colorado mountains with blue skies and clouds

Why Aurora, Colorado Is One of the Best Cities to Move To

Moving Proz explains how Aurora is one of the best cities to move to in Colorado.

Are you looking to move to a town with mountainous views yet close to the city with great health care and a low cost of living?

Sounds impossible, right?

Wrong. Aurora, Colorado, is one of the best cities to move to whether you love nature, city life, or both!

The “Gateway to the Rockies” has the best of both worlds. One day you’ll find yourself hiking in the Rocky Mountains, and the next, you’ll be navigating peak hour traffic in Denver.

colorado mountains with blue skies and clouds

Moving to Aurora, Colorado, for work, school, or otherwise, is a daunting yet exciting prospect. While you may feel nervous about your big move, you don’t have to be. Aurora is a great place with plenty of employment opportunities, recreation activities, and friendly faces.

Find out why living in Aurora, CO, is one of the best cities to move to start a new life.

About Aurora, Colorado

Aurora is the third-largest city in Colorado, with a population of approximately 386,261 as of 2020. The city is in Arapahoe County and is situated 9.5 miles east of downtown Denver. As a result, Aurora is considered an eastern suburb of Denver and a major city of the Front Range Urban Corridor.

Founded in 1891, Aurora was originally named Fletcher after Canadian-born businessman Donald Fletcher. The town had just 39 residents and 14 brick homes during its early years. Fast-forward 130-odd years and Aurora has doubled in size and population, primarily due to three military bases: Lowry Air Force Base, Fitzsimons Army Hospital, and Buckley Air Base.

Aurora is known for outdoor recreation, diverse food, vibrant arts scene, and a relaxing vibe. With more than 450 neighborhoods, the city boasts a warm and welcoming environment with excellent schooling, great recreational activities, and majestic views of the mountains.

The Gateway to the Rockies is surrounded by the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, with residents exploring the mountainous wilderness every chance they get. With plenty of hiking trails and skiing opportunities, there’s always something to do.

The good thing about Aurora is that while it’s close to nature, it’s also close to big cities and airports. Aurora is less than 70 miles from Colorado Springs and 42 miles from Boulder, and Denver International Airport is also just minutes away. That’s why many people choose to move to Aurora because it indeed does provide the best of both worlds.

Aurora also attracts many businesses, including major industries such as aerospace and defense, health care, and renewable energy. As a result, Aurora has a very high immigration rate contributing to its diverse population.

Cost of Living

One of the primary reasons people choose to move to Aurora is its low cost of living. While it’s getting more challenging to live comfortably in Denver, Aurora is one of the few areas where it’s still possible.

Although Aurora’s living cost is around 8% higher than the national average, it’s 2% lower than the Colorado state average. Most people living in Aurora pay less on housing, food, childcare, transportation, health care, and taxes than many other parts of the state.

Here are some of the average prices you can expect to pay while living in Aurora:

  • Childcare per month: $850
  • Gym membership per month: $43.00
  • One-way local transport ticket: $1.50
  • Gasoline: $0.84
  • Cinema ticket: $13.00
  • Basic utilities per month (apartment): $138.59
  • Inexpensive restaurant (1 person): $11.50
  • Mid-range restaurant (2 people): $70.00

In Aurora, the average salary for a full-time employee is around $45,000 per year. Keep in mind that the cost of living in any area is based on your career, yearly salary, and the current real estate market. But for those who want to live close to Denver, Aurora is an affordable option.

Weather

While Colorado is known for its winters and fantastic ski conditions, the state does have four distinct seasons. Aurora has a semi-arid, high-desert climate, although the Rocky Mountains and the Front Range typically influence the weather.

A semi-arid climate generally means mild warm summers and wet, cold winters. The colder months bring a lot of snow to the area, but there is plenty of time to thaw out.

Aurora experiences approximately 17 inches of rain per year, lower than the national average of 38. As for snow, you can expect an average of around 62 inches per year, much higher than the national average of 28. On average, Aurora has 243 sunny days, which means plenty of time to get outside and enjoy everything the city has to offer.

For those moving long-distance from areas such as Florida, Alaska, and Arizona, you’re in for a real treat. Each season lasts around three months and has something different to offer in terms of weather and recreation activities. If you want to live in Aurora, your wardrobe will need to be as diverse as the city’s population.

Just remember it’s generally better to avoid moving in winter. The cold, snowy weather in Aurora may make for an unpleasant move and can lead to damage to your belongings. If time is no issue, try to move during fall or spring when the weather is pleasant.

Summer

In Aurora, the summers are hot and mostly clear. The season typically lasts from early June to mid-September, with July being the hottest month. During July, the average daily high is above 88°F, rarely falling below 78°F.

Summer is one of the most popular seasons in Aurora, with plenty of outdoor and indoor activities to choose from. During summer, you can:

  • Go paddleboarding
  • Go horseback riding
  • Enjoy the Aurora Arts Festival
  • Attend Aurora Pride Fest
  • Sing along at an outdoor concert
  • Hike the High Line Canal Trail
  • Sip on cider at Haykin Family Cider
  • Attend a free comedy show at Stanley Marketplace

If you enjoy warm summers that aren’t stifling, Aurora is your place.

little girl with her mom and dad moving into blue springs home

Fall

In Aurora, the fall season experiences a mixture of warm days and cooler nights. The season typically lasts from mid-September to early to mid-October, but this can vary from season to season.

During fall, the average daily high decreases to around 60°F, rarely falling below 44°F. The daily low temperature decreases from 44°F to 35°F, rarely falling below 23°F.

The fall season in Colorado has plenty of sunshine and offers some of the best fall foliage around. Rocky Mountain National Park offers magnificent scenery year-round, but the fall season is when it’s arguably at its best.

Of course, there are plenty of other things to do during fall in Aurora. They include:

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Shooting at the Family Shooting Range
  • Picnicking
  • Visiting a pop-up pumpkin patch
  • Making your way through a corn maze
  • Watching the leaves change color

Fall is a quieter season in Aurora, a bonus for residents who want to explore the city without feeling trampled by visitors. Cherry Creek State Park is quiet and laid back during the off-season giving you the perfect opportunity to camp, picnic, or kayak in tranquil peace.

Winter

In Aurora, the winters are cold, often wet, and very snowy. The season typically lasts from mid-November to early April, with December and January being the coldest months. During December and January, the average daily high is 44°F with a low of 17°F.

Aurora is a winter wonderland and a world-class destination for things to do involving snow and ice. More than 86 million visitors come to Colorado each year. Many of them choose Aurora for its proximity to the Rocky Mountains and its outdoor and indoor activities.

During winter, you can go:

  • Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
  • Ice skating at The Pond at Southlands
  • Ice fishing at Aurora Reservoir
  • Snow tubing and sledding
  • Visit the Aurora History Museum
  • Play winter golf
  • Wildlife viewing at Star K Ranch and Morrison Nature Center
  • Dog sledding

The best part about living in Aurora is the tourists have to go home eventually; you don’t!

Spring

In Aurora, the springtime experiences mild temperatures with early morning fogs and cooler evenings. The season typically lasts from the end of March to May, although winter tends to hang on through April. During spring, the average daily high increases to around 77°F, rarely falling below 35°F.

Spring in Aurora is a wonderful time. While you may notice a decent amount of tourists, it won’t be as nearly crowded as in summer.

Colorado is also known for its amazing festival culture. Many festivals have been held throughout spring, focusing on food, art, music, and shopping.

During spring, you can also:

  • Try outdoor yoga
  • Fly fishing at Aurora Reservoir
  • Explore art in public places
  • Catch a show at Aurora Fox Arts Center
  • Revisit the past at Aurora History Museum
  • Visit a brewery (or two)
  • Join a cooking class
  • Spend the night rollerskating at Skate City Aurora
  • Hit a hole-in-one at Top Golf

If you can’t say goodbye to skiing just yet, grab one last slope ride before the season wraps up! Ski season generally ends in late April. If you get the chance, you’ll notice far fewer tourists, and you may even have the slopes to yourself!

putting white colonial l home on the market

Economy

Aurora has recently seen an increase of 2.8% in the job market and is predicted to rise over the next ten years by 42.5%. This is excellent news for people moving to Aurora for potential employment opportunities.

As of 2022, the Aurora sales tax rate is 8.5%, slightly above Denver’s and the national average. The sales tax rate includes 2.9% Colorado state sales tax, 0.75% Adams County sales tax, 3.75% Aurora tax, and 1.1% Special tax.

There is a flat Colorado state income tax rate of 4.55%, meaning everyone pays the same state income tax regardless of their income level. The current unemployment rate in Aurora is 4.7% which continues to steadily decline, most likely due to the economy’s swift burst post-pandemic.

As job growth continues to rise, moving to Aurora might be the place for you if you’re after a career change. Some of the major employers in Aurora include:

  • Aerospace and defense
  • Bioscience and health care
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Energy

Aurora’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains also makes it a popular tourist destination. Many people choose to stay in Aurora and make day trips out to the Rockies. As a result, the hospitality and retail industries are thriving industries that provide temporary, seasonal job opportunities during the busier seasons like summer and winter.

Let’s take a brief look at some of the thriving industries in Aurora and the major employers that contribute to Aurora’s booming economy.

Health Care

Colorado ranks seventh among the U.S. states for its health care system. Aurora is home to top-notch medical facilities and leads the way in providing some of the best health care in the country.

Some of the major hospitals in Aurora include:

  • UC Health University of Colorado Hospital
  • Children’s Hospital Colorado
  • Aurora Presbyterian Hospital
  • Lincoln Medical Center
  • Kindred Hospital Aurora
  • Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente and the Children’s Hospital are some of the city’s largest employers. They are always looking for recent college graduates and younger employees to join their workplaces. You may also secure employment in administrative, food service, and receptionist positions within the health care industry.

Aurora is also home to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, a premier medical destination at the forefront of transformative medicine, research, innovation, and health care. According to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of higher education programs, it is ranked among the best in the country.

Education

Aurora is home to many great schools, from nursery school to graduate school. This means there are plenty of opportunities to work within education. Job roles that you may find yourself undertaking include:

  • Teacher
  • Paraeducator
  • Administrative assistant
  • Program assistant
  • Principal
  • Recruiter
  • Educational Consultant
  • Special education teacher
  • School counselor
  • Chief academic officer
  • Student services office coordinator

The average salary for a public teacher in Aurora ranges from $53,000 to $71,00, depending on experience. As of 2022, the average salary for a school principal in Aurora is $113,00, but the range typically sits between $99,000 to $127,000.

Major education employers include the Aurora Public Schools, University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, and Community College of Aurora.

Retail Trade

Aurora is also home to one of Colorado’s first Amazon fulfillment centers. Located just 5 miles south of Denver International Airport, the 452,400-square-foot facility is another major employer of the city. Jobs include warehouse team members, staffing administrators, and logistic specialists.

Wagner Equipment Co. is another big player in the retail industry. The Aurora-based company provides heavy equipment rentals and CAT equipment sales in the city and surrounding areas. They often advertise for several different positions in customer service, administration, sales, and management.

For those looking for casual or seasonal employment, the Town Center at Aurora includes major retailers such as Macy’s, JCPenny, and Footlocker. You might work as a retail sales associate, cashier, or beauty adviser.

The average hourly wage for a casual cashier in Aurora is $14.09. A sales associate in Aurora can fetch a yearly wage of $30,187 or $15.67 per hour.

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Food and Beverage Services

The food and beverage scene in Aurora is diverse and expansive. Some of the biggest food and beverage companies include:

  • McDonald’s
  • Cascade
  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
  • Panda Express
  • Bubbas
  • Five Guys
  • Starbucks

The types of job roles you might find undertaking include:

  • Barista
  • Server
  • Host
  • Cashier
  • Grill cook
  • Deli clerk
  • Bartender
  • Restaurant manager

As we mentioned earlier, tourism is a significant economic driver in Aurora and across the state of Colorado. The state offers numerous training programs, certifications, and higher education programs to support the growing tourism and hospitality industry.

If you’re passionate about the food service industry, Aurora has no shortage of career opportunities for you.

Customer Service

It’s an exciting time to work for the City of Aurora. Many government jobs offer a good salary, employee benefits, and a solid retirement plan. Qualified applicants are in high demand for many positions in departments such as:

  • The Aurora Police Department
  • The Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Department
  • City of Aurora Human Resources
  • Aurora Fire Department
  • Aurora Voter Registration
  • Aurora Cultural Services Department
  • City of Aurora Disability Services

The City of Aurora helps create and maintain a culturally rich environment. They offer many different opportunities for every background.

With new projects in motion, they always look for talented professionals to complete these tasks. If you have a background in engineering, technology infrastructure, and treatment plant operations, you may have luck finding employment.

Transportation

Are you wondering what type of transportation options Aurora provides its residents?

You’re in luck because Aurora itself is served by local buses and a light rail system. RTD’s R Line includes ten stations in Aurora, including the Aurora City Center, Anschutz Medical Campus, and Denver International Airport.

For a one-way fare, you can expect to pay $3.00. According to the website, discount fares are available to seniors 65+, individuals with disabilities, Medicare holders, and children between 6 and 19. The city also has several transportation projects in the pipeline, so keep an eye out for updates.

Many Aurora residents own vehicles or get around on bikes. Don’t be surprised to see people walking or cycling to work, given its outdoorsy reputation.

Colleges and Universities

Are you moving to Aurora for your education? If so, you’re in luck. The city boasts many excellent universities and colleges to help you take the first steps toward your dream career.

Although Aurora has great four-year college programs, you can also attend community college before transferring to the bigger schools. Many students choose to study at one of Aurora’s community colleges before transferring to save significant money on tuition. Plus, earning an associate degree gives students excellent job prospects and earning potential.

Let’s look at some of the best-performing universities and community colleges in Aurora.

Community College of Aurora

The Community College of Aurora (CCA) is a public two-year community college. There are currently over 10,000 students studying a variety of programs, including:

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • General Studies
  • Cinematography and Film/Video Production
  • Diesel Mechanics Technology
  • Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist
  • Accounting
  • Legal Assistant/Paralegal

CAA has two campuses: CentreTech Campus in Aurora and Lowry Campus at the former Lowry Air Force Base. They also provide online classes for convenience.

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University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is a world-class medical center offering more than 40 programs within the:

  • School of Medicine
  • College of Nursing
  • Skaggs School of Pharmacy
  • School of Dental Medicine
  • Colorado School of Public Health
  • Graduate School

The school was founded in 2006 and is part of the University of Colorado organization. Currently, there are 4,490 students. The campus combines teaching, research, and clinical facilities to prepare future health care professionals with the knowledge and skills to become leaders in the medical industry.

Platt College

Platt College is a private, for-profit four-year college in Aurora, Colorado. It is a small institution with an enrollment of just 288 undergraduate students. They offer one major, and that is in nursing.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can be completed in as little as three years. As of 2021, the NCLEX first-time testing rate was 87.88%. Graduates enjoy an employment rate of 90% after completing their studies at Platt College.

Platt College is great for students for prefer smaller classroom sizes. However, admission is highly competitive since the school’s acceptance rate is only 45%.

MSU Denver

Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU) is a public four-year university only a 16-mile drive from Aurora. The main campus is in Denver, with satellite campuses in Northglenn and Greenwood Village.

MSU offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees through its three schools: Business, Professional Studies and Letters, and Arts and Sciences. Some of the most popular subjects students choose to major in are:

  • Accounting
  • Hospitality
  • Hotel Management
  • Nursing
  • Social Work
  • Teaching

With an acceptance rate of 83%, MSU is one of the more accessible schools to get into and the most affordable. It also might be helpful to note that MSU is one of Colorado’s top 10 party schools.

Outdoor Recreation

Colorado is well-known for its outdoorsy lifestyle. With thousands of miles of stunning trails, Coloradans have a lot to be thankful for. Aurora has the bonus of being within an hour’s drive of Rocky Mountain National Park.

But that isn’t the only outdoor activity in Aurora. Some of the best activities in this city are right on your doorstep, literally. Here are a few top picks to get you started:

  • Cherry Creek State Park
  • Plains Conservation Center
  • Murphy Creek Golf Course
  • Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife
  • Sand Creek Regional Greenway
  • Quincy Reservoir
  • Wetlands Loop and Creekside Trail

Colorado residents experience plenty of health benefits living in this outdoor state. They are known for having less adult obesity and adopting a “relax more, stress less” mentality. If this sounds like something you are interested in, this is the best city to move to in the US.

Best Aurora Neighborhoods to Live In

When you decide to move to a new city, it’s always important to research which part best fits your needs. Aurora is no different. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right neighborhood, including safety, proximity to amenities and schools, and commute time to work.

Aurora offers various types of housing, from townhouses and single-family homes to condos and mobile homes. They also come in various styles, from contemporary and American bungalows to mid-century modern and mountain rustic.

To ensure you choose the right neighborhood, you should visit the area in person before you move. However, this isn’t always possible. If not, you can use this guide to some of the best neighborhoods in Aurora to begin your search.

Pheasant Run

Pheasant Run has a population of around 6,560. Living in Pheasant Run offers its residents a dense suburban feel close to many parks. While it is one of the smaller neighborhoods of Aurora, it still has plenty to offer.

There are many grocery stores and places to grab a bite within a 1-mile radius. A hospital, vet clinic, and grade schools in and around the area offer convenience and educational opportunities close to home.

Choosing to purchase a property in Pheasant Run is also an excellent investment. The average median house price is $180,000. Transportation is readily accessible and can take you to downtown Aurora and Denver within 30 minutes.

Saddle Rock Golf Club

With a name like Saddle Rock Golf Club, you can be assured of one thing: there’s a golf course, a big one at that! Saddle Rock Golf Club comprises multiple cul-de-sacs in a nice quiet area close to Southlands Mall and plenty of restaurants. The neighbors are friendly, and some of the best schools are within walking distance.

Houses in Saddle Rock Golf Club are spacious and perfectly manicured. The median price for a 3+ bedroom home is $535,000.

Rent is also affordable at around $1,500 per month. There are also townhouses and condos available.

Living in this neighborhood gives you excellent access to the scenic golf course and the top-rated clubhouse. When you need a break from the peace and tranquility, you can reach Aurora and downtown Denver in under 30 mins. Saddle Rock Golf Club truly embodies a real sense of community.

Seven Hills

The Seven Hills neighborhood features a wide range of housing options with fantastic schooling, outdoor activities, and family-friendly facilities. With almost 7,000 residents, Seven Hills enjoys a quieter lifestyle that attracts many families and young professionals.

In Seven Hills, you’ll find an eclectic mix of houses from single-family homes, condos, and apartments. Compared to other neighborhoods, Seven Hills is more affordable for those keeping a tight leash on their wallet. Depending on what size house you require, you can purchase a decent property for between $75,000 and $150,000.

Living in Seven Hills will also put you close to many fantastic restaurants, grocery stores, and cafes. Golden Flame Hot Wings is a restaurant not to be missed.

Sterling Hills

Sterling Hills is a delightful neighborhood on the east side of Aurora. The neighborhood is high-end and ideal for young professionals and families who can afford to stretch their budgets. The neighborhood also suits military families as the Buckley Air Force Base is close.

In Sterling Hills, the houses are bigger, more attractive, and range between $300,000 to $700,000. While most people are homebuyers, rental homes are occasionally available. Prices typically sit around $2,220 per month.

Sterling Hills is a family-oriented neighborhood with five parks and large play areas. The neighborhood is safe and close to many excellent schools and stores. Because it sits against the Plains Conservation Center, you have breathtaking spacious views yet only 20 miles from downtown Denver.

Tallyn’s Reach

Tallyn’s Reach is a luxurious residential community located in southeast Aurora. Nestled among rolling hills, Tallyn’s Reach has a rugged beauty, with many homes made of wood and stone.

With luxury comes a higher price tag. The median listing home price is $765,000. However, houses in Tallyn’s reach offer larger square footage, bigger manicured lawns, and gorgeous facades.

In fact, you can get a lot more for your in Tallyn’s reach than you can in Denver. For larger families who require more space, it might be an ideal option to move to this exclusive neighborhood.

Whispering Pines

Located at the northern edge of the Black Forest, Whispering Pines is a newer housing development in Aurora. Moving into this neighborhood will provide you with an all-inclusive experience. With its own clubhouse, open green spaces, swimming pool, and trails, you might have trouble leaving!

As a higher-end community, you can expect to pay on the upper end of the scale. As of March 2022, the median house price was $820,000.

However, larger homes in the area continue to sell for just over $1,000,000. These large-family homes offer 5,000 to 7,000 square footage, which is great for growing families or multi-generational living.

Aurora, Colorado: One of the Best Cities to Move To

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: Aurora truly is one of the best cities to move to in the country, perhaps even the world.

With so much to see, do, and eat, you’re unlikely ever to get bored while living in the great city of Aurora. But uprooting your entire life in search of something new is a big deal. Before you even get to Aurora, you have to sell your old home, pack your belongings and work out how the heck you’re going to get your things from A to B.

That’s where we come in. We know moving sucks, and we’re here to make it less sucky. At Moving Proz, we are your professional residential and commercial moving company.

Our residential moving experts can help make your move run smoothly and stress-free. We can pack, load, transport, and unpack your belongings so you can focus on starting your new life in Aurora. Whether you’re moving local or long-distance, our movers will get you there safely.

Contact us for a free moving and packing quote today.

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