What to See and Do in the Auburn Area This Fall.

September 2021

The City of Auburn was settled by John Harper and others from the state of Georgia in 1836. The city’s name was inspired by Oliver Goldsmith’s poem “The Deserted Village, specifically from the first line of the poem: Sweet Auburn, the loveliest village of the plain. The city received its charter from the Alabama State Legislature in 1839.  According to Encyclopedia Alabama, Auburn is located in Lee County in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain physiographic province of the state. During the Great Depression, around 696 acres of land were dedicated to creating Chewacla State Park and the 26-acre Lake Chewacla. Today, this impressive acreage received the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor for five years in a row.  Auburn also is the home to Auburn University founded in 1856. If you’re traveling to the loveliest village on the plain this fall, we recommend you add the following restaurants, activities and lodging  to your list of must-dos:



Acre is located in historic downtown Auburn three blocks from Toomer’s Corner in the heart of Auburn. The restaurant has a genetic clone of a Toomer’s Corner oak on the premises. Chef David Bancroft heads the restaurant and is a James Beard Best Chef of the South winner as well as the 2017 winner of the Food Network’s Iron Chef Showdown. His restaurant offers dishes sourced from orchards and gardens located onsite and features farm-raised meat from local farmers. 


Located in downtown Auburn, Hamilton’s offers contemporary American cuisine including appetizers, sandwiches and salads.  Diners can enjoy a casual inside or patio dining. The entrees are prepared daily and the restaurant offers live music on Mondays. 

Momma Goldberg’s Deli

Momma Goldberg’s, a family-owned business, has been a staple in Auburn since 1976. Their specialties are sandwiches and salads. It is a great place to catch football games in the fall. The original Momma Goldberg’s is located at the corner of Magnolia and Donahue streets.

Toomer’s Drugs 

No trip to Auburn is complete without visiting Toomer’s Drugs for their famous fresh-squeezed lemonade. Located in the heart of downtown, Toomer’s Drugs has been a fan favorite for generations. 


Chewacla State Park

Chewacla State Park is located on 696 acres of public land and a 26-acre lake that offers plenty of relaxation, swimming, hiking, mountain biking,  paddling boarding, boating, canoeing, kayaking and fishing. 

The park offers an onsite campsite and original stone cabins for overnight stays. Hike or bike the multi-use trails the park has to offer.

Southeastern Raptor Center 

Learn about the birds of prey at the Southeastern Raptor Center located on the campus of Auburn University. Visitors can participate in special programming to learn about eagles, hawks and falcons on Friday afternoons before home football games.  The Center is not open to the public in general but can be toured privately by booking a group tour. 

Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts has 2000 pieces of traditional to contemporary art on display for visitors to enjoy.  Art exhibits, lectures and performances are free to the public on Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons, however,  there is a five-dollar suggested donation to enter the museum throughout the week. The Museum Cafe is open Tuesday through Friday for lunch and on Thursday nights for dinner.

The John Emerald Distillery Company

The John Emerald Distilling Company is a small-batch craft distillery located in Opelika. Founded by the Sharp brothers, who settled in America from Scotland, the brothers use Scottish heritage when creating their products. Visitors can book a tour of the distillery Monday through Thursday from 12 -4 pm., and Friday through Saturday from 12 pm-7 pm. 


Hotel at Auburn and Dixon Conference Center

The Hotel at Auburn University is a favorite choice among Auburn hotels. Lose yourself in a community rich in tradition, history, natural beauty and unlimited fun. Experience the allure of the "loveliest little village on the plains" for yourself at The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center.

The Collegiate Hotel

The Collegiate Hotel is a boutique hotel that offers Southern hospitality at its finest from the heart of Auburn. It has a 750- square-foot porch and a rooftop bar. 

Heritage House, Opelika

This historic mansion is located in downtown Opelika, Alabama. There are 14-guest rooms that are individually assigned. Each room is adorned with European linens, but guests can enjoy a traditional Southern breakfast every morning, complete with homemade bread and local jams.  

Chewacla State Park Stone Cabins

The state park’s small cabins are roomy enough for four guests, and the larger cabins sleep six guests comfortably. Five of the park’s cabins are the original ones built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Each cabin has an eating area and a fireplace. Chewacla also has onsite campsites and RV camping.

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