Close to everything. Far from ordinary. Aurora, Colorado, is full of entrepreneurs, agriculturalists, athletes and artists—on top of being a global transportation hub, mere minutes from Denver International Airport.

 Ripe with positive energy, Aurora has plenty to offer an array of travelers with varying interests—whether they want to scale a mountain, take a Survival 101 class while sipping a local microbrew, or learn how to make

seriously delicious Spanish tapas. “Aurora is full of local flavor, making it the ideal place to grab a meal from a neighborhood restaurant or shop for Colorado-made souvenirs,” said Randi Morritt, Director of Communications for Visit Aurora.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Home to 50 miles of trails, Aurora is an outdoor lover’s dream, with endless ways to take in vast natural beauty. Aurora is home to 11 championship golf courses, six of them owned and operated by the city. In the West Metro Region, Red Rocks Amphitheatre offers an amazing summer concert series and various recreation options, among them guided tours, hiking and biking.“There are thousands of acres of open space and nearly 100 developed parks in Aurora, so there’s plenty of room to play!” said Morritt. “Rent electric bikes at Pedgeo Southlands and explore the miles of paved trails throughout the city, or enjoy an afternoon on the water by boating or paddleboarding at Cherry Creek State Park.”

Pay homage to the land by visiting the Plains Conservation Center, with one of its two sites located in Aurora. There, visitors can see a replica of an 1887 pioneer homestead that includes sod homes, a chicken coop, an heirloom garden, a one-room schoolhouse, tipis where historical Cheyenne programs are shared and more. Though most people immediately equate the Colorado outdoors to skiing, Aurora shows just how much more there is to enjoy in the fresh air.

THE ARTS AND CULTURE

With gorgeous nature comes much inspiration. The Aurora Cultural Art District combines the cultural influences of the city with the creativity of artistic expression. Dedicated to integrity and transparency, ACAD provides opportunities for artists to share their work with the community via the annual Aurora Art Festival, IMMI-FEST and other special events throughout the year. Founded in 2002, Vintage Theatre Productions, Inc., presents visitors with classic and cutting-edge theater, classes, improv, and staged readings that challenge, entertain and allow audiences to grow. Catch shows most Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

HISTORIC LANDMARKS

For decades, 12 Mile Stables has been a staple landmark of the Aurora community. With more than 3,300 acres and 27 miles of riding trails, visitors can experience a portion of Aurora’s history and scenic views on horseback.

Let history buffs get their fix at Aurora History Museum—a community-based history, arts and cultural center featuring a permanent exhibition on the history of Aurora, as well as two changing exhibit galleries focusing on aspects of local, state and regional history; cultural awareness and appreciation; and decorative and fine arts.

DELICIOUS DINING

After exploring the city, visitors don’t have to find themselves hungry. Aurora serves up major authenticity, with over 250 independently owned ethnic restaurants. An Aurora tradition, Dozens offered scratch-made items long before #brunch was a trendy Instagram hashtag. Eat like a local and enjoy a menu of full of omelets, French toast, Benedicts, waffles, biscuits, soups and big sandwiches with locally themed names.

Visitors and locals alike quench their thirst at Renegade Brewing Company. Founded in 2011, Renegade pours “offensively delicious” in-house craft brews with unique flavors along with classic favorites, all in a hip atmosphere. Even better? Renegade partners with Water for People to ensure that for each gallon of Renegade beer purchased, one gallon of safe water is provided to a person in need.Interested in a cool, yet new hidden gem? Stop by Haykin Family Cider, where you’re welcome to try innovative cider blends made from locally sourced apples in an intimate taproom setting. You might even get to chat with the cidermaker!