Located west of Chicago, Aurora is a former manufacturing hub that’s been nicknamed the “City of Lights”, as it was one of the first cities in the United States to have its streets illuminated using electricity. It’s home to a historic downtown area and excellent museums and is on the doorstep of naturally beautiful surroundings.
Things to do in Aurora
Stroll through Downtown Aurora to admire its historic architecture, such as the Art Deco-Venetian Paramount Theatre that dates back to 1931 and the 22-storey-high Leland Tower. Also of note is the Aurora Regional Fire Museum, an 1894 fire station that houses a fascinating array of firefighting-related artefacts.
Travelling with kids? They’ll love the interactive displays in the SciTech Hands On Museum where they can stand inside a tornado or travel into space. Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, which also displays rotating exhibits as part of its “Aurora Story” display.
A short drive north of Aurora is the Red Oak Nature Center, a scenic park and conservation facility that is nestled on the east bank of the Fox River. Browse the interactive displays detailing the region’s native flora and fauna before stretching your legs on one of the hiking trails that wind through the surrounding woods. A highlight of the centre is its observation deck, which offers spectacular views across the Fox River and the opportunity to spot some of its migratory birdlife.
Aurora is around an hour’s drive from Chicago Midway International Airport and just 45 minutes from O'Hare International Airport. Regular trains connect from central Chicago to the Aurora railway station while buses travel throughout the city. The centre of Aurora is compact enough to explore on foot.