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Moving to Aurora?⛰️ 🏬 | ULTIMATE Living in Aurora CO Guide + What to Expect

Living in Aurora CO offers residents a unique experience, blending high-altitude charm with history, diversity, and innovation.

The highest elevation of any major city in Colorado, Aurora is nicknamed "The Gateway to the Rockies," and was initially founded as the Town of Fletcher in the 1880s by Denver businessman Donald Fletcher. The city's name changed to Aurora in 1907, reflecting the growth and the new identity of the now third most populated city in Colorado.

What is Aurora Colorado like? The history of Aurora Colorado is rich, complemented by modern attractions and over 100 beautiful parks granting access to Colorado's best recreation with hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities galore.

If you plan on traveling or moving to Aurora Colorado, prepare your eyes for stunning mountain views and a city that will keep you busy in all the best ways.

Where Is Aurora CO?

Aurora Colorado is a home-rule municipality in Arapahoe, Adams, and Douglas counties. Nestled to the west of Denver, it is an integral part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan area, and Aurora Co to Denver Co is only 9.2 miles away, a quick 30-minute drive.

A few other towns and cities near Aurora Colorado include Commerce City, Greenwood Village, Englewood, Centennial, Castlewood, and Sherrelwood, Colorado, all within a 13-mile radius. Aurora CO to Colorado Springs is just under a 70-mile drive south.

Aurora is known for its scenic beauty​​​​​​ with Rocky Mountain views and the incredible recreation of the Rocky Mountain National Park just 82.7 miles away. Living in Aurora Colorado means living in Rocky Mountain air; the Aurora CO altitude is an impressive 5,471 feet above sea level! If you're moving to Aurora CO from a low altitude state, expect a slight adjustment period as you get used to oxygen levels about 15% less than sea level.

Aurora CO Information

  • Aurora Colorado County: Arapahoe, Adams, and Douglas
  • Total Area: 163.59 square miles land, 0.58 sq mi water
  • Aurora CO Zip code: 80010-80019, 80040-80047, 80247
  • Aurora CO Area code: 303 and 720
  • Aurora CO Elevation: 5,471 ft
  • Time zone: Mountain Standard Time (GMT-7)
  • Closest airport to Aurora CO: The Denver International Airport (DEN), just over 15 miles away, a 25-30 minute drive in typical traffic.

Aurora CO Population & Demographics

What is the population of Aurora, CO? According to the 2020 Census, it's about 386,261 residents. Moving to Aurora has become highly popular, and the city has seen an impressive 15.85% population growth since 2010. With this growth, Aurora is now hailed as the most diverse city in Colorado!

This diversity of the Aurora population leads to a rich mix of cultures, where a variety of traditions, foods, and festivals add to the dynamic nature of Aurora. The Aurora population is also highly inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community and hosts the annual Aurora Pride Parade.

With about 2,412 people per square mile, living in Aurora Colorado is not only a diverse experience but offers nearly double the breathing room of Denver’s 4,674 people per square mile.

Many famous people are from or currently live in Colorado's most diverse city, including actor Brandon Quinn, writer and TV personality Jennifer Ketcham, the sensational saxophonist Tia Fuller, and many, many more!

To summarize the Aurora Colorado demographics and highlight its diversity:

  • Sex ratio: 49.8% women, 50.2% men
  • Median age: 34.8 years
  • Racial & ethnic composition: 55.7% White alone (43.5% White, non-Hispanic), 16.6% Black/African American, 0.8% American Indian/Alaska Native, 6.6% Asian, 29% Hispanic/Latino.
  • Aurora median household income: $72,052/year, just below Denver's median household income of $78,177year.
  • Education: 86.9% of the Aurora population 25+ years old have a high school diploma, while 31.3% have a bachelor's degree or higher
  • Foreign-born population: 21.2%

So, is Aurora Colorado a good place to live? If diversity, inclusion, and economic prosperity matter to you, then the answer is a resounding yes!

Transportation in Aurora CO

Aurora’s transportation system ensures residents and visitors have easy access to its many amenities, activities and the other cities and towns near Aurora CO. Interstate 70 stretches from west to east across Colorado, linking Aurora with Denver, Grand Junction, and Limon, while

Interstate 225 (I-225) serves as a connector and eastern bypass for the Denver metro area. To go from Aurora CO to Colorado Springs, you’ll take Interstate 25 south.

The Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) is Aurora’s primary source of public transportation options. Featuring over 100 bus routes (local, regional, and SkyRide) and ten rail lines, RTD covers a significant 113 miles of rail service for the cities in Denver, including Aurora. Additionally, 96 Park-n-Rides facilitate affordable and convenient access to public transport.

The Denver International Airport (DEN) acts as a gateway for international and domestic flights and is 12.5-18 miles away from Aurora's city center, depending on your route.

Aurora Colorado Cost of Living

Overall, Aurora is an expensive city to live in but more affordable than Denver. The cost of living in Denver is about 11% higher than the national average, whereas the cost of living in Aurora Colorado is 4% higher.

Both cities have more expensive housing costs than the national average, but Aurora's is considerably less than Denver's. You can expect to pay more in housing but less on groceries and utilities when living in Aurora CO. The Economic Policy Institute's Family Budget Calculator estimates that a family of two adults and two children requires a yearly salary of $102,011 to live comfortably in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro.

To break down some typical experiences contributing to the Aurora CO cost of living:

  1. Loaf of bread: $3.66
  2. A gallon of milk: $2.29
  3. Hamburger: $4.84
  4. Utilities in Aurora (energy bill): $153.48/month
  5. Phone bill: $165.11/month
  6. Gas: $3.40/gallon
  7. Doctor's visit: $123.91
  8. Dentist visit: $106.91
  9. Rx drug: $456.55
  10. Vet visit: $64.34

Data from Payscale.

Sales tax in Aurora CO is 3.75% in all three counties, and the effective property tax rate for each county in Aurora includes:

  • Adams County: 0.60%
  • Arapahoe County: 0.51%
  • Douglas County: 0.50%

Aurora CO Real Estate | Average Rent & Home Prices

The Aurora median home price is $452,560 to Denver's $570,000, so if you're looking for more affordability but proximity to Denver, moving to Aurora Co is a perfect choice. The Aurora Colorado housing market is competitive, as homes for sale in Aurora typically sell in just 23 days on the market. However, the average home price in Aurora CO has seen a slower rise, just 0.6% more expensive than last year.

The rental market paints a similar picture. The average rent in Aurora CO is $1,747/month, whereas in Denver, it is $2,000/month, offering a touch more affordability.

Popular apartment complexes in Aurora include:

Flight At Lowry: Floor plans start at $1,030+/month.

 

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Carriage Green Apartments: Floor plans start at $1,010+/month.

Windsor At Meadow Hills: Floor plans start at $1,700+/month.

Aurora CO Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Aurora

You have a lot of options when it comes to community-centric, diverse Aurora Colorado neighborhoods and beautiful home styles.

Traditional Ranch-style homes grace older, more spread out Aurora neighborhoods while contemporary designs and mid-century modern layouts define newer developments. Townhomes and condos reflect the city's growth, offering compact living, with other amenities, schools, and parks tailored to the needs of the people enjoying life in the best neighborhoods in Aurora.

Planning on moving to Aurora Colorado? Whether you’re looking to position yourself close to downtown Aurora Colorado, on the suburban outskirts, or close to Denver, these neighborhoods are some of the best places to live in Aurora Colorado:

South Shore Aurora CO

Southshore Aurora CO is a picturesque suburban Aurora neighborhood with modernity and a family-friendly atmosphere. Dominated by spacious single-family homes primarily built after 1999, Southshore Aurora presents a fresh and contemporary living environment with almost all new constructions (post 1999).

Tallyn’s Reach

Tallyn's Reach is a sought-after community known for its charm and gorgeous wood and stone houses where residents enjoy a lovely community clubhouse and swimming pool. Set amidst scenic landscapes and ponderosa pines, this Aurora CO neighborhood provides a peaceful retreat. Homes in Tallyn’s Ranch are on the expensive side and typically sell for over $900,000.

Blackstone

Blackstone is one of the best places to live in Aurora CO for golfers. Boasting a clubhouse with a restaurant, workout facility, and golf course, this Aurora neighborhood blends luxury with leisure. All that, just 10 minutes from the surrounding stores and restaurants and even a mall.

Aurora CO Weather and Climate

People living in Aurora CO enjoy a climate that offers something for everyone. With over 300 sunny days annually, residents enjoy ample sunshine, particularly in the summer when temperatures can soar into the 90s. Winters do bring several snowstorms, contributing to an average of 62 inches of snow per year and a January low of 18 degrees. This snowfall is significantly higher than the U.S. average, meaning there's plentiful skiing near Aurora CO.

Aurora also receives about 17 inches of rain annually, mainly between May and August, and experiences occasional thunderstorms in summer. These variations make for a pleasant and fun living environment year-round while allowing for multiple forms of recreation!

 

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Aurora Restaurants

Aurora's food scene is as diverse as its community, with almost any culture's most beloved food cuisines readily available, including American, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, & more. Here are some of the best restaurants in Aurora CO to satisfy any craving:

Annette - Scratch to Table

Annette is a culinary gem offering fine dining with the warmth of home cooking. Whether you're a steak aficionado or a seafood enthusiast, Annette's diverse menu caters to all tastes.

2501 Dallas St., Suite 108, Aurora, CO 80010 (720-710-9975)

Stanley Beer Hall

Stanley Beer Hall operates in a pretty unique concept, boasting 51 self-pour beer, wine, and cocktail taps. The restaurant transforms the dining experience into a personalized adventure where you pour your own drinks in addition to a delicious brunch, lunch, and dinner menu.

2501 Dallas St, Unit #100, Aurora, CO 80010 (720-749-5098)

 

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Rosie’s Diner

The ambiance at Rosie's Diner is a journey through time, complete with tableside jukeboxes that add a melodic touch to your dining experience. A timeless haven where the spirit of the 1950s comes alive, this is a must-eat restaurant in Aurora CO.

14061 E Iliff Ave, Aurora, CO 80014 (303-752-3663)

Things to Do in Aurora CO

If you’re looking for what to do in Aurora CO, the list is long.

Discovering the many things to do in Aurora CO is an adventure in itself, curating a variety of experiences for all ages and interests. From outdoor activities to cultural attractions in Aurora Colorado, the city promises a plethora of engaging and memorable experiences. Here are some of the best things to do and things to see in Aurora CO.

Top Aurora Attractions

12 Mile Stables

There's no better way to soak up the Rocky Mountain views than by Horseback! Visit 12-mile stables in Aurora to meander through gorgeous Colorado nature and enjoy this perfect activity for the entire family.

The Plains Conservation Center

Encompassing over 1,100 acres, the Plains Conservation Center offers a captivating journey into Colorado's natural heritage and provides guided tours, hands-on exhibits, and educational programs.

The Aurora Reservoir 

In the summertime, you'll find families and locals soaking up the sun, swimming, and paddling- all the best things to do in Aurora when the temperatures are hot and the skies are blue!

Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park

When you need fun things to do in Aurora Colorado with kids, Urban Air is the ideal choice to entertain the entire family, no matter the ages. Tire out the little ones before you head to Downtown Aurora and grab a drink!

Aurora Museums, Entertainment, and Art

Aurora Fox Art Center

From classic plays to modern performances, something intriguing always happens on the stages of Aurora Fox Theatre. All you have to do is grab a seat, soak in the atmosphere, and enjoy the show.

The Vintage Theatre

The Vintage Theatre in Aurora offers an intimate, vibrant venue for diverse theatrical performances, a testament to Aurora's rich cultural scene.

The Aurora History Museum 

The Aurora History Museum showcases the city's rich heritage through educational exhibits and programs, offering insightful glimpses into the city's past.

Aurora Parks & Outdoors

Bluff Lake Nature Center Loop

Aurora Colorado hiking is renowned, but if you seek a mellow stroll, this scenic 1.1-mile-long trail winds around Bluff Lake, providing a tranquil escape within the city.

Great Plains Park

Moving to Aurora CO with kids? Check out the outdoor water playground, picnic tables, and sports fields at the Great Plains Park!

Cherry Creek State Park

One of the best parks in Aurora CO, Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora is a natural oasis offering outdoor activities such as hiking through prairie land, camping, and water activities in the reservoir. This beautiful 4,000-acre state park is a testament to Aurora's boundless recreation. The Red Tailed Hawk Park is a similar option for playgrounds and Aurora parks perfect for kids.

Visit the Aurora CO Parks and Rec site to discover other parks in Aurora CO contributing to the active, outdoor lifestyle!

Shopping in Aurora

The Stanley Marketplace

Stanley Marketplace in Aurora is a bustling hub for shopping, featuring a unique blend of local boutiques, eateries, and artisanal shops.

Southlands

Southlands in Aurora is a vibrant shopping center that lets you shop in the Colorado sun, offering a mix of retail stores, dining options, and entertainment in an open-air setting.

Map of Aurora CO Things to Do

Explore all the exciting things to do in Aurora Colorado with this interactive map to plan your next weekend's adventure!

The Aurora Sports Scene

While Aurora Colorado does not have professional sports teams, it is part of the greater Denver metropolitan area, home to the Denver Broncos (NFL), the Denver Nuggets (NBA), the Colorado Avalanche (NHL), and the Colorado Rockies (NBL). When playing at home, these teams bring thrilling action to iconic venues like Empower Field at Mile High for the Broncos, Ball Arena for the Nuggets and Avalanche, and Coors Field for the Rockies.

Aurora actively supports this prominent sports culture with youth sports programs and collegiate sports that bring the community together.

Aurora Colorado Crime Rate

Is Aurora Colorado safe? It's an incredible city, but unfortunately, the Aurora Colorado crime rate (according to the FBI) is higher than in other U.S. cities, with:

  • 4,291 total crimes per 100,000 people
  • 900 violent crimes per 100,000 people
  • 10 homicides per 100,000 people

The Aurora CO total crime rate is 31.7% higher than other Colorado cities and 82.9% higher than the national average, so crime is prominent. The violent crime rate in Aurora Colorado is 112.7% higher than Colorado and 132.1% higher than the U.S., whereas the homicide rate is 96.1% higher than the state and 52.8% higher than the country.

Although this might seem scary, this is on par with other major U.S. cities. To give you some comparisons:

  • Denver CO's crime rate is 22.8% higher than Aurora's
  • Lakewood CO's crime rate is 23.45% higher than Aurora's
  • Memphis TN's crime rate is 45.77% higher than Aurora's
  • Jacksonville Beach's crime rate is 20.63% lower than Aurora's

Crime in Aurora CO is managed by the 748 officers of the Aurora Police Department who are responsible for proudly protecting the many citizens living in Aurora CO.

Jobs in Aurora CO

In addition to being the third largest city in Colorado, Aurora is close to financial hubs like Denver, which results in an admirable average Aurora salary of $75,000/year, and the minimum wage in Aurora Colorado is $12.32/hour.

Aurora has primarily been home to industries like aerospace and defense, and their economic benefits are still enjoyed. But as Aurora grew, the industries and CO jobs became varied, now including bioscience, health care, transportation logistics, and renewable energy.

Some of the biggest corporations and employers providing jobs in Aurora CO include:

Take a look at local city of Aurora jobs or consider applying through Indeed to the over 68,000 jobs in Aurora, including simple retail and restaurant jobs in Downtown Aurora Colorado to major professional opportunities, or check out Aurora Public School jobs for careers with excellent benefits.

Aurora Schools

Schools in Aurora Colorado fall under multiple school districts. ‘Aurora Public Schools’ is Aurora’s original school district, rated “C plus”. Meanwhile, the more respected, ‘Cherry Creek School District’ is rated “A”, which services other students from neighboring towns and cities as well.

  • Aurora Public Schools: Altura Elementary School, Cherry Creek Charter Academy, Lotus School for Excellence, Cherry Creek High School & Rangeview High School.
  • Private schools in Aurora CO: Options for more elite schooling institutions are readily available within Aurora, including Denver Street School, Crescent View Academy, & Regis Jesuit High School.
  • Colleges in Aurora CO: Due to the close proximity of Aurora Colorado’s most popular areas, your options for colleges in Aurora and near Aurora are numerous. They include the University of Colorado, Community College of Aurora, CSU Global, Pickens Technical College & Colorado Technical University.

Overall, Aurora schools are diverse, inclusive, and good. Aurora Public Library serves the community's needs, providing educational opportunities and regular events celebrating the local arts and culture.

As you move to Aurora CO remember that the right support can make your journey seamless and stress-free. For expert assistance, don't hesitate to contact the skilled Aurora movers at Homegrown Moving Company. Call us today at 303-587-6200 to ensure a smooth transition to your new home in the most diverse city in Colorado!

Toby Martinez
Toby and all of our staff are Colorado natives, hence the name Homegrown Moving and Storage Company. Toby has been active in the Denver Metro business community for over 20 years. He has been in the moving industry since 2010 and brings great experience to the daily operations of this 5 star rated local moving company. He and the Homegrown Moving and Storage Company team are committed to offering outstanding service at a reasonable cost. As Denver has grown dramatically over the past several years, so have our moving services and capabilities in order to keep up with the changes of our city. We hope to speak with you soon about how our team can help meet your moving needs here in Colorado.
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