For the past few months, my family and I have explored different towns and sculpture parks focused on art. Downtown Aurora is one town I’ve heard that has a great art scene with new restaurants and shops popping up. So off we went to Downtown Aurora in search of murals and art the town has to offer. Read all about our art adventure and check out the handy map that I included.
Getting started in Downtown Aurora
Look for street parking or free parking lots anywhere in Downtown Aurora. We parked at the free lot at the corner of New York Street and River.
New York Street
Our first art of the day was this lovely utility box on the corner.
“Bloom Where You’re Planted” by Laura Lynne @lauralynneart (Location: 116 W New York St.)
Coffee stop #1
We continued east on New York Street but already needed to fuel up so I grabbed a coffee and snacks at Endiro Coffee. I had heard wonderful things about Endiro including how they are a tree-to-cup operation with locations in Uganda and their only U.S. shop in Downtown Aurora. I am a sucker for all things lavender so I ordered the Black Tie Special Mocha, a concoction of blackberry, lavender, and white chocolate. And yes, it was every bit as good as it sounds. We picked up a couple sandwiches to go including a Ugandan street food, a rolex, which reminded me of a handheld omelette, and an Aurora Cheesesteak.
A quick stroll down the Fox River Trail
After filling our bellies with food, we headed down the Endiro stairs onto the Fox River Trail and made a right. Underneath the bridge was this cool mural of herons.
Artist: Bunnie Reiss Location: Fox River Trail/New York Street underpass
We may have only walked along the river for a few minutes, but it was very pretty!
Art on Galena Street in Downtown Aurora
We then headed back up the stairs and made a left and crossed on bridge on Galena Street. I made a pit stop to Altiro Coffee Shop for one thing — a horchata iced coffee. It was a delicious and refreshing treat. And even better, on weekends they serve it with a churro.
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Across the street, we found a few artists working on the Sugar Skull City paintings. Another wonderful creation by Pierre Lucero. Amazing, right?
Our walk continued on Galena and we passed by Paramount Theatre.
We then made a left onto Broadway into the alley and saw this cool abstract art.
abstract art by Stuk One (Location: Alley by 11 N. Broadway)
We headed our way back onto Galena Street to find one of my favorites of our self-guided art tour, these angel wings on the side of La France Bakery.
“Hope Wings” by Sam Cervantes (Location: Side of La France Bakery, 118 E. Galena Blvd.) #hopewingsaurora
And, of course, we couldn’t leave without getting a few baked goods from La France Bakery. Continue east on Galena and make a right on LaSalle Street.
Art by Benton/Broadway
You’ll find Calla Lilly Tea Room (on our list to stop by next time!) and on the side you’ll see a mural of a historic grocery store.
Historic Grocery Store by Josh Schultz & Rebekah Axtell (Location: S. LaSalle/E. Benton at Calla Lily Victorian Tea Room, 83 S. LaSalle St.)
Walk down to the end of the street and find this abstract art.
Artist: Ruben Aguirre (Location: Broadway/Benton overpass)
Across the street from the mural was a painted utility box.
Art on Downer Place
Our crew continued on Downer Place. We had plans to try out handcrafted ice cream at Charlie’s Creamery but at the time it was closed. (Darn, fall hours!)
Tip: Need a break? The city just unveiled a new Musical Garden where you can play instruments, rest, and relax.
We trekked on and visited the cute boutique shop, Wyckwood House. My daughter and I headed straight to the back of the store to find these super sweet wings.
We found more cool window art as well as our last mural of the day.
Mexican heritage, Artist: Pierre Lucero (Location: Side of 36 W. Downer Pl.)
Other things to do in Downtown Aurora
- I heard Society 57 was a great place to grab coffee and a bite. Their croissants are a must-try from Aurora bakery Katic Breads, a favorite at farmers markets throughout Chicagoland.
- When it’s open again, the hands-on Sci-tech Museum is super fun.
- Love fire trucks and engines? Don’t miss the Aurora Regional Fire Museum. We visited a few years ago and it was a hit!
- Check out more public art. We only scratched the surface of art in area. Check out what else Aurora’s art scene offers including fun events like Sugar Skull City.
Have you been to Downtown Aurora lately?