Fitzsimons – Aurora, CO

Situated around the former site of the Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, the Fitzsimons neighborhood features quiet streets full of relatively new construction ranging from two-story ranch homes to spacious apartment blocks filled with modern amenities. Because of its proximity to the medical center and Buckley Air Force Base, many military families live in the area, but civilian families, young professionals and others also call this area home. Located 13 miles from downtown Denver, Fitzsimons provides its residents with a stable suburban lifestyle close to the city.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Restaurants and bars sit scattered throughout this area, with a good deal of them located on Colfax. Thai Street Food sells your favorite classic Thai dishes such as Pad Thai as well as more elusive items such as noodle jelly salad. Primarily designed for customers who enjoy carry-out food, this restaurant has a small number of tables for people wishing to dine in, and it has an attached Thai grocery store for those who prefer to cook their own delights. Asian cuisine-loving locals also frequent the Blue Lagoon Bistro. Promising Asian fusion and sushi, this restaurant has everything from Japanese sushi rolls to Thai curries on its menu, and if you want to try a small portion, the lunch specials offer the best deals. Clean, simple and unpretentious, this restaurant boasts a polite and efficient serving crew as well as chefs who cook almost everything from scratch. Fitzsimons locals who want to drink locally head to the Cedar Creek Pub. There, a hearty menu filled with pub fare such as burgers or fish and chips promises to fill your belly, but the beer and wine list entices you to spend your evening at this establishment. Sample brews from ten different Colorado breweries, six local distilleries or five Rocky Mountain wineries. Another popular destination for craft brew lovers is the Lowry Beer Garden. With draughts from major Colorado brewing companies including Fat Tire, Left Hand Brewing Company and Odell's as well as many others, this beer garden also pours a diverse range of international craft beers hailing from Belgium to Jamaica. Come by on select nights to compete in trivia contests or play poker. Residents craving a bit more excitement than that offered by sports bars and brew pubs, head to the Zephyr Lounge. One of the only dance clubs in the Fitzsimons area, the Zephyr has live music, karaoke and other fun.

History & Culture

In 1918, the government built the Fitzsimons Army Medical Center as a place to treat many of the injuries arising during World War I. Located in Aurora, which had a population of 1,000 at the time, the hospital sat on 577 acres of land. The center was used heavily throughout World War II, treating even President Eisenhower several times. Over the years, the medical center contributed to Aurora's growth, eventually catapulting the small town to the third largest city in the state of Colorado. In 1999, the government closed the medical center but announced plans to spend nearly $5 billion to create a civilian medical center on the site. Locals can explore the history of this area by visiting the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum or the Aurora History Museum, or they can honor their artistic side by seeing a show at the Aurora Fox Theater.

Transportation

Free parking exists all over the Fitzsimons area, and residents have convenient access to Denver. By car, locals can take Interstate 225 to Interstate 70 which runs straight into downtown, or if they wish to avoid the freeway, they can take Colfax Avenue into downtown. RTD bus routes 15 and 20 run east and west along Colfax Avenue. These buses run every 20 minutes, and they allow riders to reach downtown in approximately 45 minutes. Walking or bicycling through the area offers safety to residents. Although relatively uncommon for Fitzsimons locals to use either of these modes of transportation as their only means of getting around, both are becoming more popular as Denver commits to expanding its bicycle routes through the metro area. Cabs and Uber drivers serve the area, but they run too infrequently to be able to hail them in the street. Instead, locals must call when they need a ride.

Cost

Living in Fitzsimons costs a bit more on average than living in other parts of the Denver metro area. While the average one-bedroom apartment in Denver rents for $1,041, renters in this area pay $1,218 for similar accommodation. Taking an RTD bus into the city costs only $3, but if you opt to drive, expect to save about 8 percent on gas, compared to the national average. During happy hour, finding a $3 pint of beer or even a glass of wine isn't a problem, and outside of happy hour, pints start at $4 or more.

Shopping

Shops exist throughout the Fitzsimons area, and locals particularly enjoy the outdoor shopping mall, Southlands. However, shoppers in search of something special from a small boutique must drive to different locations throughout the area, rather than window shopping in a single area. Shoppers wanting to save shop at Plum Consignment or the Style Exchange. Both of these shops buy the latest fashions and resell them to locals at heavily discounted prices. Style Exchange focuses on filling its shelves with styles popular in Los Angeles, while Plum focuses on a wide variety of upscale styles. Fashionistas not willing to leave their children looking unstylish, head to Hollyhocks Children's Boutique. At this adorable boutique, southern charm meets Denver style. Locals can find formal wear, christening gowns and other outfits for special occasions, but they can also find funky semi-casual outfits, tutus and baby rompers. For food, locals get to choose between several different chain grocery stores including King Soopers and Whole Foods. During the summer, farmers set up stalls at the 21 Fitzsimons Farmers' Market. Located in the parking lot of the 21 Fitzsimons apartment building, this farmers market brings fresh local produce and art to the area.

Parks

Families enjoy Cottonwood Park. This spacious area hosts a playground, a basketball court and several open spaces for playing sports or letting your doggy burn off some energy. Families with kids in particular frequent this park. Exercise lovers grab their skateboards and head to the Aurora Skate Park, or they put on running shoes and hit the trails at Cherry Creek Reservoir. Those in search of a large, fenced-in off-leash play area for their pups frequent the nearby Lowry or Stapleton dog parks.