In 1836, a group of settlers led by Judge John J. Harper arrived to establish the new community of Auburn on the mid-eastern border of the state after the U.S. Government purchased the land from the Creek Native Americans. In 1856, Auburn University opened, and by 1892, the institution became the first four-year facility to admit female students. Today, the town has more than 62,000 residents. Although the destination boasts small-town charm, Auburn has much to offer anyone deciding to move to the community. Along with a variety of arts, culture, and sports activities, the diverse terrain entices those who enjoy outdoor recreation.
Former Auburn University graduate Sheldon Toomer opened the little drugstore in 1896. Since that time, the business has become one of the historic icons of the community. Along with filling medication prescriptions and selling personal care products, this establishment also carries a large selection of souvenirs that commemorate Auburn and the university. Toomer's is also well-known for its soda fountain that serves freshly made lemonade among other delightful treats. Along with its popular soda fountain, Toomer's also has a diner, where patrons can enjoy food like grilled cheese sandwiches and soup.
The Jordan-Hare Stadium opened in November of 1939 to host the first Auburn Tigers game, which was played against Florida. The massive location has a seating capacity of 87,451. The stadium was named for Ralph Jordan, who was renowned for coaching the Tigers to the most wins. The other half of the name commemorates Clifford Leroy Hare, who was a player on the college's first football team. Hare went on to become the president of the Southern Conference and chairman of Auburn's Faculty Athletic Committee. The Pat Dye Field was named for the Auburn coach who led the Tigers to four SEC Championships during his 12-year career at the university. Dye was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005. Since opening, the natural grass field at this venue has been the site of 392 home games.
Chewacla State Park
The 696-acre park has everything that any outdoor enthusiast might want in a recreation area. The 26-acre lake features a beach and swimming area. Canoes and kayaks are also welcome. The lake teems with bass, bream, catfish, and crappie to the delight of avid anglers. Guests are welcome to reserve one of six stone cottages, which feature beautiful hardwood floors, stone fireplaces, modern bathrooms, and kitchens. Each cottage has central cooling and heating for year-round enjoyment. For those who prefer more primitive camping, the grounds welcome RVs and tent campers. Each site has hook-ups, a picnic table, and a grill. Little ones can enjoy the playgrounds. Chewacla State Park also features miles of trails that are ripe for hiking or mountain biking. While out and about, visitors are likely to encounter chipmunks, squirrels, deer, fox, and turkeys along with a variety of unusual rock formations and native vegetation.
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art was constructed on the Auburn University campus and opened in 2003. The facility was named for the wife of a prominent Houston businessman who is also a former student of the college. The Jule Collins Smith Museum is considered one of the leading facilities of its kind in the state. Since opening its doors to the public, the facility has amassed 2,000 works of art. The pieces acquired from all over the world and found within the six galleries range from traditional to contemporary and span a variety of art forms including paintings, sketches, sculptures, and textiles. Guests have the opportunity to gaze upon the works of Gainsborough, Rembrandt, and Rubens along with lithographs from the Audubon Society. View unique metallic and stone sculptures and cultural representations from Asia and the Middle East. The museum also hosts more than 200 annual events and programs, and its diner offers lunch and dinner during certain weekdays. The gift shop has souvenirs and many different unique gifts.
Southeastern Raptor Center
The idea for establishing a raptor center began in the mid-1970s when U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents brought six injured wild birds to the veterinarians at the university's College of Veterinary Medicine. At that time, Dr. Jimmy Milton saw the need for a special facility, and the mission was underway. Today, the establishment takes in ill, injured, or orphaned raptor species, which include falcons, eagles, hawks, kites, and vultures. The Southeastern Raptor Center assists in the care and rehabilitation annually of hundreds of birds from Alabama and many surrounding states. While not open to the public, the facility regularly gives educational presentations throughout the year. The Football Fans and Feather program enables guests to see various raptors that are trained to fly from one station to another. Staff members also provide information about each bird. The birds displayed cannot be released into the wild due to human imprinting or permanent injury. The facility offers group tours with advanced notice. Students working on projects involving raptor species are also welcome to contact the center for information and assistance.
Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve & Nature Center
The 120-acre ecology preserve is the ideal location for getting away from city life and experiencing nature. The destination features seven different habitats, which include a pine forest, wildflower trail, boulder ridge, and butterfly and vegetable gardens along with waterfalls and a historic homestead. The unique playground setting encourages youngsters to run, jump, and explore nature. The site features boulders and earth mounds for climbing, ditches, fallen trees, logs, tunnels, a beaver lodge, an eagle's nest, and a tree house. The 150-seat Frank Allen Turner Amphitheater contains a fire pit and canopied pavilion where staff members present animal demonstrations and other educational events. The location also features 30 hiking trails that span 5 miles through the various habitat destinations. Along the way, kiosks offer information about each point of interest. Trails accommodate beginning to experienced hikers, and there are benches along the way to sit and take in the surroundings.
The family-owned and operated restaurant has a casual, rustic, and welcoming atmosphere reminiscent of a cozy hunting lodge. All the wood décor and furnishings were created and installed by the family using fallen cedar trees from a nearby forest. In the bar area, guests encounter dim lighting, cozy sofas, and low tables for informal social gatherings or business meetings. The private dining area is perfect for small groups of up to 36 guests, and the rear of the restaurant features a large event space that readily accommodates up to 80 guests for celebrations or corporate events. On the menu, guests find a large selection of classic, popular American meal choices. From the bar, guests can choose from 28 craft beers or top-of-the-line bourbon. The Hound is open for brunch, lunch, dinner, and late-night meals Tuesday through Sunday.
Moore’s Mill Club
The Moore’s Mill Club welcomes golfers to their 18-hole championship course that extends among rolling terrain and hardwood forests. The course was designed to accommodate novice and seasoned players alike. The heart of the expansive property is the Moore's Mill Clubhouse, which has a friendly, contemporary atmosphere. The venue features a lounge, full-service bar, and restaurant along with a private dining room, golf shop, locker rooms, storage, and audiovisual equipment. However, the Club is far more than a mere golfing destination. An outdoor pavilion is often used for events and parties. Two swimming pools are complete with a cabana, grill area, and bathhouse. The 15,000-square-foot fitness center contains state-of-the-art equipment. Guests also have access to soft-surfaced tennis courts and a golf learning center.
AU Challenge Course
Situated on the Auburn University campus, the challenge course serves multiple functions. Businesses or corporations might consider using the course for team building or leadership enhancement activities. Families or groups of friends often frequent the course for a unique day of fun or adrenaline-pumping adventure. Whatever their reason for taking on the challenge, people have memorable experiences and leave exhilarated. Programs are customized according to desire or need. The high-ropes course was created to challenge the mental and physical capabilities of participants. Some of the course activities involve climbing, swinging and zip-lining.
The Acre restaurant exudes the small-town charm of the community thanks to its friendly, casual atmosphere. The menu was created to reflect the area’s Southern heritage. All of the meals served are carefully prepared with locally grown and harvested ingredients, which means that the menu may vary according to the availability of different foods. Meat selections include an array of charcuterie or cured meats along with a selection of locally sourced fresh cuts and Gulf Coast seafood. The house wine program ensures that each glass or bottle aptly pairs with the meal of choice. Acre also serves brews and spirits and starters, salads, soups, and main dishes for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.
Anyone thinking about moving to Auburn will enjoy the local vibe that blends history with modern achievements. There are many sights to see and locations to experience. The educational opportunities are also superb.