Aurora Illinois Guide

Founded in 1837, the “City of Lights” is the third-largest city in Illinois. Aurora is located just 40 miles west of the Chicago Metro area on the Fox River. For its 142,990 residents, Aurora offers all the amenities of a large city with the comfortable feel of small-town neighborhoods. The city boasts excellent schools, low crime rates, a pro-business environment, a historic downtown area, abundant parks and golf courses and a plethora of cultural activities. Residents also enjoy plenty of dining, shopping, special events, and recreational opportunities.

High-tech firms along the I-88 corridor have driven strong job growth that has helped the city maintain its infrastructure and expanding population. The real estate market is diverse and relatively affordable, offering a tapestry of different architectural styles and time periods.


Six public school districts serve Aurora, and there are a number of private schools, including three Catholic high schools and one Christian high school. The Illinois Math and Science Academy is one of only three schools in the nation of its kind. It is a three-year, public residential high school. Students at this school scored an average of 31.1 on the ACT in 1998, the highest in the nation. Institutions of higher learning include Waubonsee Community College and Aurora University, a private, independent institution with an enrollment of more than 2,000 students. Other nearby colleges and universities are Northern Illinois University, College of Du Page, Illinois Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, De Paul University, University of Chicago, Loyola University, University of Illinois-Chicago, Benedictine University and North Central College.


Aurora’s real estate market is made up of two-story, ranch- and bungalow-style homes and incredible castle-like estates. Condominiums and townhouses start at under $100,000 and run up to $400,000 for newer units. Single-family detached homes can be found for under $100,000 and range up to $1 million and more for large estate properties, many with wooded acreage and/or golf course frontage. Homes in communities such as Stillwater, Stonebridge, Shell Lake Estates, Oakhurst, Century Farms, Tamarack Fairways, Barrington Ridge, Lakewood Valley, Heather Glen, Nature’s Edge and Diamond Bay are priced from under $200,000 to $1 million and more for estate properties. Golf course communities such as White Eagle, the Townes at Stonebridge and Orchard Valley offer homes with golf course frontage and/or views. Land and lots are also available for custom building.


Aurora has many cultural, historical, recreational and entertainment opportunities. There are eight city parks, including two water parks, the Aurora City Zoo, bike trails, tennis courts and several ballfields. Parks and trails are easily accessible from all parts of the city.

There are 50 golf courses within a 30-mile radius of Aurora, including six local facilities: Fox Valley Country Club, Fox Bend Country Club, Orchard Valley Golf Course, Phillips Park Golf Course, Stonebridge Country Club and White Eagle Country Club. Other public open spaces include Rotary Park, Millennium Plaza and Sesquicentennial Park.


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