As the 19th century drew to a close, the town of Fletcher, located on the barren high plains east of Denver, numbered a mere 202 residents. But, oddly enough, after founder Donald Fletcher absconded with the city funds, the town’s fortunes began to improve.
Fletcher, renamed Aurora, in honor of the Roman goddess of the dawn, soon witnessed the arrival of the Denver Municipal Airport, Buckley Army Air Field, Lowry Army Air Field, and Fitzsimmons Army Hospital.
Following World War II, many service personnel who had trained at area installations returned to raise their families amidst the pristine air and relatively mild climate. During the ensuing decades Aurora grew rapidly, initially adding ’50s-and-’60s-style subdivisions and, more recently, progressive New Urbanist communities and transit-oriented developments, particularly on the south and east.
Southeast Aurora welcomes all lifestyles – from students to blue-collar workers, young professionals to empty nesters – with a diverse mix of quiet suburban neighborhoods and bustling commercial centers linked by major highways and thoroughfares to Downtown Denver, DIA, south suburban business parks like Inverness and the Tech Center, and mountain resorts.
Boundless housing options include single-family homes; low-maintenance townhome, condominium, and patio-home communities; and exquisite custom homes in semi-rural settings featuring forested lots and spectacular mountain views.
As one might expect, pricing options run the gamut as well, from affordable starter homes to multi-million dollar estates.
Typical of the more established neighborhoods to the west of E-470, Mission Viejo, modeled on the classic California development of the same name, boasts looped and circular streets, mature shade trees, Barcelona entrance walls, and Mission Bell street lamps. Community life revolves around Mission Viejo Park, its ball fields, walkways, and picnic areas.
Stocked for trout fishing, Aurora Reservoir and Recreation area, northeast of E-470 and Smoky Hill Road, boasts a marina, sandy beaches, and ten-mile bicycle track, while westside residents enjoy similar amenities at Cherry Creek State Park.
Elegant, affordable homes by the nation’s top builders in newer master-planned communities such as Murphy Creek offer fairway, meadow, and mountain views.
Fitness and sports facilities include the championship level Murphy Creek golf course, community parks, a recreation center, bicycle paths, and hiking trails.
Other fine area golf courses are Saddle Rock and Meadow Hills.