Or, maybe you don’t know anything about Aurora. That would be unfortunate. Set between the picturesque Rocky Mountains and the iconic American prairie, this Colorado city is stacked with action, adventure, and surprisingly inspired eats. As the community that surrounds DIA, Aurora is often a landing pad for many unsuspecting visitors. However, a growing number have learned that this melting pot of world cultures and cuisines is bursting with live music and outdoor activities. It’s where you’re invited to write your own Colorado chapter.
Stop in and check out the action on your next Rocky Mountain adventure, because Aurora is much more than Denver’s shadow. Here’s what you’ll learn when you do.
1. The third-largest city in the state ranks #1 in diversity…
Aurora’s 350,000+ residents have come together to create one of Colorado’s most vibrant cities. Yes, it is in fact the state’s third-largest, and it’s made up of over two dozen neighborhoods with what are definitely Colorado’s best ethnic restaurants (looking at you,
2. …and diversity of things to do.
The city pops year-round with things to do. Whether that includes an early morning run along the Westerly Creek Trail into Central Park or a festive night tossing back brews at the
And don’t forget the fact that this is your Gateway to the Rockies. There’s always something going on here — the toughest part is honing in on what’s calling you today.
3. In Aurora, brewing is a lifestyle…
Colorado’s reputation as a craft beer hub is no secret. But what most don’t realize is that many of the characters firing up the tanks are the same people filling other important roles in the community. Take
If you stop by, grab a pint of Cheluna’s Lowrider Mexcellent Lager. Ask for a lime wedge, and start counting the seconds to (M)excellence.
4. …and so is going 100% waste-free.
Don’t leave Stanley Marketplace just yet (told you it deserved more words). Walk just down the corridor from Cheluna Brewing and into
5. You can try Colorado’s best Korean food…
We weren’t kidding when we mentioned ethnic eateries. You can order Afghan kabobs at
But Aurora is perhaps best known for its Korean food, and there’s certainly no shortage of it. A movement is underway to turn part of the Havana corridor — which runs through the heart of the city — into Colorado’s first official Koreatown. In the meantime, get your fix at
6. …or how about something from the Great Down Under, mate?
Vietnamese? Chinese? Italian? Mexican? Choosing between the world’s best cuisines is just another night in Aurora. But we have to ask: When was the last time you went out for Australian (no, Outback doesn’t count)? Exactly.
And as for the meat pies, you’ll find the “Original” — straight-up ground beef, onion, the classic seasonings — Beef and Cheese (cheese being Velveeta, that is), and, yes, Kangaroo Pie. Told you Aurora was innovative.
7. World-class accommodations are making headlines here…
Many travelers dream of staying in a
The best part? The hotel is only 10 minutes from Denver International Airport.
8. …as is the world-class golf.
Aurora is home to
9. Aurora is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the state.
When you fly into Denver, there’s really no need to rent a car. Shuttles and public transit are widely available, and getting on a bike is simple with rental shops located throughout town. (Try
Aurora has 60+ miles of bike-able trails, connecting all major points in the city. For a cool afternoon ride, cruise to
10. With so much innovation, you can think of Aurora as Colorado’s “Silicon Valley.”
Innovation is rampant in Aurora. Take Stanley Marketplace, a spot sure to appeal to every foodie, hipster, and entrepreneur. It’s perhaps the most modern take on a food market, but that’s not Aurora’s lone innovative anchor. Local makers sling handmade goods while laptop warriors busy themselves at Union Stanley Coworking. On quickly growing East Colfax, the city’s completely redesigned VA Hospital serves as a model for healthcare centers worldwide. Aurora’s also home to the groundbreaking Anschutz Medical Campus — which, as part of the University of Colorado system, is a hub for groundbreaking medical research. Just up the road is Fitzsimons Innovation Campus, among the top life-sciences research campuses in the country.
Pop into the tasting room at