Artwork Heart: East Aurora, NY nonetheless celebrates the artwork motion that created it

Whether you visit this cozy city for its history, shopping, classes, and artisans, or for the quiet, village-like atmosphere, there is something you will love in East Aurora, New York.

With a population of just over 6,000, East Aurora offers visitors a quiet retreat, but is just minutes away from downtown Buffalo and Niagara Falls.

One of the most interesting and popular places in this village is the Roycroft Campus, a national historic landmark. It was founded in 1897 and was the birthplace of the Arts and Crafts movement in America.

Today the campus is preparing for spring courses and events. The museum and campus tours are open Tuesday to Saturday by appointment.

The restaurant and inn offer visitors a relaxing retreat or a delicious meal. With its four beautiful dining areas, guests are surrounded by decades of handicraft history. Reservations are recommended. Staying in one of the inn’s luxurious suites provides an inviting, comfortable environment. There is a wide variety of suites tailored to the needs of every traveler, as well as mini-suites and guest house rooms. Information on opening times, room availability and menu can be found on roycroftinn.com.

The history of Roycroft goes back to the late 19th century when the complex was built by so-called “guilds”. It was a center for craftsmanship and philosophy with 14 original buildings. Today there are nine of these buildings in the old town, in which the inn and the restaurant, the printing works, the copper shop, the chapel and the furniture shop are located. It started with entrepreneur Elbert Hubbard and the start of Roycroft Press.

It’s a popular place and people from all over the world learn the techniques of Roycroft’s artisans. Although the class size may be smaller than normal due to COVID-19, the Roycroft campus is soon to offer in-person and virtual classes, events, and exhibits.

Unique downtown

Main Street in downtown East Aurora is perfect for a leisurely stroll, window shopping, lunch, or finding a unique specialty for your home.

At Vidler’s 5 & 10, one of the largest dime stores in the world, you will find special treasures. There are more than 75,000 items on the two floors of this long-standing East Aurora gem. Robert Vidler was founded in 1930 and opened his shop at the beginning of the global economic crisis. A few months later, Fisher Price toys opened in the block behind Vidlers. What started as a couple of aisles with merchandise has expanded into four interconnected buildings that house around 20,000 square feet of toys, penny candy, games, housewares of all kinds, and more.

Visit the Four Honey Bees Cottage, where shoppers can find a variety of food and drink, housewares, wellness products, furniture, and more. Visitors can’t miss the cottage with its bright yellow fence and yellow flowered shutters on Main Street.

Kickstand Culture is a unique shop. Marked as a bicycle shop, it offers gift items made from recycled bicycle parts and other upcycling items. Buyers will find bowls made from chains, clocks made from gears, belts made from tubes and jewelry, housewares and much more. The store is also on Main Street.

More history

Home of Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States, there is a rich history in this village. He lived his younger adult years in East Aurora with his wife, Abigail. The house has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is dedicated to the President, who served from 1850 to 1853.

Visit aurorahistoricalsociety.com for available tours of historical locations.

Visit east-aurora.ny.us and click the Visitors tab to find accommodations.

Contact CR at [email protected]

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