By S.E. Slack
Everyone has heard of Denver, the Mile High City. But Colorado’s third largest city, Aurora, may deserve just as much attention for its culture, lifestyles and affordability.
Located just minutes from Denver International Airport, Aurora is located on the east side of Denver.
The city, named after the Roman Goddess of the Dawn, was recognized as the All-America City for 2008 and is listed by Forbes as the ninth safest city in the nation. Perhaps that’s due, in part, to it being the home to Buckley Air Force Base as well as all five branches of the military. One of the only U.S. national defense installations to house all five branches of the military, Buckley also hosts the Colorado Air National Guard squadron and its F-16 fighters – which can often be seen streaking across the front range during maneuvers. More than 40,000 veterans live in the city.
Superb medical care is part of Aurora’s attraction for many residents. Children’s Hospital Colorado is ranked in the top 10 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It’s also nationally ranked in the top 10 for six different pediatric specialties by the American Hospital Association. Currently under construction is the future home of a new Veterans Affairs Hospital, scheduled for completion in 2015 and expected to serve more than 82,000.
Recreational activities are plentiful, with sports complexes, a large reservoir and numerous outdoor activities throughout the city. Completion of a light rail system will connect the city to all parts of the Denver metro area in 2016.
The city’s affordable housing is also one of the main draws for homebuyers. Boulder and Denver are out of reach for many prospective homeowners with median home values of $485,100 and $254,800, respectively. The median home value in Aurora is $173,300, according to Zillow.