In addition to all the gorgeous nature to explore in Colorado Springs, Colorado, one major tourist draw to the area is the U.S. Air Force Academy. The U.S. Air Force became a separate military service in 1947 via the National Security Act. In 1955, the U.S. Air Force Academy swore in its first class of more than 300 graduates.
Today, the U.S. Air Force Academy opens its doors to visitors on the campus, which is just 5 miles away from Senior Lifestyle’s Liberty Heights community. The school has family-friendly activities and attractions, so visitors can learn more about American military history and see where some of the world’s strongest military members train for essential careers.
There are plenty of reasons to include Air Force Academy Colorado Springs tours as an attraction for both visitors and Colorado Springs locals alike. The following are a few things to do at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
10+ U.S. Air Force Academy Things to Do
1. Cadet Chapel
The Cadet Chapel attracts both Air Force Academy visitors and tourists in the state of Colorado in general, as it’s the most-visited man-made tourist attraction in the state. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to go inside the building until necessary repairs are completed in 2027. However, it’s a sight to behold from the outside, as the all-faith chapel has 17 spires that climb 150 feet up.
Once the chapel opens back up, it’s worth revisiting. Inside, there are vibrant stained-glass colors illuminating the aluminum, glass and steel structure.
The academy’s planetarium supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) educational efforts for cadets. When you visit inside, you can sit on a comfy chair and look up at the star-filled dome that represents the universe in a 360-degree immersive experience.
Contact the academy to inquire about live astronomer shows, typically held several afternoons a week.
3. B-52 Display
Upon entering the North Gate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, there’s a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress on display. This plane is a long-range, subsonic strategic bomber nicknamed Diamond ‘Lil. The plane is the last bomber in the history of aviation to have used machine guns to shoot down wartime aircraft. It was used in the Vietnam War, deactivated in 1983 and relocated from Peterson Air Force Base to the academy.
4. Barry Goldwater Visitor Center
The Barry Goldwater Visitor Center is sort of like a museum on campus, featuring historical displays on the history of the Air Force Academy. Here, you can see a mock cadet dorm room, watch a documentary about cadet life, learn about the Cadet Chapel’s history and discover the four areas of the cadet training program: academic training, athletic training, character development and military training. The visitor center also has a gift shop with Air Force Academy-themed souvenirs.
5. Chapel Trail
The Chapel Trail is a 1/3-mile paved trail that starts at the Barry Goldwater Visitor Center and heads toward the Cadet Chapel, cadet viewing area and Honor Court. Along the walk, see mountain views or sit on a bench to relax.
6. Honor Court
The Honor Court is an outdoors area filled with Air Force-themed artwork and historical sculptures and statues, including the WWII Women Airforce Service Pilots statue and the Tuskegee Airman Memorial sculpture. Honor Court also features the Harmon memorial, which pays tribute to one of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s founders, Lt. Gen. Hubert Reilly Harmon.
7. Falcon Stadium
Take in some deep breaths at Falcon Stadium, the second-highest Division I playing field in the U.S., sitting at more than 6,000 feet above sea level and seating around 47,000 fans. Catch a college football game here, featuring unique aircraft flyovers and the Wings of Blue parachute team flying onto the field. You can also see the Belk Falcon Statue in front of the stadium, with a 24-foot wingspan that makes it perfect for photos.
8. Thunderbird Overlook
Past Falcon Stadium and the Davis Airfield, you’ll find aircraft displays featuring A-10 and T-38 aircraft. The T-38 was used in an aerial demonstration at Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field, while the A-10 was used during a military mission in the 1990s.
9. Cadet Field House
The Cadet Field House is a multi-purpose facility that includes a basketball arena, indoor track and ice hockey rink. Like Falcon Stadium, the track is the second-highest elevation of any track in the country. Across from the seats, there’s a beautiful artwork display of the U.S. Air Force Academy and its attractions.
The U.S. Air Force Academy features several diverse dining options, including the student union, Domino’s, Subway, buffets and Starbucks coffee products. Dining options are located throughout the campus.
Even More to See at the U.S. Air Force Academy
In addition to attractions like those listed above, you can find stunning artwork and architecture throughout the campus. Check out the Pegasus statue outside Doolittle Hall, check out the unique architecture of Polaris Hall, and see a statue of the U.S. Air Force’s first leader, Gen. Henry H. “Hap” Arnold, outside Arnold Hall.
There are also impressive views of the campus at the Academic Overlook and the Athletic Overlook. Watch the cadets in action during the Cadet Noon Meal Formation, when cadets march to lunch together.
Visit the U.S. Air Force Academy and More Near Liberty Heights
In addition to the U.S. Air Force Academy, the Liberty Heights Senior Living community in Colorado Springs is close to so many other attractions for residents and visitors. Destinations include the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum, the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts and U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center Visitor Center.
When you live in Colorado Springs, there’s always something new to explore. Visitors who come to the area have plenty to discover, as well.
If you’re interested in independent living, assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing and rehabilitation for seniors, learn about the Liberty Heights Senior Lifestyle options in Colorado Springs. Find out more about Senior Lifestyle, or schedule a tour today.