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Manitou Springs, Co. lies hidden between the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, America’s most famous mountain. "Manitou," a Native American word for "spirit," describes this beautiful mountain community. Nine named mineral springs throughout town are fed by the snows of Pikes Peak. Long before white men traveled here, the Ute, Cheyenne and many other natives considered this area sacred.

Besides healing waters, the cool mountain air was thought to be good for tuberculosis sufferers. Today, visitors still come for their mental health, as well as physical.

It's a laid-back kind of place where attitudes and clothes are casual. Fun shops line the downtown main street and there are some great little restaurants. Look for locally made arts and crafts as you walk the town.

Of course, the overshadowing attraction is Pikes Peak itself, and in Manitou you can catch the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which slowly winds its way up the mountain to the 14,000-foot summit.

Map: Manitou Springs

Region: Colorado South Central Regional Information

County: El Paso

Proximity to other towns: Located 8.1 miles from Colorado Springs, 7.1 miles from Cascade, 9.2 miles from Green Mountain Falls

Population: 5,072

Elevation: 6320 feet

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