Shops in downtown Aurora are one-of-a-kind. Spend an afternoon visiting these locally-owned gems.
Walk inside Branch Gardens, 77 S. Lake St., and it’s a paradise of overflowing greenery that will delight the senses or perk up any staycation. Owners Kori and Bryan Kasper lovingly fill the corner shop with plants and curated decor and gifts.
A block down is Warehouse 55 at 55 S. Lake St. With garage doors that open up to more than 30 vendors, Warehouse 55 is a two-floor shopping playground for those smitten with all things vintage and mid-century. Vendors dress up their spaces with the most festive of touches, and it’s hard to walk away without falling in love with something.
Walking east on Downer Place a block and a half is Wyckwood House at 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 16. The impeccably-staged store inspires homeowners with handcrafted signs and must-have furniture pieces. Owner Shannon Gutierrez has added a line of women’s clothing that is sold online and in the store. The store is a go-to for clever occasion cards and thoughtful gifts. Visit their new location at 80 S. River St. opening in 2022.
On each side of Wyckwood House is Tredwell Coffee and All Spoked Up, so if coffee (and yummy pastries) or bikes is on your list, stop into these spots. If the door to Zen Loft Wellness Center, 6 W. Downer Pl. is open, then definitely head upstairs to Maria’s shop, I of the Angeles, to check out crystals and other spiritual wellbeing items.
It’s now time to walk east to City Hall (if open, head into the GAR at 23 E. Downer and the DLP Art and History Center at 20 E. Downer) and walk down the pedestrian-friendly Water Street Mall that is now flanked by The Venue and Gary Brown Art. The art gallery has regular business hours and is worthy of a stop.
Venture over to Galena Boulevard to stop into La Central Bakery or La France Bakery and pick up some delicious items to bring home. Try tres leches cake, conchas, or macarons. Walk a little further east to see the Wings mural by Sam Cervantes and the Unity mural by Laura Lynne and Catalina Diaz.
Also on Galena, pop into Superjumbo at 102 E. Galena Blvd. It’s a super fun toy shop that specializes in throwback novelty items. They also have a print gallery in the back room. If you’re in a playful mood, don’t miss the pinball machines at Yetee Station around the corner on Broadway.
On Broadway, Patron Boots is a great stop to inhale the fresh leather of boots and see the latest in Western and casual wear. Creaciones Morelos nearby features beautiful dresses in their windows to admire.
Kitty-corner at Broadway and New York Street is Aurora Regional Fire Museum that boasts a nice gift shop filled with fire-themed items including toys, mugs, and more. Custom t-shirts designed by local artist Chris Hodge are a hit.
Heading west, it’s time to round out the day with a walk along the riverwalk, and if hunger strikes, there is La Quinta de los Reyes, Gillerson’s Grubbery, and Ballydoyle all within reach, or more than two dozen other restaurants to choose from in a walkable downtown.
The above walking tour of downtown shops works best if started with a coffee at Society 57, 100 S. River St. Car and bicycle parking are available across the street at Aurora Public Library. If you’re up for a cocktail stop, then head into French 75 Gallery and Lounge at 56 E. Galena Blvd.