In Colorado Springs, a few of the more popular (and competitive) neighborhoods include Downtown Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs, Broadmoor Bluffs, Briargate, Northgate, Fountain, and Powers.
When stationed at the USAF Academy, you’ll find that Briargate and Northgate are closest. Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs are next up and the rest fall in either downtown or south of the city which make for an extended commute.
Colorado Springs house hunting tips:
1. If an air conditioned home is a priority, double check that your for sale or rent home options are outfitted with AC. Some homes come equipped with swamp coolers, or no AC system at all.
2. Many Colorado homes have basements and the area regularly has bursts of intense rains that invoke flooding. If your home does not have a sump pump, it likely is a wise future investment.
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U.S. Air Force Academy BAH Information
The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a U.S. based allowance determined by geographic duty location, pay grade, and dependency status. It provides uniformed service members compensation based on housing costs in local civilian housing markets when government quarters are not provided. Learn more about your Basic Allowance for Housing.
The U.S. Air Force Academy is near Colorado Springs with many options to buy or rent. Some sample U.S. Air Force Academy BAH rates for zip code 80840:
E-1 with dependents: $1,986
E-1 without dependents: $1,605
E-9 with dependents: $2,367
E-9 without dependents: $2,073
O-1 with dependents: $2,064
O-1 without dependents: $1,914
O-7 with dependents: $2,625
O-7 without dependents: $2,334
Area Weather & Climate
Image via Air Force Academy Housing
If you appreciate four distinct seasons without extremes, Colorado Springs is the perfect destination. You’ll need every season’s best gear and multiple pairs of quality sunglasses. Don’t forget sunscreen! The area experiences nearly 250 days of sunshine per year. And if you’ve never lived at a high altitude, it may take some time for you to adjust to the elevation.
While cold during fall and winter, the city is temperate compared to other areas of the state, resulting in less snow and warmer temperatures.
Spring snow is common, and provides moisture for glorious blooms. Warm days fill the summer, but relief comes from low humidity and quickly dropping temperatures at night.
Road travel can be hazardous and challenging in the winter months, especially from the west, due to inclement weather and closures of mountain passes. Call the Colorado State Patrol at (303) 639-1111 or access Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) website for more information. Colorado Trip also has timely travel information. If possible and/or necessary, detour around the mountains.
USAF Academy Area School Info
Image via Academy District 20
There are no base schools for children of military families at the USAFA. If residing on the U. S. Air Force Academy, public school students will attend Academy District 20 schools.
There are more than 10 public school systems in the Colorado Springs area. It’s important to become familiar with Colorado’s school choice policy, which equates to an open enrollment.
USAFA Area School Districts
Families may choose between assigned neighborhood schools, or “choice in” to another school inside or outside of district if there is availability. Note that although you may attend a different school than your neighborhood is zoned for, it's up to you to provide transportation in most cases. Other area school districts include Manitou Springs, Widefield District 3, Cheyenne Mountain District 12, Falcon District 49, Harrison District 2, and Colorado Springs District 11.
Use the Colorado Springs school finder tool to search for schools near your address: Colorado Springs School Finder.
Families looking for charter, private, and homeschooling education also have access to plenty of choices, including faith and non-faith based schools and groups. Refer to the School Choice Handbook provided by the School Liaison Officer to find more details about all of the public, private, and home schooling options on or near Peterson AFB.
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Support for Military & Families
Image from Canva
One of the first stops military families should make is the Airman USAF Academy Force Support Squadron. You’ll find access to many of the common resources servicemembers and their dependents need, including info about childcare, youth center, recreation , fitness, and continued education.
For military spouses, top employers in the area include Lockheed Martin, Progressive, Microchip Technologies, Fort Carson, USAF Academy, and the school districts 2, 3, 8, 11, 20 and 49.
Nearby colleges include University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado College, Pikes Peak Community College, and Pima Medical Institute - Colorado Springs.
There are so many ways to volunteer! Check out the Airman and Readiness center, American Red Cross, Cadet Sponsorship Office, Silver Key-Meals on Wheels, High Point Therapeutic Riding Center, and many more.
Spouses may want to connect with the Academy Spouses’ Club.
Things to Do Near the Air Force Academy
Garden of the Gods: Visit Colorado Springs' paradise in one magical stop. It’s a registered National Natural Landmark where you can view 300-foot towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of the snow-capped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo: The perfect outing for the whole family, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo lets the kids explore the animal kingdom and even interact with it from time to time. Watch for opportunities to feed the giraffes and pet the goats! Bonus: Military members get $25 off any membership level.
The Broadmoor Seven Falls: Enjoy “The Grandest Mile of Scenery in Colorado” as you make your way into Seven Falls where the water cascades 181 feet down between the Hercules Pillars ( a 900-foot frame for this Colorado natural wonder). And to make this outing even more unforgettable, take the steep 224-stair climb to the top where you’ll access several trails above this phenomenon. Want a sneak peek? Check out the Broadmoor’s Seven Falls live stream.
Pikes Peak Highway: Setting your sights on the incredible beauty of Colorado has never been easier with this 19-mile long winding road. It takes you to the summit of Pikes Peak and offers breath-taking views of the lakes, mountains, and wildlife. The trek takes about two to three hours round trip.
The Broadmoor: iconic resort offering award-winning restaurants and lounges.
The Perk Downtown: One of Colorado Springs’ oldest coffee shops. Serving up locally roasted coffee, fine tea, and savory food options.
Play Street Museum: Children can explore the great outdoors through interactive exhibits and educational play space. Kid-themed activities where children can pretend and imagine endless adventures in a tree house and campsite.
Streetcar520: This building was originally built to store and maintain the streetcars that once traveled Tejon Street. Great brunch menu as well as the more standard lunch and dinner fare.
See more ideas for things to do in Colorado Springs!
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More Area Info