Moving to Aurora
Take a breath and prepare to dive deep into the wonderful journey of relocating to Aurora, IL. Filled with charm and the promise of new beginnings, Aurora, often referred to as "The City of Lights," is ready to cast its warm and welcoming illumination on you. But moving to a completely new area can bring a bit of anxiety. Fret not! This comprehensive Aurora relocation guide aims to thrill and reassure you, sprinkling in some fascinating tidbits about your soon-to-be hometown along the way. So, buckle up as we navigate the sparkling byways of Aurora together!
What to Know Before Moving to Aurora
1. A Historic Gem of Illinois
You're about to pack your bags and swoosh off to another adventure, so here's your first heads up: Aurora, lovingly called the "City of Lights". It is steeped in history and was actually the first city in the entire United States to illuminate its streets using electric lights. How cool is that? History lovers can explore several historic districts that boast period architecture such as the Tanner Historic District and Palace Historic District.
2. Embrace the Great Outdoors!
Aurora is a great place to be if you're a fan of the outdoors. The Fox River Trail snakes through the heart of the city, offering perfect backdrops for morning rides or late-night strolls. You have the Phillips Park Zoo to experience wildlife right in the city center! Fun hint for those adventures: bring a canoe to the river during summer or dust off those ice skates during winter because the options are endless.
3. Did Someone Say, 'Shopping?'
Get ready to catch some retail therapy in one of the largest outdoor shopping malls in the state, the Chicago Premium Outlets. It's a shopping paradise with over 170 stores to take care of all your shopping needs, from clothes, jewelry, to unique gift items. Holidays are simply magical here. The city transforms into a wonderland full of beautiful light displays and it's an experience you can't afford to miss.
4. Education in Aurora
If you've got little learners in tow or you're aspiring for lifelong learning, the Aurora Public School System has a lot to offer. Quality education for all ages is guaranteed with a variety of specialized programs and numerous public and private school options. Furthermore, Aurora University and Waubonsee Community College also present great opportunities for higher education.
5. Those Neat, Little Hidden Secrets
Okay, so you want the inside scoop? Here are some things that aren't on your regular travel guide. The SciTech Hands-On Museum is a great spot to let out your inner child and nerd out a little. With more than 200 interactive exhibits, it's a great place to learn by having fun. But, here's even a lesser-known fact, the annual Fiestas Patrias Parade & Festival. It's a vibrant celebration in downtown Aurora during the summer. Think: the smell of delicious Mexican food wafting through the streets, live music, and an ambiance filled with joy!
6. An Economically Dynamic City That Watches Your Dollars
Be prepared to strengthen your bank account! Aurora boasts a dynamic economy with job opportunities in diverse sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, and education. On top of that, the cost of living in Aurora is significantly lower than the national average. Your dream home couldn't be easier (or more affordable) to find!
And that's your snapshot of Aurora, IL! A city blessed with beautiful natural spaces, a bustling economy, and a vibrant community of friendly people. Accompanied by year-round activities, it's a city that's far from boring and promises a high quality of life. Aurora, here you come!
Pros and Cons of Living in Aurora
Pros of Living in Aurora
Abundant Natural Beauty
Aurora is a city rich in natural beauty as it is nestled on the banks of the Fox River. The town is replete with lush green parks, hiking trails, and picnic spots, providing opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation.
Vibrant Arts & Entertainment Scene
The city is the proud home to the Paramount Theatre, where residents can enjoy Broadway-quality shows. Aurora also hosts numerous festivals and special events throughout the year, making it an engaging place for those who appreciate arts and culture.
Good School System
Aurora boasts a sound educational system with well-regarded public schools and higher education institutions. The area's dedication to quality education makes it an appealing city for families with children.
Diverse Dining Options
From fine dining to food trucks, Aurora offers a range of delicious dining options. With a host of restaurants serving cultural and international cuisines, food lovers in Aurora have plenty to enjoy.
Strong Sense of Community
Aurora has a strong sense of community, with residents often coming together for public events, parades, and festivals. This gives the city a small-town feel, which many residents appreciate.
Cons of Living in Aurora
Living in Aurora means dealing with the Midwest's unpredictable weather. This includes cold, harsh winters and occasionally hot, humid summers, which might not be enjoyable for everyone.
Like any growing city, Aurora often struggles with traffic congestion, particularly during peak commuting hours. While the city has made efforts to address this issue, it remains a source of frustration for many residents.
Higher Cost of Living
Aurora's cost of living is slightly above the national average, particularly when it comes to housing and transportation. This could pose a challenge for individuals and families wanting to live on a budget.
While Aurora has plenty to offer during the day, some residents find its nightlife limited. Those seeking a bustling city life might feel the nightlife options in Aurora are lacking compared to bigger cities.
While Aurora is generally a safe city, like any urban area, it does struggle with certain crime rates. Residents are advised to stay informed and take necessary precautions for their safety.
Is Aurora a Good Place to Live?
Aurora, IL is a great place to live because of its rich cultural heritage, vibrant arts scene, and family-friendly parks. It also boasts excellent public schools, affordable housing, and a strong sense of community spirit that makes it ideal for both individuals and families. Moreover, it has easy access to Chicago, ensuring you're never too far from big city amenities while still enjoying the tranquility of suburban living.
What Is Aurora Famous For?'
Home of Wayne's World
This might come as a surprise but the famous 1992 comedy \'Wayne\'s World\' was set in Aurora, Illinois. The iconic basement-based public-access Television show within the movie, "Wayne's World," was supposedly broadcast from this city, putting Aurora on the pop culture map.
Aurora Public Arts Commission
Aurora comes with a splash of color, all thanks to the Aurora Public Arts Commission. They've hosted over 20 years of public art, music, and cultural events for the town's residents and visitors, enriching Aurora's visual and auditory landscape.
The Paramount Theatre, a large live performance theatre on East Galena Boulevard in downtown Aurora, draws a lot of attention. Besides its impressive architecture, it's known for its Broadway Series of shows and the stellar talent it presents, which never fails to amaze audiences.
Aurora invites everyone to step back in time with its unique park and museum, Blackberry Farm. It offers an up-close historical experience where one can explore pioneer life, scenic landscapes, a train, a carousel, and historic artifacts, offering a peek into Illinois's rich history.'
Overview of Tax Rates
In Aurora, IL, the average property tax rate is about 2.16% as of 2023. This rate is high compared to the national average which tends to be under 1%.
The total sales tax rate in Aurora, IL, is approximately 8.5% as of 2023. This is relatively moderate compared to other parts of the US, where rates can hit as high as 9.52%.
The state of Illinois, where Aurora is located, has a flat income tax rate of 4.95% in 2023. This is lower than many other states that have progressive income tax rates that can reach over 13%, but higher than the seven states in the US that have no income tax at all.
In the Aurora, IL housing market, properties provide viable options for both renters and buyers. As of October 2021, the median home value stands at $236,500, lower than the national average, offering affordability to homebuyers. Rental prices average $1,742 per month, competitively priced compared to other metro areas. Houses spend an average of 34 days on the market, suggesting a medium-paced market. The appreciation rate for homes has also been optimistic, presenting potential growth for investment. Prospective buyers should monitor the market trends while renters should evaluate the rent-to-income ratio, giving a comprehensive insight before entering the Aurora housing market.
Cost of Living
Aurora, IL has a cost of living that is slightly above the national average, but still significantly less than larger cities such as New York or San Francisco. It appears more pocket friendly for residents when compared to the more expensive Chicago, despite being in the same state. Housing, healthcare, and transportation costs are key factors which are relatively lesser in Aurora. However, compared to smaller cities and rural areas, Aurora might seem a bit pricier. Overall, the city strikes a beneficial balance, making it an attractive place to live and work.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Aurora, IL experiences a typical Midwestern climate, characterized by hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The average high in summer reaches into the mid-80s (degF), while winter temperatures can dip below freezing point. The area also experiences significant precipitation throughout the year, averaging 36 inches of rain and around 28 inches of snow. The city is exposed to several natural disasters, with winters often bearing the brunt of blizzards and ice storms, while spring and summer are at risk of thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooding. Despite these challenges, Aurora's variable climate offers a distinct change of seasons, resulting in a diverse array of natural beauty throughout the year that is appreciated by residents and visitors alike.
Economy & Job Market'
Aurora, IL, lovingly recognized as the "City of Lights," has a delightful tapestry of industries contributing to its lively economy. Historically, Aurora cut its teeth on manufacturing, boasting an illustrious past filled with railway and automobile productions. Today, the manufacturing industry is still going strong, allowing Aurora to keep those historical roots alive and thriving. But diversification is the spice of life, and the Aurora economy mirrors this sentiment perfectly. With the healthcare and social assistance sector booming, there has been a particular uptick in job demand specifically for registered nurses, therapists, and social workers. Retail trade and professional services also occupy major chunks of the economic pie, and the city's gastronomic scene is deliciously nurtured by the accommodation and food services industry.
Packing your bags and pondering a move to Aurora, IL, may just be one of the best tweaks you can make to your career trajectory. The city has a lower unemployment rate than the national average, indicating a thriving job market. If you're looking to dip your toes in the healthcare arena, Aurora should be at the top of your list, but fear not if you're from a different field. Opportunities abound in retail, professional services, manufacturing, and of course, the buoyant food and hospitality industry. Start your day with a cup of Joe from Two Brothers Roundhouse, scan the job listing, walk your dog by the gorgeous Fox River, and you may just find your dream job waiting right around the corner. After all, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and yours may just be leading you towards this sparkling city of lights!'
Traffic and Transportation
Oh, Aurora, IL! You've got quite the get-up-and-go spirit when it comes to transportation. Many commuters here share their work day mornings and evenings with an average commute time of 29.8 minutes. Not too bad at all, right? Particularly when considering the national average is a tad bit higher. However, for those who prefer to relax and let someone else do the driving, Aurora doesn't disappoint! The city offers brilliant bus services thanks to the Metra Rail System and Pace. Now, for the high-flyers among us, Aurora Municipal Airport and Dupage Airport offer some nifty air travel options for business and pleasure. Although they might not be O'Hare, they'll certainly get you where you need to be in style! So buckle up, hop on, or take off - Aurora's got your transportation needs covered!
Best Neighborhoods in Aurora
1. Downtown Aurora
If urban living is your cup of tea, then Downtown Aurora is an excellent choice. Nestled within the heart of Aurora, this neighborhood offers a vibrant city atmosphere, complete with a bustling food and arts scene. Unique locally-owned shops, fantastic restaurants, and art galleries line the streets of Downtown Aurora, giving it an eclectic, creative ambiance. Just imagine having breakfast at a charming little cafe before exploring the exhibits at the Aurora Public Art museum. And let's not forget about RiverEdge Park, where you can enjoy beautiful views of the Fox River or even a dreamy summer concert. Thus, Downtown Aurora is a haven for urban explorers.
Stonebridge, on the other hand, is a quieter, suburban neighborhood located south of Downtown Aurora. Famed for its leafy streets, beautifully landscaped parks, and top-notch school district, it's the perfect place for families to settle down. The close-knit community frequently holds neighborhood events, and the Stonebridge Country Club offers gorgeous golf courses and recreational activities for sports enthusiasts. So, if you crave a blend of suburban living and accessible recreational options, Stonebridge is a fantastic choice.
3. Blackberry Countryside
For those who need a dose of nature, Blackberry Countryside is the place to be. Sprawling farms, picturesque countryside views, and easy access to hiking and biking trails make this neighborhood a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Despite feeling all rural and serene, Blackberry Countryside isn't disconnected. It hosts some of the best farmers markets in the area, and it's only a short drive away from the city's commercial areas. Thus, this neighborhood perfectly blends rustic charm with city conveniences.
If you are looking for a perfect mix of suburban charm and modern living, look no further than Oakhurst. This neighborhood boasts beautifully manicured lawns, ample green spaces, and modern amenities that aim to elevate suburban living. Not to mention the reputable schools and fantastic community centers that make the area family-friendly. Additionally, living in Oakhurst means you're just a stone's throw away from restaurants, shops, and the magnificent Lake Waubonsie.
5. Pigeon Hill
A diverse, vibrant, and friendly community? Check. Excellent amenities? Double-check. Pigeon Hill offers a unique mix of cultural diversity with a side of accessibility. The neighborhood showcases a rich tapestry of cultures, colors, and cuisines, making it a lively and exciting place to call home. In terms of amenities, residents enjoy easy access to schools, grocery stores, parks, and public transportation. No wonder, Pigeon Hill is a popular choice among families and young professionals alike.
So there you have it; five diverse, unique, and definitely wonderful neighborhoods you can find in Aurora, IL. Each brings something unique to the table and all have their own charm. Whether you are a city-slicker, a nature lover, or a cozy suburbanite, there's a neighborhood waiting for you in Aurora. So pack those moving boxes and get ready for your exciting new chapter in one of these welcoming communities!
Things to Do
Welcome to Aurora, Illinois! This vibrant city west of Chicago is brimming with fun and excitement year-round. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a foodie, history buff, or a family with children looking for quality entertainment, you'd find something up your alley. So sit back, fasten your virtual seat belts, and let us journey through the top 7 things to do in Aurora, IL.
1. Phillip's Park Zoo
An absolute must-visit is the Philips Park Zoo. This 100-year-old city zoo houses an amazing assortment of animals from gray wolves to peacocks. The best part? It's absolutely free! The surrounding Phillip's Park also features a sunken garden, a golf course, and aquatic center for an all-in-one fun day out.
2. Paramount Theatre
This isn't just your normal movie theatre. The Paramount Theatre is actually a live performance venue offering Broadway-quality shows for a fraction of the price you'd pay in New York. The theatre's Art Deco architecture is a sight to behold as well. Be sure to catch a performance or two!
3. SciTech Hands-On Museum
This is a fun spot for both kids and adults. Whether you're interested in robotics, acoustics, or weather phenomena, the SciTech Museum will keep you entertained for hours with hundreds of hands-on exhibits.
4. Exotic Car Driving Experience
The flat, straight roads of this region make Aurora the perfect place to experience the thrill of driving an exotic car. You can get behind the wheel of a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or even a McLaren for an adrenaline-filled drive you will never forget.
5. Indulge in Aurora's Food Scene
No list would be complete without a nod to Aurora's food scene. You can find everything from authentic Mexican fare, exciting food trucks, to charming coffee shops and gourmet restaurants. Check out local favorites like Two Brothers Roundhouse or Gillerson's Grubbery for a flavor-packed feast.
6. Blackberry Farm
Experience the charm of pioneer life at Blackberry Farm. This living history museum offers historic reenactments, carriage rides, farm animals, and pioneer crafts. The true gem, however, is their less-known Christmas lights display in winter - a twinkling wonderland that would leave even the biggest Grinch in awe.
7. Lincoln Highway Mural
In downtown Aurora, you'll find the Lincoln Highway Mural, a hidden treat among locals. This bright mural weaves a visual story of the historic Lincoln Highway. It's a perfect blend of art and history and a great spot for an Instagram shot.
In conclusion, moving to Aurora has never been more exciting. With its rich history, vibrant arts scene, great eateries, and unique recreational activities, there is always something to do. Now that you're in the know about a couple of hidden gems, time to lace up your walking shoes and explore!
Find Movers for Your Aurora Relocation
Having immersed yourself in every fascinating detail of Aurora, IL, it seems plausible that you're ready to turn this dream into tangible reality. The journey might feel daunting, but fear not, trusted assistance is but a click away in the form of Great Guys Moving. Ease the tedious process and secure peace of mind by connecting with reputable, licensed, and insured movers directly. Simply provide some basics about your move, and swiftly find yourself presented with competitive quotes from the industry's finest. Make headway on your exciting and transformative journey by requesting your free moving quote today.
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