Stretching nearly a mile along the east shore of Cayuga Lake, Aurora has long been one of the prettiest 19th-century villages in upstate New York. Historically sensitive renovations beginning in 2001 freshened a number of commercial and residential buildings on Main Street, where colonial, Federal, and Victorian structures mix with examples of other architectural styles. A cluster of quality restaurants and one-of-a-kind
shops helps make this a worthy destination. Wells College, established in 1868, anchors the south end of town. Built into a hillside overlooking Cayuga Lake, Wells was a women-only institution until trustees decided to admit men in 2005.