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Autism Friendly Guide to Colorado Springs

A photo of Garden of the Gods State Park in Colorado Springs, CO.  It is sunset so the red rocks are right and there are yellow wild flowers growing all over.  There is a title that reads Autism Friendly Travel Autism Friendly Guide to Colorado Spring.  Did you know that the state of Colorado is ranked as the most autism friendly state?

Did you know that the state of Colorado is ranked as the most autism friendly state? It is and that is why it is such a great place for autistic families to live! Well, at least if you just consider all the available services for autistic families and things to do. And discount the cost of living and really cold and snowy winters. Of course, it is also a fabulous place to visit for an autism-friendly vacation. There are plenty of outdoorsy things to keep your whole family busy for days.

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Autism Friendly Guide to Colorado Springs

The owner of Spectrum Getaways and her two sons.  They are at Chyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs Colorado.  She has her arm wrapped around her oldest son and she is holding her youngest son.  It is sun set and she is wearing a bright yellow shirt, her oldest son is wearing a shirt with little bits of yellow and her youngest son is wearing a shirt with gngham rdes on it.  There are yellow wild flowers growing all around.

Weather in Colorado Springs

The winter months in Colorado Springs can be brutally cold. It does snow, but that snow doesn’t seem to last very long. Spring can arrive late in this part of the country. It is common to still see snow falling as late as May or June.

When spring does arrive, it may be cool or warm. It is all dependent on how winter was. So, your family may experience weather in the 50s or it may reach the 70s. It is best to be prepared with lots of layers.

The summer months bring temperatures in the 80s. The sun is almost always shining and that means you will need plenty of sunscreen. Don’t be fooled into thinking you won’t. The elevation has you closer to the sun, so sunscreen is a must!

It quickly cools down in the fall. The leaves change and everything just looks beautiful. Depending on the year, you may see snow during the fall. I know it has snowed on Halloween in years past.

Altitude Sickness

One of the first things you will want to be aware of when considering a vacation in Colorado Springs, besides the weather, is the altitude. It is common for visitors to experience altitude sickness due to the higher elevations in this state.

The air is really thin, as well as dry, in Colorado Springs. I recommend drinking lots of fluids prior to your visit to Colorado Springs. Applying lotion and lip balm can also provide your body with the extra moisture it will need when you reach these higher elevations.

The higher elevation may cause you, or a family member, to feel dizzy and nauseous. You may even get a headache.

It is best to stay at the lower elevation levels in the state when you first arrive. This will give your body the time it needs to adjust to the altitude change. Then you can start to go higher in elevation as you visit attractions up in the mountains.

I also recommend skipping alcohol and strenuous activities until you have adjusted to the altitude. If you don’t want to, drinking extra water can be helpful.

Autism-Friendly Dining Options in Colorado Springs

The Rabbit Hole

The Rabbit Hole is a wonderful place to eat. However, please be aware that this isn’t the most kid-friendly restaurant in this guide to Colorado Springs. So, use your best judgment before deciding to dine here.

If you do visit, you won’t be disappointed by the location or the unique decor. When you arrive, you must walk down a flight of stairs to the underground restaurant. You will feel like you are in an old subway stop. Colorado Springs has never had a subway though.

The menu is upscale and interesting. You won’t be able to substitute much if you are on a special diet. But everyone in your family should be able to find something they want to eat.

Oskar Blues

Oskar Blues is a yummy Cajun restaurant in Colorado Springs. Stick to the upstairs dining area when visiting with the kids. It’s very casual up there and you can still try one of the 48 beers on tap from the downstairs bar.

I recommend the turkey pastrami and the sweet potato fries. If someone in your family has food allergies, or is adverse to certain foods, the staff will do whatever they can to accommodate you.

If you have someone to watch the kids, head to the downstairs bar here on a Sunday. They have a comedy show down there. You can easily have a few laughs before bedtime.


Shuga’s is a small restaurant, but they have a massive menu. Most of the menu is full of comfort foods. My favorites are the beer cheese soup and the spicy Brazilian shrimp.

The best part about this restaurant is it is very kid-friendly. And that is important when you are on an autism friendly vacation in Colorado Springs!

Marigold’s Cafe and Bakery

You should visit Marigold’s Cafe and Bakery when you are visiting Garden of the Gods. These two places are close to each other. This is an affordable cafe that is full of French charm the kids will love.

You can order anything from the garlic and rosemary rotisserie chicken to gourmet pizzas and salads. Just make sure you leave room to devour one or two of their pastries or other desserts.

Till Kitchen

When you sit down at Till Kitchen, you will be given a one page menu. It will be nice to look at only a few menu items before making your final decision. They use the freshest ingredients to prepare every dish on their short menu.

The best part is they serve the delicious fire grilled pizzas. And we know that most kids won’t argue when you feed them pizza for any meal!

Attractions to Visit in Colorado Springs

Garden of the Gods

The largest attraction in Colorado Springs is the Garden of the Gods. This entire area is full of red rock formations. You will want to capture pictures of your family at the Kissing Camels or the Balancing Rock.

I do recommend visiting on a day when my family isn’t. For some reason, every time we go to see the beauty of this area, it rains! Although, it is still stunning with the rain coming down.

Cave of the Winds

This fascinating cavern is a must-see for anyone visiting this area. And that is why it is near the top of this list of things to see in my guide to Colorado Springs. Your family can take a guided tour through these caverns. Although, keep in mind, everyone in your family will need to be able to walk through it completely on their own.

If you have younger kids, I recommend staying in the learning center and outside area. There is plenty to keep them busy there.

Your kids may even be interested in going on some of the rides. The Wind Walker Challenge Course is one of the most popular things to do here.

U.S. Olympic Training Center

Some of the best Olympic athletes have trained at this center. Your family can take a tour and participate in some fun activities.

I recommend sitting and watching the athletes train if you can. You never know… You may be watching a future Olympic Gold Medalist!

Glen Eyrie Castle

I recommend starting your visit here by taking a guided tour of the castle. Then head outside to wander along the grounds, while searching for bighorn sheep. A little afternoon tea might be just what everyone needs for a little downtime.

You can also spend the night at the Glen Eyrie Castle. Imagine pretending you are royalty, as you sleep in a castle room for a night or two. Just don’t be surprised if your kids start to act like knights or princesses during your stay!

The Air Force Academy

The most iconic attraction in Colorado Springs is The Air Force Academy. Although, I may be a little prejudiced about this.

During a visit to this site, you can visit the multi-faith chapel, see the memorial gardens, and watch a sporting event.

If you are lucky, or let me plan your trip, you will have the chance to see the cadets all line up in formation to attend their noontime meal. This doesn’t happen every day, but I can find out when it is happening when I am planning your vacation in Colorado Springs.

I covered plenty in my autism friendly guide to Colorado Springs, but I understand you may have more questions. Or you may just be more than ready to start planning an autism friendly vacation there. Either way, contact me today and I will make sure you don’t miss anything when you visit Colorado Springs with your autistic family.

There is a sunset shot of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.  There is a title that reads Autism Travel Tips Traveling to Colorado Springs

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