Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and most populous city of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. Colorado Springs is located in South-Central Colorado, in the southern portion of the state. It is situated on Fountain Creek and is located 61 miles (98 km) south of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. At 6,035 feet (1839 m) the city stands over one mile (1.6 km) above sea level, though some areas of the city are significantly higher. Colorado Springs is situated near the base of one of the most famous American mountains, Pikes Peak, at the eastern edge of the Southern Rocky Mountains.
With a population of 416,427 as of the 2010 Census, it is the second most populous city in the state of Colorado, behind Denver, and the 41st most populous city in the United States, while the Colorado Springs Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated population of 645,613 in 2010. The city covers 186.1 square miles (482 km2), making it Colorado's largest city in area. Colorado Springs was selected as the No. 1 Best Big City in "Best Places to Live" by Money magazine in 2006, and placed number one in Outside's 2009 list of America's Best Cities.
William Jackson Palmer, a Civil War General (brevet) and Medal of Honor recipient, came to the Colorado Territory as a surveyor with the Kansas Pacific Railroad. He explored the area south of Denver searching for possible railroad routes for the Kansas Pacific to strategically occupy. Palmer favorably viewed the valley in the shadow of Pikes Peak as an ideal town site. Since he could not persuade the Kansas Pacific to follow the Arkansas River to Pueblo and from there north to Denver, Palmer secured legislation and funding to build the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad south from Denver with the declared intention of reaching Mexico City, Mexico. Palmer founded Colorado Springs on July 31, 1871, as the first destination served by his railroad. He had the intention of creating a high-quality resort community, and the infant town was soon nicknamed "Little London" because of the many English tourists who came, owing partly to Palmer's financial connections in England who provided the capital for his railroad. The stunning mountain view from anywhere in the valley as well as the nearby Garden of the Gods made the city's location a natural choice.