An hour’s drive south of Denver, Colorado Springs boasts a dramatic backdrop of rolling hills and, towering above, Pike’s Peak. It’s arguably the nicest setting of any city along the I-25, enhanced by the dramatic collection of red sandstone blocks in the Garden of the Gods. With a population of more than 400,000, it’s Colorado’s second-largest city and biggest in area, which you’ll soon realize if you drive around during rush hour. A rare American town developed originally as a resort, Colorado Springs today has a strong air force and army presence and has become somewhat of a magnet for evangelical Christian organizations. It has a decent culinary scene but doesn’t match Fort Collins or Boulder in quality. The majority of good places are in or around downtown.