This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Your Colorado Springs House. All opinions are entirely my own.
by Christine Maxwell, Guest Contributor
If you’ve just received orders to Colorado Springs, congratulations are in order!
Colorado Springs is home to several military installations and is an assignment of choice across many branches of the military.
As the state’s second largest city, there’s truly a little something for everyone out here in this quirky western state.
Read on to find out about 16 unique things about Colorado Springs that will make your PCS here a little smoother!
The Altitude Sickness Is No Joke
Colorado Springs sits at an elevation of over 6,000 feet. It’s actually higher than the “Mile High City” of Denver. If you’re coming from a location that sits closer to sea level, you might experience attitude sickness as you acclimate to your new altitude.
Pro-tip: If you feel nauseous or dizzy, remember to take it easy, drink lots of water, and keep in mind that altitude sickness often affects small children more severely than adults.
Always Check The Weather Forecast
A snowstorm in May and 70 degree days in January? Sounds about right.
The weather in Colorado Springs changes drastically and even within the same day. It’s always best to check the forecast before you go anywhere and remember to keep an extra jacket in the car.
You May Need To Adjust Your Favorite Recipes
You know those directions on the back of the Betty Crocker box for high altitude locations? That’s you now! It’s helpful to refer to high altitude cooking hints until you get the hang of it. You’ll understand when you make macaroni and cheese for the first time and it takes 25 minutes.
Colorado Springs Is A Military City
You’ll be amongst your military family in the Colorado Springs area. The area is home to 5 military installations: Fort Carson, the United States Air Force Academy, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base and Cheyenne Mountain Air Station.
Don’t be shy. Go ahead and ask for that military discount!
So Much Sunshine
It’s said that Colorado Springs receives 300 days of sunshine each year. Whether that’s fact or good marketing is another story. However, at high altitudes, the air is thinner and the sun will feel hotter.
Keep your sunscreen close because at higher altitudes you will be exposed to ultraviolet rays faster and that means faster sunburns too.
Instagram Worthy Views for Days
Between Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Cañon and Pikes Peak, you won’t have a shortage of gorgeous views. Seriously, even a sunset view from the grocery store parking lot will stop you in your tracks and have you pulling out your phone to snap a picture.
The Vibe Is Casual
Coloradans dress for comfort, especially since they spend a lot of time outdoors. It’s not abnormal to see folks wear their hiking gear out to dinner or around town. People here pretty much always look like they’re ready to go for a hike.
The dry air in Colorado Springs makes for a perfect environment for static electricity. It’s not abnormal to get shocked after walking across carpet and you might even find some of the hairs on your head sticking straight up.
At night time, look for sparks as you pull your covers up over you!
You Want A Garage That Faces The South
If you want to shovel less snow, buy a house that has a garage with southern exposure. By the time you walk out to shovel snow at lunchtime, it will have probably already melted due to the afternoon sun.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
You are now living in a “high desert” climate and everything (hair, skin, air) is dry. Turn on your humidifier, drink lots of water and lotion up your skin!
High on Life
Although recreational marijuana is legally sold in Colorado, only medical marijuana is available for purchase in Colorado Springs. Keep in mind that service members are not allowed to use marijuana even if it was legally purchased. No marijuana is allowed on military installations.
Wildlife Is Everywhere
Black bears, mule deer and turkeys, oh my!
Depending on where you live in The Springs, you might feel like your backyard is a zoo. Hawks, bobcats and foxes are also common wildlife here. Keep your small children and pets safe by not leaving them unattended outside.
Pro-tip: Store your trash cans inside your garage to prevent unwelcomed visits from Colorado’s black bears.
14ers And Pikes Peak
14ers aka “fourteeners” is the way locals describe mountain peaks that exceed 14,000 feet and Colorado has 58 of them, the most out of any state. The closest one to Colorado Springs is Pikes Peak, just a short drive away. If you’re not into summitting a mountain peak, the good news is that you can drive to the top of Pikes Peak.
Locals says there are 4 seasons here, fall, spring, summer and ski. The skiing in Colorado is awesome, but it can ding your budget too. Before you hit the slopes, take advantage of deeply discounted passes for military and kids. There’s even a program for FREE ski lessons and rentals for your K-5 school-aged children.
Depending on where you move from, it’s possible you might see a large jump in your insurance premiums. Remember #2 “Check the Forecast?” Wind and hail storms cause serious damage to roofs, fences and vehicles here. Take time to review your insurance coverage and deductible on all your policies.
Be A Tourist In Your New City
There’s so much to do in Colorado Springs, you don’t need to wait for your in-laws to visit to be a tourist in your new town! Visit the Olympic Training Center, check out the mile-high Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, or marvel at the Garden of the Gods, and the list goes on.
Don’t forget that within a short drive of The Springs there are amazing weekend trips to picture perfect mountain towns, National Parks or even metropolitan Denver.
Does your military family have PCS orders to Colorado Springs? Looking to buy a house in The Springs? You can download a free home-buying guide for Colorado Springs by clicking here.
Christine Maxwell is an Army wife and toddler mom. She works as a Budget Manager in Higher Education and also manages HerMoneyMoves, a blog about personal finances, career and military family life geared toward military spouses and their families.