Aerial view of buildings and houses in one of the best places to stay in Aurora, Colorado

Where to Stay in Aurora (5 Best Places & Areas in 2023)

In this guide, I’ll help you decide where to stay in Aurora! 

This post overviews the best places to stay in Aurora for a variety of itineraries, whether you’re visiting for city entertainment or a quick layover. 

For each area, I also suggest nearby things to do in Aurora, along with places to eat and drink. Be sure to read to the end of this guide, as I share key travel tips to help make your visit safe and enjoyable. 

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Best Places to Stay in Aurora

View of the Gaylord Rockies Resort building from the outside
Gaylord Rockies Resort is one of the best hotels in Aurora for the entire family!

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Aurora? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods in Aurora: 

5 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Aurora

Because Aurora is one of the largest Denver suburbs, consider your itinerary when looking at hotels in Aurora. DIA is near northern Aurora, while things to do in Denver are closer to northwest Aurora. Heather Gardens is a great spot if you want to be close to Cherry Creek Reservoir. Meanwhile, southeast Aurora is near other parks like the Aurora Reservoir.

Denver International Airport

An airplane on the runway of Denver International Airport
The Westin, pictured right, is attached to Denver International Airport (photo: Don Mammoser / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Denver Airport Access | ✨ Best Denver Airport Hotels: The Westin Denver International AirportGaylord Rockies Resort & Convention CenterHilton Garden Inn Denver Airport

Part of Aurora is very close to Denver International Airport. If traveling, this is a convenient area to stay on the day you arrive or depart from the city. You’ll find a range of Denver hotels at every price point, along with nearby amenities. 

Pros of Staying near Denver International Airport:

  • Denver airport access 
  • Close to lots of chain restaurants and gas stations
  • Many hotels offer free shuttle service to the airport

Cons of Staying near Denver International Airport:

  • Not close to Denver-area attractions or nightlife

📚 Denver International Airport Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Denver Airport Access
Google Map

Northwest Aurora

View from the outside of the Stanley Marketplace
The Stanley Marketplace is a northwest Aurora market with shops, restaurants, and more

👉 Best Area For Visiting Denver | ✨ Best Northwest Aurora Hotels: Embassy Suites by Hilton Denver Central ParkRenaissance Denver Central Park HotelCourtyard by Marriott Denver Central Park

Northwest Aurora is a good spot to stay if you’d like to spend some of your time exploring Denver. It’s just a short drive to downtown Denver, but hotels in Aurora can be less expensive than those in the city. 

The Stanley Marketplace is also a great spot to check out. The warehouse used to be an aviation center. Today, you’ll find a makerspace, shops, bars, and even one of the best Denver area restaurants inside. 

Pros of Staying in Northwest Aurora Neighborhood:

  • Close to Denver attractions
  • Close to great restaurants and bars
  • Hotels in Aurora can be cheaper than in Denver

Cons of Staying in Northwest Aurora Neighborhood:

  • Hotels can be pricier than other parts of Aurora

📚 Northwest Aurora Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Visiting Denver
Google Map

Southeast Aurora

View of a park during winter in Southeast Aurora, Colorado
Southeast Aurora has lots of parks, suburban homes, and open spaces

👉 Best Area For Outdoor Activities | ✨ Best Southeast Aurora Hotels: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Denver Aurora/ParkerSpringHill Suites Denver ParkerHampton Inn & Suites Parker

Southeast Aurora has lots of open space. The Aurora Reservoir is nearby, and it’s one of the best lakes near Denver. You’ll also be close to Bally’s Arapahoe Park Horse Track and the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. 

A lot of the area is suburban, with quiet homes and streets. If you’re looking for hotels in Aurora that aren’t near busy areas, southeast Aurora is a great choice!

Pros of Staying in Southeast Aurora Neighborhood:

  • Quiet neighborhoods 
  • Close to outdoor activities
  • Close to several golf courses

Cons of Staying in Southeast Aurora Neighborhood:

  • You’ll need a rental car to get around
  • Not much nightlife

📚 Southeast Aurora Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Outdoor Activities
Google Map

Anschutz Medical Campus

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites building in Aurora, Colorado
The Holiday Inn Express & Suites is one of several hotels close to the Anschutz Medical Campus

👉 Best Area For Medical Appointments | ✨ Best Medical Center Hotels: Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Aurora Medical Campus • SpringHill Suites Denver at Anschutz Medical CampusHyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center

The Anschutz Medical Campus is the largest in the region, and people travel from quite a distance for appointments and treatments. Fortunately, there are several hotels in Aurora near the medical center. Many of them include continental breakfasts, so you have one less thing to think about. 

This area of Aurora isn’t necessarily picturesque or big on nightlife. But freeway access to and from DIA makes travel to medical appointments easier. If you want something other than chain restaurants, the Stanley Marketplace is a short drive away. 

Pros of Staying near Anschutz Medical Center:

  • Close to the largest academic medical center in the Rocky Mountain region
  • Freeway access to the Denver airport 
  • Close to chain restaurants

Cons of Staying near Anschutz Medical Center:

  • Busy, built-up area without much ambiance
  • Not a vacation vibe

📚 Anschutz Medical Center Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Medical Appointments
Google Map

Heather Gardens

View from the Heather Gardens in Aurora, Colorado
Heather Gardens is on the northern end of Cherry Creek State Park

👉 Best Area For Parks & Golf | ✨ Best Heather Gardens Hotels: Hampton Inn & Suites Aurora SouthDoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Denver – AuroraFairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Denver Aurora/Medical Center

Heather Gardens is close to Cherry Creek State Park, one of the best state parks in Colorado. Visitors can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, swimming, boating, and fishing. The park is also home to some of the best camping near Denver

There are several other parks with lots of open space nearby, and a handful of golf courses in the area as well. 

Pros of Staying in Heather Gardens Neighborhood:

  • Close to open space
  • Close to restaurants and bars

Cons of Staying in Heather Gardens Neighborhood:

  • Few upscale or boutique hotels, mostly chains

📚 Heather Gardens Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Parks & Golf
Google Map

Tips for Staying in Aurora

A banner on a fence in Aurora, Colorado

Rent a Car

If you’re staying in the medical center area, you may be able to walk to the hospital and to restaurants without a car. However, Aurora is a big place and overall, you’ll want wheels when visiting. 

Discover Cars is a great rental car resource, because the site looks at rental cars from a variety of agencies and finds you the best deal. 

Spend a Day in Denver

Aurora is very close to Denver, so you’ll definitely want to spend some time exploring the city’s best neighborhoods! In fact, you could easily plan a Denver itinerary, then return to your Aurora hotel each night because the distance is so close. 

Drink Water

Here’s one of my key Colorado travel tips: stay hydrated! The altitude, combined with a day of exploring, means you’ll want to carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go. You may also want to bring along lotion and lip balm. The state’s dry air can take a toll on your skin as well!

View at the Plains Conservation Center under the blue sky in Aurora, Colorado
The Plains Conservation Center, one of the best things to do in Aurora

Pack for a Variety of Weather

Even if you’re traveling during the best time to visit Denver, wearing layers is important! Regardless of the time of the year, you’re likely to add and remove jackets, hats, gloves, and other clothes throughout the day. 

It’s helpful to bring a day pack if you plan to be out exploring for several hours at a time. You can keep layers, a water bottle, and other essentials close at hand!

👉 Pro Tip: For more advice on what to pack, check out Abigail’s packing list for Colorado

Always Wear Sunscreen

One of the Colorado facts that locals love to brag about is that our state sees 300+ days of sun each year! This means you’ll want to apply sunscreen every day. 

In fact, even on days it’s cloudy, it’s possible to get a nasty sunburn. Be sure to use plenty of sunscreen and reapply it often.

FAQs About Where to Stay in Aurora 

Is Aurora, CO urban or suburban?

Aurora, CO is a suburban area just next to Denver. Much of the city features suburban homes. There are also stores, restaurants, parks, and schools, with lots of other suburban amenities as well. 

Aurora is a great lodging option to be close to the airport, or if you don’t want to stay in Denver where hotels can be pricier. 

Is Aurora a walkable city?

Aurora is not a walkable city. It’s one of the largest cities in Colorado, and a sprawling suburb of Denver. 

There are parts of Northwest Aurora near Town Center where it is possible to walk to restaurants and other spots. But if you plan to visit Aurora, you’ll find it easiest to get around by renting a car.

A colorful mural near the Stanley Marketplace
A mural near Stanley Marketplace

What is the best area in Aurora?

Heather Ridge is one of the best areas in Aurora. Crime is low and it’s one of the safest areas near Denver. Restaurants, coffee shops, movie theaters, and other entertainment options are nearby. It’s also close to Cherry Creek State Park and other outdoor spaces. 

What county is Aurora, Colorado?

Aurora, Colorado is actually in three counties — Arapahoe, Adams, and Douglas counties. An overwhelming number of Aurora residents live in Arapahoe County, with smaller numbers of people in Adams and Douglas counties. 


As one of the biggest cities in Colorado, Aurora can be overwhelming. But you can narrow down your choices based on what you plan to do here. With your Colorado itinerary and this guide, hopefully, you now know where to stay in Aurora. 

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