Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Garden of the Gods: Scenic Beauty Near Cascade, CO

When you come to Colorado, the beauty is obvious:  the endless sky broken only by the gorgeous Rocky Mountains painted in browns and gray of the rock, and the green of the foliage.  However amongst this blaring visual wonder are more hidden beauties, just as breathtaking, but a little more difficult to find.

Just 11 miles away from our Cascade Escapes inn, on the outskirts of Colorado Springs, lies one of these hidden wonders.  Garden of the Gods Park sits at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills, and is a stunning example of geological wonder.  Spires, wedges, and precariously balanced formations, all made of stunning orange/red Lyons Sandstone, thrust up to 300 feet into the air and seem to defy gravity. 

Photo by Greg Matulionis

Photo by Greg Matulionis
At the Visitor and Nature Center, located at the park entrance, you can find information on the geological formation of the area, discover what wildlife you might find when you visit, and you can even grab a bite to eat in the cafe and purchase gifts in the gift shop.  The Center also features a terrace overlooking the Park.

A wide variety of activities are available at the park including over 15 miles of trails, including a 1.5 mile wheelchair-accessible path that passes by some of the most stunning features in the park.

Why not take a day out of your vacation here in Cascade, CO to discover the rugged beauty of Garden of the Gods Park?  Park hours are from 5am - 11pm between May 1 and October 31, and 5am - 9pm during winter months.

Please note that the arid nature of the area is an idea habitat for rattlesnakes - keep an eye out during your visit!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Manitou CO Cliff Dwellings: Learn of Our Ancient Ancestors

What I did on my summer vacation to Colorado:  Explored houses built into the side of a mountain, walked like an ancient Anasazi, pet a wolf.  Seriously?  When we have families staying in our Ramona Cottage or Zeb’s Cabin, we always recommend they visit The Manitou Cliff Dwellings to build memories and experiences like these that will last a lifetime.  Just two miles away from the Cottage and the Cabin, this is the perfect way to spend part of your bed and breakfast getaway!

The Anasazi were a nomadic people who believed the land was sacred and moved from place to place, following game and natural resources all over the Four Corners!  Over time they settled and built large, permanent structures of stone at the base of cliffs, useful to house large populations and as defense against enemies.

Eventually, the Anasazi people left their stone structures, and became part of other tribes such as the Hopi, Pueblo, and Zuni; learn more about why!

If the Anasazi peoples were based in the Four Corners area, how in the world did their homes find their way to the Manitou Springs Cliffs? Learn more about their migration!

The Manitou Cliff Dwelling site is just 6.5 miles southeast of Cascade Escapes: cliff dwellings, Native American dance demonstrations, Anasazi Museum, and a Native American Gift Shop, affordable at less than $10/person.
The Cliff Dwellings host Colorado Wolf Adventures several times each year, allowing guests to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures.  The next scheduled days for Up Close With the Wolves are Saturday May 26, and Monday May 28, 2013 from 10am to 1pm.

Bring the kids, settle into our mountain cabin getaway, and experience and learn more about the Cliff Dwellings and Wolf Adventure!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Colorado's Cave of the Winds: Unique Outdoor Activity

During your bed and breakfast or cabin rental stay at Cascade Escapes, Ramona's Cottage, or Zeb's Cabin, you can experience nature in a whole new way!

Colorado is known for its outdoor activities: there are so many things to do on and around the mountains that it's difficult to name them all!  But when you hike, bike, or ski on  hillsides and along mountains, have you ever wondered about what might lie UNDER your feet?  It may surprise you to know that there is often a whole environment that lies beneath the ground, waiting to be discovered.  Caves are the least-visited natural resource in America, and are often the most mysterious.  Here at the base of Pike's Peak, Cave of the Winds is open almost year-round for visitors to experience the beauty of the underground!

What should you expect when you visit the underground?

You will experience sights hidden to most! Passages, both large and small, amazing rock formations, standing and flowing water, and maybe even a few living things!

Cave of the Winds is fully prepared with safe, sturdy pathways for an easy walk.  Here are a few tips:
  • Wear sturdy shoes for safety on any uneven ground.
  • Be prepared to navigate the stairs throughout the cave.
  • Wear casual, sturdy clothing that can handle a bit of dust and even a little mud on wet days.
  • Bring a jacket: weather underground is a temperate 54 degress year-round and can easily chill you.
Two different tours are offered:
  • Discovery Tour:  a 45-minute tour through stunning rooms featuring beautiful formations.  This tour is fully lit and family-friendly.
  • Lantern Tour:  a 90-minute, "wilder" tour deep into the caverns, and you carry your own lighting!
Other Activities

The fun at Cave of the Winds isn't limited to the underground!  Cave of the Winds has developed a great outdoor recreational area with exciting activities, including:

Wind Walker Challenge Course
A ropes-and-steel-beam course for the truly adventurous.  Your safety is secure in a body-harness and helmet as you make your way along the air above Williams Canyon.

'Fly' from the on-site pavilion via our two-person chair.  Similar to a ski-lift, this thrilling experience travels at speeds up to 40 miles per hour, both down into the valley and back up to the building.

Williams Canyon Trail
Three miles of gorgeous scenery through the Canyon.  Accessible during good weather and environmental conditions.

Located just seven miles from our inn, Cave of the Winds is a perfect attraction at which to spend a day, or part of a day, during your Rocky Mountain getaway.  Cascade Escapes offers all the hospitality and comfort of home with amazing amenities, unforgettable scenery, and the little extras that set us apart from typical hotels.  Make your reservations today for a delightful stay and a unique way to experience Colorado's hidden natural beauty.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Valentine Escape: Manitou Cliff Dwelling, Fondue for Two

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and you might be asking yourself: what fun little escape can I put together to enjoy with my love in 2013 that isn't just another bouquet of roses and a pretty card.

We have several ideas that might bring a new twist to your Valentine's Escape .... here are a couple of ways our guests staying at Cascade Escapes might be celebrating the month of love this year.

Start off by booking your Romance Package
at Cascade Escapes!
Hot chocolate chip cookies, a specially selected wine, and chocolate-covered strawberries will be waiting for you when you reserve the Ramona Cottage.  Check out the details of this package on the Specials & Packages page of our website.

Regardless of the weather, a visit to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings is a must do!  They are open 7-days a week, and in February you can explore these ancient Anasazi dwellings between 10am-4pm.   If your timing is right, you might have the chance to meet the resident 1-year old wolf pup.  Learn more about where the Anasazi came from and where they went as you stroll through the educational presentations at the Museum.

When was the last time you shared a Fondue for Two?  This is such a fun and romantic way to enjoy food together.  Many of us haven't dipped a crusty piece of french bread into a bubbling pot of savory Swiss Cheese in years ... dare we say decades?  There is something so memorable about that taste, and you owe it to yourself to enjoy it again!  Let us make a dinner reservation for you at The Mona Lisa Fondue Restaurant in downtown Manitou Springs. 

Another great fine dining option within walking distance from our Ramona Cottage is The Wines of Colorado restaurant.  Not only do they offer a fabulous lunch & dinner menu (open 10:30-8:00pm daily), they feature a tremendous selection of excellent Colorado wines and a complimentary tasting each day! 

Consider snagging tickets for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic performance on February 16, 2013 as they provide live accompaniment to Casablanca.  How much more romantic can it get?  Romance and intrigue on a big screen with a live orchestra!

Want to snuggle by the fireplace

We have more tricks up our sleeve, so if these suggestions don't work out, ask us for more options when you call to book your romantic escape at Cascade Escapes!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cascade Colorado, Welcome To Our Town

Welcome to Cascade Colorado for your Cascade Escapes getaway!  While many nearby towns may be better-known, you do not need to leave Cascade to have a wonderful Colorado getaway.  So we thought we would fill you in on what Cascade has to offer.  Welcome to our town!

Cascade, CO is a small scenic mountain community at the base of Pike's Peak (elevation of 7379 feet/2249 meters above sea level).  Fountain Creek flows off Pike's Peak through town, and indeed the town name comes from the many waterfalls seen in the area.

The town has its own amusement park (Santas North Pole) and Pikes Peak Gourmet Popcorn company featuring 17 year-round flavors of popcorn, and 33 additional flavors which change seasonally throughout the year.

However, the feature Cascade is probably most known for is the Pikes Peak Highway, ascending from Cascade proper to the top of Pikes Peak - over 6700 feet in ascent.

The Highway started as the Fremont Trail in the late 1860s, prompting many to make the trip to the summit for sport.  Even today, the Pike's Peak International Hill Climb in July hosts auto and motorcycle enthusiasts who race to the top.

By 1888, the trail became a carriage road.  Tourists could take a 6-hour carriage ride to the summit of the mountain for $2.50.  Once there, guests enjoyed time in what was then a very extravagant visitor center featuring a carpeted lounge with settees and mirrors.

The actual highway was constructed in 1915, and was financed by Spencer Penrose:  an area philanthropist out of Philadelphia who came to Cripple Creek as a Real Estate office manager and by purchasing Utah land tracts rich in copper.  Penrose was also responsible for the Broadmoor Hotel, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun.

The road itself is almost entirely paved at the writing of this post.  The final 3 miles of gravel road are being paved to preserve the land and waters beneath the road from the 150 million pounds of gravel used annually for road maintenance.  As of today, less than a mile remains to be paved.

Please be advised that the air thins even further as you ascend the mountain.  Even those already adapted to the Colorado altitude may have problems with the pressure and air changes caused by the ascent.  Please be aware of your condition at all times and be safe!  There are Visitor Centers with gift shops at the 12 mile marker, 6 mile marker, and summit, which also features an oxygen bar!  Restaruants are located at the historic Glen Cove Inn midway up the mountain, and at the summit, and are open mid-April to late October.

Views from the mountain are absolutely spectacular and will do even more to take your breath away!  In July 1893, Katharine Lee Bates was so inspired by her trip up the mountain that she wrote America the Beautiful after spending time at the summit of Pikes Peak.  There is a plaque commemorating her work at the summit:  Oh beautiful for spacious skies...

Plan for your driving trip to take two to three hours, plus the time you spend sightseeing on the way.  Have at least a half tank of gas, as there are no fueling stations on the mountain.  The road is open during daytime hours year-round, weather permitting.  Toll road fees are $10-12 per passenger 16 years and older (depending on the season), and $5 per child; or $35-40 per carload up to 5 people.  Children 5 years and under are free.

Once you have explored Cascade and made your heroic trip to Pike's Peak and back, your Cascade Escape Pikes Peak, Colorado vacation cabin accommodations will welcome you back to the comfort and peace of town.  Spend the evening in the hot tub where you can view the mountains and almost reach up and touch the stars while recalling your amazing journey to the top of our beautiful mountain.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wines of Colorado, Colorado Wine Tasting

A Cascade Escapes pick:  Wines of Colorado, featuring the largest collection of Colorado Wines in the state!  Visit to enjoy complementary Colorado Wine tasting, great creek-side dining, and unique gifts.

This unique wine tasting restaurant has an atmosphere all its own, and presents wines from over 40 Colorado wineries.  The building features painted murals throughout.  Patio dining and creek-side seating are available year round.  Kids love visiting the creek that runs through this property.

A must is the owners locally-famous buffalo chili with a Colorado buffalo wine burger.  if salad is what you are craving, try the salmon Caesar salad.  Don't forget the Chocolate Ecstasy Cake to take back to the Ramona cottage to satisfy a late-night craving!

If you are planning a Colorado Romantic Vacation and stay at our charming Ramona Cottage for your visit, it is just a short walk around the corner to the Wines of Colorado for a bite to eat and some great wine.  And remember to tell them that their friends at Cascade Escapes sent you!

Friday, December 9, 2011

North Pole in Colorado, Cascade Activity

Whether you are gearing up for the Christmas Season, or are just in the Christmas mood mid-year, do not miss the North Pole in Colorado, home of Santas Workshop!  Located within waking distance of Zebs Cabin, this is a favorite Cascade Activity for everyone.

Open from mid-May through Christmas, this Christmas-themed family amusement park was built in 1956, and has welcomed families and Christmas-lovers ever since.  At the center of Santas Workshop is the North Pole, an ice-covered pole that never melts.  Enjoy Christmas music as you visit the shops surrounding the North Pole.  And do not forget to visit Santa himself to get your requests in early!

Over 25 rides and attractions are scattered throughout the park including 17 rides specifically for children, and nearly a dozen family-oriented rides that are either more exciting than the kids' rides, or simply appropriate for the entire family.  Magic shows, Elmer the Elf animated puppet show, and the Chris Moose musical sing-along play throughout the day for your enjoyment!  A variety of food offerings are also available for your dining and snacking pleasure.

Money is not exchanged in the shops or snack bars in the park.  Instead, a purchase card is issued for each guest at the entrance, which can be attached to the wrist.  Purchases, including food, are tracked on your card, and the total can be paid in cash or with a credit card as you leave the park.

We will be happy to answer all your questions regarding the park during your stay at our Cascade, CO B&B.  We look forward to your visit!