Cool Things to Do in Auburn, Alabama Outside the University

While Auburn, AL is known as the home of Auburn University, and one of the best college towns in the South, our city still offers several things to do outside of campus. The Auburn-Opelika area is naturally beautiful with the Chewacla State Park in the southern part of the city and The Mary Olive Demonstration Forest to the east. Venture just south of the city to the Tuskegee National Forest for more scenic views, hiking, and horseback riding. You can’t visit Auburn without playing a round of golf at the famous Grand National Golf Course along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

Other than our area’s outdoor recreation, stay indoors by visiting museums and taking in arts and culture, eat at local restaurants, and get a taste of Auburn nightlife. Learn more about the area’s history by visiting the Opelika Northside Historic District. There are also several local theaters featuring rotating shows and performances. Our college town is full of both restaurants and bars where students and visitors frequent. From BBQ joints to fine dining, Auburn has everything to satisfy your taste buds. When the sun goes down, the city turns into a vibrant nightlife scene with its array of bars and breweries – including the rooftop bar right here a our Auburn, AL hotel!

If you are looking for some things to do in Auburn outside our beautiful University, here are some suggestions on living like a local.

  1. Grab a cup of Joe and people watch.  In a college town, there is never a shortage of coffee or people. Break away from the chain cafes and check out our local coffee houses which include Prevail Union, Ross House Coffee, The Bean, Momma Mochas and Coffee Kat. All these spots are within walking distance from The Collegiate Hotel and campus.
  2. Rent a bike from War Eagle Bike Share.  With over 44 locations around town, The War Eagle Bike Share is an inexpensive alternative to enjoy the loveliest village on the plains. You can find/reserve a bike on their free app or at the bike using its keypad.
    CoHo Tip: We have a War Eagle Bike Share hub across the street!
  3. Tour the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.  Okay, I know we said things to do in Auburn outside the University, but let’s face it, you’re here! The University has a gem of a fine arts museum easily accessible to the public from College Street. The museum has just re-emerged from an update with permanent exhibits, changing galleries, and a cafe. Admission is free with donations accepted.
  4. Visit Chewacla State Park.  You don’t need to know how to say it (che-wok-a-la, by the way) to enjoy its beauty. The park offers hiking trails, waterfalls, camping and more on Chewacla Lake. Bring a blanket, picnic, frisbee, and Fido, and spend a few hours in the great outdoors. It’s less than a 15-minute drive from downtown!
    CoHo Tip: The Collegiate Hotel is pet-friendly, so after a day of playing in the park, stop by the bar for a drink for you and a special treat for your furry friend.
  5. Visit Downtown Opelika.  No, you don’t need a passport, just a few extra minutes to drive to Auburn’s neighbor, Opelika. The revitalized downtown celebrates its rich history with a number of local eclectic restaurants, bars, and shops.
  6. Worship with us.  Auburn offers a wide range of worship opportunities from a variety of faiths. Because of the university’s diverse and ever-changing student population, local houses of worship warmly welcome visitors.
    CoHo Tip: There are almost a dozen churches just a few blocks from our hotel – many easily walkable. Stop by the hotel front desk for a list of denominations and service times.