Best Places for Scenic Photography in Aurora, Illinois
Aurora is the second most populated city in the US state of Illinois and is a suburb of Chicago situated 40 miles (65km) West of the Loop.
It was originally founded within the Kane County but over the past 50 years Aurora's city limits have expanded and now spills over into Du Page, Will and Kendal counties.
Aurora West Forest Preserve (pictured) offers some of the best opportunities for taking scene photographs. Situated in Hankes Road between Galena Boulevard and Route 56 Aurora there are over 40 acres of woodland and an assortment of natural shrubs. KIt is open 365 days a year from dawn to dusk.
The mission of the forest wardens is to preserve the natural and historic resources, habitats, flora and fauna and restore, restock and protect the forest for the education, recreation and pleasure of all citizens.
A broad, wet soil valley occupies the stem centre and rising 30ft to the north is a gently sloping morainal ridge. The 40-acre mature woodland has a selection of large oak trees and a diverse assortment of shrubs. There is also a conservation area which has various grasses and clovers growing wild.
Along the north side of the farmstead slop is a small collection of nursery plantings of red pine and pin oak. The preserve is an approved off-leash dog area and there are several hiking trails.
Another place to take scenic photographs is in Phillips Park which covers 325 acres. This is a municipal park managed by Aurora's Parks and Recreation department. It is also the home of Aurora Zoo, a golf course and an aquatic centre.
There is a lovely sunken garden with colourful flower and shrub beds. Phillips Park is a "manufactured" recreation area rather than the natural environment of the forest and is a place for family outings, but there are still several photographic opportunities.
A place offering not so much scenic locations, but beautiful all the same is the Sri Venkatewara Swami (Balaji) Temple of Greater Chicago. Situated in West Sullivan Road, Aurora it is one of only three Sri Venkatewara Hindu Temples in the USA.
Photography is permitted and it is very picturesque. The design is a blend of ancient Shilpa Shastra and modern architecture.
Downtown Aurora lies on the flowing Fox River which has a Riverwalk offering many scenic opportunities including views of the Galena Boulevard Dam.
Despite the concrete buildings bordering the walk there is plenty of greenery with trees planted the length of the riverwalk and you can snap some beautiful river views.