Auburn is a historic college town, the largest city in eastern Alabama, and the home of Auburn University. Auburn has a surprising number of great parks, such as Chewacla State Park, the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, and Kiesel Park. The Auburn’s Julie Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art has 2,500 exceptional works of art.
© City of Auburn, AL - City Government
The intersection of College Street and Magnolia Avenue in Auburn is known as Toomer's Corner and has a long history. The area is located between downtown Auburn and the university campus and is named for state senator and businessman Sheldon "Shel" Toomer. Toomer founded Toomer's Drugs, which was located on this corner in 1896, and the store has been an Auburn landmark for more than 130 years. Two large oaks were planted on the corner in 1937 and locals developed a tradition of “decorating” them with toilet paper to mark any Auburn celebration as well as anything good that happens in town. Today, the tradition is mainly used to celebrate football victories.
2.Chewacla State Park
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Located just a short drive from the Auburn-Opelika area, 696-acre Chewacla State Park is a popular Auburn green area used by the locals for recreation and rest. The park has a beautiful 26-acre lake with a swimming area, a kids’ playground, a campground, and picnic areas with shelters, tables, and grills as well as six fully furnished stone cottages available for rent. A network of hiking and biking trails runs through the park. The lake is popular with anglers – it is stocked with bream, bass, crappie, and catfish. There are also two creeks that run into the lake. There is no boat ramp on the lake. Hikers and bikers can often spot squirrels, chipmunks, deer, red fox, and turkeys.
124 Shell Toomer Parkway, Auburn, AL 36830, Phone: 334-887-5621
3.Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve & Nature Center
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The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve & Nature Center is a 120-acre nature preserve located in Lee County, Alabama, between Auburn and Opelika. The preserve was established in 1993 through a gift from Dr. Louise Kreher Turner and her husband Frank Allen Turner. It is operated today as an outreach program of the School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University. The preserve consists of a nature playground, an amphitheater, a 150-seat meeting area, a fire pit, and a covered educational pavilion. There are also 30 trails that stretch more than 5 miles, with interpretative signs, restrooms, and drinking fountains. The environmental education and outreach programs include animal encounters, guided walks, day camps, and pre-school programs.
N College St, Auburn, AL 36830, Phone: 334-844-8091
4.Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
© Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
One of Alabama’s top art museums, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art in Auburn has a growing collection of more than 2,500 works of art in wide range of styles and media. The museum is located at Auburn University’s main campus and consists of six galleries, an auditorium, a gift shop, an English-inspired formal area, a café, and a woodland landscape with outdoor sculpture and serene walking paths. As a part of the university, the mission of the museum is to interpret, enhance, and preserve artworks in the collection and make art a significant part of people’s daily lives. The museum occupies a 40,000 square-foot stunning modern building with a travertine stone exterior.
901 S College St, Auburn, AL 36830-5812, Phone: 334-844-1484
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Every football Saturday in Auburn, Alabama, Jordan-Hare Stadium transforms into one of Alabama's largest cities – over 75,000 season tickets have been sold over the last 18 years. The tenth-largest on-campus stadium in America, Jordan-Hare Stadium is the playing field for Auburn University's football team, the Auburn Tigers. Located on campus, the 87,451-seat stadium, which was completed in 1939, is named for Ralph "Shug" Jordan, the head coach of the university's football team with the most wins, and Cliff Hare, a dean of the Auburn University School of Chemistry, the president of the Southern Conference, and a member of Auburn's first football team. The grass turf is known as Pat Dye Field in honor of legendary coach Pat Dye.
251 South Donahue Drive, Auburn, AL 36830, Phone: 334-844-4750
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Auburn's largest park, Kiesel Park, is also one of its most popular. It is a venue of many town events and celebrations, such as the Auburn CityFest, the Fall Sundown Concert Series, and the annual Easter egg hunt. The park has a pavilion, a pond, a garden, and a 4-mile-long scenic walking trail. The park is also the location of the 1850 Nunn-Winston House, one of Auburn’s finest examples of antebellum Greek revival architecture. The park has a popular off-leash dog area and is also a favorite local location for weddings.
Chadwick Ln, Auburn, AL 36832, Phone: 334-887-4938
7.Southeastern Raptor Center
© Courtesy of Martina Berg - Fotolia.com
The Southeastern Raptor Center is a fascinating place to visit, whether you are a fan of birds of prey or not. This educational and rehabilitation facility at Auburn University has helped, treated, and released thousands of local birds of prey back into the wild. They also spread the word about the danger birds of prey face today through hundreds of shows all over the state and region. The staff of the center's educational unit offers a program at the Edgar B. Carter Amphitheatre on Fridays before Auburn football games. This popular program is known as Football, Fans and Feathers, and it features free-flying hawks, falcons, and eagles, allowing guests to see the magnificent birds up close. Outside these special events, the center is not open to the public.
1350 Pratt-Carden Drive, Auburn, AL 36849, Phone: 334-844-6943
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The Donald E. Davis Arboretum is a 13.5-acre plant museum and a serene green space on the Auburn University campus, supported by the College of Sciences and Mathematics. The arboretum is a place where visitors can enjoy a natural setting and learn about Alabama’s native plants and habitats. The arboretum provides a home to a rich and diverse living collection of scientifically ordered plants, each with provenance documentation. It is also an outdoor classroom for the students of the university and local schools and various community groups. The main purposes of the arboretum are conservation, research, and education in support of Auburn University’s mission to preserve living native Southeastern plant communities. It also functions to protect the natural resource areas of the campus.
Auburn, AL 36830, Phone: 334-844-5770
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Plainsman Park, as Samford Stadium–Hitchcock Field is known locally, is the college baseball venue for the Auburn University Tigers, located at Plainsman Park. The stadium has a seating capacity of 4,096, and in 2003 was rated the best college baseball venue in the country by Baseball America. The park has a 37-foot-high left field fence, 315 feet from home plate. Plainsman Park was used as a baseball facility for the first time in 1950 and was radically renovated in 1996. The architect Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons drew design inspiration from famous ballparks such as Fenway Park, Camden Yards, and Wrigley Field. The stadium was renamed Hitchcock Field at Plainsman Park in 1997, in honor of brothers Jimmy and Billy Hitchcock, and in 2003 it honored long-time trustee Jimmy Samford by renaming the facility Samford Stadium–Hitchcock Field at Plainsman Park.
351 S Donahue Dr, Auburn, AL 36849-0001, Phone: 334-844-9750
10.Hickory Dickory Park
© Hickory Dickory Park
Hickory Dickory Park is a 12,000-square-foot park located on Hickory Lane in Auburn that is very popular with kids. It has two playground areas – one for preschool-aged children and the other for older kids. The preschool area has a sandbox, swings, a slide, a gear box, a wooden tractor, and a fun mirror. There is even a pretend Toomer’s Corner in the true spirit of Auburn, where children can sell pretend ice cream and lemonade, and a pretend College Street sidewalk, tiger paw prints and all, which is a great area to ride a tricycle. A covered pavilion contains picnic tables and benches where parents can watch the children and relax. The older children’s play area has three slides, swings, climbing ropes, a lookout tower, monkey bars, and plenty of room to run and play.
Hickory Ln and North Cedarbrook, Auburn, AL 36830, Phone: 334-501-2930
© The Depot
Located in a beautifully renovated 1847 train depot in downtown Auburn, Alabama, The Depot is an upscale and surprisingly elegant Gulf Coast Brasserie with a relaxed ambiance, gorgeous original marble floors, leather banquettes, and magnificent chandeliers. Executive chef and co¬-owner Scott Simpson raises his Auburn food offer to a different level using wood barbecue and plating traditional Alabama Southern heritage dishes that are simple and wholesome. The globally inspired menu is followed by Southern-inspired pre-Prohibition cocktails, an extensive award-winning wine list, and an excellent selection of craft beer. Some of the outstanding dishes worth trying are the Carolina Mountain rainbow trout with Brussels sprout petals, butternut squash and pecan brown butter, and the Gourmet Gumbo Pot with Cajun-style andouille, okra, poblano rice, crawfish, and Gulf shrimp.
124 Mitcham Ave, Auburn, AL 36830-3803, Phone: 334-521-5177
Located only a couple of blocks from Auburn’s historic Toomer's Corner, Acre is an upscale restaurant with locally sourced, Southern-inspired fare, in-house made charcuterie, an extensive wine list, and imaginative cocktails. Acre uses fresh ingredients from their own gardens and local farms, preparing traditional Southern dishes with chef/owner David Bancroft’s unique take and a diverse culinary experience. The dining room is rustic but chic with comfortable banquettes and long communal tables and is a favorite in Auburn for family dinners and various celebrations. The big front porch is shaded in the summer and heated on cool nights by the hearth-style fireplace, perfect for al fresco dining. The menu is extensive and original, but you should not miss the Georgia quail with fermented honey hot sauce and barbecue pecan streusel or the Southern-fried catfish with Creole cream cheese grits, Lee County succotash, lemon fennel aioli, and blue crab salad.
210 E Glenn Ave, Auburn, AL 36830, Phone: 334-246-3763
© The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center
Located in The Hotel at Auburn University, Ariccia Trattoria is an upscale, elegant Italian restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the hotel guests as well as Auburn folks looking for an exceptional meal without making it a special occasion. The elegant patio offers al fresco dining in the cozy space surrounded by lush vegetation, an overhead pergola, and a cool fountain, creating the atmosphere of a secret garden. The menu is predominantly Italian, with great pastas, salads, and pizzas, accompanied by mostly Italian wines. Ariccia is very popular for business lunches, but its breakfast buffet is one of Auburn’s favorite traditions.
241 S College St, Auburn, AL 36830, Phone: 334-844-5140
14.Hamilton's on Magnolia
© Hamilton's on Magnolia
Located in historic downtown Auburn on Magnolia Avenue, one block from Toomer’s Corner, Hamilton’s is an intimate, romantic restaurant with exposed brick walls, leather banquettes, original art on the walls, a large circular bar, and patio tables overlooking the street. The menu offers diverse contemporary American cuisine with top quality meats and locally sourced produce. The full bar is a popular place for after-work drinks, and the patio tables with their crisp white tablecloths are perfect for people-watching while sampling one of Hamilton’s great cocktails. There is live music every Monday. The menu is extensive, with subtle Southern influences. Not to be missed is the shareable fried green tomato and shrimp appetizer, an interesting twist on a favorite Southern classic, tempura-battered, fried, and served with balsamic sauces.
174 E Magnolia Ave, Auburn, AL 36830, Phone: 334-887-2677
© The Hound
The Hound is a popular Auburn bar and restaurant owned by generations of the Hound, and now Poirier, families. Spacious, cozy, rustic, and fun all at the same time, The Hound sells delicious home-cooked American classics, top bourbon, cocktails, and 28 craft beers on tap. Their bacon is sourced from heritage breed pork and other meats that are organic and come from humanely raised animals, mostly from the Hound family farm. All produce is local and seasonal. The atmosphere in the dining room is warm and welcoming, designed to look like a hunting lodge, with animal heads on the walls, lots of reclaimed wood, exposed beams, communal tables, and the hustle and bustle of old time Alabama.
124 Tichenor Ave, Auburn, AL 36830, Phone: 334-246-3300
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15 Best Things to Do in Auburn, Alabama
- Toomer's Corner, Photo: City of Auburn, AL - City Government
- Chewacla State Park, Photo: Courtesy of kevinbeasley - Fotolia.com
- Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve & Nature Center, Photo: Courtesy of Tammy Ray - Fotolia.com
- Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Photo: Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
- Jordan-Hare Stadium, Photo: Courtesy of Mark Herreid - Fotolia.com
- Kiesel Park, Photo: Courtesy of Sandro - Fotolia.com
- Southeastern Raptor Center, Photo: Courtesy of Martina Berg - Fotolia.com
- Davis Arboretum, Photo: Courtesy of Eliot - Fotolia.com
- Plainsman Park, Photo: Courtesy of blueiz60 - Fotolia.com
- Hickory Dickory Park, Photo: Hickory Dickory Park
- The Depot, Photo: The Depot
- Acre, Photo: Acre
- Ariccia Trattoria, Photo: The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center
- Hamilton's on Magnolia, Photo: Hamilton's on Magnolia
- The Hound, Photo: The Hound
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of xiefei - Fotolia.com