Aurora Illinois, Illinois

City of Lights

The Best Thing About Aurora?

Complex Community

Aurora, unlike many suburban cities, is very complex. It’s large geographically, and within those boundaries sits virtually any kind of environment someone could want. It has a revitalized downtown that younger professionals, couples, or families can enjoy when looking for some energy. This includes a beautiful historic district with massive older homes. It has suburban neighborhoods with small and big homes, with the stereotypical yards, sidewalks and parks for families. Finally there are also rural pockets where suburban development has not touched and you can feel removed from the Aurora urban or suburban density.

Here's a local with a pov on what they like about Aurora: I live on the West side of Aurora in an old neighborhood near Aurora University. It’s perfect for us because it’s old tree lined mansions that are still very well maintained, but might not be too exciting for a single guy. Downtown does not really have crime, it’s just an older and slightly run down area. The city has made a lot of progress with downtown aurora (Riversedge Park is a beautiful outdoor music venue on the river, they’re opening an new indoor “open mic” sort of venue soon, and there’s a few good restaurants and bars).

The Worst Thing About Aurora?

Donut Hole with a Donut Hole

No clue if the analogy from the movie Knives Out works here but the point is that the city of Aurora, for a pretty big city, has very little business/economy for itself. That’s not unusual for a suburb but given Aurora was once a manufacturing center, like other midwestern cities, the vibe of the past lingers over empty buildings and storefronts. Building and growth is happening for sure, but the past hangs over the city and gives some areas an empty feeling (like a donut hole).

Here'a a local with a pov about the energy of the city: Honestly, my biggest complain about living in Aurora is that it is a pretty boring place. Denver is really the place to be if you like city living, or further west in Golden or Morrison if you prefer the mountains. But honestly, as much as people on here are going to decry Colfax, the area you're looking at is one of the better places to live in Aurora in my opinion. Maybe go a little west if you can to be closer to Denver and have less of a suburban feel.

Lifestyle of Aurora

Aurora has a mix of lifestyle experiences available. There is an active downtown for grabbing a beer and a meal, and a rural experience if you’re here to escape. Most of Aurora though is suburban. Neighborhoods with family homes, yards, sidewalks, parks, good schools and everything you imagine a good midwestern suburb offers. That’s what dominates the experience of the greatest percentage of the population – families.

Workstyle of Aurora

As was noted, the local business economy of Aurora nosedived with the shift of manufacturing in the midwest to outside of the country locations. Most white collar workers commute to downtown Chicago or other headquarters and businesses in the Chicago area. The train line for commuting is excellent and many choose their neighborhoods based on proximity to stations. Aurora is working extremely hard to bring innovation and startup businesses to the city and that may swing back the local economic engine over the coming years.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Work From Home

If you are a family that has a work-from-home structure, Aurora feels like an ideal choice. You can stay in Aurora and get virtually any kind of experience you’d like all in a day. Head downtown and have a nice lunch. Head out to the more rural parts for an outdoor experience, or simply enjoy the parks in your own neighborhood. You can stay close to home and get the experiences of three different types of cities. Oh, and not for nothing, but the costs are extremely reasonable in Aurora, as compared to the coasts, as compared to Chicago and even as compared to neighborhoods right next door, like Naperville.

Check out the Aurora calendar of events if you want to see what's happening throughout the year: