25 Best Things to Do in Auburn (AL)

Source: Flickr / Josh Hallett | CC BY 2.0

Auburn is the largest city in eastern Alabama but still knows as “The Loveliest Village on the Plains”. Auburn’s key attractions and activities include getting out in the fresh air and enjoying the natural beauty of the area by exploring parks, golf courses, and nature reserves.

The city is also football crazy and everywhere you go you are reminded of the Auburn Tigers. This special bond has brought the people of Auburn together over the years in many occasions.

Interactive Map of 25 Things to Do in Auburn (AL)

Source: Map data @2022 Google

1. Chewacla State Park

Chewacla State Park
Source: Flickr / John David Johnson | CC BY-SA 2.0

Covering almost 700 acres, Chewacla State Park offers many outdoor activities including some hiking trails, waterfalls, and more. The park’s main attraction is the Chewacla Lake, which is perfect for swimming, fishing, and canoeing. Besides, there are two creeks in the park which are just as pleasant to go fishing at.

The Chewacla State Park boasts several camping areas, picnic spots, and playgrounds. Considered as one of the best things to do in Auburn, the park is especially great for those that love fresh air, nature, and plenty of fun activities.

2. Friends of Tuskegee Airmen National

Friends of Tuskegee Airmen National
Source: Flickr / David Wilson | CC BY 2.0

The history museum of Friends of Tuskegee Airmen National is led by an organization dedicated to preserving and telling the story of the first black military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Trained at the Moton Field, they flew more than 15,000 individual sorties in Europe and North Africa during World War II.

Overall, the museum has great information about that time including a pleasant documentary about Black people in the war and two hangars that can be visited. Also, you can read the stories of the women who played vital roles in this amazing history.

3. Kiesel Park

iesel Park
Source: Flickr / Shawn Taylor | CC BY 2.0

Located west of Auburn downtown, Kiesel Park is one of the best things to do with your dog in the city, as well as one of the city’s finest outdoor spaces. The park features an off-leash area where you can allow your dog to freely run around without the risk of them running away.

And while your four-legged friends are having the time of their lives, you can explore the green spaces that Kiesel Park has to offer. With many great walking trails, creeks, and big open fields the park also features a lovely community garden.

4. Jordan-Hare Stadium

Jordan-Hare Stadium2
Source: Flickr / switz1873 | CC BY 2.0

The Jordan-Hare Stadium is home to the Auburn Tigers football team, which represents Auburn University in the American college football league. When there is a game being played the stadium fills up with the roar of more than 80,000 fans.

Given that this is one of the most popular things to do in Auburn, be sure to book your tickets early, as the games are usually packed. The stadium itself is very unique making this one of the most beautiful university campuses in the southeast region of the country. 

5. Town Creek Park

Town Creek Park
Source: Flickr / Shawn Taylor | CC BY 2.0

Town Creek Park is a scenic green space in Auburn featuring a pond and walking trail plus a grassy field with a swinging bench. The pond was created by two creeks feeding it and it is easy to spot fish and turtles of all sizes. This community park also has a wonderful, gated area where dogs can run free and a kids’ playground.

Besides, you can go for a walk along the 0.9-mile trail, which has an additional path around the pond. During summer, the park hosts Auburn’s Farmers Market every Saturday morning.

6. Donald E. Davis Arboretum

Donald E. Davis Arboretum
Source: Flickr / Shawn Taylor | CC BY 2.0

Spreading over 13 acres, the Donald E. Davis Arboretum is the botanic garden at the Auburn University campus. You can admire an array of native trees, plants, shrubs, and wildflowers. You can choose to walk in the shade under the trees or enjoy a picnic amongst the natural beauty.

Besides being an outdoor classroom, the arboretum also functions as a plant museum. It has a living collection of scientifically ordered plants with provenance documentation. The space counts with three water features, miles of walking trails, and places to relax in a beautiful natural setting.

7. Jule Collins Smith Museum

Jule Collins Smith Museum
Source: Flickr / Josh Hallett | CC BY 2.0

Founded in 1948, the Jule Collins Smith Museum displays over 2,000 pieces of art ranging from traditional to contemporary. The museum has 7 galleries with both permanent and seasonal displays. The building itself is beautiful with unique modernist architecture and a pond outside. Besides, the museum also displays outdoor exhibits and sculptures around its gardens.

This is a great place to walk or ride bikes around while soaking in all the art around you. Also, make sure to visit the museum shop to purchase your Auburn souvenir and Luster, the museum café.

8. Toomer’s Corner

Auburn Toomers Corner
Source: Flickr / Allen Patterson | CC BY-SA 2.0

The historic landmark of Toomer’s Corner marks the most popular meeting point in Auburn. One of the highlights is the oak trees that rise above the street. The other landmark is Toomer’s Drugs Pharmacy. For approximately 150 years this old drug store on Toomer’s Corner has been known for serving freshly squeezed lemonade to the local community. Curiously, the football team supports this Toomer’s Pharmacy by selling its famous lemonade in the stadium.

This place is great before a game, but it is especially great after the game when the whole stadium swings by to throw toilet paper on Toomer’s Oaks, a tradition in Auburn. 

9. Kreher Preserve & Nature Center

Kreher Preserve and Nature Center
Source: Flickr / Shawn Taylor | CC BY 2.0

Set within 120 acres of woodlands, the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center is a beautiful outdoor sanctuary featuring an amphitheater, a fire pit, and an educational pavilion. There is also a nature playground that has been set up for young children to explore and play. It even has a beavers’ lodge and an eagles’ nest for them to enjoy.

The nature reserve also counts with several walking trails that are mostly flat allowing the whole family to explore all the unique local fauna and flora. And as a bonus, you might run into a waterfall or the sensory garden.

10. Smith Mountain Fire Tower

Smith Mountain Fire Tower
Source: Flickr / Ville Koivisto | CC BY-SA 2.0

Enjoy walking up the Smith Mountain Fire Tower to get 360° views of the Cherokee area. There are a few options for hikes, going down to the lake and up to the tower. From the parking lot, you can take a short, but rather a steep hike to the lookout tower. All the trails are in great condition and the scenery is beautiful.

There are great informational displays at the fire tower that explain the history of the area. Plus, there is a service road you can take straight to the tower if you do not want to hike.

11. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site

Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site
Source: Flickr / Broderick | CC BY-SA 2.0

Nowadays, the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site preserves and presents the early history of the Tuskegee. However, the institute was founded back in 1881 by Brooker T. Washington who recruited the renowned scientist, George Washington Carver. Carver’s innovations in agriculture, especially with peanuts, expanded Tuskegee’s standing throughout the country.

At the museum, you can learn the university’s vast history from the buildings, the cemetery, and its connection to American History. While there, take in the tour of the Oaks, the iconic Booker T. Washington’s home, and George Washington Carver’s lab, where he used to teach his students.

12. Indian Pines Golf Course

Indian Pines Golf Course
Source: Pexels / Martin Magnemyr

Designed and constructed in 1946 and covering 6,310 yards, the Indian Pines Golf Course is an 18-hole public golf course located in Auburn. Initially, this was a nine-hole course and it was not until 1951 that the back nine holes were added on. Interestingly, this golf course contributed to the title of “best golf city in America” given to Auburn in 2005.

Indian Pines hosts several events throughout the year including the Indian Pines Invitational and an amateur event tournament drawing 200 participants. Besides, it is the home course of the Auburn High School Tigers golf team.

13. USDA Forest Service Tuskegee National Forest

USDA Forest Service Tuskegee National Forest2
Source: Flickr / Ruth Hartnup | CC BY 2.0

With unspoiled nature, the USDA Tuskegee National Forest can be found just outside of Auburn offering a peaceful escape for those that want to get away from the city and explore. The topography is moderately sloping, with broad ridges with stream terraces and broad floodplains.

Although it is the smallest national forests in the US, there are many activities available there. Covering over 10,000 forested acres, the area features hiking, mountain bike trails, fishing, horse riding trails, the popular Uchee Shooting Range, and rustic camping.

14. Auburn Escape Zones

Auburn Escape Zones Alabama
Source: Unsplash / Matthew Ansley

The Auburn Escape Zones provides an interactive experience for anyone that enjoys playing games and solving puzzles. In groups of up to 8 people, you must work together as a team to find clues, crack codes, and beat the clock. Keep in mind that you have only 60 minutes to escape the room!

Once you choose your themed room, a GameMaster will give you a short briefing before leading the group to the puzzle room. Overall, the puzzles are quite challenging but even the youngest explorers can find clues and solve the mystery.

15. Plainsman Park

Plainsman Park
Source: Flickr / Sterling G | CC BY 2.0

The well-manicured Plainsman Park is the official Auburn University baseball field. The experience is both visually pleasing with the beautiful stadium as a background and full of baseball atmosphere. The sightlines from every seating area are good and there is a good balance between fan safety and proximity to the action.

Besides, the service is wonderful, as well as the food, and the games are always very fun to go to! If you are traveling with kids, consider getting a ticket at the Terrace section. There is space for the kids to get up and move around and for the parents to spread out and enjoy the game.

16. Museum of East Alabama

Museum of East Alabama
Source: Flickr / Kasey Eriksen | CC BY-SA 2.0

The Museum of East Alabama features exhibits of local memorabilia and historical items for guests to browse. The museum aims on telling the history of Alabama and how the state became what it is today. Some of its exhibits are focused on the agriculture and industry business of Alabama. Besides, the museum helps you understand how it has shaped the city as you see it today.

So, you will see everything from musical instruments to public safety as well as an old barbershop, beauty salon, typesetting equipment, Indian artifacts, and more. The museum is a must-see attraction nestled in historic downtown Opelika, only 20 minutes from Auburn.

17. Southeastern Raptor Center

Southeastern Raptor Center
Source: Flickr / Josh Hallett | CC BY-SA 2.0

Part of Auburn University, the Southeastern Raptor Center is a regional rehabilitation and education facility. The center provides educational programming for those interested in learning about raptors and care for birds of prey in need. The rehabilitation program treats and releases thousands of birds of prey back into the wild per year. 

Also, the center presents a show with falcons, hawks, eagles, and other birds flying from the towers. You can also have interactive experiences with some of the birds by holding and feeding owls, for example. Interestingly, the birds that interact with humans are non-releasable due to prior injury or human imprinting.

18. Victoryland

Source: Flickr / Ted Murphy | CC BY 2.0

Only 40 minutes from Auburn, Victoryland is a racing track, casino, and hotel located in Shorter. This is not your typical casino; it is actually sort of a country backwoods casino with old slot machines. The casino has a community jackpot that if you are actively playing, you are automatically entered in and the chances of winning are tremendously high. Victoryland also hosts both horse and greyhound races, which you can bet on.

At the end of the day, you can treat yourself to a dessert at Luigi’s Ice Cream Shop or enjoy a delicious meal at Willie’s Café.

19. Wellborn Musclecar Museum

Wellborn Musclecar Museum2
Source: Flickr / M.Annette Jura | CC BY-ND 2.0

The Wellborn Musclecar Museum is devoted to the great American automobiles of the 1960s and 1970s. The museum displays classics such as the Charger, the Road Runner, and the SuperBee, as well as the nation’s largest high-performance Dodge collection. The collection is very impressive, and the museum is laid out very well.

Interestingly, the cars are rotated from storage to the museum, so the exhibits are constantly changing. The guided tours can make the experience even better with the quick wit and entertaining stories on each of the automobiles.

20. CyberZone Entertainment Center

CyberZone Entertainment Center
Source: Flickr / Nabeel Hyatt | CC BY-SA 2.0

The amusement center of CyberZone Entertainment provides a variety of kid-friendly entertainment, from arcade games to laser tag. This is an awesome place to wild out in the excitement of the lights, and a huge selection of classics and modern platform gaming. Yes, this is also the place to go to Auburn for Esports.

This clean, affordable, and fun space has something for everyone to do. The center welcomes from small groups to large groups, walk-ins to lock-ins, and private functions. CyberZone also counts with a restaurant offering drinks, appetizers, and pizzas.

21. Auburn Arena

Auburn Arena
Source: Flickr / Josh Hallett | CC BY-SA 2.0

Home to the Auburn University Tigers, the Auburn Arena is the official basketball stadium seating 9,121 fans. Any seat in the house is a good one. You have a good chance of catching some free merchandise no matter where you are. The entire arena has a homey atmosphere with lots of student support. The band rocks the stands while the basketballers rock the court.

Take some time to arrive early and browse the Jonathan B. Lovelace Museum & Hall of Honor. It offers Auburn Athletics history and interactive experiences.

22. Museum of Wonder Drive-Thru

Museum of Wonder Drive Thru
Source: Museum of Wonder

If you are a fan of roadside attractions the Museum of Wonder Drive-Thru is a must. The museum is basically a bunch of box containers with windows, and inside are some of the wackiest odds and ends. This is an outsider art that would hold its own in any modern art museum. There are definitely some fun works that are on the weird spectrum of art and other pieces are done with skill and portray the idealism of American beauty.

In other words, this is a museum of oddities built out of shipping containers. It is a drive-through scenario and you can get out of the car if you get curious enough.

23. Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail

Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail
Source: Unsplash / Polina Kuzovkova

With three options of hikes, Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail is a hidden Alabama gem. You can choose the 1-mile trail, 2.6-mile trail, or the 4-mile loop. The trails are moderate and with almost no trail markers, so it is easy to get lost. Along the trails, try to spot the big-leaf magnolias, azaleas, mountain laurel, and unique fungi.

Also, this is not a very high-traffic trail and you can enjoy the peace and silence during your walk. The trailhead has a great view with picnic tables and down by the lake, there is another wonderful relaxing area.

24. Municipal Park

Municipal Park Auburn Alabama
Source: Pexels / Brett Sayles

Located in Opelika, Rocky Brook Creek meanders through the beautiful Municipal Park making it a perfect picnic destination. This park is a great place for kids to play and have fun and one of the most popular activities is playing in the creek. However, the miniature train is also a hit. Besides, the park has different age appropriated playgrounds and a nature trail.

The park is next to City Park (Monkey Park) and across the street from the Salem-Shotwell Covered Bridge, a historical landmark. The bridge is actually one of five existing covered bridges in Alabama built before 1950.

25. The Mason Jar

The Mason Jar
Source: Unsplash / Content Pixie

The Mason Jar offers Southern comfort food and creative milkshake concoctions turned out in charming, homey digs. Also called The Jas, the restaurant delivers home-cooked meals at its best. Given the southern influences, the restaurant has a wide range of flavored lemonades and sweet teas.

Their menu includes a lunch buffet and a full menu for dinner. Some of their most popular dishes include the fried green tomatoes, the country fried steak, and the delicious peach cobbler. And as a bonus, the servings are very generous so no one will go home hungry!