The historic town of Manitou Springs just west of Colorado Springs real estate is a popular getaway destination. Situated at the foot of Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs offers beautiful mountain attractions, flourishing hospitality, great boutique shops, quaint restaurants, and unusual art galleries for people throughout El Paso County real estate and Denver to enjoy.
The area is on the National Historic District and is a nice weekend spot for residents of Colorado Springs homes to recharge and heal. Manitou Springs has retained the look of a mining town with many residences built on the surrounding hillsides. With lots of character, Manitou Springs’ houses and her Victorian homes are backdrops for newer neighborhoods where talented residents—professionals, artists, and blue-collar workers—enjoy each other’s company as well as easy access to city amenities in Colorado Springs.
Indian tribes from the mountains and plains met here to worship Manitou, the God who breathed into the sparkling waters that flow from the mineral-laden, cold-water drinking springs that energize the area. Manitou is the American Indian word for “spirit.” Today, the “spirit” waters are shipped as far away as Korea and China where they are recognized for their healing attributes. Eventually, the area was settled in the late 1800s. General William Jackson Palmer, the founder of Colorado Springs, and the English physician, Dr. William Bell, first visited the natural springs in 1868. They fell in love with the gentle valley and envisioned the area as a health spa.
Guided tours showcase the natural springs, interesting landmarks, and Pikes Peak’s recreational options such as hiking and horseback riding. However, in 1988, Fodor’s Travel Guide described this historic tourist village as “a dingy little town” to the amazement of its patrons and residents, some whose love dates back before the hippie days. It was a reality check. Many of the 5,000 residents including Marcy Morrison, who was so inspired to change that image that she ran for mayor in 2001, desired to change the fading glory of the town.
Power lines are being buried and crosswalks improved. The main avenue is being reduced from four lanes to two and roundabouts will further slow the pace of traffic downtown. Downtown now boasts wide new sidewalks, benches, landscaping and decorative lighting—all part of the revitalization expected to cost more than $3 million when completed in 2010. Much of the work is being paid for with money generated by a sales tax and a Business Improvement District and tax, and an Urban Renewal Zone that the residents have overwhelmingly supported.
Parks are being renovated with unique touches from local artists. A master plan for Soda Springs Park sports a new playground, pavilion for artists and festivals, as well as an eclectic new lavender-colored restroom with stained-glass windows that was designed by the youth. As the work continues and the town evolves into more of its best self, the new set of clothes seems to suite it well.