A day tripper's guide to Aurora
Zoom in: Aurora is growing fast; it's knocked off both Naperville and Rockford to become Illinois' second-largest city. Founded in the 1830s, it was named for the Greek goddess of the dawn.
- 💡 The first city in the country to use electric lights? Aurora.
It's worth the hourlong trip from downtown not only to visit a great Midwestern city, but to see what's changed there.
🚶 Midmorning stroll: Downtown is full of interesting architecture and designated landmarks, but it also mixes and matches styles including Victorian and Italianate.
- It looks and feels like a Midwestern river town, like Des Moines.
- You can also walk along the Fox River, including strolling on the new pedestrian bridge that connects the river walk.
🍺 Lunch: Two Brothers Tap House is a must-visit, especially if you're into Illinois craft beer. This brewery is one of the first and largest in the suburbs.
- Aurora is a big city that's big on restaurant chains, so if a spendy lunch isn't your thing, there are several cheap options.
🛍️ Afternoon activity: Shopping is always a good call here. Just north of downtown you'll find Chicago Premium Outlets, along I-88. Represented are Nike, Polo, Armani and so on.
🥩 Dinner: Craft Urban Aurora dishes out delicious American fare, both in Aurora and nearby Geneva.
- Or sample some Puerto Rican fare at Chupacabra Puerto Rican Kitchen.
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