful and historic monuments that DC has…including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the World War II Memorial. At the Lincoln Memorial we got caught in the rain and it was a beautiful site standing there next to Lincoln and looking over the pool at the rain and lighting.
Afterwards my husband and I played the “Forest Gump” bit…I called out, “Forest” and he in return shouted, “Jennie”! Loads of fun! That evening we found a wonderful spot right along the river’s edge to view the excellent firework display before heading back to the hotel for the evening.
Once back at the hotel we had dinner at the Skydome lounge, which is atop the hotel. Words cannot explain the beautiful views of Washington that we had from there. The next day we made a stop at the White House where the children fed a white squirrel through the fence.
Afterward we went to the Smithsonian, which is a must if you have children. My kids could not decide which they liked better…the animals or the dinosaur fossils. For me, it was visiting the museum portion with various props from my favorite shows, including Archie Bunker’s chair, Kermit the Frog and of course, the “puffy shirt” from Seinfeld. All in all, we cherish the memories from this trip to one of the top US vacation destinations. We would definitely return if we have the chance.
Next we went to Elitch Gardens in Denver. Elitch Gardens is a HUGE amusement park. There are lots of roller coasters so it's wonderful for thrill seekers! The best one is definitely the Tower of Doom. It drops you straight down over 200 feet, and you feel like you are falling! There are lots of rides for younger children as well.
Elitch Gardens also features a waterpark where you can rent your own cabana, and a totally cool wave pool! We stayed at the Lakewood Hotel that night which has the BEST restaurant! I enjoyed this vacation idea because it was a great place to go with my family and we had a great selection of activities to choose from.