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Overlooked by huge Pikes Peak and once the haunt of affluent British visitors, Colorado Springs is the state's second largest city. A fledgling resort town before the gold rush, the town was soon overrun with fortune seekers who changed its focus entirely. Today its attractions include the Western Museum of Mining and Industry and the North American Defense Command Headquarters.

Pikes Peak and the Garden of the GodsFor a more cultural insight the region's history the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum offers an array of changing exhibits, while the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame explains the thrills of calf roping, barrel racing and steer wrestling.

Just outside the city you can visit the incredible rock formations of the Garden of the Gods, where erosion has sculpted the rich red sandstone into spectacular spires, ridges and towers. To the south of the town lies Royal Gorge where a rickety wooden suspension bridge is stretched over a vertiginous 1,053-feet-deep gorge.

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