Toss the guidebook and listen to these locals as they show you around their mountain town.
Martile Rowland. Founder, producer, and artistic director, Opera Theatre of the Rockies
July visitors should cowboy up for the Ride for the Brand Ranch Rodeo, a Western extravaganza and fund-raiser featuring professional cowboys competing in the Norris-Penrose arena, which overlooks Pikes Peak.
Patrizia Herminjard. Colorado College dance faculty; director of the Colorado College Dance Festival
For the best carrot cake ever, head over to Wooglin’s Deli by the Colorado College campus downtown ... Ask for two forks; the servings are very generous.
Sallie Clark. El Paso County commissioner and owner/innkeeper of Holden House 1902 Bed & Breakfast Inn
Our county offers a wealth of entertainment and activities. Stop in Old Colorado City to take a carriage ride; head to Paravicini’s, Jake and Telly’s Greek Restaurant, Front Range Barbeque, or Gertrude’s to tempt your culinary senses; [and] ride horses at Academy Riding Stables.
Richard “Goose” Gossage. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame closer
Golfers will want to stay at the Broadmoor, where there are three championship golf courses. For excellent Italian food, head to family-owned Fratelli Ristorante Italiano. Don’t miss spectacular sights like the Air Force Academy and Cheyenne Cañon.
Jeremy Abbott. United States Figure Skating 2008–09 team member
My favorite place is a bar called Blue Star, [which has] an amazing atmosphere and a massive martini menu. Visitors ought to take a tour of the Olympic Training Center or a whirl around the ice at the World Arena Ice Hall.
Lionel Rivera. Mayor
For authentic Mexican food, you can’t beat Pueblo Viejo, which has become a family favorite; if you’re in the mood for a great Southwestern Mexican dish, head up to the northern part of our city and go to Salsa Brava. Both of these excellent restaurants will satisfy your cravings for tantalizing, spicy Mexican cuisine.
Paul Butcher. Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services
Hike with the locals in Red Rock Canyon Open Space, a park with [60-million-year-old rock formations and] great vistas. No trip downtown is complete without a stop by the Uncle Wilber Fountain -- an animated sculptural feature and a place to cool off while listening to a one-man water-powered band.
Bettina Swigger. Executive director, Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region
Smokebrush Gallery is a funky complex of gallery spaces, and the First Friday openings are always a blast. Local microbrewer Bristol Brewing Company brews some great beer. My favorite is Mass Transit Ale, but the most famous is Laughing Lab. The theme continues with snacks served in dog dishes!
Milo Bryant. Columnist, Colorado Springs Gazette; owner of No Bullfit Fitness
For a perfect day in the Springs, start with breakfast at the Omelette Parlor. Later, head to Slayton’s for lunch. It’s a barbecue spot, but get the catfish nuggets! Dinner has to be at Howard’s Backyard Pit Bar-B-Q. And finish the day with listening to blues at Southside Johnny’s.
Global traveler that you are, you surely have favorite places in all the cities you visit. Why not share them with others? Send us an e-mail with your picks at email@example.com, or go to www.americanwaymag.com/favorites and join in the discussion.