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. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Toomer's Corner

Toomer's Corner
© 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.

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2.Chewacla State Park

Chewacla State Park
© Courtesy of kevinbeasley -

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

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3.Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve & Nature Center

Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve & Nature Center
© Courtesy of Tammy Ray -

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

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4.Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

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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5.Jordan-Hare Stadium

Jordan-Hare Stadium
© Courtesy of Mark Herreid -

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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6.Kiesel Park

Kiesel Park
© Courtesy of Sandro -

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

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7.Southeastern Raptor Center

Southeastern Raptor Center
© Courtesy of Martina Berg -

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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8.Davis Arboretum

Davis Arboretum
© Courtesy of Eliot -

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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9.Plainsman Park

Plainsman Park
© Courtesy of blueiz60 -

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

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10.Hickory Dickory Park

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

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11.The Depot

The Depot
© 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

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© Acre

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

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13.Ariccia Trattoria

Ariccia Trattoria
© 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

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14.Hamilton's on Magnolia

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

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15.The Hound

The Hound
© 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

Attraction Spotlight: Davis Arboretum

The UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden is located at the University of California’s Davis campus, between San Francisco and Sacramento. The site is a resource for both students and the public to learn about environmental education and stewardship.

The Arboretum consists of 100 acres of gardens and research collections, and includes the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve, a protected wetlands habitat surrounding a small stream, that’s valuable as a wildlife sanctuary, research and teaching site.

The Arboretum Terrace Garden is a Mediterranean style garden, perfectly suited for the central Californian climate. The garden, which includes the Lois Crowe Patio, features seating options surrounded by decorated pavement and patios, vine-covered pergolas, small sustainable gardens and container plantings. The urban setting of the garden abuts the Downtown Davis Shopping Center. The garden is an example of how local residents can landscape sustainably with a reduced need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and low need for water.

The arboretum’s Peter J. Shield’s Oak Grove is home to over 100 varieties of oak tree, including several rare oaks that are native to the Western United States. The scientifically significant collection is part of the North American Plant Collections Consortium. The sweeping lawns shaded by large trees make this part of the arboretum a popular spot for relaxation and outdoor recreation.

The T. Elliot Weier Redwood Grove is the largest collection of Redwood’s outside of their endemic range. The grove includes 65-year old Redwood trees surrounded by understory plants that are native to Redwood forests.

The California Rock Garden is a display of boulders and other geological formations that represent California’s geology and a geological history that includes metamorphic rocks that are 1.7 billion years old. The rock garden is surrounded by native Californian plants.

Other gardens in the collection include the California Foothill Collection, an Acacia Grove, an East Asian and Australian Collection, a Redbud Grove, and separate gardens representing the Southwestern United States, Mexico and the Desert.

The Putah Creek Riparian Reserve traverses over 600 acres of the UC Davis campus. The ecosystem is maintained by the Arboretum and Public Garden and offers a window into what the campus would have looked like before the University was founded. Since the Gold Rush, 95% of California’s streamside habitat has been threatened, degraded, or removed, making the reserve is a valuable resource for wildlife, teachers and students.

A Native American Contemplative Garden was dedicated in 2011. The impetus for the project was the discovery of Patwin remains on the UC Davis campus. The garden is the first in a network of future sites across campus designed to honor Native Americans.

Public art in the arboretum includes Nature’s Gallery Court, a large ceramic tile mural, and an archway made from shovels over the entrance to the Gateway garden. Student artwork is often exhibited throughout the gardens.

Wildlife throughout the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden represents over 30 species of mammals, 40 species of butterflies, and several species of fish, reptiles and amphibians, and insects. Over 135 species of birds have made the arboretum their home or nesting place.

History: The UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden was founded in 1936 in part by Dr. T. Elliot Weier, a professor of Botany at UC Davis.

Ongoing Programs and Education: The Arboretum and Public Garden, and especially its main path, is popular with those who walk, jog or bike ride along the three and one half mile loop. Picnic tables, seating areas and restrooms are located throughout the arboretum at the Terrace Garden, in the Redwood Grove, and in the Peter J Shields Grove.

Educational programs at the Arboretum and Garden are available for the public and include guided tours, nature programs for families and individuals, and talks, classes, and workshops led by UC Davis faculty, as well as visiting artists and lecturers.

Ongoing weekend family programming includes the popular Folk Music Jam Session next to the Redwood Grove, Wednesday Walks with Warren, the arboretum’s Superintendent Emeritus and storyteller, and the general Meet the Arboretum Tour. Recent special events have included Oak Day, a lecture on Fire and California Oak Trees, and a class on preparing your garden for winter.

Plant sales take place several times per year, with a focus on low-water, easy to care for plants that are well suited for the California climate. Plant sale proceeds benefit Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, a community support group that organizes volunteers and fundraising in support of the arboretum’s mission.

Valley Oak Cottage 448 La Rue Road, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-752-1011

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Attraction Spotlight: Hickory Dickory Park

Hickory Dickory Park is a public park with playground in Auburn, Alabama. The 12,000 square foot park offers two play areas, picnicking space and restrooms.

Two play areas at the park are separated into age appropriate play environments for pre-school aged children and older children. In the pre-school play area visitors will find baby and toddler swings, and an accessible swing for children with special needs. The play area also includes a small slide, sandbox, and climbing and imagination-inducing elements such as an old wooden tractor with gearbox, funhouse mirror and “tiger tail” that refers to the Auburn University mascot.

Elements of the park’s play area replicate Auburn’s historic downtown area. At a play-sized Toomer’s Corner that mimics the historic downtown drugstore, children can pretend to sell lemonade and ice cream, the two things that Toomers is perhaps best known for. A small sidewalk perfect for tricycle riding mimics College Street, while the tiger paw prints in the cement represent Auburn University’s mascot, the Tiger.

The older children’s play area includes more challenging climbing elements, such as a rope climb, monkey bars and lookout tower. There are three larger slides, including a covered tunnel slide and swings. All terrain surrounding the play elements at the park is covered with a thick layer of woodchips for safety.

A covered pavilion overlooks the park’s play area, so parents may watch children play from the shade. Picnic tables are located under the pavilion and are not available to be reserved, but are a popular summer picnic spot. A large grassy area, perfect for running and other games is also surrounded by picnic tables and is adjacent to an area with water fountains and restrooms. Plenty of shade trees line the park’s perimeter.

History: The Park, originally named Hickory Lane Park, for its location on Hickory Lane, was renamed in 1999 when the current playground structure was constructed. The name Hickory Dickory Park refers to the popular children’s nursery rhyme by Mother Goose, Hickory Dickory Dock. Facilities at the park were constructed by the City of Auburn Parks and Recreation Department, with assistance from community volunteers.

Hickory Dickory Park is one of eight parks managed by the City of Auburn Parks and Recreation department. The department’s mission is to provide high quality recreation opportunities for City of Auburn residents, in addition to managing the City’s cemeteries.

Ongoing Programs and Education: Hickory Dickory Park’s facilities are not available to be reserved for private functions, although it remains a popular location for picnics and parties on a first come, first served basis.

City of Auburn Parks and Recreation hosts several community events throughout the year at each of their parks, including competitive walks, runs and other athletics events, art sales and exhibitions, Family Fun Days, concert series and fitness classes.

Ongoing programs managed by Parks and Recreation include programs for adults 50 and older, aquatics programs at community centers, summer camps for children, ceramics classes and a variety of performing arts classes.

What’s Nearby: Nearby outdoor activities that are popular with kids in Auburn, Alabama include the Chewacla State Park, the Louise Kreher Ecology Preserve and Nature Center, and Kiesel Park, the largest of Auburn’s city parks at 124 acres. All three parks offer a variety of walking trails with play areas for children and outdoor recreation opportunities. Kiesel Park is home to the Nunn-Winston House, an 1850’s Greek Revival home, and the City’s largest free outdoor community event, the Auburn CityFest, which takes place each April.

The real Toomer’s Corner is located in downtown Auburn, and has operated as a drug store since 1896. It is one of Auburn’s most recognizable landmarks, and it’s location directly across from Auburn University’s newly renovated campus entrance, it has become the center of University life as well. Toomers is famous for its fresh-squeezed lemonade, soda fountain and ice cream shakes. “Rolling Toomers” has been a tradition at Auburn since the days of the telegraph. As the only place in the city with a telegraph machine, Toomers would receive word of away-game wins first, and would through the telegraph tape up into the trees in celebration. Today, after each home and away game win for Auburn football, fans throw toilet paper into the trees, street signs and power lines all around Toomer’s corner.

1399 Hickory Lane Auburn, AL 36830, Phone: 334-501-2930

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Attraction Spotlight: Plainsman Park

Auburn University’s Plainsman Park is the home of Samford Stadium at Hitchcock Field, a baseball field built in 1950, which has been the home of the Auburn University Tigers baseball team for over 60 years.

The 4,000-seat stadium includes over 3,200 chair backed seats and combines the look of historic ballparks, the Auburn Campus buildings, and modern facilities all within the painted steel and brick design, which surrounds a natural grass field. The park is known for an intimate seating arrangement that places spectators just a few feet from ground, only 40 feet from first and third base, and just 60 feet behind home plate. The stadium is home to one of the country’s largest video boards, at 24 feet tall and over 60 feet long, enhanced by a state-of-the-art sound system. Flanking the field is a 30-foot tall dark green outfield wall, reminiscent of Fenway Park’s Green Monster, which was installed prior to the 1995 season. Two concession stands serve the park, the Curveball Café, and the Home Plate. Both serve typical baseball fare, including hotdogs, hamburgers, sodas, and snacks.

Beyond the field, Plainsman Park is home to the baseball clubhouse, which includes locker rooms for the team and umpires, coaches’ offices, a team lounge, and indoor equipment and training facilities, including an indoor hitting tunnel.

The Plainsman Park Strength and Rehabilitation Center, built in 2004, is home to the Auburn Sports Medicine Clinic and the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center. The Orthopedic Center is a research facility that not only serves Auburn University athletes, but professional athletes as well, under the direction of Dr. James Andrews. Physical therapy and rehabilitation services are also available to the public at this facility.

History: Auburn University Baseball has a strong history that dates back to the 1930’s. The University’s first Southeastern Conference baseball title was won in 1937, in large part thanks to star athlete Billy Hitchcock, who along with his brother, Jimmy, the University’s first All-American athlete in both football and baseball, the Samford-Hitchcock Stadium is named. Since baseball was first introduced at the school in 1931, there have been six SEC Championship wins, nineteen NCAA Regional Championship appearances and four College World Series appearances.

Auburn University is the alma mater of several nationally known baseball players including Tim Hudson, a former All-American who donated $1 million to the park’s renovations in the 1990’s. Professional football player Bo Jackson played baseball for Auburn, Chicago White Sox player Frank Thomas and Major League Baseball players Gregg Olson, Scott Sullivan, Gabe Gross and Josh Donaldson all played for Auburn and have since been inducted into the University’s Hall of Fame.

Plainsman Park was originally built in 1950. The first major renovation took place in 1996 and since then, there have been three additional major renovations. 2013 improvements included updates to the clubhouse, athletic training room, locker rooms and equipment rooms. 2014 renovations included extensions and renovations to the dugouts. Renovations in 2017 were the most recent and included the installation of the large format LED video screen.

Plainsman Park has hosted NCAA regional competitions four separate times, in 1978, 1999, 2003 and 2010. In 2002, over 14,000 attendees filled the park to hear President George W. Bush give a speech. In 2003, Baseball America voted the park the best collegiate baseball facility in America. In 2016, the park was named among the country’s best collegiate baseball facilities by

Hitchcock Field is named in honor two of Auburn’s most noted athletes, Billy and Jimmy Hitchcock, who both competed for the university in the 1930’s. The Samford Stadium name was added in 2003 in honor of Jimmy Samford, a member of the Aurburn Board of Trustees, whose tireless efforts contributed to the significant improvements to the stadium throughout the 1990’s, and its rise to national recognition.

Auburn Baseball is currently coached by Butch Thompson and plays in the NCAA’s Division I Southeastern Conference, the SEC. The stadium boasts an average of 2,600 attendees at each home game, placing it among the top 25 attendance rates for Division I schools.

What’s Nearby: The Samford Stadium-Hitchcock Field of Plainsman Park is located with the Auburn University athletic complex, adjacent to the Jordan-Hare Football Stadium, and just across the street from the Auburn Arena, home of the basketball, volleyball and women’s gymnastics teams. Auburn University is known for it’s historic architecture and the quaint small town feel of the surrounding area of historic downtown Auburn.

351 South Donohue Dr Auburn, AL 36830, Phone: 855-282-2010

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