Exploring Aurora: Top Tourist Attractions


From outdoor adventures in nature to family-friendly attractions, Aurora caters to tourists of all ages and interests. Its rich history and culture also shine through the city’s landmarks, events, and dining options. This article explores Aurora’s top destinations across several categories – the only challenge will be fitting them all into your itinerary!


  • Aurora offers unmatched outdoor activities like hiking, biking, climbing, and wildlife watching
  • Top family vacation spots range from amusement parks to camping sites and nature preserves
  • Don't miss Aurora's cultural events, historic landmarks, local breweries, and art galleries
  • Shopping districts and scenic drives make leisurely exploration easy and enjoyable

Outdoor Adventures and Activities

Aurora’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains and plethora of open spaces within the city boundaries make it a prime destination for outdoor activities like day trips, mountain climbing, and even a visit to a hot spring. Visitors can choose their adventure based on interests and fitness levels.

Hiking and Biking Trails

Over 130 miles of trails in Aurora provide ample terrain for hiking and mountain biking. Popular routes include the High Line Canal Trail, Sand Creek Greenway Trail, and Cherry Creek State Park Trail. Wind your way through woodlands, wetlands, prairies, and along waterways.

Wildlife Watching

Cherry Creek State Park offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. You can spot mule deer, coyotes, red foxes, and over 100 bird species, including great blue herons and bald eagles. Guided wildlife-watching tours are also available.

Adventure Sports

Test your limits at one of Aurora’s adventure parks. Options include ziplines, aerial obstacle courses, climbing walls, high ropes, and more. Adventure seekers can get their adrenaline fix while enjoying scenic views.

Water Sports

The waterways of Aurora provide the perfect backdrop for kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, and fishing. Rent equipment or join a guided tour along Cherry Creek Reservoir, Sand Creek, and other water bodies. Cool off during the summer months with these fun water sports.

Family Vacation Spots

Aurora offers family vacation spots to delight people of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers and parents to grandparents. Amusement parks, petting farms, and interactive museums will keep kids entertained for hours. When it’s time for a break, head out to a scenic nature area for camping, hiking, and outdoor relaxation.

Amusement Parks

Family-friendly amusement parks are tourist spots that promise a full day of fun. At Elitch Gardens and Lakeside Amusement Park, you can ride roller coasters, play carnival games, and see shows and parades. These exciting parks have been staples in the community for over a century.

Nature Preserves

Immerse your family in nature at one of Aurora’s wildlife sanctuaries. Get up close to native animals like bison, elk, bighorn sheep, and a variety of bird species. Enjoy ranger-led activities, children’s programs, hiking trails, lush greenery, fishing, and more at Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge.


Pitch a tent or park your RV at Cherry Creek State Park or Aurora Reservoir. These beautiful campgrounds place your family in the great outdoors with access to beaches, trails, playgrounds, and modern amenities. Roast marshmallows, go fishing, play lawn games, and enjoy the night sky away from light pollution.

Cultural and Historical Landmarks

Beyond the wealth of outdoor attractions, Aurora also offers an abundance of cultural and historic landmarks. Through events, galleries, monuments, and preserved architecture, visitors can trace Aurora’s journey from native lands to early frontier outposts and today’s vibrant and diverse community.

Art Galleries

Aurora’s art scene shines at galleries like the Michael Warren Contemporary, Art 2C on Havana Street, and Redline Contemporary. Visitors can see works by local artists, interact with eye-catching installations, and attend opening receptions. The First Fridays Art Walk occurs monthly.

Historic Landmarks

Step back in time at sites like the 1858 DeLaney Farm and Aurora History Museum. Costumed interpreters demonstrate blacksmithing, quilting, cooking, and more. Learn about Native American history, see a recreated sod home, schoolhouse, train depot, and more.

Cultural Events

Annual cultural events allow visitors to experience Aurora’s diversity. During Cinco de Mayo celebrations, enjoy Mexican dances and mariachi music. Shop international wares and see cultural performances at the Global Fest. Attend the largest Martin Luther King Jr. Marade in the country.

Festivals and Fairs

Community festivals occur year-round for endless family fun. Cheer on riders at the Aurora Rodeo, shop handmade goods at the Summerset Arts Festival and enjoy carnival rides and fireworks at the Fourth of July Spectacular. With so many events, there’s always something lively happening in Aurora.

Food and Drink Experiences

Satisfy your cravings in Aurora with an array of dining options, local breweries, and wineries producing tasty libations. Visitors can embark on a tasty culinary adventure to discover Aurora’s unique flavors.

Dining Experiences

Thanks to its diversity, global cuisine abounds in Aurora. Savor authentic Mexican mole sauce, Vietnamese pho noodle soup, Ethiopian injera flatbread, Brazilian churrascaria meats, and more. Trendy restaurants also reimagine American classics with fresh local ingredients.

Craft Breweries

Aurora’s craft beer scene is booming. Local favorite breweries like Launch Pad, Dry Dock, and Cheluna serve innovative brews like chili lime blonde ale and coffee porter. Tour facilities, chat with brewmasters, and enjoy a flight of beers.


Colorado’s first licensed winery, The Infinite Monkey Theorem, demonstrates that delicious, award-winning wines can be produced locally in the high plains. Visit their urban winery and tasting room to try wines like Viognier and Cabernet Franc.

Shopping and Leisure

Between adventures, Aurora offers plenty of leisurely pursuits from shopping sprees to golfing excursions to relaxing drives through picturesque landscapes. Visitors can unwind while still exploring the city’s unique corners.

Shopping Districts

The charming Old Town district features locally owned boutiques, antique stores, bookshops, and art galleries. Stroll the pedestrian-friendly area and stop for a bite to eat along the way. Trendy retail centers like Southlands and Park Meadows are popular Aurora tourist spots, offering top brands for convenient shopping.

Golf Courses

Tee off in style with incredible views of the Rocky Mountains in sight at courses like the Fossil Trace Golf Club or Murphy Creek Golf Course. These championship courses challenge all skill levels amidst Aurora’s natural beauty.

Scenic Drives

See Aurora from the comfort of your car along routes like the Smoky Hill Trail Scenic Byway. This highway passes by wild grasslands with stunning views of buttes. The trail follows the path of pioneers, stagecoaches, and Native American tribes of the past.

Showcasing Special Events

Populating online event calendars and optimizing website content around Aurora’s many annual events and festivals entices visitors to attend. People can easily discover and make plans to experience these cultural events.

Supporting Local Businesses

Increased visibility for local businesses like restaurants, breweries, shops, and galleries helps attract tourists seeking authentic Aurora experiences. Spotlighting these establishments keeps visitor dollars local.


How do I get to Aurora?

Aurora is conveniently located just outside Denver. It is easily accessed from Denver International Airport, which is just a 30-minute drive away. Tourists can also reach Aurora via major highways like I-70 and I-225.

When is the best time of year to visit Aurora?

Aurora enjoys pleasant weather during spring, summer, and fall, which makes these peak tourist seasons. However, cool events happen all year, from winter holiday celebrations to craft fairs to rodeo season in the summer. So visit any time!

What is there to do in Aurora at night?

Aurora comes alive after dark with concerts under the stars at venues like Mission Ballroom and Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre. Enjoy comedy shows, theatrical performances, ghost tours, escape rooms, bowling, arcades, clubs, bars, and late-night entertainment.

Are there public transportation options in Aurora?

Aurora offers several public transportation options to help visitors easily navigate between attractions. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) operates local and regional buses and light rail lines.

Is Aurora family-friendly?

Absolutely! Between amusement parks, petting zoos, nature preserves, and hands-on museums, Aurora offers endless kid-approved fun. Many restaurants also offer kids menus and activities. With so many family vacation spots, Aurora is extremely family-friendly.


About the author

Ransom Patterson

My expertise in Colorado life extends beyond just residing here; it’s also about living actively within the community. I spend my time cycling through Denver’s trails, experimenting with local cuisines, and immersing myself in the local music scene. These activities give me a unique perspective on the cultural and outdoor offerings of Colorado. This hands-on approach allows me to provide insider tips and personal recommendations that resonate with both locals and visitors alike.