Aurora is Colorado’s third-largest city in terms of population.
Being one of the most vibrant cities in the state, Aurora, CO offers many unique attractions and exciting activities for tourists to enjoy.
Due to its abundance of distinctive attractions and one-of-a-kind activities, Aurora is one of Colorado’s most active and energetic communities.
As a starting point for day treks to the Rockies, you can take part in several leisurely excursions while there.
From laid-back parks to beautiful museums, Aurora is chock-full of places that will surely make it right to your box of memories.
The city is full of life, art, culture, and good food, which makes it a perfect combination of what an ideal vacation should look like.
Before your visit, we advise that you call the restaurants and attractions to confirm the most recent opening hours.
Below are some fun things to do in Aurora, CO.
Things to Do in Aurora, CO
1. Chimera Ranch
Chimera Ranch is the go-to location in Colorado for premium alpaca furs and fleece. It is located between the Bennet Plains, just east of the Aurora city center.
Norm and Sandra Johnson, the business’s owners, are passionate about developing a close connection with nature.
They are pursuing a dream that will enable them to give up their careers in big business and live a life caring for these intriguing animals from South America.
The ranch currently produces everything from raw alpaca fibers to knitting yarn to ready-to-wear woven items, all of which are offered at the on-site store thanks to several accolades.
2. La Cueva
The family-run restaurant La Cueva has provided Aurora and the Mile-High City residents with some of the best Mexican cuisines for over 40 years.
This humble little restaurant, legendary throughout The Centennial State, was founded in 1974 by Norma Martinez and Nabor Nuez, a husband-and-woman combination.
The delectable food makes it simple to comprehend the success. Refried bean tostadas coexist with tacos with shredded beef and guacamole, pork tamales, and chili Rellenos, and breakfast consists of a ton of quesadillas, hamburgers from Mexico, and onion enchiladas.
Of course, there are also plenty of Tecate beers available to accompany that.
Location: 9742 E Colfax Ave, Aurora, CO 80010, United States
3. Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Make a beeline across the wider Aurora metro area to where the rocky canyons and cliffs of the Rocky Mountains begin to rise against the neighborhoods of the Mile-High City for one of the best lineups of local events and shows in all of Colorado.
The enormous red sandstone outcrops known as the Red Rocks Amphitheatre can be found here.
The location, which was transformed into a multipurpose event venue way back in the early 1900s, currently plays host to anything from significant weddings and corporate parties to worldwide heavy metal bands and trippy alternative rock musicians.
A barbecue providing traditional American BBQ over expansive views of the Colorado hills is also present.
Location: 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465, United States
4. Mu Brewery
Mu Brewery is located behind the facade of a traditional western hardware store tucked away amid the streets of northeastern Aurora.
The location, which focuses on community-driven beer production and events, accommodates everything from exhibitions of up-and-coming local artists to beer festivals that highlight the products of other breweries and brewers working in the industry.
Yet their selection of ales? Top-notch! The Colorado Bastard, an IPA with an actual difference, is followed by the Raspberry Red, loaded with luscious American berries and unique Chinook hops.
Location: 9735 E Colfax Ave, Aurora, CO 80010, United States
5. Stampede Club
Without at least a taste of the classic country and western scene of the West, no vacation to Colorado, an old frontier state, and the remote fringes of the vast American Plains could be complete.
That requires a visit to Stampede in Aurora. The city’s rowdiest hoedown is held at this timber-built barn-like venue on Havana Street, surrounded by bustling bars and restaurants.
Since it opened in 1992, the hoedown has been pumping honky do-n’t tunes and country ballads into the air of Coloradans.
Come for a mix of US beers, tequilas, and traditional line dancing!
Location: 2430 S Havana St, Aurora, CO 80014, United States
6. 12 Miles Stables
The 12 Miles Stables, which enjoys a truly excellent site amid the rising hills and ridges of Cherry Creek State Park, is the ideal place to mount up and experience the freedom of the wild western frontier while going through Aurora.
The stables offer everything from short one-hour excursions to longer sunset rides, where riders can watch the sunset over Cherry Creek and the distant foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
They also have access to miles of well-maintained bridle paths and some extremely knowledgeable riding instructors. Nice.
Location: 5547 S Parker Rd, Aurora, CO 80014, United States
7. Vintage Theatre
In 2002, over martinis, a group of friends discussed their love of the arts, and the idea for The Vintage Theater was born.
In a short period, they acquired a beautiful theater. As their company expanded, it became a haven for the neighborhood, offering cutting-edge theater, improv, staged readings, seminars, classes, and more.
The 145-seat Jeffrey Nickelson Auditorium, the 67-seat Bond Trimble Theatre, and the 60-seat lobby-raised stage are the three performance spaces available at the theater.
Each space offers a complete bar service, is soundproofed, and has a temperature control system.
Visitors can take in performances all year long; Rabbit Hole (2016), one of their most well-known works, won the Henry Award for Best Production.
Location: 1468 Dayton St, Aurora, CO 80010
8. Aurora Reservoir
On the windward, dry, and dusty side of the Rocky Mountains, Aurora Reservoir was originally a far-off leisure area on the city’s southeastern outskirts.
However, in recent years, rapid urban growth in areas like Southshore has pushed residences right up to the water’s edge, bringing some of the city’s finest outdoor attractions to the 800-acre artificial lake.
Nowadays, locals and tourists throng this location to hire canoes, take part in SCUBA diving expeditions (try to identify that submerged airplane! ), go trout fishing, or relax on the well-maintained beach, which is ideal for sunbathing on those sweltering Colorado summers.
Location: Aurora, CO
9. Morrison Nature Center
The place to go in Aurora for exhibitions and workshops about the distinctive natural environments of The Centennial State is this fully-fledged nature center.
The website is a fantastic choice for families traveling with children because it features everything from natural history books to field guides and traditional local costume collections to performances that increase understanding of Colorado’s backcountry.
In the neighboring parkland, the organization also oversees a variety of platforms for feeding wild birds and viewing sites where tourists can spot American kestrels and hawks, larks, and uncommon types of owls. From the base, naturalist walks are also planned.
Location: 16002 E Smith Rd, Aurora, CO 80011, United States
10. The State Park
This bit of wilderness and nature, surrounded by the suburban sprawl of southern Aurora, is an excellent choice for tourists hoping to escape the city.
The state park is a patchwork of pretty prairie grasslands and flower-filled meadows that is easily accessible and well-maintained.
During the spring and summer, the park blooms in bursts of green and color and is crisscrossed by winding bridle paths for horse riders and trekking trails for walkers.
There is also a campground with 135 newly remodeled tent and RV spaces open all year long and tucked away in the Cherry Creek backcountry.
With docks and rentals available at both of the reserve’s main entrances, boating is also an option on Cherry Creek Reservoir’s waters.
Location: Aurora, CO
11. Southland Lifestyle Museum
Get your wallets and shopping appetites ready because the Southlands is Aurora’s top shopping destination.
The expansive mall, stocked with everything from Victoria’s Secret to Walmart, American Eagle to Coldwater Creek, is acclaimed as the biggest non-contained shopping mall in all of America.
The main thoroughfare, Main Street, is anchored on a sizable central plaza that, in the summer, is home to street performers and babbling fountains and, in the winter, is home to Santa’s grottoes and ice rinks.
In addition, there are many restaurants to choose from, from the spice-filled Monsoon Indian Restaurant to the Oriental flavors of Mt Fuji Sushi & Hibachi.
Location: Aurora, CO
12. Aurora History Museum
With one of the most diverse collections of historical objects and antiquities related to Aurora, this modest neighborhood museum on the bends of Alameda Parkway attracts tourists.
The tour of the rooms, which only takes a few hours, provides a concise and fascinating look at everything from Aurora’s recent modern constructions (there are some odd models taken from the now-demolished Buckingham Square Shopping Center) to its historic tramways (the restored Colfax Trolley Car is a genuinely immersive and stunning piece to behold!).
The permanent exhibits feature folios of old photographs, uncountable artifacts from the early 1900s, and a ton, a ton more, while the shows frequently vary.
Location: 15051 E Alameda Pkwy, Aurora, CO 80012, United States
13. Plains Conservation Center
The Plains Conservation Area, located between the southern Aurora suburbs and Buckley Air Force Base’s runways, provides a brief glimpse of what the once-rolling grasslands of central-western Colorado formerly looked like.
The center balances human and natural history. It was constructed on land once owned by American railroad companies, who laid their tracks westward to the promised land of California.
Visitors can observe the Cheyenne Indians’ ornate wigwams close to conventional frontier sod dwellings.
The most recognizable animals on the grasses of The Centennial State are pronghorns and prairie dogs in the wild.
Location: 21901 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80013, United States
14. Dry Dock Brewing
The first facility is in South Dock, and the second is in North Dock, between the streets of Smoky Hill, making it the most renowned and original microbrewery in all of Aurora.
This brewery, created in 2005 from the remains of a brewing supply store, has continued to expand and now produces an astounding 12,000 barrels of beer a year for their Aurora tap rooms and specialty bars all over the state.
The yeasty German-style Hefeweizen, the rich and rust-colored Amber Ale ESB, the hop-heavy monster aptly dubbed Hop Abomination, the potent Wee Heavy loaded with Scottish Highland characteristics, and a ton of other vanilla-packed, fruit-flavored, and Belgian-style beers are notable beverages.
Location: 2801 Tower Rd, Aurora, CO 80011, United States
15. Aurora Golf Trail
Aurora is undoubtedly the best location for a golf vacation because it has the fine grasses of the American plains and the thin airs of the Mile-High City on its edge (meaning those drives will tumble just a little bit further down the fairways).
There are numerous golf courses across the city, from the brand-new public greens and parklands at Heather Ridge to the renowned links undulations at Saddle Rock, the former site of the Colorado Open.
Fitzsimons, one of Colorado’s oldest courses, and the incredibly accessible Aurora Hills, located just north of Highline Park and in the heart of the city, are two additional locations worth visiting for a game or two of golf.
Location: 50 S Peoria St, Aurora, CO 80012, United States
16. Arapahoe Park
Arabian, Paint, Quarter, and Thoroughbred horse racing are all known to take place at Arapahoe Park, a horse racing track.
The track hosts renowned events like the Mile High Derby and the Mile High Futurity during the racing season, which typically runs from mid-May to mid-August.
Even if you don’t wager on horse races, the vibrant and lively atmosphere makes it a pleasant spot to spend the day.
You can sit, visit with friends, sip a drink, and savor a delectable meal as you watch the horses.
There is a ton of free parking available, and the third and fourth floors, as well as the Grandstand level, all have bars and refreshment stands.
Location: 26000 East Quincy Avenue, Aurora, CO 80016
17. Colorado Freedom Museum
The first memorial in the country, the Colorado Freedom Memorial, honors Coloradans who have died while serving in any military branch or during any conflict.
The 95-foot-wide glass and granite building is 12 feet tall. The glass panels are arranged so that they mirror the surrounding mountain ranges and clear skies.
Over 6,000 people killed or missing in combat are listed on the memorial.
The names are arranged by conflict rather than alphabetical order, reflecting the genuine chaos of battle.
Location: 756 Telluride St, Aurora, CO 80011, Phone: 303-248-3990
18. Havana Street
The Aurora, CO neighborhood of On Havana Street was first developed as a neighborhood effort in 2007 to enhance local people’s lives through exciting events and shops while also luring local tourists.
The neighborhood hosts more than 20 events every year, including car exhibitions, art exhibits, live music performances, and festivals celebrating barbeque.
The sector, which extends over four miles along Havana Street between 6th and Dartmouth Avenues, is lined with more than 500 companies.
Visitors can have a good time singing along at Family Karaoke, view art exhibits at East End Applied Arts, or hire bicycles at Bicycle Village to explore the other activities in the area.
Along with showcasing a wide range of retail establishments, including boutiques, thrift shops, and big companies.
Location: Aurora, CO
19. Stanley Beer Hall
In the former reclaimed aviation factory building, Stanley Beer Hall is a welcoming modern American neighborhood restaurant in Aurora, Colorado’s Stanley Marketplace.
It was established in 2016. Theo Adley of the RiNo Yacht Club is the executive chef at the establishment, which is managed by 5280 Hospitality.
It is well-known for its extensive regional draft list, which features 30 of the state’s top independent microbrewery favorites and other West Coast brews.
The restaurant’s unique IPourIt self-serve technology lets patrons pour their beers and displays each beverage’s ABV and tasting notes.
All day long, casual bistro fare is available, including inventive burgers, entertaining bratwursts, and sandwiches like grown-up grilled cheese and pulled pork prepared in the style of the Carolinas.
Other meal choices include pan-Asian-inspired dishes like curry with seasonal vegetables, Scottish salmon fish and chips, and barbecued baby-back pig ribs.
Location: 2501 Dallas St #100, Aurora, CO
Caroline Glover, best known for her work as sous chef at renowned restaurant Acord, opened Annette, a beautiful modern American restaurant, in Aurora’s Stanley marketplace in 2016.
The eatery offers farm-to-table cuisine focusing on wood-fired and international fusion dishes.
In addition to fresh market fish catches and premium steak dinners, high-quality supper selections include sophisticated delicacies like pig tomato, grilled beef tongue and marrow toast, shiitake, parmesan gnocchi, and octopus patatas bravas.
Yeasted waffles, amaranth porridge, and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches are just a few options available to guests at breakfast. At the same time, happy hour offers inventive bar nibbles and sophisticated craft cocktails, and superb wines.
Location: 2501 Dallas St #108, Aurora, CO 80010
21. The Quincy Reservoir
The open months for the Quincy Reservoir are typically March through November. On a hot summer day, friends and family love to hang out by the 160-acre body of water.
Although it should be mentioned that fishing is only permitted with artificial lures and flies, anglers travel from all over the world to capture their fair share of largemouth bass, trout, crappie, and perch.
Along the shoreline, there are various approved picnic spots, and there is an excellent trail for a stroll while discovering the local flora and animals.
A fishing dock, a boat launch, and a boat rental business are additional amenities.
Location: 18350 E Quincy Ave, Aurora, CO 80015
22. Monsoon Cuisine
The fantastic restaurant Monsoon Cuisine of India delivers delectable dishes that are true to the nation’s varied flavors.
The restaurant uses traditional cooking methods that give the food a new dimension while staying true to its Indian heritage.
Many of its well-known dishes, including the roasted chicken, fish, and renowned naan flatbread, gain a distinctive smokey flavor through a tandoor oven heated by mesquite charcoal flames.
Along with the spices that give Indian food its distinctive flavor from other cuisines, the fragrant dishes frequently include a combination of onions, garlic, and ginger.
Try their tandoori wings, fish tikka, lamb curry, and veggie biryani, among other delectable dishes.
Location: 24107 E Commons Ave, Aurora, CO 80016
23. Helga’s German Restaurant
You may be sure that Helga’s German Restaurant will take you to a different world. A charming one in Germany besides the Rhine River Valley.
In this attractive and modest setting, you may sample genuine German cuisine and beverages. The restaurant opened in 1989 as a modest mother-daughter business but quickly gained renown.
There are numerous lunch and dinner options on the menu, as well as a separate kids’ and gluten-free menu.
The Bratwurst Samples and Helge’s Large Soft Drink are two unique offerings on their menu that shouldn’t be missed.
Location: Aurora City Square, 14197 E Exposition Ave, Aurora, CO 80012