The largest city in Eastern Alabama, Auburn is home to roughly 62,000 residents, as of 2015. It is a proud college town, and is one of the fasting growing metropolitan cities in the US. Unofficially nicknamed “The Loveliest Village on the Plains”, after an Oliver Goldsmith poem, the town began as a settlement in 1839, previously being inhabited only by the Creek.
In the year that Auburn became incorporated, the town covered only 2 square miles of land, far less than the 93.6 square miles it now inhabits. The town was left largely untouched by the Civil war, only seeing direct combat in two battles, Rousseau in 1864, and Wilson in 1865.
The local college, then named Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College, in 1892 became the first four year college in the state to admit women to study at that level, which was part of the reason that the town then began to expand, and grow into what it is today.
Auburn, Alabama is home to the Auburn University Tigers. The Tigers are an SEC college football team that is steeped in rich tradition. The team was founded in 1892, and to this day, they follow the ideals of passion and spirit. Over the years, they have risen through the ranks of college football, and they now compete at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics.
If you’re lucky enough to be in town when there is a game, you definitely don’t want to miss it. The Tigers have a devout fan base that loves to cheer the team on. When you hear the battle cry “War Eagle,” you’ll know it’s time to prepare yourself for a high-energy crowd and a thrilling overall experience.
The traditions and high energy don’t end when the game does. After a big win, there is always a major celebration. If you head over to the intersection of College Street and Magnolia Avenue, you’ll find an exciting celebration. This intersection is where the Auburn University’s campus meets the city of Auburn. It is known as Toomer’s Corner and is named after a former State Senator, who was a halfback on the very first Tiger’s football team.
If you visit Toomer’s Corner during this celebration, you’ll see rolls of toilet paper being thrown into trees and over every stationary object in the vicinity. This tradition is believed to have begun in 1972, when the Tigers defeated the University of Alabama by the slim margin of one point 17-16. When we had celebrated the 17-16 victory over Alabama in the ‘Punt, Bama, Punt’ game.” According to this version of the story, toilet paper was used thanks to one of Auburn’s players, who said that “We are going to beat the No 2 out of Alabama.”
This iconic win led to the mayhem that is now a time honored Auburn tradition. For more details, visit their website ‘www.auburntigers.com/’
If you love to golf, you can’t pass up the opportunity to play at the Grand National Golf Course complex. The Grand National is part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. The trail consists of four hundred and sixty-eight holes and twenty-six golf courses spread out across eleven different sites in Alabama. Jones was an iconic golf course architect and designed over five hundred courses worldwide.
The Grand National is home to three separate golf courses built around the 600-acre Lake Saugahatchee. It is home to the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship, but still managed to have two of its courses rank in “America’s Top 50 Affordable Golf Courses.” Altogether, the complex boasts fifty-four total holes, thirty-two of which are located along the shores of the lake.
The Grand National is made up of the Links Course, the Lake Course, and the Short Course. Each course boasts great features for you to enjoy. The Lake Course has spectacular scenic views and a fantastic quartet of par threes. The Links Course is considered the cornerstone of the complex and has one of the strongest finishing holes in the state. The Short Course is an unrivalled eighteen-hole course full of one-shot holes and beautiful views. With these three excellent options, you’re sure to have an enjoyable and relaxing time.
The complex also features the Marriot Hotel and Conference Center, so you can stay right at the course. After a long day of golfing, you can enjoy a meal in one of the three restaurants, relax by the incredible swimming pool, or enjoy the beautiful views from your private balcony. For more details, visit their website ‘www.rtjgolf.com/’
Chewacla State Park has six hundred and ninety-six acres of protected land to explore. The park is a short drive from Auburn and is great for day trips or extended stays. With a multitude of activities and amenities, the park is a must-see stop on your Auburn trip.
If you’re looking to stay right at the state park, you’re in luck. Chewacla has six gorgeous stone cottages, which are available for rent year-round. The cottages all feature remodeled bathrooms, modern kitchens, central heating and cooling, stone fireplaces, TVs, and hardwood floors. All linens are provided, so you can pack light. A small cabin can accommodate up to four people, while a large cabin can handle up to six.
The park also offers a large campground with thirty-six full hookup sites and ten primitive sites. Each camping area has shower and bathroom facilities for your use. The full hookup sites include water, sewage, electricity, and the added bonus of twenty satellite channels. The primitive sites all have fire rings and picnic tables. It’s important to note that the primitive sites are first come, first serve, so be sure to arrive early if you’re hoping to get a spot.
In addition to fantastic accommodations, Chewacla State Park has a plethora of outdoor activities to enjoy. If hiking is your thing, you have six different trails to choose from. Most of these trails are easy to hike, but a couple of them have some steeper terrain if you’re looking for more of a challenge. Along with the system of hiking trails, Chewacla has a wonderful system of mountain biking trails. This system consists of eight trails, ranging from easy for beginners to challenging for the seasoned veterans. Both the hiking and mountain biking trails have beautiful scenery and noteworthy points of interest.
Chewacla State Park is also home to Chewacla Lake. The lake measures twenty-six acres and features a man-made spillway, which forms Chewacla Falls. The lake doesn’t have ramp access and no motorized watercrafts are allowed, keeping it quiet and pristine. Canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards are welcome, however, and are even available for rent from the park’s main office. You may also feel free to cast out a line as long as you have an Alabama Fishing License.
The lake is open to swimmers year-round. The swimming area is roped off and has a high dive on top of a large diving platform. It is considered a swim at your own risk area, because there are no lifeguards on duty at any time.
The park has three large picnic pavilions available for rent, as well as single picnic tables with charcoal grills. Each of the pavilions has a great location with scenic views. There is even a playground for the kids to keep themselves entertained while you grill up your freshly caught fish. For more details, visit their website ‘www.alapark.com/chewacla-state-park/’
Enjoy Your Stay
As you can see, Auburn has countless great destinations. Whether you’re a nature junkie, an avid golfer, or a football fanatic, Auburn is sure to offer something you’ll enjoy.