Best Places to Live

Aurora, CO

Population: 373,444
LIV
SCORE
601
Photo Courtesy of Visit Aurora

Aurora is a perfect base camp: It’s just about an hour drive from the foothills, close to downtown Denver and nearby Denver International Airport. As the third largest city in Colorado, Aurora is also among its most affordable places to own a home, and it performed well in our economics category, thanks in part to the robust health care and defense industries that provide thousands of jobs.

Also, the recent opening of Marriott’s new Gaylord Rockies Resort & Conference Center (which has a lazy river!) is helping affirm Aurora as a destination in its own right.

Local Obsession: Golfing. The city has a half dozen public courses.

Climate Described in 6 Words Or Less: 300 days of sunshine; fast snow melt.

Top Industries and Employers: Military, defense and healthcare are big industries. Buckley Air Force Base, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, Children’s Hospital and Raytheon are some of the biggest employers.

Local Dream Job: Air force pilot at Buckley Air Force Base

Quintessential Meal: A decadent sandwich from Denver Biscuit Company, like the Ellsworth which is made with buttermilk fried chicken, Colorado honey, mustard sandwiched in the famous biscuit.

Favorite Weekend Activity: Hanging out at Punch Bowl Social’s Stapleton outpost. With three bars, bowling lanes, vintage arcades and karaoke, plus a restaurant, this fun-for-all spot is housed in a former airport tower.

After-Work Meetup Spot: The Stanley Marketplace, a made over factory that’s now a one-stop shop where you can grab a beer, meal, take a yoga class or get a manicure.

Best Brewery/Local Beer: Launch Pad Brewery has a rocket-themed taproom.

Beloved Bookstore: Tattered Cover is a local bookstore treasured by Coloradans, and its locations average 600(!) talks a year from authors, illustrators and public figures. The store along Colfax Avenue is technically a Denver address, but is super close to the Aurora city border.

Free Way to Have Fun: The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge boasts 10 miles of trail, open year-round for hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

Truly Hidden Gem: The historic Aurora Fox Arts Center is a renovated 1940s-era movie theater that brings plays to town.

 - Brittany Anas

Read More:

Why Aurora is One of America’s Best Places to Live

Can’t Afford to Live in Denver? Move Here Instead.

8 Reasons to Move to Aurora Right Now

Aurora is One of the Best Places to Live in Colorado

“Aurora has everything a big city would have, such as a variety of restaurants and cuisine, culture, events and activities, but all with a small town feel. My favorite place to visit is the Farmer’s Market at Southlands in the summer, where I can get the best locally-sourced, fresh ingredients.”

Alex Vassilaros
Senior Director of Finance at Gaylord Rockies & Convention Center

Aurora, CO Ranking Data

Civic
44
Demographics
69
Economy
67
Education
38
Health
55
Housing
73
Infrastructure
65