Manitou Springs is a community like no other. From the amazing people, to the quaint homes and majestic mountains, what’s not to love about this town? I don’t know. But I do know what IS to love about it, so here are a few highlights:
The Beauty – Colorado is well-known for its breathtaking scenery, but even with all its Disney-esque ski resort towns, nothing quite compares to the beauty and charm you witness driving west on Highway 24 from Colorado Springs and looking out over Manitou. In between the first and last Manitou exits, there are a few spots where the hills cut away and you can look down and see the town from an almost aerial view. The way the eclectic mix of houses are tightly nestled against the hills kind of makes you feel like you’re looking at a snow globe with a tiny village inside just waiting to be shaken. And sometimes, it gets shaken and the snow gently blankets the trees, houses, and streets of this picturesque little town. At night the mountains may fade, but hundreds of little lights can be seen throughout the hills and streets of Manitou, each one giving off a warm glow and adding to the town’s almost painfully cute charm.
Now that we’ve looked at Manitou from above, let’s talk about its inner beauty. Upon reaching the downtown corridor, the streets are lined with historic buildings. They’re filled with little shops and some have apartments above. If you squint, you almost feel like you’re in an old town from the wild west… well actually you ARE in an old town from the wild west, it just isn’t as wild these days (except during the Coffin Races and Carnivale). Manitou has done an excellent job of updating the town while still retaining its unique and historic charm. If you look up the side streets, you’ll see rolling hills abounding with mostly small to medium sized homes, no two quite alike. Beyond the hills and the edges of town are huge mountains that keep watch over this beautiful little village.
The People – One time I was walking through downtown Manitou at about 6 AM ¯_(ツ)_/¯ and the streets were silent – nobody out nor any cars on the road. Then, out of nowhere, a person in a cardboard robot costume on a skateboard came casually rolling right down the main drag. There also used to be a man who would walk around town in a diaper. JUST a diaper. I haven’t seen him in several years though… not sure if he moved or started wearing clothes. Those are a few examples of the zanier characters you might see, but we’ve also got your standard hippies, yuppies, artists, businesspeople, soccer moms, musicians, trustafarians, regular Joes, irregular Joes, and everything in-between. In my experience the great citizens of Manitou tend to be kind hearted, generous, and genuinely interested in each other’s wellbeing. Sure, we don’t always agree (see: parking, recreational cannabis, corporate tax subsidies, historic preservation, parking, etc.), but when it matters most, the people of Manitou come together, strap on their boots and gloves, and help each other out – be it shoveling mud from a neighbor’s basement after a flood, cleaning up and maintaining our beautiful hiking trails, planting young trees on the burn scar, or working with kids to create and install art in our parks.
The Houses – We’re a real estate company so of course we’re interested in the houses. The houses here are seriously cool, and funky, and unique. The majority of the homes downtown were built between the 1880’s and 1950’s, so there is a dynamic range of styles throughout the town with very few modern homes. That being said, many have been extensively updated inside and/or meticulously preserved or restored on the exterior. From Victorian and craftsman style homes to southwest adobe and mid-century mod, there’s a lot to see. There are some defining features of each neighborhood, but then there are always exceptions scattered amongst the “contributing” homes. You don’t have to walk far to see a house that catches your eye and makes you wonder what’s inside and the history behind it.
There are so many great things about Manitou, it was hard to pick only a few. I guess I’ll just have to swoon over the town again some other time. Until then, if you live in Manitou, keep making it the charming little place it is. If you’ve never been, come pay us a visit and see for yourself why thousands visit each year, and why the residents of this beautiful community all love Manitou Springs.