This website uses Cookies to offer you an enhanced browsing experience. Find out more about how we use Cookies.

USA Radio
Aurora, Illinois

Idyllic Aurora: Outdoors and Nature in Illinois

By Hitomi Farrell

With its blocks of brick buildings and abundant charm, it’s hard to believe that Aurora is the second-largest city in Illinois. From nightlife and entertainment to outlet shopping, there’s certainly plenty to do and see here! And this includes the great outdoors. For outdoors enthusiasts, there are several places around town where you can enjoy a beautiful day out in the sunshine.

Free Fun at Phillips Park

The 325-acre Phillips Park includes a park, sunken gardens, golf course, a lake, picnic areas and even a free zoo. Stop first at the visitors’ center, where you can learn about the history of the park and zoo, and even about the mastodons that used to inhabit the area. The sunken gardens have a spectacular display of over 15,000 annuals. I learned that flowers are hand-planted throughout the year to change with the seasons. Near a bench where I sat, I noticed four statues that represent the four seasons. Get up close to all the animals from foxes to eagles at the zoo. It is also home to many animals that were being rehabilitated from injuries.

RiverEdge Park

Along the Fox River right in downtown Aurora, we discovered a wonderful outdoor venue called RiverEdge Park, where many people were taking advantage of the beautiful day with a leisurely stroll or bike ride. There is a kayak launch here as well, but the big attraction is the outdoor concert venue, where a variety of major musical talents come to entertain the locals and visitors. The park also plays host to the annual Blues on the Fox festival and a variety of summertime events.

Farnsworth House

For a beautiful combination of architecture and nature, I recommend the Farnsworth House. This world famous masterpiece represents the ultimate refinement of Miles van der Rohe’s minimalist expression of structure and space. After passing the most beautiful scenery with the Fox River alongside, there it was – a beautiful, modern house with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, sitting quietly in the middle of a prairie. In spring, brilliant flowers burst into bloom all around the house. Part of the National Trust for Historical Preservation, this is a special place that is definitely worth a visit.

Aurora is an exciting place, but it also has a serene countryside feeling, and certainly plenty of opportunities to enjoy both nature and the excitement of the city. It’s a beautiful blend of both urban and suburban.

For more information, please visit us:

Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Welcome to Visit The USA!

Now that you have registered, you can save trip ideas to your suitcase.

Start exploring

Enter your email address and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.

Please check your email.

Start exploring

The password on your account has successfully been changed. Please use your new password to login.

Start exploring

This website is set to 'allow all cookies' for the best user experience. By continuing without changing this setting, you are consenting to this. You may change your settings at any time at the bottom of this page.

More information about cookies

Cookies are very small text files that are stored on your computer when you visit some websites.

We use cookies to make our website easier for you to use. You can remove any cookies already stored on your computer, but these may prevent you from using parts of our website.

If you choose to disable non-essential cookies, the website will:

  • Allow you to log in and remember you are logged in, while in session
  • Determine your country of origin in order to serve you the most relevant version of the site

This website will not:

  • Restrict welcome messaging to the first time you visit the site
  • Track any activity on the site for analytics purposes

More information about cookies