October 2022….spent the morning re-discovering the Portage County suburb of Aurora hosted by Aurora Mayor Ann Womar Benjamin, Director of Parks & Rec Laura Holman, Director of Economic Development, Holly Harris Bane and a cameo from Police Chief Brian Byard,
Things our Project Managers learned from a driving tour of the city:
- The city was founded in the late 1700’s and has 17,000 residents
- 1800 acres are owned by the city to keep greenspace available to the public including 13 parks and preserves which provide all purpose trails. disc golf courses, a splashpad, ball fields, skate parks and kayak and boat rentals
- Hartman Park features a Tree Museum: unique half-mile walking trail introduces visitors to over 500 live trees, planted in family groups in the order that they showed up on earth. OK, doesn’t that sound like a fun fall excursion for your family?
- Under Mayor Benjamin’s watch, Aurora has added more than 2 1/2 miles of sidewalks to provide connectivity
- There are so many services for seniors that several of us who are over 55 began to think of moving here ….transportation, social gatherings and excursions including trips to theater, ballgames, restaurants and leaf peeping!
- Barrington is a private residential community, centered around a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course and has everything from apartment rentals to palatial single family homes
- Aurora Shores from what was originally Aurora Lake Park (camping, swimming) is now a residential community with almost 900 homes that surround a 300 acre lake (bring your jet skis and powerboats, no horsepower limit on this inland lake)
- Hawthorn of Aurora is a large HOA community that has a clubhouse, pool and access to Aurora Shores
- The Aurora Inn has almost 70 guest rooms, a casual tavern and a swim club (memberships available to community members)
- Every neighborhood needs a place for your dog to run off leash and Sunny Park Lake has Tails & Trails Dog Park
- Walden of Aurora is another residential neighborhood anchored by Walden Club which features an 18 hole golf course, pool, spa and tennis courts
- With around 250 graduating high school seniors every year, the excellent schools are small enough to allow newcomers to the community to quickly get to know their classmates and nearby Valley Christian Academy and Western Reserve Academy (Hudson) offer private school education within minutes
- The Preserve at Beljon Farms – brand new construction (and still building), all in the Western Reserve style of architecture
- big plans underway for the former Geauga Lake Amusement Park (a small portion of which is in Aurora), which is quickly becoming a mixed used development including a large residential component – you can sit on your front porch and think fondly of the old Big Dipper Roller Coaster from your high school days!
- Aurora Farms Outlets
We ended our time in Aurora at our co-worker Trudy’s home, where she prepared a luncheon feast featuring the foods of her native Zimbabwe. Because many of the foods presented are traditionally eaten without utensils, she also shared the hand washing ritual that happens before a meal that made us all feel like part of her extended family!
Since not everyone gets an invitation to Trudy’s house for a meal, here are other restaurants in Aurora that you can visit.
- Thorn Creek Winery – great ambiance in a new building
- Cafe Toscano – comfort Italian food!
- OL’Chefskis BBQ – have to love the creative re-do of an Eastern European common surname that is “so Cleveland”
- 1815 Tavern – 200+ yr old building, creative food and awesome desserts
- Evexia Cafe – tons of vegan and gluten-free options
- Mad Jacks Pub – cozy ambiance and comfort food
- Erawan Thai Kitchen – great Asian food
- El Camino – authentic Mexican food
- Nick & Smitty’s – great all around diner/sandwich ANd ashop
And a few cool shops:
- Abigail’s Accessories – jewelry, clothing, handbags
- Secret Garden Antiques – great for treasure hunters
- New Mantua Grain & Supply – lawn & garden shop
Every month members of the Executive Arrangements team explore a different part of our region’s neighborhoods, schools, cultural amenities, outdoor recreation and resources so we can pass along the newest info to your candidates and new hires as they contemplate their relocation to the Cleveland/Akron area. If you need help with talent attraction and employee retention, call us at 216.231.9311