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'''Aurora''' is the second-largest city in the [[United States of America|U.S.]] state of [[Illinois]], located about 35 miles west of [[Chicago]]. It is probably best known for being the setting of the "Wayne's world" movies
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[[Image:Paramounttheater.JPG|thumb|300px|print=lead|The Paramount Theater and Leland Tower downtown]]
 +
 
 +
'''Aurora''' is the second-largest city in the [[United States of America|U.S.]] state of [[Illinois]], located about 35 miles west of [[Chicago]]. It's at the very edge of [[Chicagoland]] and, situated on the Fox River, has many opportunities for urban, suburban, and rural recreation. Often overlooked, Aurora in fact has many surprisingly interesting attractions and a downtown unlike that of a typical suburb. It is probably best known for being the setting of the "Wayne's World" movies.
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
'''By Car:''' Aurora is just off the East-West Tollway (I-88) in Illinois. Take the Route 31 exit south.
+
===By car===
 +
Aurora is just off the East-West Tollway (I-88) in Illinois. Take the Route 31 exit south for downtown and most other things, and take the Farnsworth exit south for Phillips Park Zoo, Aurora Transportation Center, and Walter Payton's Roundhouse.
  
'''By Train:''' Aurora is part of Chicago's Metra commuter rail system, the last stop on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line which leaves from Union Station in the Loop.
+
===By train===
 +
Aurora is part of Chicago's Metra commuter rail system, the last stop on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line which leaves from Union Station in the Loop.
  
'''By Bus:''' Greyhound makes a stop at the Aurora train station on its Chicago-Des Moines-Omaha route, but the express buses will not stop there. Also, the Aurora train station is a local hub for PACE, the Chicagoland suburban bus service.
+
===By bus===
 +
The Aurora train station is a local hub for PACE, the Chicagoland suburban bus service.
  
'''By Air:''' Aurora has a small municipal airport of its own, but the best way to go is to fly into one of the Chicago airports ([[O'Hare International Airport|O'Hare]] or [[Chicago/Southwest Side#By plane|Midway]]) and just take the train or a taxi to Aurora.
+
===By plane===
 +
Aurora has a small municipal airport of its own, but the best way to go is to fly into one of the Chicago airports ([[O'Hare International Airport|O'Hare]] or [[Chicago/Southwest Side#By plane|Midway]]) and just take the train or a taxi to Aurora.
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
 +
As is commonplace in the suburbs, the easiest way to get around is by car.  However, PACE Bus also has extensive service in Aurora (it being Illinois's second largest city, after all), and multiple routes connect the Aurora Transportation Center with the rest of the city as well as [[Elgin (Illinois)|Elgin]], Geneva, St. Charles, Batavia, and [[Naperville]].
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
 +
[[Image:Sunkengarden.JPG|thumb|The Sunken Garden in Phillips Park]]
 +
[[Image:GARHall.JPG|thumb|The Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall]] 
 +
*<see name="African-American Heritage Museum & Black Veterans Archives" alt="" address="126 S. Kendall St." directions="" phone="" url="http://www.narrowlarry.com/nlaahm.html" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Hundreds of sculptures of figures from African-American history displayed in the yard of Dr. Charles Smith's former home.</see>
  
African-American Heritage Museum & Black Veterans Archives <br>
+
*<see name="Aurora Regional Fire Museum" alt="" address="Corner of New York & Broadway" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.auroraregionalfiremuseum.org/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A collection of unique firefighting memorabilia set in Aurora's old Central Fire Station, built in 1894.</see>
(815) 968-9770
 
 
 
Aurora Regional Fire Museum<br>
 
(630) 892-1572
 
www.auroraregionalfiremuseum.org
 
 
 
Batavia Depot Museum <br>
 
(630) 406-5274
 
www.bataviahistoricalsociety.org
 
 
 
Batavia Riverwalk<br>
 
(630) 879-5235
 
 
 
Blackberry Farm’s Pioneer Village<br>
 
(630) 892-1550
 
www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org
 
 
 
Cinemark Tinseltown USA <br>
 
(630) 906-0490 www.cinemark.com
 
 
 
David L. Pierce Art & History Center <br>
 
(630) 906-0650 (History) or (630) 906-0654 (Art)
 
www.aurorahistory.net
 
 
 
Fabyan Dutch Windmill <br>
 
(630) 232-4811
 
 
 
The Farnsworth House Estate <br>
 
(630) 552-0052
 
www.farnsworthhouse.org
 
 
 
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory<br>
 
(630) 840-3351
 
www.fnal.gov
 
 
 
The Grand Army Of The Republic Hall <br>
 
(630) 906-0654 or (630) 897-7221
 
www.aurora-il.org
 
 
 
Goodrich Randall 15<br>
 
(630) 761-0501 or (630) 482-3456
 
www.gqti.com
 
 
 
Hollywood Casino – Aurora <br>
 
(630) 801-1234 or (800) 888-7777
 
www.hollywoodcasinoaurora.com
 
 
 
Kane County Cougars <br>
 
(630) 232-8811
 
www.kccougars.com
 
 
 
Kendall County Historical Society’s Heritage Hall & Chapel on the Green <br>
 
(630) 553-6777
 
 
 
Kane County Eagles <br>
 
(847) 727-2077
 
www.kceagles.com
 
 
 
Kendall County Historical Society's Heritage Hall & Chapel On The Green <br>
 
(630) 553-6777
 
 
 
Lyon Farm and Village <br>
 
www.kchs.us
 
(630) 554-3064 or (630) 553-6777
 
  
The Old Barn Museum <br>
+
*<see name="Blackberry Farm" alt="" address="100 S. Barnes Rd." directions="" phone="" url="http://www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org/?q=node/2" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A living history museum of 19th century life spread out over 54 acres with a lake, ponds, a stream, and an arboretum.</see>
director@theoldbarnmuseum.org
 
www.theoldbarnmuseum.org
 
  
Paramount Arts Center <br>
+
*<see name="David L. Pierce Art &amp; History Center" alt="" address="20 E. Downer" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.aurorahistoricalsociety.org/museums.html" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">The Aurora Public Art Commission hosts eight to 10 rotating exhibits displaying a full spectrum of innovative arts. The History Center has a collection of photographs, books, maps and other memorabilia. There is also a gift shop.</see>
Home to "Broadway in the Burbs," this lovingly restored Art Deco movie palace presents live entertainment by world-class performers, plays, touring musicals and other special events.
 
www.paramounttheatre.com
 
  
Phillips Park <br>
+
*<see name="The Grand Army of the Republic Hall" alt="" address="23 E. Downer Place" directions="" phone="" url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Army_of_the_Republic_Hall_(Aurora,_Illinois)" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Built as a monument to Aurora's Civil War veterans in 1878, it's now a small structure next to the library that sticks out in its antiquity.</see>
(630) 978-4774
 
www.aurora-il.org
 
  
Phillips Park Zoo <br>
+
*<see name="Paramount Arts Center" alt="" address="22 E. Galena Blvd." directions="" phone="" url="www.paramounttheatre.com" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Home to "Broadway in the Burbs," this lovingly restored Art Deco movie palace presents live entertainment by world-class performers, plays, touring musicals and other special events.</see>
(630) 978-4700
 
www.aurora-il.org
 
  
Sunken Garden <br>
+
*<see name="Phillips Park" alt="" address="1000 Moses Dr." directions="" phone="" url="http://www.phillipsparkaurora.com/phillipspark/PhillipsPark_Splash.html" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">There's a golf course, a lake, some neat gardens, and a small free zoo filled specifically with North American animals.</see>
(630) 978-4774
 
www.aurora-il.org
 
  
Visitors Center & Mastodon Gallery – Phillips Park <br>
+
*<see name="Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures" alt="" address="347 S. Gladstone Ave." directions="" phone="" url="http://www.aurora.edu/museum/general-info.html" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A museum on the campus of Aurora University with 4 major exhibits on native peoples.</see>
(630) 978-4774
 
www.aurora-il.org
 
  
Red Oak Nature Center <br>
+
*<see name="SciTech Hands-On Museum" alt="" address="18 W. Benton St." directions="" phone="" url="http://scitech.mus.il.us/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">An engaging museum for kids that's rarely crowded. You can park in the nearby garage for free if the museum stamps your ticket.</see>
(630) 897-1808
 
www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org
 
  
Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures <br>
+
*<see name="Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple of Greater Chicago" alt="" address="1145 W. Sullivan Rd." directions="" phone="" url="http://www.balaji.org/web/home.aspx" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A breathtaking example of whitewashed Indian temple craftsmanship. Don't worry about going and taking pictures - everyone else is doing it too.</see>
(630) 844-7843
 
www.aurora.edu/museum
 
  
SciTech Hands-On Museum <br>
+
*<see name="The Walter Payton Museum" alt="" address="18 W. Benton St." directions="" phone="" url="http://scitech.mus.il.us/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">An exhibit of Payton's entire life, from his football career (high school to pro, including his Super Bowl XX ring) to his auto racing and music interests.</see>
(630) 859-3434
 
www.scitech.mus.il.us
 
  
Walter Payton’s Roundhouse Complex<br>
+
*<see name="William Tanner House" alt="" address="Corner of Oak & Cedar" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.aurorahistoricalsociety.org/museums.html" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Built in 1857, this Italianate-style house was the home to prominent merchant William Tanner and his family. The house features high ceilings, oak grained woodwork, ornate plaster decoration, and antique furnishings.</see>
(630) 892-0034
 
www.walterpaytonsroundhouse.com
 
 
 
William Tanner House <br>
 
(630) 897-9029
 
www.aurorahistory.net
 
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
 +
[[Image:Hindutemple.JPG|thumb|The Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple of Greater Chicago]]
 +
*'''Hollywood Casino''' is a decent gambling experience on the Fox River downtown. Offers table games such as blackjack, craps, and roulette, as well as a variety of slot machines.  Friendly staff and an expensive buffet.
 +
*'''An iPod Tour''' downtown is a unique way to get acquainted with the brown stone architecture. Tour brochures are available at the Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
 +
*'''Raging Waves Waterpark''' in nearby Yorkville is an Aussie-themed park with 18 water slides, a wave pool, lazy river, 20 private cabanas, and more.
 +
*'''Farmers Market''' Saturday mornings 8am-noon June through October at the Aurora Transportation Center.
 +
*'''Summer Music Festivals''' downtown such as Rock on the Fox, Jazz on the Fox, Summer Jam, and Fan Favorites.
 +
*'''Oakhurst Forest Preserve''', near Phillips Park, is a pleasant oasis from the suburbs, with a large hill, an even larger lake, and plenty of paths for walking, running, or biking.
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
 +
*'''Chicago Premium Outlets''' is an impressive outdoor mall with 66 designer clothes stores, 23 shoe stores, 17 accessories and jewelry stores, 9 gifts and specialty items stores, 7 childrens' clothes stores, 5 leather and luggage stores, 2 housewares stores, 2 electronics stores, and 10 restaurants.
 +
*'''Westfield Fox Valley Mall''', at the eastern edge of Aurora, is one of the larger indoor malls.
 +
*'''David L. Pierce Art & History Center Museum Store''' is small but has many unique items related to Aurora and crafts, jewelry, and art made by local Aurorans.
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
 +
*<eat name="Goody's" alt="" address="1250 N. Farnsworth" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">This all-American restaurant has a seemingly endless supply of food, and for dirt cheap.  Get Chicago-style hot dogs, Po Boy Sandwiches, fish fillets, pizza, Italian Beef; you name it, they probably have it</eat>
 +
*<eat name="Jake's Bagels and Deli" alt="" address="220 N. Broadway" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Bagels are their specialty, with at least one unique flavor always available with the rest of the regulars. Their coffees (they have Green Mountain) and sandwiches also shine.</eat>
 +
*<eat name="America's Brew Pub" alt="" address="205 N. Broadway" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.walterpaytonsroundhouse.com/content/2.html" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">at Walter Payton's Roundhouse, is an international award-winning brewery with good American regional cuisine and pub food.</eat>
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==
Aurora Area Pizza, Grills & Pubs
+
*<drink name="River's Edge Cafe" alt="" address="18 W. Downer Place" directions="" phone="" url="http://theriversedgecafe.com/previewme/Main.aspx" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A nice homestyle cafe along the Fox River downtown with gourmet coffee, fresh food, an outdoor patio, and a fireplace.</drink>
 +
*<drink name="Nikarry's Family Resurant" alt="" address="803 N. LAKE STREET" directions="" phone="630-260-2055" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long=""></drink>
  
ACH-N-LOU'S PIZZA
 
1592 N. Farnsworth Ave.
 
Aurora · (630) 898-2626
 
  
APPLEBEE'S NEIGHBORHOOD GRILL & BAR
+
==Learn==
(2 Locations)
+
*<do name="Aurora University" alt="" address="347 S. Gladstone Ave." directions="" phone="" url="http://www.aurora.edu/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A private 4-year university with its main campus in Aurora, Illinois and the George Williams campus in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.  Approximately 4000 students have a wide range of majors to choose from.  The campus is also the home of the Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures.</do>
449 S. Rt. 59
 
Aurora · (630) 375-9868
 
350 Rt. 30 Bypass
 
Montgomery · (630) 966-8944
 
  
BACCI'S PIZZERIA
+
==Sleep==
29 W. New York St.
 
Aurora · (630) 896-4200
 
  
BIG EASY BAR & GRILL
+
* '''Comfort Suites Aurora Hotel City Center''' [http://www.comfortsuites.com/hotel-aurora-illinois-IL415] 111 North Broadway. 630 896 2800. About 50 minutes away from the O'Hare International Airport and Chicago's Midway Airport, and 10 minutes away from the Aurora Municipal Airport. Has meeting facilities.
1447 Cannonball Trail
+
* '''Hampton Inn & Suites Aurora''' [http://hamptonsuites-aurora-il.com/] 2423 Bushwood Drive.  630 907 2600.    127 hotel guest rooms equipped with microwave and refrigerator, free internet, a 6,000 square feet Indoor Pool Complex, and five Meeting Rooms with Video Conferencing capability.
Yorkville · (630) 882-8681
+
* '''Quality Inn Aurora O'Hare Airport Hotel'''.  4005 Gabrielle Lane.  630 820 3400.  25 miles from O'Hare International Airport, 2002 Silver Hospitality Award winning hotel.[http://www.qualityinn.com/hotel-aurora-illinois-IL068]
 
 
BLACKBERRY INN
 
Rt. 47 & Main St.
 
Elburn · (630) 365-2200
 
 
 
BLACKSTONE BAR & GRILL
 
600 E. Veterans Pkwy.
 
Yorkville · (630) 882-8305
 
www.blackstonebarandgrill.com
 
 
 
BLISS CREEK RESTAURANT
 
Bliss Creek Golf Course
 
1 Golfview Rd.
 
Sugar Grove · (630) 466-0727
 
 
 
BRISTOL TAP
 
46 Cannonball Trail
 
Bristol · (630) 553-6229
 
 
 
CHILI'S GRILL & BAR
 
1290 N. Orchard Rd.
 
Aurora · (630) 907-1365
 
 
 
CHRISTOPHER'S BAYOU BAR
 
31 W. New York St.
 
Aurora · (630) 844-5555
 
 
 
DANELLI'S PIZZARIA & ITALIAN RESTAURANT
 
45 S. Randall Rd.
 
North Aurora · (630) 897-5787
 
 
 
ERNIE McANN'S
 
120 N. Butterfield Rd.
 
North Aurora · (630) 844-8100
 
 
 
FIRESIDE GRILLE
 
49 Sugar Lane
 
Sugar Grove · (630) 466-4557
 
 
 
THE FOUNDRY
 
Fox Valley Center
 
35 Executive Dr.
 
Aurora · (630) 978-2088
 
 
 
FOX GRILL & OUTPOST
 
35 N. Water St.
 
Batavia · (630) 761-3930
 
 
 
FOX & HOUND ENGLISH PUB & GRILLE
 
Yorkshire Plaza
 
4320 E. New York St.
 
Aurora · (630) 236-9183
 
 
 
THE FRIENDLY TAP RESTAURANT
 
14 N. Center St.
 
Plano · (630) 552-3696
 
 
 
HOLLYWOOD CASINO EPIC BUFFET
 
1 New York St. Bridge
 
Aurora · (630) 801-1234
 
 
 
HOOTERS OF AURORA
 
4395 Fox Valley Center Dr.
 
Aurora · (630) 851-4008
 
 
 
JAKE'S BAGELS AND DELI
 
220 N. Broadway
 
Aurora · (630) 906-0332
 
 
 
JAKES PIZZA
 
911 Oak St.
 
North Aurora · (630) 906-0900
 
 
 
KATHY'S RIVERWALK DINER
 
134 W. Wilson St.
 
Batavia · (630) 879-5299
 
 
 
KENDALL PUB
 
209 S. Bridge St.
 
Yorkville · (630) 553-6910
 
 
 
LITTLE RED SCHOOL HOUSE
 
110 S. Lincolnway
 
North Aurora · (630) 859-0252
 
 
 
LOWER DECK SPORTS PUB
 
29 W. New York St.
 
Aurora · (630) 859-2442
 
 
 
LUIGI'S PIZZA & FUN CENTER
 
732 Prairie St.
 
Aurora · (630) 896-9861
 
 
 
MACIANO'S PIZZA & PASTARIA
 
272 E. Veterans Pkwy.
 
Yorkville · (630) 882-8388
 
 
 
McCUE'S BAR & GRILL
 
255 E. Indian Trail
 
Aurora · (630) 897-5925
 
 
 
MURPHY'S NORTHGATE CENTER
 
900 N. Lake St.
 
Aurora · (630) 892-3032
 
 
 
NANCY'S PIZZERIA
 
2616 Ogden Ave.
 
Aurora · (630) 585-9600
 
 
 
NO FINER DINER
 
1055 Paramount Pkwy.
 
Batavia · (630) 406-8225
 
 
 
O'BRIEN'S GRILLE & PUB
 
12 North River St.
 
Batavia · (630) 406-9200
 
THE OFFICE
 
746 S. Lincoln Ave.
 
Aurora · (630) 896-5510
 
 
 
ONE EAST WILSON GRILLE & PUB
 
1 E. Wilson St.
 
Batavia · (630) 761-8309
 
 
 
ORCHARD VALLEY RESTAURANT
 
Orchard Valley Golf Course
 
2411 W. Illinois Ave.
 
Aurora · (630) 907-0600
 
 
 
PATRICK'S FINE FOOD & SPIRITS
 
West Aurora Plaza
 
1941 W. Galena Blvd.
 
Aurora · (630) 892-6650
 
 
 
RALPH'S PLACE
 
Blackberry Oaks Golf Course
 
2245 Kennedy Rd.
 
Bristol · (630) 553-1585
 
 
 
RED STAR TAVERN
 
1650 Premium Outlets Blvd.
 
Aurora · (630) 978-8800
 
 
 
SMOKEY BONES BBQ & SPORTS BAR
 
4435 Fox Valley Center Dr.
 
Aurora · (630) 236-9630
 
 
 
OPEN RANGE SOUTHWEST GRILL
 
1200 W. Rt. 34
 
Plano · (630) 552-3100
 
 
 
STAR BAR & GRILL
 
945 Oak St.
 
North Aurora · (630) 236-0900
 
 
 
SUZY'S PIZZA
 
4353 Tuma Rd.
 
Yorkville · (630) 553-6500
 
 
 
SUZY'S PIZZA
 
141 E. South St.
 
Plano · (630) 552-1330
 
 
 
TAVERN ON THE FOX
 
24 N. Broadway
 
Aurora · (630) 896-6667
 
 
 
TAYLOR STREET PIZZA
 
1985 Marketview Dr.
 
Yorkville · (630) 553-5533
 
 
 
TOMMY O's SPORTS BAR & GRILL
 
945 Oak St.
 
North Aurora · (630) 906-1400
 
 
 
TRIBELLA BAR & GRILL
 
1900 Mill St.
 
Batavia · (630) 406-9696
 
 
 
UNCLE LAR'S PIZZA
 
108 W. Main St.
 
Plano · (630) 552-3535
 
 
 
VENICE TAVERN
 
31 N. River St.
 
Batavia · (630) 761-3334
 
 
 
==Sleep==
 
* Hampton Inn & Suites Aurora [http://hamptonsuites-aurora-il.com/] 2423 Bushwood Drive.  630 907 2600.    127 hotel guest rooms equipped with microwave and refrigerator, free High-Speed Internet Access, a 6,000 square feet Indoor Pool Complex, and five Meeting Rooms with Video Conferencing capability.
 
* Comfort Suites Aurora Hotel City Center [http://www.comfortsuites.com/hotel-aurora-illinois-IL415] 111 North Broadway.  630 896 2800.  About 50 minutes away from the O'Hare International Airport and Chicago's Midway Airport, and 10 minutes away from the Aurora Municipal Airport. This hotel also provides meeting facilities [http://www.comfortsuites.com/hotel-aurora-illinois-IL415/Hotel-Meetings] for any business that needs to be conducted in the Aurora, Illinois area.
 
* Quality Inn Aurora O'Hare Airport Hotel.  4005 Gabrielle Lane.  630 820 3400.  25 miles from O'Hare International Airport, lies the 2002 Silver Hospitality Award winning hotel, the Comfort Inn Aurora Hotel of Fox Valley. Whether you are a tourist, business traveller or just a passer by, you would do well to take advantage of the offerings of the Comfort Inn Aurora Hotel.
 
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
 +
*[[Chicago]] if you haven't already
 +
*[[Naperville]] for a downtown full of good, expensive restaurants and The Riverwalk
 +
*[[Lisle]] has the fantastic Morton Arboretum
 +
*'''Batavia and Geneva''', to the north, are smaller and more quaint Fox River villages with scenic downtowns on the river and lots of windmills
  
 +
{{routebox
 +
| image1=I-88.png
 +
| imagesize1=22px
 +
| directionl1=W
 +
| majorl1=[[Davenport]]
 +
| minorl1=[[DeKalb]]
 +
| directionr1=E
 +
| majorr1=[[Chicago]]
 +
| minorr1=[[Naperville]]
 +
}}
  
 
{{IsPartOf|Chicagoland}}
 
{{IsPartOf|Chicagoland}}
 
{{outline}}
 
{{outline}}
 +
 +
[[wts:Category:Aurora (Illinois)]]
 +
[[Wikipedia:Aurora, Illinois]]

Revision as of 00:53, 20 January 2013

The Paramount Theater and Leland Tower downtown

Aurora is the second-largest city in the U.S. state of Illinois, located about 35 miles west of Chicago. It's at the very edge of Chicagoland and, situated on the Fox River, has many opportunities for urban, suburban, and rural recreation. Often overlooked, Aurora in fact has many surprisingly interesting attractions and a downtown unlike that of a typical suburb. It is probably best known for being the setting of the "Wayne's World" movies.

Get in

By car

Aurora is just off the East-West Tollway (I-88) in Illinois. Take the Route 31 exit south for downtown and most other things, and take the Farnsworth exit south for Phillips Park Zoo, Aurora Transportation Center, and Walter Payton's Roundhouse.

By train

Aurora is part of Chicago's Metra commuter rail system, the last stop on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line which leaves from Union Station in the Loop.

By bus

The Aurora train station is a local hub for PACE, the Chicagoland suburban bus service.

By plane

Aurora has a small municipal airport of its own, but the best way to go is to fly into one of the Chicago airports (O'Hare or Midway) and just take the train or a taxi to Aurora.

Get around

As is commonplace in the suburbs, the easiest way to get around is by car. However, PACE Bus also has extensive service in Aurora (it being Illinois's second largest city, after all), and multiple routes connect the Aurora Transportation Center with the rest of the city as well as Elgin, Geneva, St. Charles, Batavia, and Naperville.

See

The Sunken Garden in Phillips Park
The Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall
  • African-American Heritage Museum & Black Veterans Archives, 126 S. Kendall St., [1]. Hundreds of sculptures of figures from African-American history displayed in the yard of Dr. Charles Smith's former home.
  • Aurora Regional Fire Museum, Corner of New York & Broadway, [2]. A collection of unique firefighting memorabilia set in Aurora's old Central Fire Station, built in 1894.
  • Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Rd., [3]. A living history museum of 19th century life spread out over 54 acres with a lake, ponds, a stream, and an arboretum.
  • David L. Pierce Art & History Center, 20 E. Downer, [4]. The Aurora Public Art Commission hosts eight to 10 rotating exhibits displaying a full spectrum of innovative arts. The History Center has a collection of photographs, books, maps and other memorabilia. There is also a gift shop.
  • The Grand Army of the Republic Hall, 23 E. Downer Place, [5]. Built as a monument to Aurora's Civil War veterans in 1878, it's now a small structure next to the library that sticks out in its antiquity.
  • Paramount Arts Center, 22 E. Galena Blvd., [6]. Home to "Broadway in the Burbs," this lovingly restored Art Deco movie palace presents live entertainment by world-class performers, plays, touring musicals and other special events.
  • Phillips Park, 1000 Moses Dr., [7]. There's a golf course, a lake, some neat gardens, and a small free zoo filled specifically with North American animals.
  • Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures, 347 S. Gladstone Ave., [8]. A museum on the campus of Aurora University with 4 major exhibits on native peoples.
  • SciTech Hands-On Museum, 18 W. Benton St., [9]. An engaging museum for kids that's rarely crowded. You can park in the nearby garage for free if the museum stamps your ticket.
  • Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple of Greater Chicago, 1145 W. Sullivan Rd., [10]. A breathtaking example of whitewashed Indian temple craftsmanship. Don't worry about going and taking pictures - everyone else is doing it too.
  • The Walter Payton Museum, 18 W. Benton St., [11]. An exhibit of Payton's entire life, from his football career (high school to pro, including his Super Bowl XX ring) to his auto racing and music interests.
  • William Tanner House, Corner of Oak & Cedar, [12]. Built in 1857, this Italianate-style house was the home to prominent merchant William Tanner and his family. The house features high ceilings, oak grained woodwork, ornate plaster decoration, and antique furnishings.

Do

The Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple of Greater Chicago
  • Hollywood Casino is a decent gambling experience on the Fox River downtown. Offers table games such as blackjack, craps, and roulette, as well as a variety of slot machines. Friendly staff and an expensive buffet.
  • An iPod Tour downtown is a unique way to get acquainted with the brown stone architecture. Tour brochures are available at the Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
  • Raging Waves Waterpark in nearby Yorkville is an Aussie-themed park with 18 water slides, a wave pool, lazy river, 20 private cabanas, and more.
  • Farmers Market Saturday mornings 8am-noon June through October at the Aurora Transportation Center.
  • Summer Music Festivals downtown such as Rock on the Fox, Jazz on the Fox, Summer Jam, and Fan Favorites.
  • Oakhurst Forest Preserve, near Phillips Park, is a pleasant oasis from the suburbs, with a large hill, an even larger lake, and plenty of paths for walking, running, or biking.

Buy

  • Chicago Premium Outlets is an impressive outdoor mall with 66 designer clothes stores, 23 shoe stores, 17 accessories and jewelry stores, 9 gifts and specialty items stores, 7 childrens' clothes stores, 5 leather and luggage stores, 2 housewares stores, 2 electronics stores, and 10 restaurants.
  • Westfield Fox Valley Mall, at the eastern edge of Aurora, is one of the larger indoor malls.
  • David L. Pierce Art & History Center Museum Store is small but has many unique items related to Aurora and crafts, jewelry, and art made by local Aurorans.

Eat

  • Goody's, 1250 N. Farnsworth. This all-American restaurant has a seemingly endless supply of food, and for dirt cheap. Get Chicago-style hot dogs, Po Boy Sandwiches, fish fillets, pizza, Italian Beef; you name it, they probably have it
  • Jake's Bagels and Deli, 220 N. Broadway. Bagels are their specialty, with at least one unique flavor always available with the rest of the regulars. Their coffees (they have Green Mountain) and sandwiches also shine.
  • America's Brew Pub, 205 N. Broadway, [13]. at Walter Payton's Roundhouse, is an international award-winning brewery with good American regional cuisine and pub food.

Drink

  • River's Edge Cafe, 18 W. Downer Place, [14]. A nice homestyle cafe along the Fox River downtown with gourmet coffee, fresh food, an outdoor patio, and a fireplace.
  • Nikarry's Family Resurant, 803 N. LAKE STREET, 630-260-2055.


Learn

  • Aurora University, 347 S. Gladstone Ave., [15]. A private 4-year university with its main campus in Aurora, Illinois and the George Williams campus in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. Approximately 4000 students have a wide range of majors to choose from. The campus is also the home of the Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures.

Sleep

  • Comfort Suites Aurora Hotel City Center [16] 111 North Broadway. 630 896 2800. About 50 minutes away from the O'Hare International Airport and Chicago's Midway Airport, and 10 minutes away from the Aurora Municipal Airport. Has meeting facilities.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Aurora [17] 2423 Bushwood Drive. 630 907 2600. 127 hotel guest rooms equipped with microwave and refrigerator, free internet, a 6,000 square feet Indoor Pool Complex, and five Meeting Rooms with Video Conferencing capability.
  • Quality Inn Aurora O'Hare Airport Hotel. 4005 Gabrielle Lane. 630 820 3400. 25 miles from O'Hare International Airport, 2002 Silver Hospitality Award winning hotel.[18]

Get out

  • Chicago if you haven't already
  • Naperville for a downtown full of good, expensive restaurants and The Riverwalk
  • Lisle has the fantastic Morton Arboretum
  • Batavia and Geneva, to the north, are smaller and more quaint Fox River villages with scenic downtowns on the river and lots of windmills


Routes through Aurora
DavenportDeKalb  W noframe E  NapervilleChicago




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