We started our day by sleeping in a bit to recover from the 2 days of driving that it took to arrive in this little patch of paradise. But not long after breakfast, we met up with the Cousins and headed for one of the most breathtaking places in the area, an amazing park called Garden of the Gods. Admission to the park and its accompanying visitor's center is FREE to the public, but I advise that you arrive early because parking goes FAST, especially on weekends.
We enjoyed a lovely couple of hours touring the park. The trails are well laid out and easy enough for just about anyone to amble along. There are also plenty of places for the young, or the young-at-heart, to climb and explore. And the advanced mountaineer can even get permission for rock climbing and off-trail hiking. But there are just as many amazing sights for those who want to stick to the main trails. I hardly knew where to point my camera, there were so many beautiful sights.
After the sun started to take its toll on us, we left the park in search of lunch. We enjoyed a satisfying serving of BBQ and then left the Cousins to do a little exploring on our own.
This time our wanderings led us to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings.
There are a lot of really cool things to see at the Cliff Dwellings - once you survive the twisting, turning, dizzying drive up to the museum and grounds. Here you are allowed to walk through and TOUCH everything you see. We climbed through the different chambers and got a most magnificent view of Manitou Springs down below.
Touring the cliffs and enjoying the cool of the museum was a really nice way to wrap up our evening. And it set the stage for another GREAT day to follow.