Steeped in a vibrant blend of culture, history, and adventure opportunities, Aurora, Colorado, is a true gem waiting to be discovered.
Located just outside Denver, it’s the third largest city in Colorado (Colorado Springs is second) and boasts an exciting tapestry of experiences that offer a mix of urban sophistication and natural beauty. From tranquil parks and thrilling outdoor adventures to innovative culinary delights and captivating artistic expressions, this city a lot to offer.
Join us as we embark on an enriching journey to uncover some of the best things to do in Aurora, Colorado. This guide will not only make you fall in love with this dynamic city but also inspire you to pack your bags and book your next getaway to Aurora.
Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, an art enthusiast, or an adventurer, Aurora’s kaleidoscope of experiences promises an unforgettable trip, one that you’ll remember for a lifetime. So, buckle up and get ready for an exploration of a lifetime in the heart of Colorado!
Best Things To Do in Aurora, Colorado
1. Walk the Wonder of Cherry Creek State Park
When crafting a list of what to do in Aurora, Colorado, a visit to Cherry Creek State Park is non-negotiable. A lush and verdant oasis in the heart of the city, this 4,000-acre park invites you to unwind amidst nature’s beauty.
The park offers a gamut of outdoor activities, from tranquil hiking trails for adventurous souls to serene picnic spots for those seeking a relaxed day out. For wildlife enthusiasts, keep an eye out for the various bird species that call this park home.
In its tranquillity and raw beauty, Cherry Creek State Park offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, solidifying its position as a must-visit spot in Aurora.
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2. Savor the Flavors at Stanley Marketplace
Continue your journey at Stanley Marketplace, another popular Aurora attraction. This bustling, indoor marketplace, located in a repurposed aviation factory, has emerged as a beacon of local culture and cuisine.
Home to over 50 independently-owned businesses, Stanley Marketplace curates a vibrant blend of eateries, boutiques, and fitness studios. Here, you can savor globally-inspired dishes, shop unique finds, and immerse yourself in local community events.
Stanley Marketplace is more than a destination. It’s a lively introduction to the spirit of Aurora, setting the tone for a memorable exploration of the city.
3. Escape to Exhilaration at Aurora Reservoir
A trip to Aurora Reservoir is more than just one of the most exciting things to do in the area – it’s an invitation to dive into fun and adventure. From fishing and sailing to sunbathing on the sandy beach, this recreational haven caters to every breed of outdoor enthusiast.
Covering a whopping 31,650 acres, the reservoir offers a tranquil setting perfect for an afternoon of relaxation or a day of adrenaline-fueled activities.
End your day at the Aurora Reservoir by watching the sun set over the tranquil waters. It’s a moment of serenity that perfectly captures the enchanting beauty of Aurora, Co.
If you’re visiting in the winter months and are into angling, the reservoir is among the best places for ice fishing in Colorado.
4. Dive into History at Aurora History Museum
The Aurora History Museum is one of the most intriguing places to visit in Aurora, offering a peek into the city’s rich past. This local gem houses an array of artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that trace Aurora’s development.
From its engaging main exhibits to its stimulating temporary displays, the museum captures Aurora’s journey from its early days to the vibrant city it is today. Its interactive, kid-friendly exhibits also make it a great spot for families.
Step into the Aurora History Museum, and you’re stepping into a vibrant chronicle of Aurora’s past, present, and future.
5. Relish the Craftsmanship at Dry Dock Brewing Co.
No tour of Aurora’s attractions is complete without tasting the local brew at Dry Dock Brewing Co. Since its inception in 2005, Dry Dock has been a trailblazer in the city’s craft beer scene, delighting locals and tourists alike with their diverse offerings.
Whether you’re an ale aficionado or a lager lover, Dry Dock’s knowledgeable staff are on hand to help you navigate their extensive menu. The brewery also offers tours, allowing you a behind-the-scenes look at their brewing process.
A visit to Dry Dock Brewing Co. is not just about savoring exceptional craft beers; it’s about immersing yourself in Aurora’s warm and welcoming community spirit. It’s an experience that’s sure to leave a lasting impression, beckoning you back to this vibrant city.
6. Embrace Aurora’s Artistic Side at Downtown Aurora Visual Arts
Immerse yourself in the city’s thriving art scene at Aurora Visual Arts. A cornerstone of local culture, this center is an inspiring space where artists, educators, and art enthusiasts converge.
Aurora Visual Arts offers classes, workshops, and exhibitions that cater to a range of interests and skill levels. It also hosts an array of events that celebrate the creative spirit of the city.
Whether you’re an artist yourself or an admirer of the arts, a visit to Aurora Visual Arts is a journey into the soul of Aurora’s creative community.
7. Soak in the Serenity at Aurora’s Neighborhood Parks
Exploring the city’s tranquil neighborhood parks is among the main things to do in Aurora. These green spaces offer a welcome break from the urban pace, providing idyllic settings for leisurely strolls, picnics, or simply soaking in the serenity.
From the lush Del Mar Park to the scenic Utah Park, Aurora’s parks are a testament to the city’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty. They provide peaceful retreats that are equally enjoyable for families, couples, and solo visitors.
These neighborhood parks are a key part of the Aurora experience, offering spaces to relax, rejuvenate, and connect with nature.
8. The Epic Experience of Arapahoe Park Horse Racing
For racing enthusiasts, a trip to Arapahoe Park is among the most thrilling things to do in Aurora. This revered racetrack brings the adrenaline-pumping excitement of horse racing right to the heart of Aurora.
Offering a robust schedule of live racing from May to August, Arapahoe Park lets you experience the thrill of the race up close. Add in the on-site dining options and special events, and you’ve got a full day of fun and entertainment.
Arapahoe Park is more than a racetrack. It’s a symbol of Aurora’s love for sport and community, offering excitement for all.
9. Day Trip To Denver
While Aurora has a lot to offer, it’s worth remembering that the vibrant city of Denver is just a short trip away. Its bustling downtown, renowned museums, and culinary scene make it an excellent choice for a day trip, great restaurants and bars, including a fair share of gay bars, if that’s your scene.
Visiting Denver opens up a whole new world of experiences, from cheering on the Broncos at Mile High Stadium to strolling through the Denver Botanic Gardens. It also offers a broader insight into Colorado’s urban life.
Taking a day trip to Denver adds another dimension to your Aurora trip, letting you explore and experience more of what this magnificent state has to offer.
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10. Explore the Majesty of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
Nestled on the city’s outskirts, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is a nature lover’s paradise. This expansive refuge, once a chemical weapons manufacturing site, is now home to over 330 species of wildlife.
From hiking and birdwatching to guided tours and photo safaris, the refuge offers an abundance of outdoor activities. It’s a place to disconnect from the urban hustle and reconnect with nature.
A trip to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is not just one of the highlights of a trip to Aurora, Colorado – it’s a testament to nature’s enduring resilience and beauty.
Aurora beckons with its rich history, thriving arts scene, exhilarating sports, robust culinary offerings, and unspoiled natural beauty. Ready for an unforgettable journey? Book your tour and hotel room today, and let the magic of Aurora unravel.
11. Shop Until You Drop at Southlands
A visit to Southlands is among the most exciting Aurora tourist attractions for shopaholics. This sprawling outdoor lifestyle center offers an unmatched shopping experience.
Home to over 150 stores, including popular brands and unique boutiques, Southlands caters to a broad range of shopping preferences. It also offers a plethora of dining options, providing shoppers with a variety of cuisines to indulge in after a day of retail therapy.
Southlands isn’t just a shopping destination; it’s an integral part of the Aurora community, hosting events throughout the year that bring residents and visitors together.
12. Immerse Yourself in the On Havana Street District
The Havana Street District is one of the must-visit places in Aurora. Known for its rich cultural diversity, this area offers a unique blend of shopping, dining, and entertainment.
From international supermarkets and specialty food stores to eateries serving mouth-watering global cuisine, Havana Street District is a culinary adventurer’s paradise. It also hosts various events, providing a platform for the celebration of Aurora’s multiculturalism.
The Havana Street District is not just a hub of activity; it’s a window into Aurora’s diverse cultural fabric, offering experiences that intrigue and inspire.
13. Unwind at the Golf Courses
For golf enthusiasts, Aurora offers a range of beautiful golf courses. From the championship layout of Aurora Hills to the stunning backdrop of Murphy Creek, these courses provide a welcome escape from the city.
Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, Aurora’s golf courses promise a rewarding experience. With lush greens, strategic layouts, and excellent facilities, they are a must for any golf lover’s itinerary.
Teeing off on one of Aurora’s pristine courses is more than just a game; it’s a chance to relax, enjoy the outdoors, and embrace the sporting spirit of the city.
14. Delve into the Wonders of Plains Conservation Center
Another highlight of a trip to Aurora is the Plains Conservation Center. This outdoor education facility is dedicated to preserving Colorado’s prairies and the cultural history of the area.
With its expansive grounds, wildlife viewing opportunities, and fascinating historical exhibits, the center offers a unique and immersive experience. Visitors can learn about the region’s ecology, geology, and cultural heritage, all while appreciating the natural beauty of the plains.
A visit to the Plains Conservation Center isn’t just an outing; it’s an enriching journey into Aurora’s natural and cultural legacy.
15. Enjoy the Performing Arts at Aurora Fox Arts Center
If you’re in pursuit of cultural stimulation, Fox Arts Center is one of the most inspiring places to visit in Aurora. Known for its diverse repertoire of theater productions, it is a testament to the city’s vibrant arts scene.
This 245-seat performing arts facility, located in the city’s East End Arts District, is a magnet for creativity and innovation. It offers an eclectic mix of shows that cater to varied tastes, ensuring every visitor leaves thoroughly entertained.
Stepping into the Aurora Fox Arts Center, you become a part of Aurora’s pulsating cultural heartbeat. It’s a visit that guarantees to leave you inspired, moved, and craving more.
16. Aurora Symphony Orchestra
For music lovers, the Aurora Symphony Orchestra is one of the most inspiring places to visit in Aurora. This community-based orchestra has been captivating audiences with its powerful performances since 1978.
Whether you’re a classical music enthusiast or a casual listener, the orchestra’s diverse repertoire promises an evening of entertainment. From timeless classics to contemporary compositions, each performance takes you on a melodic journey.
Listening to the Aurora Symphony Orchestra is more than just an evening out; it’s an opportunity to appreciate the power and beauty of music and the role it plays in Aurora’s vibrant cultural scene.
17. Cycle the High Line Canal Trail
If you’re a biking enthusiast, cycling the High Line Canal Trail is one of the most invigorating things to do in Aurora. This scenic trail, one of the longest urban trails in the country, meanders through Aurora, offering bikers a chance to explore the city on two wheels.
The trail winds through various landscapes, from residential areas to open spaces, showcasing the city’s diversity. With plenty of spots to stop and enjoy the scenery, it offers a leisurely ride, perfect for families and solo travelers alike.
Along the route, you’ll also find several parks and landmarks, making it a great way to discover the city’s hidden gems. Plus, the trail is well maintained, ensuring a safe and enjoyable ride.
Cycling the High Line Canal Trail is not just about exercise; it’s an adventure that encapsulates the spirit of Aurora, offering a unique perspective on this vibrant city.
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Accommodation in Aurora
Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver
Located close to Downtown Aurora, this hotel is perfect if you’re visiting Aurora and/or Denver. It features spacious guest rooms, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant and room service.
Although considered a 4-star hotel, it offers 5-star service and accommodation. It is rated 8.3/10 by Booking.com guests. Rates start at $210 per night.
Check rates and availability on Booking.com
Benson Hotel & Faculty Club
This is one of the most stylish hotels in Aurora. This boutique hotel opened its doors in May 2023 and offers modern yet homely bedrooms with marble bathrooms.
The chic restaurant serves classic American cuisine and à la carte breakfast. The hotel currently has a 9.1/10 rating on Booking.com.
Check rates and availability on Booking.com
Things To Do in Aurora, Colorado: Conclusion
Aurora, Colorado, is a city of endless possibilities, offering something for every kind of traveler. With its rich cultural heritage, thriving arts scene, diverse gastronomy, and pristine nature, it offers a unique blend of experiences that captivate and inspire.
From the tranquil parks and bustling marketplaces to the enthralling performances of the Aurora Symphony Orchestra and the adrenaline rush of a day trip to Denver, there is no shortage of things to see in Aurora.
Each visit promises new discoveries, unforgettable moments, and a deeper appreciation of this vibrant city. So, why wait? Book your Aurora adventure today and prepare to be enthralled. Let the magic of Aurora take your breath away.