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Aurora, CO

As Denver's largest suburb, Aurora is actually larger in land area than its neighboring city. Once known as Fletcher, the town struggled after silver crashed in the late 1890s and water became more scarce and expensive. It was reborn in 1907 as Aurora, and today has a significant military presence at Buckley Air Force Base and medical treatment and research facilities that employ many of the city's nearly 375,000 residents.

The Community of Aurora

Aurora has more than 50 unique neighborhoods with 120 parks and green spaces sprinkled throughout the city. Because there is no central business district or important downtown space, most areas of the city are home to residential areas. Northwest Aurora includes most of the I-225 corridor and medical facilities as well as older homes. Buckley Air Force Base is in Northeast Aurora. Cherry Creek Reservoir is located in Southwest Aurora, along with more older homes, while most of the newer construction is in Southeast Aurora.

What to Do in Aurora

Cherry Creek State Park is south of the city and includes miles of hiking and bike trails. Inside the huge park are campgrounds, picnic areas, a swim beach, a shooting range and a model airplane field. Fishing, horseback riding and, in the winter, cross-country skiing are other popular recreational activities.

More of a cultural center than a collection of exhibits, the Aurora History Museum hosts all kinds of educational programs, workshops and family activities. Yes, there are some historical exhibits related to the history of the community, but you can also take part in History Trivia, sit in on regularly held lectures and attend themed teas.

Five golf courses are inside Aurora's city limits, including the 18-hole, links-style Saddle Rock course that often hosts top amateur events and the Colorado Open. Springhill is an executive course that's perfect for a quick 9 holes after work. Or try Aurora Hills, one of the finest municipal courses in the nation.

One Place You Shouldn't Miss in Aurora

The Plains Conservation Center gives you a taste of life on the high plains, including wildlife and traditional ways of living. Regular, free exhibits and lectures go into detail about the ecosystem. The trail around the expansive property features great views of the Rockies and native plants and animals; plan to spend around 2 hours walking around.

Dining in Aurora

With a large multicultural population and more than 250 ethnic restaurants, trying a new cuisine is easy in Aurora. What about Burmese food? Visit Urban Burma, inside the Mango House international food mall. You'll be able to choose from curries, samosas, rice or noodle dishes; if you're undecided, try the Tea Leaf Salad with fried peanuts.

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