Posted September 18, 2009 by Jamie Moore
Pull on your favorite sweater and break out your hiking boots for a quintessential Colorado getaway among quaking aspens. Foliage colors are at their peak from now through early October. See yellow leaves shimmer in the breeze around town as you make stops at a breathtaking waterfall, a hip tapas restaurant's patio, and a gift shop at the foothills of Pikes Peak.
Seven Falls: Drive 10 minutes from downtown and you're in the remote South Cheyenne Canyon, home to this impressive 181-foot waterfall. The best photo op is from the Eagle's Nest Observation deck. You can climb the 224-step staircase or hitch a ride to the top on an elevator inside the mountain. Come at night and you'll see a memorable light display as reds, blues, and yellows illuminate the falls. Admission is $9 or $10.50 at night.
Nosh: Catch the last of the season's patio dining at this hip downtown restaurant. Take in amazing views of Pikes Peak as you sit under strung white lights and get cozy around a fire pit. Nosh, Yiddish for snack, is known for its small-plate "nosher" dishes—ideal for sharing and sampling. Single plates run between $4 and $13; double plates are $7 to $25. Try the cumin-rubbed lamb slider, phyllo-wrapped brie, or the balsamic and blue cheese Portobello wedges. Even the extensive wine menu is tapas-style, and you can experiment with three-ounce samples.
Garden of the Gods gift shop: The local newspaper voted this gift shop the best in town. Chances are, the must-see massive red rocks in Garden of the Gods were on your itinerary already. Peruse the huge selection of locally made items—Native American art and jewelry, raku pottery, and vases and candle holders made of aspen trees. Downstairs is packed with fun toys and games for kids. Pick up the stuffed animal version of wildlife found in the park or a T-shirt featuring the dinosaur that was once discovered here.
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